Monday, November 30, 2009

Another relaxing weekend away

Here are the boys watching the wild turkeys, squirrels, and birds outside Grandma and Grandpa's window.
Jason's dad's sister Aunt Lill is a big hit with the boys too. She lives across the street on their farm.

We had an early birthday party for Caedmon. He was thrilled to decorate his own cake!

Jonas got to help too. We discussed how a person should wash his hands after EACH lick before decorating some more.

On Thanksgiving we were still at home since Jason had to work on Friday. The boys played football video games.

This was this morning after all the excitement. I often make the boys play in their rooms, to teach them to play by themselves-and to give myself a break! Today after over an hour I let Caedmon out of our room, but Jonas had crashed on the floor in the boys' room. It was a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend! We also got to pick out our Christmas tree in Carney, but I left the camera behind so I don't have photos of that. I continue to be thankful for my life! It is fun!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


This is some of my extended family. It was such a wonderful week in Kansas, spending so much quality time with my folks, my sibs, and my larger family. I am so blessed to be part of this group of people! And my grandpa turned 90! Still following the LORD! I think it is only appropriate to list things I'm thankful for from this year in this post. God has truly "generously given us all things." In no particular order.

1. We got to move closer to family! God provided the house, the job, the scenery, and several churches to choose from! We also live in a safe, quiet neighborhood!

2. My Jonas is alive and well! What a journey that has been but we are all learning daily faith because of it! He had excellent medical care, and I also want to mention I am thankful for the invention of nebulizers!

I REALIZE EVERY SENTENCE HAS AN EXCLAMATION POINT FOLLOWING IT. How else can I express how excited I am about these blessings?! :-)

3. My precious Caedmon is healthy and well. His heart seems to be sensitive to the things of God and he has absorbed so much information about life this year!

4. My loving husband. God gave me a perfect-for-me life partner. We have grown even closer this year through moving across the country!

5. Godly parents on both sides of our family! They are encouraging, helpful, and great role models! We have loved seeing them more!

6. I am thankful for the ability to make memories. As I get older I realize how much I treasure each good memory. From childhood, early marriage, and parenthood!

7. I am thankful for the inexplicable Christian bond that exists between strangers who love Jesus. I have met people in Wausau who I instantly love, not just because I am called to, but because we both love the One who made us! As far as that goes, I have met people even online who have become very dear to me because of this. (SaraH!)

8. Hymns have become very special to me this year. I have found such beauty and peace in singing hymns I have always known but never scrutinzed the lyrics. To add to that, I do appreciate my keyboard!

9. I am thankful I live in a country and time when I am not being persecuted. I have unlimited religious freedom! May I be ever more bold with this gift.

10. Christian authors! A couple I have especially devoured this year are Philip Yancey, Francine Rivers, and whoever wrote Experiencing God. :-)

11. Financial freedom! What a priceless gift-no pun intended. I choose to be poor all my days if my needs are met! Sleep is sweet when you don't owe anybody a penny.

12. Christian music! Some bands I have been obsessed with this year who really spoke to my heart: Fee, Ten Shekel Shirt, Sara Groves.

13. Prayer! I have studied prayer and really practiced a lot more this year. Prayer was such a gift through our transitions, and Jonas' health scares. It is amazing to not just feel helpless, but to be able to contribute to a situation or person, and simultaneously be renewing my mind!

14. I am thankful for my simply darling niece Ruth and nephew John! I am one doting, blessed aunt.

15. I am thankful for American soldiers, who sacrifice their time, their youth, intimacy with their families, and sometimes much more, so that my husband and I do not have to fight, or be apart. I am thankful I don't have to be a single mom too!

16. Thankful that we also ARE soldiers of Jesus Christ. In this ongoing daily battle, we are already assured VICTORY! We are on the right side, we are on the team, we can have confidence! Christ has overcome the world!!!!!

17. Sex. [She just said sex on her blog!! Well, it's her blog, and she is thankful for it!]

18. I am thankful for humor. I can't deSCRIBE how thankful I am for humor! Jonas' lastest trick to get out of going to bed is a series of excuses he learned from Caed. They are pretty basic: "Bwankies! Lamby! Sing-Song! Dwink! Pway!" The latest had me giggling though, as I shut the door to his room he called out, "Potty!" No, Jonas, you are wearing a diaper and are NOT potty-trained. You simply cannot get out of going to bed for that one!

Caedmon cracks me up too on a daily basis. He often tells me all the things God made. Today he said, "God made movies!" I am assuming he was hoping maybe if he put God and movies in the same sentence, I would run to the TV and pop one in for him! Jason and I also can't help laughing when he says things wrong, completely innocently. He said he had to "shit the door." How do you correct that kind of thing without drawing attention to and teaching him the BAD word? :-)

19. Most of all, I am thankful I have access to a personal relationship with God! He becomes dearer to me every year, and the more I know Him, the less I can describe His greatness!

What are YOU thankful for?

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


I want to post about our strange week 1) to share God's glory with you all and 2) so we always remember what God has done for us.

Saturday-previous Jonas got a barky cough along with a high fever, but was doing ok with just tylenol. By Monday night he was struggling to breathe, and was getting noisier. After conferring with several people, we decided to take Jonas into the ER. Healthy oxygen levels are 95 and higher, and Jonas was measured at 76 initially. We got admitted for the night and my poor baby was subjected to many tests and tubing.

By Tuesday he was much better, so after observing him all day long, they sent us home thinking he was over the hump. Wednesday after taking him out in the cold, then doing the steam shower, I put him down for a nap. Poor sick Caedmon, myself with a sore throat, and sick Jonas desperately needed at least a 3 hour nap.

Jonas woke up 20 minutes later coughing. He couldn't get on top of the cough, so he started crying. I woke up and went in there to see him walking across the room off-balance trying to make sense of what was happening to him. He was trying to whine Mama Mama but it was too much effort. His chest and throat were depressing with each breath. I called my Dr. and dashed out the door, not strapping Caed in the carseat and with both boys sans shoes in very cold weather. It occured to me I should run back inside to grab some library books and a sippy cup for the boys, but I knew that every second counted and truly thought I couldn't afford the time. By now I cannot even describe how Jonas sounded, although it is etched vividly in my memory. It was a barky, sucking, wheezy desperate attempt to get enough air to do it again. It was 3 miles to the hospital and 2 to my Dr. so I headed that way going who knows how fast. I remember Caedmon, very groggy, sensing the urgency of the situation as I called out to God in a shaky voice. He said, "I love you so much, Jonas." It made me cry because it seemed prophetic of his last words to his brother or something. Then Jonas just started fading. In the rear view mirror, it was just as if he gave up. I could see him not care. He slowly closed his eyes with his hands loosening on the tag of his blanket, no longer frustrated, just resigning himself to not working so hard to breathe. I don't know how close to death he was, I only know what I saw I will never forget.

We made it to the Dr.'s office, I just scooped Jonas up and ran into the building with Caedmon trailing in the parking lot. Although they had said on the phone all doctors were busy, within a minute we were in the back with TWO Drs. available to care for him. They stabilized and evaluated him, then sent us back to the hospital. We were in for 3 more nights during which time Jonas had ups and downs with oxygen saturation and fevers, steroids and monitors.

We learned a lot about respiratory therapy this week! The swine flu test, pneumonia, and RSV test all came back negative, so everyone's best guess is that he had a para flu which caused the croup. We will see a specialist Thursday to determine if Jonas has a malformed trachea or inflamed birthmarks or any such abnormality. They say it is possible it is an allergy that caused this. He is most likely going to develop asthma too, and will be prone to more breathing difficulties in the future. He is home now taking 2 steriods a day and breathing treatments as needed. He has also bounced back into fighting with his brother and playing with toys again.

Yet we rejoice! He is alive and well! So many wonderful gifts were given us this week in God's timing.

1) We had the most amazing staff at the hospital we picked out of the phone book-and they doted on Jonas and pampered him with first-rate treatment!

2) We got to the office in time-and capable doctors were available.

3) Friends and family supported us and prayed through it all-THANK YOU!

4) Jason's coworker Jimbo had heard that Jonas had been sick earlier in the week, so he offered to take Jason's pickup route on Wednesday, so Jason could come home earlier. Jason had NEVER gotten a chance to come home early before, and this was before I had told him that we had gone back to the ER. So he was able to come up and rescue Caedmon at least 2 hours earlier than normal. Meanwhile since Caedmon wasn't feeling too hot, he was an angel in the ER preferring to sit in a corner chair with his blanket and just watch all the excitment. I was so proud of him but torn that I couldn't hold him too while they were working on Jonas.

5) Jason's coworker Patti upon coming back from her Florida vacation and hearing about Jonas, cooked dinner for us!

6) FedEx let Jason take off all the days where I was in the hospital with Jonas, to care for Caedmon at home. Of course they kind of had to, but my point is they were very gracious about it. A big blessing!

We learned personally about the fragility of life. That Jonas is a priceless gift entrusted to us for a season only, and he was put into our home to love. I cannot imagine how it is for so many around the world when their kids face health crises like this and they have nowhere to GO, no practical medical help, but are forced to sit and watch their children fade away. We also learned personally that you absolutely CAN put weight on God's promises. There is nothing more precious than being held in the palm of God's hand. I am thankful for this experience! A hymn I sang over and over this week:

Day by day, and with each passing moment, Strength I find to meet my trials here. Trusting in my Father's wise bestowment, I've no cause for worry or for fear.

He whose heart is kind beyond all measure, Gives unto each day what he deems best. Lovingly, its part of pain and pleasure, Mingling toil with peace and rest.

And while we are documenting how God has worked in our family, I wanted to list other times God clearly could have taken our children back to their heavenly homes, but chose to spare us that pain.

1) When Caedmon was about 8 months old, he pulled a TV on top of himself. He was fine!

2) Caedmon-also about 8 months-crawled/bounced down 14 stairs at a friend's house.

3) Caedmon-about 6 months-found some coins and was seconds away from eating them.

4) Caedmon-about 1 1/2 was playing in the car unattended for a few minutes and managed to find and open a bottle of ibuprofen and extra strength tylenol. ER visit-he was fine!

5) I had Jonas (11 months) on a counter next to where I was brushing Caed's teeth. He turned himself around and I watched him fall in slow motion backwards onto the tile floor. The thud of his skull hitting the stone was like a gunshot. He didn't even suffer a concussion!

What can I say except God has been gracious and merciful to us! I know this is a long story, but what part of God's immense power and healing could I have left off? To be continued as life goes on. . .

Monday, November 9, 2009


Halloween weekend was fun! My folks and Aunt Martie came up just for the weekend. They even drove all night to spend another day with us! I can't describe how nice it is to live close enough to see family so often! We didn't do anything too exciting, but we read a lot of books and I felt like I had the weekend off! Here is my mom doing all my dishes. We also got out of a lot of poopy diapers-even cloth ones! Although they don't look too thrilled, Caed and Jonas quickly got into trick or treating our friendly neighbors. They made out like bandits too! Caedmon is not really dressed up though. His vocation is, afterall, a fireman. The tiger was not too dangerous either. This was the first night he started spiking a fever before our very memorable week in the hospital. But we made him go get us some candy, anyway!
Love my sister, Aunt. The funny story behind her name now being Aunt instead of Aunt Martie comes from Caedmon. This summer in Kansas Martie came in the door and Caedmon got so excited to see her, he said, "It's Aunt...Aunt...Aunt...!!!!" but couldn't remember WHICH aunt. He has a lot of aunts. So she is just Aunt. I love my family! We have gotten to see each other four times since moving even though they're 12 hours away, like 10 times more than we're used to per year! Thank you, God!

Halloween isn't my favorite holiday, and I know Christians on both sides of the issue. But an excuse to go door to door and meet the neighbors and celebrate the beautiful fall, is worth it. Plus Grandee Betty sent the most cute costumes so we went all out. Now they have several dress-up outfits! Happy All Saints Day! :-)