Category Archives: Faith

Our 2016 Thankful Tree

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We put up our 2016 thankful tree! We traced handprints for the branches this year and we have Bible verses that we are working on memorizing every week that are about being thankful. Each day the kids all say something that they are thankful to God for and then we add leaves to the tree. Their answers are sometimes silly and sometimes serious, but they are all things that we are thankful for . . . today the kids said they are thankful for Squishy (Joshua’s nickname), Gabby, bunnies, making stick people, Jesus, and fluffy wookies!  I am so glad that I started this tradition in our house! Here’s a walk down memory lane of some of our thankful trees from years past.

Here’s our 2011 tree with Joshua and Eliana

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Our 2012 thankful tree with Eliana and Isabel

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Our 2014 thankful tree with Danielle

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Our 2015 thankful tree with Danielle, Eliana and Gabrielle

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BB-8 Gender Reveal

Our sweet “BB-8,” also known as Baby 8 has caused quite a stir among our friends and family! So many have been wondering and praying that our new addition is a boy because we have shared God’s promise of three sons!  We have a deal with God! James and I are up for whatever God wants and how ever many kids He wants for us!  We have been trusting Him and He ALWAYS has a better plan for us than we do!  If James and I would have stopped at three kids we would have missed out on a whole lot of love!

Here’s a video of us telling the kids the news by giving them some gifts to open! You may need to turn the volume down at the 1:40 mark!

BB-8 Gender Reveal

Gift number one: A little ornament

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Gift number two: a totally neural outfit

Gift number three:  A note that read, “You get to find out today if a brother or sister is coming your way.”

Gift number four: a tiny snowman sleeper

It should still be nice and cold in Indiana in mid-February when our sixth baby GIRL comes home and we can’t wait! Our ultrasound showed that she is healthy and well and an estimated 15 oz.  Praise God!!!

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A Heartbeat and Two Hundred Days

My first doctor’s visit for baby number eight went wonderfully. I love the doctors’ office that I go to. Every time I go I feel like I am visiting friends that are dear to me.  Their caring, compassion, and professionalism as they have cared for me and my babies through the years is priceless. I should be used to the hurried pitter-patter of a little heartbeat playing on the doppler, but I leaves me awestruck each and every time. I made a recording on my phone to play for my husband and the kids. I keep playing it over and over to listen to. During the recording you can hear the my heartbeat and the quicker heartbeat of our little baby. I have been feeling pregnant; I’m extra tired, a bit queasy, and I’ve put on a few extra pounds, but hearing the baby’s heartbeat makes is all the more real to me. I know the next 200 days until we get to meet our little one is going to fly by!

We are blessed and oh so thankful for everyone’s love and prayers for us! God is good!

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The Latest News

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More fun and more adventures are coming to our family in February 2017! God is good!

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An Eliana Update

May 25, 2016. That’s the last time I recorded that Eliana had a headache or felt like she was moving. That day she said her head hurt and that she felt like she was being flipped over and over like a pancake.  To go over a week without symptoms is a pretty big milestone for us!  We’ll take it!

Every time she gets out and bed and comes back into the living room I am almost sure that she is going to say her head hurts. I stopped giving her the antihistamine medicine that the doctor wanted us to try, because it didn’t seem to be helping and it was making her feel like she was starving all the time.

This is what happened before her symptoms just went away. There is no “fix” for Chiari, but I am confident that God is taking care of His girl.

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An Eliana Update

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Eliana’s appointment with the neurologist went very well. She doesn’t think that Eliana’s nightly headaches are related to her Chiari. She was given a prescription to try to help with preventing the headaches before they start. Her MRI measured her Chiari as being smaller than before and it did show some spinal fluid restriction, but she was not concerned about this. Waiting and keeping an eye of things is much preferred over surgery at this point in time! We’re praying that on Friday Eliana’s neurosurgeon will agree with the neurologist’s thoughts. IMG_8181

Eliana took a trio of frogs to her appointment with the neurosurgeon. Our visit was fairly uneventful. The neurosurgeon is not recommending surgery at this time. She does think the headaches may be Chiari related. She wants us to see how things go in the next three months and keep track of any numbness or tingling that Eliana is having because that may be cause for concern. In the meantime we will keep praying that Eliana’s headaches stay away and that her Chiari symptoms resolve. We are so thankful for everyone’s prayers! Just like her name means, God has answered our prayers!

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A Chiari Story, a God Story

Over two years ago we found out that our oldest daughter has Type 1 Chiari Malformation. It’s a neurological disorder where the bottom part of the brain, the cerebellum, descends out of the skull and crowds the spinal cord, putting pressure on both the brain and spine and causing many symptoms. 

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We found out that Eliana has a Chiari after having a CT scan and then an MRI because she was having horrible vertigo spells and headaches. She was 5 years old then and vertigo spells were so bad that she would jump into our arms and hang on for dear life until the room stopped spinning.  There were some times she would get sick. Afterwards she would be completely wiped out and just want to go to sleep. This happened once or twice a month for several months. 

We saw a Riley Hospital neurologist and a neurosurgeon. Eventually the spells stopped and she has had 6 month checkups with her neurologist and her neurosurgeon. The neurosurgeon suggested that because symptoms were not severe and would not require surgery. Eventually the spells went away and she was having 6-month check ups with a neurologist and a neurosurgeon.

She did have some vision symptoms like seeing spots and saying things looked blurry so we say a pediatric eye doctor and found out she needed glasses, but after very through eye exams her vision issues seemed unrelated to her Chiari. 

In March,  more than two years since her last vertigo spell, Eliana started complaining that she was getting dizzy again. Every night after she lies down for bed, she complains that her head hurts and that she feels like the room is moving and/or spinning. 

After I called both doctors to report her new symptoms they ordered another brain MRI. The length of the herniation of her Chiari is less than it was 2 years ago from 9mm to 4mm, but the MRI showed that there is decreased spinal fluid flow.   

There are normally two options for treating Chiari. The first option is brain surgery and the second option is to treat symptoms. Next week we have appointments at Riley with both Eliana’s neurologist (on Tuesday) and her neurosurgeon (on Friday) to discuss her symptoms and her latest MRI and find out what our next steps will be. 

We don’t know what the doctors will suggest, but we know that God is with us.  Through all of this we are trusting in Him. Eliana’s name means, “God has answered my prayer.” Not that He will answer some time or we’re waiting on him to answer, but He has already answered.  We are sharing all this to ask you to pray with us. I will keep you posted! 

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