Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Busy, Blah, and a Barking Cough.....but Blessed!

Obviously, there isn't a whole lot of blogging going on around here. This is why:

I feel like I am so BUSY lately, but nothing much seems to be getting done!

I feel so BLAH lately, and I don't like this feeling at all! (Hopefully the 70 degree weather and sunshine that is expected the next few days will help me in this department!)

Gavin just can't seem to catch a break from illnesses lately! He gets sick, gets better and then he's back to being sick again! Poor guy! All I hear around here is a constant BARKING COUGH! Have I mentioned that this sound is like nails on a chalkboard to me?! I took him back to the doctor yesterday and he was put on an antibiotic and was was diagnosed with having Bronchiolitis.....hopefully this clears up soon!

But, despite all of this, I am BLESSED!

Someday soon, when I feel like blogging again, I'll share lots of pictures of what's been going on with our family lately. Until then, these adorable pictures will have to do!









"My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9

Monday, March 22, 2010

Meet Gavin.....

I finally figured out how to put a video on here! I am SO NOT a computer person, but somehow I figured it out! It was probably a fluke and I won't ever be able to do it again, but today it worked!

So, now you can "meet" my sweet boy!

(Ignore his messy hair...he needs a haircut badly! And, ignore his snorty breathing...this is his norm, thanks to his narrow airway.....poor guy, I really don't know how he keeps his oxygen sats up like he does!)

***Pause music on left sidebar to be able to hear video.***

Enjoy!

video

Isn't he precious?! His smile and "stories" make my day! He makes me so HAPPY!


"Happy are the people who are in such a state; happy are the people whose God is the Lord!" Psalm 144:15

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

(Somewhat) Wordless Wednesday

SPRING IS HERE!!!

Look what's popping up in our garden!





And, Gavin was finally able to go to school, on the bus, without a Winter hat!







I think he's very happy about this!

AHHH.....it's 65+ degrees outside, the sun is shining and it feels great!

Oh, and it's supposed to snow this weekend! :(


"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path." Psalm 119:105

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Waiting.....

I used to think that I was a patient person. Lately, I am not feeling very patient! Since coming down with this illness, all I want is to feel better.....right now! With Spring just around the corner.....I want it here...now! When our boys are getting ready for school in the morning.....I want them to move, but faster! Looking towards Heaven is always a wonderful thought.....but you guessed it.....I don't want to wait!

The things of this life have taught me that waiting is a difficult thing to do! I no longer consider myself a very patient person. Maybe it has something to do with having children. They sure are great at sucking the patience and energy right out of you! :)

This life has also taught me that things don't often turn out the way that we planned them to. I might plan to have a birthday party for our boys, but then we get sick and have to schedule it for another day. Or, when Gavin was scheduled to have his first heart surgery, we were told that we should expect to be in the hospital for 7-14 days.....well that turned into over 4 months, so not only were our plans changed, we also had to do A LOT of waiting! This is just a part of life.

This weekend, still being sick, I watched several movies while recooperating. I love movies that are deep and that make me think! I like to feel something from a movie and I really like it when it makes me evaluate things. One of the movies that I watched this weekend was the movie; Signs.

I have seen part of this movie before and I thought that it was kind of weird, since it has crop circles and aliens in it.....I don't believe in either of these things. But, this time around it really made me think. It has a great ending to it. In the movie, lots of things have gone bad in the main character's life. And, some annoying things happen that he wishes hadn't happened. He ends up becoming somewhat of a bitter person, because he hates what life has handed him. BUT.....in the end, he is given the reasons why a lot of things had to happen in his life! He wasn't happy with his life and what happened, but God had a great purpose in all of these things! It has a powerful ending and even though the rest of the movie is about aliens, I highly recommend it, if only for the ending!

It made me think about my life and why things have happened the way that they have. Some things have been rough, but even now I see why certain things happened the way that they did. It may have been a difficult road for awhile, but the destination was worth it!

The other movie that touched me was; Something the Lord Made. It is about the doctor and his assistant, that did the first heart surgery in the U.S. It is set in the 30s and 40's, a time when many babies died from heart defects. It is a fact-based movie and it was so powerful for me to watch, especially since Gavin has been through several heart surgeries! It has a great message too.....that all people are worthy of respect, no matter their race or social level. This duo of men came up with research and surgeries that makes it possible for babies to live today. I am so thankful to God that He gave and gives doctors the skills needed to prolong our lives! It amazes me how far medicine has come in quite a short period of time! I can't imagine not having Gavin here today and because of the God-given skills that doctors and surgeons have, we are blessed to see life continue even though it can be so very fragile at times! I would highly recommend this movie as well!

Waiting can be so very trying on a person, especially a Momma, but in the end it's good for us! I can't explain why certain things have happened in my life and I have not always been happy with the outcome, but looking back now, I am able to see the silver lining in everything! I can even see the silver lining when looking back on Gavin having his stroke! This shocks me to be able to say this, but great things have come from the hardships that he and we have had to go through because of it. I don't know the future and honestly, the future concerning Gavin scares me, but I do know WHO holds the future and I also know that God hasn't left me yet, so the future has to be bright!

I know that I will suffer some more. I know that things won't always be easy. And, I know that I will have to wait some more. But, hopefully I will always remember that things have always turned out in the end!

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Speaking of waiting.......

Here are some pictures of our boys waiting for Gavin's bus. One or all of them usually run down to get Gavin off the bus for me each day. They get so excited to have Gavin come home from school and it makes me so happy to see their excitement!






Jacob usually pushes Gavin's wheelchair back up the driveway and Nolan and Caleb race them back!



What is so sweet is that Nolan and Caleb are usually ahead of Gavin, but at the very end they pretend to fall or slow down, so that Gavin gets the chance to cross the finish line and "win" the race!



Have I mentioned what great brothers Gavin has?! They drive me crazy most of the day, but deep down they are such wonderful boys! I am so blessed!


"But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31

Friday, March 12, 2010

Where's Gavin?!



There he is!



PEEK-A-BOO!

Gavin is the light in my day and the smile on my face! I can't imagine life without him! The Lord really blessed me when He gave me this sweet boy!


"The blessing of the Lord makes one rich, and He adds no sorrow with it." Proverbs 10:22

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Miserable, But Making It!

Have you ever felt so sick that your teeth actually hurt?! That's how I've felt this week. I do not like getting sick and I look at it as failure. I usually stay quite healthy, but here I am sick!

I'm not the only one suffering. I really wish that I were though! It all started with Gavin waking up on Saturday morning with a cough. I didn't think much about it, because Gavin gags and coughs almost every day, but as the day went on, he got worse and he was miserable! I feel like a rotten mom, because despite the fact that he had a cough, we still made the trip out of town to visit my sister and to celebrate Jacob's and my Mom's birthday. We went to a museum and had lots of fun, but as Gavin showed more signs of illness, I started to feel really guilty.

He ended up having a 103 temp during that night and he was just miserable! I don't like being sick, but I hate it even more when my sweet boy is sick! He is such a trooper, even when he's sick! He rarely cries and he even gives us occasional smiles while feeling rotten!



Sunday morning he was sick as can be and he was still giving us smiles! I think I've told you that I hope to be more like Gavin when I grow up.....and this is why! He is so good-natured and is a real inspiration to me, to just find happiness in even the littlest of things! If Gavin can do, why can't I?!

Well, when push comes to shove, I'm NOT so good at being happy when I'm down for the count!

I ended up getting sick during the night on Sunday and I've been pretty grumpy ever since! If Gavin felt like I do, he is definitely a better person than I am!

Not only is Gavin a better person, he is very good at sharing too!

He shared his cold with not only me, but Daddy, Aunt Amy and Grandma too! Isn't he so generous?!

So, not only do I feel miserable, I feel sad for everyone else and guilty that it was my son that gave everyone the cold!

Anyway, Gavin is feeling MUCH better and has sailed through this illness better than any other illness he has ever had! This gives me hope that his body is able to fight off germs better than it used to! What a blessing!

With Joel and I both feeling sick, it was hard having 4 children to care for! Monday evening I said; "So, who is going to take care of the boys? Do we just let them fend for themselves?" We decided that Gavin was probably the most responsible one of the group, so we left him in charge of the brothers and we went to sleep.................Just kidding! I took the Monday evening shift, since I was feeling a little better than Joel was. Then, Joel took the Tuesday evening shift, since he was thankfully feeling better than I was that day. Unfortunately, life doesn't stop just because the parents get sick! Wouldn't that be nice?!

This illness was a crazy one! It came on SO FAST and seems to be ending fairly fast as well! This morning I still felt rotten, but this evening I am seeing an end in sight! Thank the good Lord for health! I seriously felt rotten and it makes me appreciate my normally healthy body!

So, this week didn't start off very well and we've been a busy family lately too.....I've had lots to blog about, but no time or no energy to do it! Hopefully I'll catch up soon!

One great thing is that the weather has been so nice lately! Up until today we have had 9 straight days of sunshine and weather in the upper 40's and 50's! This makes me feel alive and it also has me getting out the flip-flops! :)




It may still be too cold for flip-flops, but when you are used to temps in the teens and 20's, this weather feels like Summer! So, as I recuperate, I'll be dreaming of the weather to come!


"The spirit of a man will sustain him in sickness. But who can bear a broken spirit?" Proverbs 18:14

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Make Some Noise!

It has always bothered me when people use certain words to get their point across to someone. One of these words is the R-word (Retarded). Words may be "just words" to some people, but to others they make a huge impact on them. I think that it's important to look out for those who might not have the ability to stick up for themselves. This is part of the reason I have this blog.....to stick up for Gavin and to give him a "voice", since he is unable to make one for himself.

Having Down syndrome may mean that Gavin is clinically retarded, but it doesn't mean that he is less important than the rest of the population. I believe that God made Gavin "perfect" in His eyes and that He has a special purpose in having Gavin here. Gavin may not be able to do a whole lot, but I know that he has taught me and others A LOT! He is the greatest "teacher" that I personally know!

Today is:


r-word.org


Here is more information on this day:

(Pause music on the left side-bar to hear the following message.)





It may not hurt Gavin's feelings when people say things about him, but it sure does hurt mine! And, there are many people in this world that are affected by this word! I think that it's time to make some noise!






All of us need to be aware of the hurt that can be caused when we don't think of others first! Everyone hurts in this life, so why don't we start here to stop the hurt?!

At school last year, Jacob had a classmate that used the word retarded often. It obviously bothered him, since Jacob has Gavin as a brother. He told his classmate that he shouldn't use this word. Jacob's friend stood up for him and told the classmate that Jacob's brother had Down syndrome, so it was selfish of him to use this word, especially around Jacob! I sent some information to school with Jacob the next day. He gave this info to his classmate to read.....Guess what?.....Jacob says that he hasn't heard his classmate use this word since!

This is all that it takes! Stand up for yourself and those who can't stand up for themselves! All it takes is one person! Are you ready to join the fight?!

Do it for Gavin and others like him!



Thank You!!!


And, remember that the cool R-Word is actually Respect!


Also, Check out this awesome speech from a brother who loves his sister very much!






"If the ax is dull, and one does not sharpen the edge, then he must use more strength; but wisdom brings success." Ecclesiastes 10:10

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

SURPRISE!!!

Joel and I are not advanced planners. When we decide to do something, it is usually with short notice. We are like this with trips and vacations too. We just don't plan ahead.....I think that we plan ahead even less than we used to, since Gavin came into our lives. It may be a coping mechanism for me.....why make plans, to just have to cancel them due to illness, hospitalization or uncertainty? Gavin has been doing much better in the last year and a half, but I think that I just got used to not expecting to do much of anything, and it's become a way of life in many ways.

That said, I do think that we do a lot together as a family, despite these feelings and despite the fact that it is so much more difficult to go places with Gavin. It really does tire me out taking him into public places. Most of this exhaustion comes from the mental stuff that goes on in my head....."What do I need to pack?, Where will I be able to change his diaper?, How will I keep his formula cold and feed it to him when we get there? Is Gavin enjoying himself?, Is he tired of sitting in his stroller?, I should be holding him...he's probably bored...his bottom is probably sore from sitting so long...my arms are tired from carrying him around...I have to put him back in his stroller, because my arms are going to fall off, but I don't want him to be neglected.,.....Will his stroller/wheelchair fit through places?".....And, not to mention, I think that my eyes have actual telescopic powers since Gavin has come along!...because I can actually see all the germs that are lingering on items and in the air...SERIOUSLY!

Anyway, I think that you get the picture.....going places with Gavin can really wear me out! But, I refuse to let all of this stop me! I want to enjoy life and I want our other boys to enjoy life, so.....away we go!

We did just this, over the weekend. And, in doing this, we got our boys good!

They had a winter break and had a couple of days off from school. We picked them up from their 1/2 day of school on Friday and told them that "Dad decided to take the day off from work and we are going to go out to lunch." They were happy about this and away we went!

We had aleady packed up the car and, thankfully, we have a stow-n-go, so we were able to hide most everything from their sight. We started off to "lunch" and after about 30 minutes, they said "When are we going to get lunch?" We told them that we were trying to find a place to eat. Nolan said, "We have places right by our house!" Joel and I just played dumb and said that we could have gone to a place closer to home, but we didn't think about it, so now we'll just keep driving and try to find a place to eat. We finally stopped at a fast-food restaurant and got some food to go. Then, the boys wondered if we were going to go home? We asked them what they wanted to do and none of them could come up with anything, so we told them that we would just keep driving until they came up with something to do.

Long story short, we kept driving....and finally Jake said, "I think that they are taking us somewhere. Nolan, look in the back of the van and see if there are any bags." Nolan looked and said, "I do see bags! Where are we going?!" Joel and I continued to play with their minds, but did finally fill them in on our little secret!

Here are some pictures of the boys wondering what was going on and after hearing about our surprise:




Of course, Gavin couldn't have cared less!



Our surprise was that we were headed to the Detroit area and that we were staying at a hotel and going to the Henry Ford museum! They were shocked that we pulled this surprise off and they were very happy to be going!

Here are some pictures of our trip to the museum:

We learned about the automobile industry when it was first starting out and they were able to pretend like they were workers in a factory during that time.




There was a lot of political history there as well. Caleb got to see and learn a lot about his favorite president, Abraham Lincoln. Here he is standing in front of the actual chair that Lincoln was sitting in when he was assasinated! Caleb was surprised to see this, but it also made him sad.




We got to see the actual bus that Rosa Parks was riding on when she stood up for herself and her people. Here are Nolan and Caleb sitting in the bus:



We got to see trains:




Cool, old-time cars:



And, even airplanes!



Here is our whole family by one of the antique Oscar Meyer mobiles:



Oh, and we had one more surprise for our boys! My sister, their Aunt Amy, met us at the museum for the day! (She took the picture above, of all of our family.) The boys were so happy to have her along with us! Thanks for joining us for the day, Amy! It was so fun having you with us! Thanks for making the trip!

And, despite all my fears and worries about how Gavin handles being out in the real world.....I think that he really enjoyed himself too! :)




We had a great weekend! The only bad part about it was having to come home again! But, we sure were thankful to have the chance to get away!


"Be thankful to Him, and bless His name." Psalm 100:4b