Monday, August 21, 2017

Happy 7th Birthday Calvin!

Dearest Calvin,

Today is your birthday!  Today you are 7!  It's hard to believe that the little baby we took home from the hospital is growing up into such a nice, young boy.  You have a zest for life and learning and we love it!  You are inquisitive about so many wonderful things and really enjoy learning about science topics, like dinosaurs, animals, and space. 

Today is also Solar Eclipse day.  The first Solar Eclipse that the United States has seen in many years.  That's kind of neat that your birthday ended up being the day of the Solar Eclipse.  We watched it live on the NASA streaming page and went outside and looked at crescent shadows on the ground.  We watched the world turn a little bit darker in our town, but not completely because we weren't in the path of totality. 

Saturday was your party, an ocean themed party.  You had so many nice friends come for the party.  It was a fun time and there are some pics of your cake (which was decorated partially by you) and the games played. 

This year you start 1st grade and we are so excited for the things you will learn.  We love you so much Sonshine!

All our love,
Mommy, Daddy, Mia and Asher

The octopus was intended as a bean bag toss game, but then you and your friends quickly figured out that it was perfect as a stage prop for taking pics in!

Monday, July 17, 2017


I miss blogging.  I remember when Mia was born and I sometimes updated the blog daily, if not every other day.  I felt guilty for missing a day.  I've missed six months!  Just like that, in a blink of the eye. 

What have we been up to?  We finished our first year at Legacy with the kids.  They had a great year and we are looking forward to another great year this coming fall.  Mia will be in 3rd and Calvin will be in 1st.  Asher has one more year at home, so he will be with Grandma Cheri while I teach a few hours each morning.  

We've managed to do a few fun trips this summer.  We spent a day at Morro Bay, a day up at the Sequoias and a day at the Monterrey Bay Aquarium.  The kids are getting bigger and have been able to manage day trips much better.  That works for us because it is a lot of work to pack up and get a hotel, if we can do a day trip, then we can be back home and in our beds which is perfect. 

Jon, Carmen and the boys were here for about a month, so we've enjoyed quite a bit of family time with them.  The kids were so sad when the cousins had to leave, they play so well together and love being with each other...we were all sad when it was time to say goodbye.  

We've been doing a lot of driving to LA working on Mia's scoliosis with specific therapy.  It reminds me of when she was little and I was driving to LA for so many doctor appointments.  Thankfully, there are no babies to feed or fussiness...well, not a lot of fussiness ;)  That makes it easier. 

Mia continues to be seizure free.  We've had a few incidents where she has made comments or acted differently that have put us on higher alert, but so far, she continues to be seizure free.  Our prayer is that she would have another great year without any seizures!  Praise God that she is doing so well.  

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Happy 4th Birthday, Asher!

Dearest Asher,

It's hard to believe that today you are 4!  We remember the anticipation of your arrival and how excited we all were to be getting another baby boy.  Out you came weighing 10 pounds 4 oz!  You were a big baby.  And you are still a big boy today, you weighed in this morning at 40 pounds (practically the same weight as your brother and sister now!).  You are now 42 inches...taller than any other kid of ours at your age! 

You love everything Lego these days.  That makes Daddy very happy.  It's amazing to watch you look at the Lego directions and figure out how they go.  You are very good at building things. 

And you love to sing.  Right now, you are a humming your own tune while building a Lego.  The perfect day, quite possibly! 

Your favorite foods are pizza, macaroni & cheese, and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches.  You like most fruits and tolerate most vegetables.  You'd rather have desert first, though.  Who wouldn't? 

These days, Mama is still your best friend, but you are developing a strong friendship with your brother and sister also...especially your brother.  You want to do everything he does...except go to school.  :)

We love you sweet boy and are just so blessed to have you in our family!  We continue to love watching you grow and develop into who God created you to be. 

Love, Always and Forever,
Mommy and Daddy...
Mia and Calvin

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Happy 9th Birthday, Sweet Mia!

Dearest Mia,

We can't believe that you are 9 today!  This is your last year of being a single digit!  That just can't seem possible, but it is.  This year you sprouted up another 3 inches!  We couldn't be happier that you keep thriving.  Calvin and Asher are going to have to eat more vegetables to keep up with you!

Since May of this year, you have been seizure free.  We are so grateful for each day that God grants you without a seizure.  We continue to pray that God will keep you seizure free and hope we never have another one again. 

This year we started a new school and you've adapted and embraced this new school.  You've always loved learning and you continue to enjoy school.  You have such a nice, caring class and we are excited to see your new friendships blossom and grow. 

You keep doing various activities.  You love riding horses at MARE and you especially love going to AWANA.  It's neat to see you take a verse and apply it to your life. 

We can't wait to see what year 9 holds for you.  We trust God completely for His plans for your life.  We are just so grateful that He chose us to parent you.  We love you sweet pea!!!

Love Always,
Mommy & Daddy & Calvin & Asher

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Happy 6th Birthday, Calvin!

Dearest Calvin!

We can't believe you are six!  You've grown into such a nice, helpful, young boy.  We love you so much.  You sprouted three inches this past year and have hit the big 4-1 in weight!  As you can imagine, you are a tall, lanky boy...just like your dad was at your age. 

This year you are starting Kindergarten and we are so excited for you.  You know so much already, but being in a class of kids that are your age will be so much fun for you. 

You and Daddy went on your first mission trip with our church this past June.  You had a great time and want to do that again.  We love watching you develop a heart for helping others. 

You love God more than us and that makes us very happy.  Things are very black and white to you, we love watching you ask questions about your faith and making it more real for you. 

We pray that God would continue to mold you into the man he would want you to be.  We pray that you would fiercely love God and want to serve him always. 

We love you sweet boy, our sonshine!

Love always,
Mommy and Daddy, Mia & Asher 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

6th Birthday Bash

Today we celebrated Calvin turning 6.  Family came over and a few of his friends came over and we had a nice, small party for him.  He has been obsessed with Pokemon since the new Pokemon Go app and so that is what his party was all about.  It was a big hit.  All the kids had fun and of course, the birthday boy learned more things about Pokemon then he had ever known before...we may have created our own little pocket monster.  Here are a few pics of the day. 

Friday, July 15, 2016


I feel like it just started and it is almost over all at the same time.  The kids and I have been just relaxing at home, not really doing anything.  It's hot outside, so we try not to be out there in the afternoon.  I have a million things on my to do list and absolutely no motivation to do any of them. 

Thankfully my kids don't realize that other kids do a lot more things during the summer.  They are perfectly content to hang out with mama all day and color and paint. 

We do have a tiny trip planned at the end of the month to Monterey.  The kids have been asking to go to the aquarium and we thought we could go for a couple days.  Brad will be finished with his class he is taking at the local community college and it will be a nice end to his hard work. 

Mia continues to be seizure free and we continue to praise God.  We have slowly started weaning one of her meds and will continue to slowly do this for awhile.  Our prayer is that she would remain seizure free without the third medicine, but it's going to take us quite awhile to wean.  Thank you for continuing to pray for her!

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

A Much Needed Update

Is it summer yet?  As of today, I can officially say it is.  June tends to be a bit more chaotic because for the last two years I have been co-director of crafts at our church's VBS.  It's a fun job, but can be exhausting too.  Thankfully my co-director is AWESOME and I couldn't do it without her.  But, it just seems like everything revolves around making that happen in June. 

The kids had a blast at VBS.  It was just a great week for them and I love how excited they were about going.  We've listened to the music CD of VBS songs on repeat for the last month, so I was rather surprised when it came on in the car today and everyone still got excited.  Asher said, "this is my favorite." 

The kids have been doing swim lessons every day and I'm excited to report that both Calvin and Asher can swim!  How crazy is that?  Their teacher has them jumping in or sliding in and then swimming to the side on their own.  Neither of them can swim the length of the pool, and Calvin can definitely swim further than Asher, but I'm so impressed with how much they have improved.  Mia is right there too and while she readily tries and works on all the skills, she just has a tougher time getting it all together than the boys.  But, I think with enough practice, she too will get it. 

Speaking of Mia, she continues to be seizure free!  Praise God!  We have started to wean her off one of her meds very slowly.  We are being cautious, but realize also that she's probably on a bit too much medication as she gets really sleepy during the afternoon.  She is also completely healed from her surgery and doing really well. 

We are looking forward to relaxing over the next few weeks as we enjoy our first days of summer!

Friday, June 03, 2016


We made it home late on Thursday evening.  It was so nice to be able to fly home and not drive especially since we ended up staying longer than I anticipated. 

Mia is doing really well.  It always amazes me how quickly kids bounce back after surgery. 

Before her surgery date, we had to meet with several specialties to get her cleared for surgery because of her complicated history.  One of those was neurology because of her ongoing seizures.  They recommended that we increase one of her meds just a little bit to bridge us through surgery since the body is prone to more seizures during a surgery and recovery.  So the Tuesday before surgery, we increased the one med just a tiny bit for her AM dose.  Up through her surgery, she was still having daily seizures.  The day after her surgery she had 3 seizures.  But then, amazingly, they stopped.  We haven't had a seizure since last week Saturday.  There have been a few times when she zones and I wonder if it is an absence seizure, but they are very brief and it could just be exhaustion and recovery from her surgery.  We are hopeful that in the next few weeks we can determine, as she gets rested, if she indeed is seizure free.  Right now, we are just so grateful.  Every day without a seizure is a blessing.  Thank you, thank you, thank you God!!!

Saturday, May 28, 2016


Overall Mia had been doing really well with recovery.  We've had a few hiccups with her IV's.  Her veins are very tiny and fragile, so she keeps losing her IV's and it's very hard for the nurses to find a new vein.  Last night it took 7 tries to replace her IV and her left hand, where the IV failed, swelled up like a pufferfish.  It's still a little swollen today, hoping there is no damage to the tissue.  They ended up injecting her 5 times with a medicine called Wydase, which is supposed to counteract and protect the tissue as it returns to normal.

Today the goal is to start liquids and walk some more.  Hopefully also get off the extra nasal oxygen completely.  Some of the time she does good, but then sometimes her blood oxygen levels dip down, especially when she is super relaxed and sleeping.  But, she hates the nasal oxygen and is constantly taking it off, I ended up sleeping with her and holding her hands so she couldn't tear it off.

Grandma, Daddy and Asher started driving home yesterday (change of plans) and now Mia and I will fly home when we are done.  Hoping that is less stressful on her travel wise.

Thanks for praying!

Thursday, May 26, 2016


We arrived in Colorado on Sunday evening and have completed multiple days of pre-op appointments.  Yesterday they admitted her prior to surgery.  She is having an abdominal surgery and needed to be squeaky clean for it.  As a result, she has had a lot of miralax running through her.  It has made her tummy "sad", her words.  She did throw up once, but seems to be doing well this morning.

Prayers today for:  complication free surgery
                               Minimal to none abdominal adhesions
                               Easy pain management after
                               Uncomplicated recovery

Thank you for praying!  Will try to update more later.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Going Going Going

Mia, Asher, Grandma Cheri and I head out tomorrow to Colorado.  Mia is having a procedure done at the Children's Hospital there to make our toileting process much easier.  We had seen this doctor years ago in Cincinnati and he has since moved to Colorado and we are as a result going there.  He's an expert in the field, to say the least, and with Mia not always being a typical case, we wanted to go and see him.  So, it will be a two day trek to get there and then a week of doctor appointments and surgery and then a two day trek back. 

We, as always, would so appreciate your prayers.  For a safe trip and a complication free surgery. 

Mia's collar bone is doing well and she appears to be healing well.  By the grace of God, she hasn't had anymore falls, but she is still having seizures.  Continue to be praying for her protection, we are so grateful for all of those prayers. 

Will update you after the surgery (which is on Thursday) and let you know how it went. 

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Happy Mother's Day!

It's hard to believe that 8ish years ago, I became a mom.  That doesn't really seem possible to me, yet our little bean is 8 years old!  When you are in the daily moment, it is definitely not easy and can seem like forever, but when you take a step back and look at it, time goes so quickly.  So, I try to enjoy this time, try to remember that it is a journey and not a destination and realize there will be bumps in the road.  Some days that is easier than others, but I am grateful for my munchkins.  They are very unique and so special to me.  I'm so glad that God entrusted them to us. 

Last week, Mia had a seizure and fell down and broke her collar bone.  Sigh.  Big Sigh.  I was in the other room and she'll sometimes giggle loudly after a seizure, so I heard her giggling and knew she had just had one.  I went to check on her and she had fallen in the living room on the carpet, so I thought, ok, this should be ok.  Well, after she came to, I got her up to walk around a bit to make sure everything was ok and she immediately started complaining about her shoulder.  I was hoping it was just bruised, but after a doctor visit and x-ray, it was definitely broken.  She's wearing a figure 8 brace now and will be in it for at least 6 weeks.  I'm going to call an orthopedic doctor in Bakersfield on Monday, just to see about getting her in for him to look at her x-ray and make sure the figure 8 brace is all she needs.  She broke her right collar bone, which is her dominant hand because of the left-sided weakness, her OT encouraged us to get a second opinion just to make sure because she uses this arm/hand for everything. 

If you think about it, please be praying for her healing.  Now we are especially aware when she is up and about because the thought of her falling again and rebreaking it is overwhelming.  Praying for protection and healing for our sweet Mia. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Happy 8.5 Mia!

8 1/2 years!  Time flies!  Seriously.  I can't believe our little girl is 8 1/2 today.  She's not a little girl anymore, she's growing up.  It hurt worse when Brad told me she was half way to 17.  Yikes!  Thankfully we are not there yet.  Today we will do a little celebration for her.  She wanted a lemon cake, so that is what it is.  Here's the sweet girl on her half birthday! 

She is as sweet as she looks.  She's been memorizing verses for Sparky's (Awana club) and one of her verses came from Revelation 21:4, "He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."  As she was memorizing, she asked me if we could add in no more seizures too and I told her for sure.  She now will ask to pray after a seizure and always throughout the day whenever we pray for God to take away her seizures.  Patiently, we wait on God's timing for that. 

Thank you for praying for our sweet girl!

Thursday, April 07, 2016

These kids...

They keep me on my toes!  I don't know that anything has changed since the last time I blogged; we are doing well. 

Parenting is definitely not for the weak hearted.  I keep having to remind myself that I'm in it for the marathon, not the sprint.  That seems especially true when your kids need so much discipline.  You think, why haven't they gotten this yet, I have told them a million times that they shouldn't be mean to their brother/sister.  Then I need only look in the mirror at my own reflection and think about how God is constantly working on me, does He ever say the same things about me?  We are born sinful and we are always maturing.  I just have to keep reminding myself how little my kids are and that the time invested now will pay dividends (hopefully) when they are older.  It's a journey, not a destination. 

And they are good kids.  But they are kids and make mistakes.  I guess the hardest part is getting to the heart of the matter, getting them to realize the heart issue about it. 

On a different note, Mia had a seizure at MARE yesterday.  We had finished her riding lesson and were in the barn looking at some things.  I didn't see it happen, but all of a sudden I hear a crash and she is flat on her back on the floor.  But, by the grace of God, she still had her riding helmet on and she fell backwards.  Her head was totally protected and she got away with no bumps, bruises or scrapes at all.  Even through all of the junk of the seizures, I see God's hand on her life in a mighty way.  Over and over again, He protects her.  I'm so grateful.  Thank you Lord!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Too Many Irons In The Pot

That's what it seems like or that's the excuse I give for not blogging as much.  We just have too much going on.  Keeping up all the daily household stuff + homeschooling + any extra life activities and then I can barely keep up.  I don't know how to make life any simpler because I feel like we live fairly simply. 

I got to get away last weekend with my best friend from high school and still best girl friend today!  She and I went away to celebrate our 40th birthdays!  When I was little and my mom turned 40, I remember what a big deal it, it doesn't seem like such a big birthday.  I guess it is all perspective.  Anyway, we went away to the coast and just relaxed and shopped all weekend.  We stayed in Cambria and there are so many cute stores to peruse around in, it was fun.  Aside from the uninterrupted sleep, I told her the best part was having time to finish a conversation and not be interrupted.  That was nice.  Daddy was a trooper and held down the fort, the kids didn't even miss me...dads do a good job of that. 

A few weeks ago Grandma Cheri bought the kids a play set and this week we have been assembling it.  It will have swings, a slide, a fort on top and monkey bars to crawl across.  The boxes have been in our garage for a bit and the kids have been asking when we would build it and the time has arrived.  Uncle Paul has been a trooper and has been over here doing a bulk of the work.  I feel like I am just here for moral support and to find pieces.  Especially pieces that the kids pick up and move around and shouldn't do that to.  Hopefully it will get finished today. 

Mia is still having seizures.  We have an appointment in April to explore alternative treatment for her (cannabis oil).  Please be praying about that, just wisdom and direction on what to do.  She also has a tentative surgery scheduled in May, but I'm waiting to hear back from doctors regarding that.  It will simplify our bowel management process and so just be praying about that also.  We hate doing surgeries, but know that sometimes it is the best choice and now seems to be the right time for this to happen. 

Calvin and Asher are doing well.  They both had check ups a few days ago and are growing, healthy kids.  Thank you Lord!  Asher has just started to recognize certain letters/sounds that start words.  The other day he said, "pink, that starts with "puh" with is a p."  He was super excited.  I said, "what does Asher start with?"  He said, "aaa with is a."  Just trying to write down and soak up the sweet moments because there are quite a few not so sweet moments too.  :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Birthdays, Birthdays, and more Birthdays

It seems like February is the month of birthdays in our family.  We start the month off with our sweet groundhog baby and then move on to daddy's birthday on Valentine's day.  Then on the 21st of the month is Calvin's 1/2 birthday.  Its been a fun month of birthday celebrations for the family.

Asher had an airplane birthday party.  We invited a few friends and had dinner, cake and presents.  Rather than trying to plan some themed activities, I decided to just let them run around and play.  It worked perfect, they were completely happy to do that. 

Daddy wanted a special "cashew" cheesecake for his birthday.  I tend to get intimidated by recipes and I've been trying my best to push threw that, so I took the challenge.  We have a vitamix and that helped to blend up the cashews until they were creamy.  Surprisingly, the cheesecake itself was easy to make.  It was the raspberry topping that was challenging because of all the boiling and straining of seeds that took place.  But it was delicious and Joy especially approved.  :)

Calvin had no clue that his 1/2 birthday was on the 21st.  I was trying not to make a big deal about it because it was our Missions day at church and I knew we were going to be consumed with stuff to do.  Rather than telling him, I wrote Calvin, 5 1/2 on our chalkboard on the wall.  I guess he was eating his breakfast and noticed the sign and ran to ask Daddy what it was all about.  I then showed him his 1/2 a birthday cake and he was so excited that today was a special day for him.  When we got to church, the activity center was decorated for the missions lunch and there were red balloons on all the tables.  Calvin's eyes grew really wide and he looked up at me and said, "Is all of this for me, Mama?!"  It was rather sweet. 

Anyway, I didn't get enough great pictures of much, but here are a few pictures from Asher's party. 

Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Happy Birthday, Asher!

Dear sweet Asher,

You are 3 today!  What an amazing ride these past 3 years have been with you!!  You are so passionate about so many things, we pray that God can help us to grow your passion for good!

You are a big boy.  You've grown 4 inches this past year.  You are like a little bean stock.  We keep telling Calvin to watch out, you might pass him up one of these days.

Last year we could barely understand a word you said, but your speech has improved so much this year that we can clearly tell what you want and when you want it.  You have two volume levels, quiet and extremely loud.  This year we really want to work on your inside voice.  :)

You love to learn and want to do everything that big brother and big sister do.  One of your favorite toys are Legos and you can't get enough of them.  You are also excellent at puzzles and you are slowly learning how to use a scissors!

Mama is your best friend, except when you are in trouble.  Calvin is your favorite person to play with.  You love music and you love digging in the dirt.  If you could listen to music and dig in the dirt, you would be the happiest boy in the world.

We love you sweet boy!  We can't wait to see how God grows you this year!

Mama and Daddy...Mia and Calvin

Sunday, January 31, 2016


I can't believe today is the last day of January.  It's been a busy month.  I think I need a vacation...when is it spring break?

Mia is still having seizures.  At times it is super discouraging to me because we had a week without seizures in December.  I hate them.  I hate what they do to her and I hate how much they control our life.  Yet, I keep thinking about the verse in Philippians 4:8.  "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."  It redirects my thoughts and I can only think of Jesus and God and the amazing things that have been done for Mia.  These seizures stink, but God is sovereign.  And when I get discouraged, I have to look to God.  I can't help but be encouraged when I look at how far He has taken her.  Do I want her to have seizures and struggle in life?  Absolutely not.  Do I trust God and His plan?  Absolutely.  I may not get it or understand it, but I trust it. 

Mia and Calvin are both participating in Fun Sports, a 6 week sports program for different ages.  The program runs a few different sports throughout the year and the point is for all kids to get to play, which is what makes it fun.  Calvin threw a fit when we signed him up because he didn't want to do something new.  He displays a lot of the introverted tendencies his mom and dad have.  But he has been having so much fun.  They practice one night a week and then play one game a week.  They are doing basketball right now and I asked him if he wanted to try the next sport and he was hesitant, but then said he would like to try baseball and maybe soccer.  I'm proud of how far he has come.

Mia is also playing basketball and we are realizing how much of a challenge this is on many levels for her.  Mostly, we are concerned about her having a seizure on the court.  It happened once at a game and once at practice.  Because of this, either Brad or myself are with her at all times on the court during practice and games.  Her coach does a great job of including her, but the reality of a team sport is that you don't always get the ball equally.  Since the game play is so quick, she really struggles with that and she's gotten bonked a few times in the face with the ball because she just couldn't keep up.  But she loves it and has loved it from the beginning.  She is quite the opposite of Calvin and is definitely not introverted.  

Asher, of course, was hugely disappointed that he's not old enough to do Fun Sports.  (You have to be at least 4 for basketball.)  The joys of being the littlest, you don't always to get to participate.  :)

Pray for us as we continue to look for answers to help Mia be seizure free.  We meet with her neurologist next week.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

New Year...when did that happen?

I'm sorry for not blogging more over the holidays.  I wanted to.  But then I didn't want to.  And of course I didn't! 

We had so much fun with our family over the holidays.  The cousins were inseparable.  It was nice to have a few weeks to just enjoy each other.  Then of course, it was January.  We started getting back in the swing of school and we got a surprise visit from Laura, Brad's sister.  So, of course, that was fun and we got some more family time! 

We got a dog and now we don't have a dog.  Tim & Rachel found a stray in our neighborhood right after the new year and we housed him for awhile.  We contemplated keeping him, but realized after a week or so that he wasn't a great fit for us because he loved to eat the kids toys.  We had talked awhile about getting a pet for the kids, but this was not the pet for us.  Thankfully, Tim & Rachel found him a new home with another dog and he is doing fabulous there.  A happy ending for Marley.  

Now, it's almost the end of January, and life just keeps plugging along.  An update on Mia...after she had been seizure free for a week, I tried decreasing one of her meds and within a week, the seizures came back.  We waited a few days just to be sure and we were sure, and then re-upped that medicine again.  Sadly, I chose the medicine that takes 3 weeks to stabalize (because I really thought it wasn't contributing that much and clearly I was wrong) and so now we are almost at the 3 week mark and hoping in the next few days she will be seizure free again.  We have a visit with her neurologist on Thursday and will just discuss the plan for her, but if we can get her seizure free again, I don't want to change anything.  I want to give her a break from the seizures and I think we will just stay where we are medicine wise. 

The kids are doing well in school.  I'm trying to think out of the box for Mia and some of her struggles.  We are caught in the I want and I don't want stage.  Asher so desperately "wants" to do school and everything that the big kids are doing.  Calvin so desperately "doesn't want" to do school and would gladly let Asher take his spot in everything.  The grass is always greener, I suppose. 

Thank you for praying for Mia, please keep praying for her.  We are so grateful for all you faithful prayer warriors!