Thursday, April 30, 2009


"Why does God throw snowballs at us?" asked Selah last Friday night. She had just witnessed her first ever golfball sized hail dropping from the sky. This child moved to Iowa...the land of crazy from the sky on a warm day? What in the world is that all about? We explained to her that it was hail and sometimes that comes during a storm, even in the summer when it is hot. She was completely confused and asked then, "Did God throw the snowballs down on us?" "Why does He do that?" Good questions, Selah! Anyways it got me thinking...actually I'm still thinking on this one. We talked of the Old Testament story of God throwing hail on the bad guys, yet not on His children, even though they were in battle together. God can throw snowballs whenever He wants on whoever He wants. I asked Selah, "Did you get hit by a snowball?" She said "no, that would hurt." We talked of how God protects us, He loves us, and wants good things for us. In my own mind, I started thinking of Gracie--why the snowballs on her? I don't have any answers for that one...He loves her...I know that, yet she has to endure so much pain and is such an innocent little being, as are the sick children all over the world. And Selah...could she be wondering why the snowballs seemingly were thrown on her for seven years?

I'm starting learn, it's all a picture of redemption...we live in a fallen world with lots and lots of junk, yet God, in His greatness, His kindness, gives us heaven--this perfect, wonderful paradise with likely no snowballs (at least the ice kind anyways)!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Lots of little time!

I have been super neglectful of this blog! The past few weeks have been so full, each night when everyone is in their rooms, I crash. Gracie hasn't been feeling the greatest...she's quite clingy, sometimes very blue, out of breath, just not herself. Other than that, things have been very good around here, albeit BUSY! Since April 10 (the last entry) Connor has turned 14, he has also put the little white ball in the tiny hole in the ground hundreds of times, played some baseball, and spent a day in the high school. Derek has ran at least 100 miles, place several times in track meets, earning a 2nd in the mile at the Charles City track meet last week, he has also attended his first prom, rode in his first limo, and probably kissed Gracie's cheeks 1000 times. Breuklyn has been a riding cowgirl, putting lots and lots of miles on our once overweight, now quite slim and strong horses, she has spent a day in middle school, and dabbled a bit in soccer. Selah has joined the upscale, impressive 100 word group (she can read 100 words per minute--woohoo!), rode a horse by herself, been to her first birthday party without Mom, and smiled at least 1000 times. Gracie has received her first tricycle, she has slid down her first slide all by herself, has been in the saddle on top of a really big horse, has given many kisses and caused much eruptive laughter around here. Yeah, life has been good.

First of all, Connor turned 14--where does the time go? He's an amazing kid, or should I say young blessed we are to raise him! We asked him what he wanted to do for his birthday and he said Mall of America. Gracie was not doing all that well, but we decided she could be in her stroller and hotel room as easily as home, so we ventured north a couple of hours and spent the day at MOA. Then we checked into the Radisson, which is home of the Mall of America Waterpark and spent the night and the next day surfing (Minnesota style, that is), sliding, and just having a great time with our family. This happened to be Easter Sunday, which was OK--we were planning on heading to my mom and Ron's, but Ron was not feeling great either. We didn't think we should mix up Ron and Gracie--if Gracie was contagious, Ron didn't need her around and Gracie needed to be germ free as well. We also knew we couldn't bring Gracie to church, so our family would be separated, so this was our way of spending Easter! One of us took the kids to the waterpark while one of us shopped. I was first for shopping and realized very quickly that all was closed! All except Gracie and I had our Easter breakfast 99 cents at IKEA and shopped for four hours, then switched off with Curtis, who found Sports Authority and Home Depot were open. Poor Gracie! The kids had a fabulous time...we had a fabulous time!

Track has been a blast! Derek is a golfer, always has been his favorite sport and he is quite good at it. We were shocked when he decided to dabble in track this year. He made an excellent choice and is doing quite well in the mile. It is so hard to believe he's going to be a senior next year! He had a good time at prom with his friends, again, it's just so hard to believe he is finishing his junior year. We are so proud of the choices he has made and continue to makes!

Breuklyn is riding like crazy and teaching this big boys who is boss! I cannot believe how these thousand pound beasts respond to this 70 pound little girl. She amazes me! Now that it is getting nice out, we are having a great time watching her. Thursday, I think Curtis was about ready to lose it, however. The horses got out! At one point, he had one horse tied up to the Suburban, was chasing the other in his boots. You have to remember, we are in a residential development with the horses on the other end--after this week, we are probably not the favorite neighbors! I love the picture, just makes me smile. Anything for his family...that's Curtis.

Selah is doing well, just loving life. I spent a couple of days with friends this past week and Selah told me when I first saw her that she told God to keep me safe. She said she had a dream of her and I safe together. Her family is all that matters to her--she really teaches us lots. Most of you think we have had the dream adoption with her and that is true to an extent. She is doing incredibly well, but has a deep rooted past with horrific experiences which have taught her to lie to survive, her past has taught her to put on a smile and just be the person others want her to be. At times we aren't sure we know the "real" Selah, because she can shut off so easily, she can adapt so well. I use this blog to share our adventure, but also as a journal for myself...lastly I know several who read this have adopted or are currently in process of adopting an older child. As this experience has been phenomenal, it has also been quite challenging. Instead of a perfect, sinless infant, a child with 7 years of heartache has entered our family. We thank God for her all the time, yet we also ask God how to love her best, we need His guidance with her every step of the way--we so don't want to blow it! She is teaching us to be dependent on Him for everything--we simply have no clue how to parent without Him!

And Gracie...she is getting bluer by the day. This is such a bummer for us--we were so hopeful of some extended health for her. She had been doing so well, then like a switch, things have changed for her. How much can her little heart take? We are concerned, yet we know God is the same today as yesterday and we trust Him with her life. She will go back to the cath lab next week and they will place some stents. We also are going to meet with her surgeon, hopefully for some sort of plan. Even though she is quite blue and has very little stamina, she is still Gracie. She is still getting into all sorts of things--she empties drawers like a pro, paints with pudding, throws a few temper tantrums. She still makes this family all gather into a room just to watch her dance and act silly. We just adore her! Right now she is snuggled up on my lap with her trail mix, really wanting me off of this computer so we can dance to Veggie Tales...I just may comply!

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, April 10, 2009

a bit of the same

While Selah is back to school and doing well, Gracie's cough has only gotten worse. She was coughing LOTS last night and woke up yesterday in her bed full of puke. We are a bit concerned and will likely be taking her back to the doctor today unless, of course, she wakes up feeling great. Prior to her last surgery, Gracie had been throwing up a does seem to follow what her heart is doing. Bummer. We were hoping it was just a bug, but are pretty sure Selah's episode was more of a nervous thing.

Gracie is still giving lots of kisses (snot-filled), she's making us all smile with her cute little voice trying so hard to make words, she has went potty on the toilet quite a few times the past couple of days...she just amazes me over and over again. I really need to take a picture of her going potty to share that cuteness. She is the tiniest little thing ever on that great big throne...seriously, she could drown if she fell in. Her little face just lights up thinking she has accomplished great things...adorable. This is one of the areas that frustrated me most in parenting. I had this thing that I wanted my kids potty-trained at 2...failure as a mother if I didn't. Two of my kids were easy, but one was tough. That child would have accidents, would be frustrated, I would be frustrated...that child simply wasn't ready and I made a big ole deal about nothing!! I so wish I could have a do-over with my older three kids--I would not sweat the small stuff. With Gracie, I SERIOUSLY DON'T CARE IF SHE IS IN DIAPERS FOR A LONG, LONG TIME!!! It's all a matter of perspective...God has placed this being into my life to rip away some of the things that took me over before. I see it over and over again in how I learning to react to situations. Even though I have messed up over and over again, and am continuing to do so, my expectations and priorities have most definitely changed. I thank God for Gracie, I thank God for changing me, for forgiving me, for grace.

I better baby just woke up!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I just returned home from the doctor with Gracie and picked up Selah on the way home. She threw up in school today--sort of reinforces the fact that Gracie's vomiting is a bug. Gracie's tummy feels better momentarily...that is, until the Augmentin kicks in. She is now coughing and sometimes struggling to get her breath. The doctor said her lungs sound pretty good (PTL!), but he felt she should be on a stronger antibiotic so the goop doesn't go south. Those are my words, not our intelligent doctor's words--don't worry! Of course, while seeing him, she didn't cough once and actually looked pretty pink. That was until we hit the road! She had a major coughing fit and actually turned quite blue on the way home--life with Gracie is never dull...rather quite colorful! (I'm a bit tired and think everything is really funny right now)

Right now, two little princesses are sleeping and I'm off to plan a lesson for youth group tonight!


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

much better!

Gracie woke up this morning shouting "mama" at the top of her lungs. She feels much better, is drinking some Fuze right now, helping me type. Thank you for praying. We are pretty certain she has a just gets really ugly with her. It's tough, in parenting a child who has a health issue such as Gracie, to know when to move forward, to know when to let things ride out themselves. If our other children had been throwing up, clingy, and miserable, we would have just assumed they had a bug, with Gracie, who is so's just scary. It's all scary.

I am going to call her cardiologist in a few minutes, just to let him know of her color changes. I'll keep you posted!!

Thank you for your prayers, for your love!! We are blessed!

Monday, April 6, 2009

days like this...

It's been a long one, that's for sure! We woke up to Gracie's crib full of a foul-smelling, nasty looking vomit haven. Oh my. We've had a rough day--Gracie has been super blue, completely clingy, wimpery, crabby. Oh wait...maybe it's me who has been wimpery and crabby...nope, it's both of us. She's not feeling well at all. We are so hoping it's a virus, but even so, it's not good for her little body. I need to call the doctor in the morning and see what's going on. To be perfectly honest, I'm finding myself in a bit of denial here--I don't want my baby sick!!!

I keep typing, I keep deleting tonight. My mind is full, my heart is breaking...when Gracie is sick, we are always confronting the what ifs. I'm scared to bring her to the doctor for fear she will have to stay in the hospital, meaning I can't go to the track meet tomorrow, and Connor's birthday is coming up on Saturday...I love his birthday! I love making his day so special--Gracie can't get sick for that--it's inconvenient, isn't it? My mind is spinning...I know, in my heart, with everything I claim and everything I believe that God is orchestrating everything and He is working out all things for good. He promises me that--I can rest in that. Tonight at Bible study, Beth Moore talks of thanking Him for what He's going to mind, of course, is drawn to Gracie tonight--I'm praising Him for His miracles in her life so far, I'm praising Him for what He's going to do...then I walk in the door and check on Gracie. She again is lying in her own vomit...NOT NOW! My heart knows, my heart believes, my heart trusts...yet I can't wrap my mind around all of this. I'm tired.

Tomorrow morning I will call Gracie's cardiologist. My guess is he'll want me to bring her to our local doctor and have some bloodwork done. Of course, that's only a guess and I'm wrong many, many times. Perhaps she'll wake up feeling better and it is just a virus running its course--we'll see. She really hasn't been this blue for quite some time--it's comparable to November and December before her last surgery, so I think her heart is stressed out somewhat.

This morning as I was checking my emails, and OK, I'll admit it, Facebooking a bit, Gracie was hammering on the keyboard on my lap. She wanted down and lied across my feet on the floor. Within seconds she was snoozing so sweetly. The rest of the day we snuggled. That is the only benefit to Gracie's day--she snuggled with me all day. Curtis came home for lunch...I hadn't done one thing (well, the endless laundry, but that doesn't count), he came home after work, my story was the same--I snuggled all day in my pjs and she in hers. I do cherish the sweet breath on my neck, the fingers on my arms and face. She's very much 2 and never sits still, but today...

Psalm 59:16-17 But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble. O my Strength, I sing praise to you; you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.
Trusting and believing He is doing magnificent things...TODAY!
Seriously...I'm the worst blogger ever...I throw in random photos everywhere--Selah lost her first tooth in America--I love Connor in a stocking cap...lots of kisses from Gracie last night...