Friday, January 30, 2009

Life is Good!

Yesterday Caleb wanted to wear his "Life is Good" shirt. So I put Gavin in his "Cup half full" shirt as well. I asked Caleb if he thought life was good. He said, "Yes!" I said why do you think it is? His reply was, "Because Jesus died on the cross for our sins!"..............Yep! That about sums it up!

Life is Good! God is Good! Have a great weekend!

Caleb's memory verse for this week:
"For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting. And His truth endures to all generations." Psalm 100:5

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Prepare to be Inspired!

I've seen the following video a couple of times before and I always come away from it feeling extremely emotional and very inspired! I can TOTALLY see Joel doing something like this with Gavin someday! If you haven't seen this before, grab your kleenex and prepare for excellance! If you've already seen it before, watch it and let it inspire you again!

**Pause the music that I have on the side bar of this blog before watching video.**

For more information on this family google: Team Hoyt. What an inspirational family!

"All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Monday, January 26, 2009

I'm just wondering.....Is there anything cuter?

Some days I could just eat him up! He is so precious to me! Wouldn't you agree?!

Do you remember the growth that we were so worried about under Gavin's tongue? You can see it in one of the above pictures, which were taken about a month ago. I'm happy to say that the growth is actually shrinking! After finding out that the growth was not cancerous, I decided to just wait to see if it would go away on it's own before we scheduled surgery to remove it. So far it is going away on it's own!

We made a change that could have caused the growth in the first place. We started using a mask over Gavin's face when giving him his breathing treatments about 3-4 months ago. Before this we were just blowing the treatment into his face, since he hated the mask so much. His pulmonologist said that even though they do blow by treatments in the hospital, we really should have been using a mask so that he would get all of the medicine and not just half of it. So, we took her advice and started using the mask. Gavin hated this and would get irritated and wiggle and fight with us throughout the whole treatment unless he fell asleep from sheer exhaustion from fighting so hard. Anyway, after the growth was diagnosed as being an ulcer or irritation caused by his teeth rubbing on the underside of his tongue, I started thinking about when he might be doing this to himself. That's when I put 2 and 2 together and realized that the growth started after we began using the mask! Since then, we have stopped using the mask and the growth is disappearing! Yay! Hopefully it will continue to go away on it's own and he won't have to have surgery after all! This would be such a blessing!

Just had to share these adorable pictures of our little man and fill you in on the great news! Look at him.....isn't he sweet?! Oh how I love him so!

"And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love." 1 Corinthians 13:13

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hang on tight and try to enjoy the ride!

In the last post I talked about not being in control of our lives. A couple of days ago I had an experience that proved just that! Thanks to a cute, black lab who was wearing a bright red collar, I had quite a scare! I was driving to school to pick Jacob and Nolan up, when a young pup decided to run out into the road right in front of me! I needed to decide whether to hit the dog or to swerve out of the way. I decided to swerve and I lost all control of our van! The roads were very snow and ice covered. We were swerving to the left, then the right, then sideways, and then we plowed through a big snow bank on the side of the road! We probably traveled about 10 yards through the snow bank, with me unable to see anything with the snow blowing up over the van and blinding me. It was scary! I was definitely NOT in control! Thankfully God was! I remember saying, "Please God, Please!" He heard my cries and we came out of it alive and well! So did the pup! We were blessed to not have any other cars on the other side of the road or behind us and we hit the snow bank at an area where there were no poles, trees, mailboxes or street signs! I looked around afterwards and realized just how blessed we were! Not only that, right after it happened another parent drove down the street and between he and a kind neighbor, they shoveled and pulled us out! God is so good!

It got me thinking more about my life thus far. There have been so many times that I wish that I had control over so many situations, but when looking back on them I am so thankful that I was not the one in control! Looking back decisions that I would have made would have been poor choices. Also situations and time frames that changed, which caused me so much turmoil at the time, always turned out for the better! One example is when I became pregnant with Jacob. Joel and I had a plan to wait 4 years before we would get pregnant. He was going to finish college and I was going to support us, but instead we became pregnant 4 weeks after we got married! I was a mess and not ready to take on this responsibility! Looking back on it now, I would not change a thing! After Joel's dad passed away, I realized that the timing was right because he was able to be a grandpa for awhile and Jacob brought some much needed happiness during a very sad time. Also, I can't imagine not having Jacob at the age that he is now. He has been such a help to me with Gavin! He has been a rock and such a great big brother to him! God had a plan that I didn't agree with at the time, but today I am so thankful that my plans were not His!

Another situation that I am so thankful did not work out the way it was 'supposed' to is the day of Gavin's first heart surgery. It was canceled because Gavin had a fever. We were all packed up to travel 2+ hours away, when he got sick. I was frustruated because we had packed and prepared our hearts for this big day. I am SO thankful that God's plan was not our's and the doctor's plan! The 10-14 day stay turned into a 3 month stay and we would have missed out on spending the holidays with our family and our other boys. God's plan was perfect!

One thing that I do question is why we were transfered back to the hospital where Gavin ended up having his stroke, due to errors of doctors and nurses??? Why didn't we just stay at the hospital far from home, where they had gotten to know Gavin so well and where they probably would not have made the same choices that doctors did at the hospital near our home? Why did this have to occur? Today I can't necessarily see the purpose for this, but I do know that there IS a purpose for it! I may not be able to rationalize what good has come out of it, but knowing that God is in control and His plan and purpose is ALWAYS perfect, I can accept that there was a reason for things to go the way that they did. Someday.....Some glorious day!..... I will know why.

This makes me think about the story of Joseph in the Bible. Can you imagine having to go through all that he did? His own brothers beat him, sold him into slavery, and he spent years in prison! He suffered through a lot, but there was a great purpose for his suffering!(Genesis 37) Through his suffering and God's power and wisdom, Joseph's life and trials held a GREAT purpose!(Genesis 42-47) Throughout all of his trials, Joseph could have been angry with God, but instead he accepted the situations that he was placed in and, in turn, found favor in God's eyes! Joseph's purpose for suffering was made known to him in the end. The purpose of some of the suffering that we go through may never be made known to us, but what a comfort to know that THERE IS A PURPOSE and a loving God to get us through!

Joseph said: "And God sent me before you to preserve a posterity for you in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance." Genesis 45:7

"To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven." Ecclesiastes 3:1

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Check out my new toy!

I finally took down the tree because I couldn't stand it any longer, but I did buy Gavin these rope lights to make up for it! He loves looking at them! I hung them on his toy bar. When I plug them in he gets wide eyed and just stares at them, then he gets quite excited about it!

His physical therapist thought that it was a great idea. Today she was really impressed by Gavin! He has been much more active and vocal lately and she got to see this today. She kept smiling and even stayed longer than normal, because he was doing so well. Usually he tires out half way through the session. She kept saying that she thought that he was trying to do certain things, but I didn't see what she saw. She said that babies first explore toys with their mouths. Gavin has been doing this for awhile. Next babies start to explore by shaking or banging a toy. She has said before that she saw Gavin do this, but I thought that she was just giving him the benefit of the doubt. Today she said that he was doing this again. I am still not so sure of this, but maybe she knows what to look for and I don't? Between things she said about Gavin's recent developments and what a friend at church said to me Sunday, I'm beginning to analyze how I view Gavin's future development.

Our friend at church came up to me Sunday and said that she was thinking about how "Isn't it wonderful that doctors aren't in control of Gavin's life and it's God Who is?!" This is SO true! Thanks for this reminder friend! :) There have been several occasions that doctors have written Gavin right off, yet he is still here with us and is making small strides! There were a couple of times that doctors came to us to say that they didn't think Gavin would pull through enough to even live another day...or ever get off the ventilator...or ever get out of the hospital...or ever develop any further.......yet he did ALL of these things! His neurologist said that it's very unlikely that Gavin's brain will ever recover from the stroke he had, yet Gavin IS doing more than he used to do! Thankfully God is the One in control!

I have had a difficult time looking down the road and seeing progress in the future with Gavin. I don't know if this is due to all of the poor prognoses we have been given or if it's because I don't want to get my hopes up and have them shot down if he doesn't develop any further. It could also be due to the fact that I am with Gavin every day and the steps forward are very few and far between. In any case, I need to remember that Gavin HAS made improvements! He IS alive and with us! And, that God IS in control and all powerful and has a plan for Gavin and all of us! Looking back on the last 2+ years, and seeing all that we have gotten through, I should never put limits on our Awesome God, no matter what doctors tell us and what we happen to see! God is in control and only He knows the future! I am going to try to just sit back and enjoy the triumphs Gavin has made and eagerly await what God has in store for all of us, knowing that He alone is in control and will get us through each chapter!

I've added a couple of new families to my blog list, on the side bar. Both have children born with Down syndrome and have been through a lot of the same trials that Gavin has. I have been blessed by reading their blogs and although I am sad that there are others having to go through similiar trials, it is a comfort to 'know' them! Check out these precious children (Jaxson and Zoey) and please add them to your prayer list!

"O God, You are more awesome than Your holy places. The God of Israel is He who gives strength and power to His people. Blessed be God!" Psalm 68:35

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

"Do Not Worry"

This week, while comforting a miserable Gavin and while feeling quite anxious and miserable myself, I looked out our front window and saw this:

Then later in the day I looked out our back window and saw this:

These marvelous sights made me think of the following scripture:

[22] Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; nor about the body, what you will put on. [23] "Life is more than food, and the body is more than clothing. [24] "Consider the ravens, for they neither sow nor reap, which have neither storehouse nor barn; and God feeds them. Of how much more valuable are you than birds? [25] "And Which of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?" [26] "If you then are not able to do the least, why are you anxious about the rest? [27] "Consider the lilies, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. [28] "If then God so clothes the grass, which today is in the field and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will He clothe you, O you of little faith? [29] "And do not seek what you should eat or what you should drink, nor have an anxious mind. [30] "For all these things the nations of the world seek after, and your Father knows that you need these things. [31] "But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you." Luke 12:22-31

I absolutely love the fact, that God made sure to put all that we need to know in the Bible! It's ALL there! Every God given word has a purpose for us! I was feeling so sad and anxious and God sent His wonderful creation of birds to remind me of His promise to us! There are so many times that I find myself sinking and the next thing I know, God's word is there to get me floating once again! If God makes sure that the birds are clothed and fed, surely He will make sure I am cared for as well!

Thank You Lord for supplying all that I need and for creating a source, the Bible, in which I can always turn to for the only answers that I need! Please help me to remember to always turn to this source and forgive me when I try to figure it out all on my own! Help me to have patience and to always trust in you! Amen.

"Patience is the ability to idle your motor when you feel like stripping your gears." -- Barbara Johnson

"My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." James 2-5

Monday, January 12, 2009

Birthday Blues.....

Thirty-seven years ago today, I was born. And, today I'm having the birthday blues. It has nothing to do with my age. Seriously! In fact, a couple of weeks ago I was trying to remember how old I was. (Early memory loss?) Anyway, I could not remember how old I was. I thought that I was 37 and about to turn 38, but when I asked my boys, they told me I was only 36 at the time. So, turning 37 isn't a big deal since I thought I was that old already! Although, if you ask Caleb how old I am, he will tell you "Firty-seven," so it sounds like he's saying 47! Knowing that people might think that he's saying 47, I told him to say that his mom and dad are 3...7..., instead of saying 37 together, that way we don't age too quickly in everyone's eyes...I may still feel young, but I certainly don't want people thinking I'm 10 years older than I am! Anyway, my feeling down has nothing to do with my age. I think that I may be going through a mid-life crisis or something. I need change, fun and excitement! Any suggestions for someone like me???

Another thing that I'm feeling down about is life in general. Not necessarily my own life, but the trials I hear about and see going on in everyone's life. I think continuously and because I am always thinking I let myself get sad wishing that I could change so many circumstances for so many people. Life can be so difficult and sad! Sure, I wish that certain aspects of my life could be different, but for the most part I really am at peace with my life, but ONLY through the grace of God! There is no way that I could get through my days without peace from Him and the knowledge that He has it all under control! I do let my mind wander and start thinking about our future with Gavin. I start letting myself think about the wheelchair ramp we will surely need to build, and the heart surgeries that he will surely need to have, and the fact that someday I won't be able to just carry Gavin around and change his diaper and clothes so easily.....but then I stop myself before I get too anxious and not want to even get out of bed in the morning!

I guess the point that I'm trying to make is.....hmmm? I guess, that life can be hard for all of us and I let myself get burdened by all of the pain and suffering that I see. We all have struggles and it's just not fun! It also saddens me to know that there is so much suffering in people's lives and many don't even know God and the grace that only He can supply! If I didn't have this knowledge in my life, there is NO WAY that I could keep going somedays! So, what can I do about this? This used to be something that I would have struggled with even more than I am now, when I used to be a control freak. I've always known that God was the pilot and I was the co-pilot, but in the past I would think that I could take the wheel for awhile and see how good I could fly the plane! Since Gavin came along, I've had no choice but to sit back and relax (as well as I can) and let God navigate through this uncertain world for me. This is why I am mostly at peace, but it's also why I get down, because I know so many who don't have this comfort and knowledge!

So, today I am thanking God for my 37 years of life and all that He has blessed me with, but I'm also spending a lot of time feeling sad. Sad, for those who are suffering and especially sad for those who don't know the ONE and ONLY TRUE Savior! Between this and not sleeping well the last two nights (Gavin has been sick, feverish and miserable!), I'm slightly a mess! But, I'm praying! That is all that I can do.

"For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us." Romans 8:18

"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28

Friday, January 9, 2009

Gavin's favorite toys

Besides the Christmas tree, Gavin has a couple of other favorite toys. The funny thing is, his 2 most prefered toys, aren't even toys at all! Take a look!

Gavin loves playing with his tubing from his feeding tube! He is great at finding it, especially when we are trying to change his diaper! Since Gavin is hooked up to his feeding pump a lot of the day, we just keep the connecting tube hooked up to his G-tube button, even when he's not "eating." We tuck the end into the velcro tape on his diaper and he knows it's there! As soon as he hears that velcro sound of the diaper being opened, his little hand is right there to grab it! And let me tell you, it takes a lot of skill to keep him from pulling it hard and right out of his button while trying to clean a messy diaper! It's like he has octopus arms!

Another favorite toy is something that his physical therapist brought over one day. Here are some pictures of him playing with it.

Doesn't he look like he loves it?! It's actually a piece of fabric that she bought at a craft store. It is silver and black and feels kind of soft and silky. I think that he likes the way that it feels, plus since it's silver, it may be easier for him to see? Gavin has a bar that we hang his toys on, that we put in front of him while he sits in his chair. He always goes for this fabric first!

I think it's so funny that these are his favorite things to play with! I suppose this is true with most kids. You buy them tons of toys and they want to play with the box or something! I guess this makes Gavin quite normal?! Although, we all know that Gavin is far from normal! I may be biased, but I believe that he is WAY better than normal!

"A man's heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps." Proverbs 16:9

Monday, January 5, 2009

I was going to take down the tree today.....

.....but Gavin keeps proving to me how much he loves it! Wherever he is placed in this room, somehow he almost always makes his way over to the tree! Since it seems to be such a motivator for getting him to move, I'm having a hard time wanting to take it down for the year. So, if you happen to come over to visit us in the future, and the tree is still up, this is why! :)

"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scournful; But his his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth it's fruit in it's season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does shall prosper." Psalms 1:1-3