Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Love or Hate Meme

Got this from Annie and thought I'd play too!

I love to eat: where to begin?? shrimp, steak, baked potatoes, homemade popcorn, chocolate cake or brownies

I hate to eat: beets, celery, tomato sauce

I love to go: out on dates with my hubby

I hate to go: to Kaedra's doctor: Dr. Carey (he is a wonderful man, just a loooong wait)

I love it when: My kids cuddle, hug and kiss me

I hate it when: my house is a mess

I love to see: my kids playing together

I hate to see: the TV on

I love to hear: my kids' giggling or Michael laughing

I hate to hear: complaining or negative thinking

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Homeschooling in Germany

So, being a German by adoption, I pay a bi├čen wee bit of attention when Germany comes in the news. Of course, being a homeschooler, I pay LOTS of attention anytime that hits the news.

About a year ago I read about a homeschooling family in Germany that was being forced to quit homeschooling because it was against the law. Then there was a story on CBN a few months ago about a homeschooled child who was taken from her parents and put into a mental institution because she apparently has "school phobia" and "demonstrates loyalty towards her father and unconditional solidarity with her family." OH MY GOODNESS!!! Not loyalty towards her father and unconditional solidarity with her family!!! It's okay to be punk and pierce everything and tattoo everything (I know because I've been there) but DON'T YOU DARE love your father and family!

Now here is a new article about how Germany is creating refugees by outlawing homeschooling. Here is the law that Germany is trying to pass this year.

Now I know in the natural there is not much we can do. However, I believe in intercession and I believe if we put our prayers to it we can change things over there and help our fellow homeschoolers be able to stay in their homes and country. Please join me in praying for not only the homeschoolers but the lawmakers in Germany.


Things are going pretty well this week. It has been a bit crazy with Kaedra's schedule this week, school, Ethan and Michael being gone most of the week in Arkansas. We also had less time with our nurses (usually we have one night without a nurse, but this past week they gave us nursing every night - which was very appreciated, we just had less hours most of the nights). Kaedra is supposed to be done with her IV meds tomorrow and I CANT WAIT!!! We are praying they can take the picc line out at Dr. Carey's office tomorrow night. Then we just have to get her off the vent. WOOHOO! I have to say that Kaedra has been absolute sweetie about her IV meds. She hasn't complained at all about being followed around by a pump and her meds 15 hours of the day. She has tried to be VERY helpful, too, which is hard when you are trying to keep everything sterile. :-) Her ventilator is just too much of a temptation for Ethan. It has green and red blinking lights, makes noise when you play with it and alarms if you get it apart. I have looked all over it, but I can't find the Fisher Price logo.

School is going well. If you are interested in reading more, drop by my homeschool site and see why.

Ethan is almost walking. He has taken up to two steps at a time. We are all very excited. I'm not sure just means more to clean up and keep up with!! LOL. Anyway, he is such a great baby. We are so blessed by him as well. There are many times during the day, if you could peek in our family, you would find us crowding around him making him laugh, watching him do something or seeing who can get the most slobbers kisses. He says several words including Momma, Daddy, byebye, Bubba, Nono & uh-oh.

I am about to kick him out of our bed and start working on getting him into his own crib. I got a great book called The No-Cry Sleep Solution by Elizabeth Pantley. I was reading this paragraph and I was just aghast that a mother could be this way:

"I've worked with many mothers whose babies are so used to Mom's presence in bed that Mom has to put herself to bed at 7:00 (or maybe 8:00 - my completely random note here) and stay there because her baby has built-in radar that won't allow her to leave him alone. Mommy also has to take daytime naps, whether she wants to or not!"

NO WAY! There are other mothers like that??? Ah-hem. (Note to self: start working on that right away.)

My parents are coming to visit in a week in a half, for Ethan's 1st birthday. We are excited but I am starting to have the "gotta have everything PERFECT"s. I need another reminder to self: make sure our kids feel comfortable with dirty houses when we come to visit. I have a hopelessly long list that I am sure I will barely make a dent in, but what would their visit be without a little pre-visit paranoia? Anyway, we are planning to go to the aquarium with them while they are here which will go perfectly with out marine biology study! (way to get the school in, mom...heehee)

Brittany is doing great with school. She is in co-op again this semester and loves that. She is also busy in her youth group and getting ready for another mission trip to Mexico. She has been in several skits at church and even had a chance to preach to her class once. She is going to have another chance to preach coming up. She loves it and really thinks God is calling her to be a missionary. (and I thought she'd be moving far away to pursue Marine least she would have been in the SAME COUNTRY!!!)

Emily is working on her theatrics. Unfortunately she is not in any skits or plays. Those are just her daily theatrics. We have banned all TV that is not "little kid cartoons" (like Dora or Diego) because she was getting just a bit too much like Hannah Montana. She is doing great in school and learning so much. She still doesn't read, but she is on the verge. The problem is more with her thinking that she can't rather than her not actually being able to. (we had the same problem with Brittany when she was about the same age)

Michael loves his job. He is gone far more than he has EVER been gone and, unfortunately, we are getting used to it. He will be gone a week next month and another week in April. He went to Bentonville last week and really loved it. He was telling me how nice the library is, so I think he may be hinting at something. :-) I think we are going to go away for a weekend in March. Sherria is checking her schedule to see if she can babysit, and, if so, we are going to go away from a Friday night to a Sunday afternoon. We don't know where we are going yet. We have some ideas, but we haven't made our choice yet.

Well, I reckon I ought to get off of here and go do something else. This is the most time I have had without pressing matters in a LOOOONG time!! :-) I do want to tell you about 3 funny things Emmy said earlier today. I will have to save that for another post.

Miracle Checklist

School is going really well this semester. I realize we're only in week two but it has already gone better than almost ALL last semester! That is scary!! LOL. I mean, we did trudge along and get stuff done last semester, but it just didn't go as well as this semester is going. My secret is a very small change. And it may be silly. But it is working for us.....

are you ready.............?

I have a new checklist that I am using with both girls.

Yup, that's it.

Although, to be honest, the new checklist has also changed how we school a little. I realized that some of the things are perfect "little" things to get done at breakfast or lunch, so we are keeping our books close to the table and getting those done there. Then I can check them off and feel a sense of accomplishment! WOOHOO!! And really, with Britty, at least, it was the "little" stuff we weren't getting done. The "big stuff" we were getting done fine. Now we have a checklist to make sure the "little" things don't get missed. (are you tired of the "little" quote marks yet? heehee)

Anyway, I am posting them here for your perusal or, if'n you are inclined, you can borrow them and make their own. I might start marketting them as the "miracle checklists." HAHAHAHAHAHAH I continually crack myself up. ROFL! Okay, enough amusement, I am off to update my other blog.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Dr. Melvin Smith's memorial service

Dr. Melvin Smith’s memorial service has been scheduled for Wednesday, January 16, 2008 at 1:00pm at Asbury United Methodist

Church, 4601 San Pedro Avenue, San Antonio, Texas 78212.

Again, the family has requested that there be no flowers sent to the church. Letters and sympathy cards may be sent to the Smith Family c/o Thoracic Institute, CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital, 333 North Santa Rosa Street, San Antonio TX 78207.

Monday, January 14, 2008

In memory of Dr. Melvin Smith

This is a picture of Dr. Smith. He is one half of the team that created the Vertical Expanding Prosthetic Titanium Ribs (VEPTR) that saved Kaedra's life. He died early this morning. My two favorite memories of him are when he told us that Kaedra did NOT have Jarcho Levin (meaning that it was not a genetic problem she had, just a "series of anomalies") for which we were VERY grateful and when he said Kaedra should have a totally normal life and she may be one of the first "rib kids" to have kids of her own. He was a wonderful, sweet, kind, compassionate man and he meant a lot to Michael and me. even though we only knew him briefly.

Here is the letter I received from his partner, the other doctor that created the ribs:

Dear Families, Friends and Colleagues,

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the death of Dr. Melvin D. Smith, who died early this morning, Monday,

January 14, 2008 at the age of 66 after a long battle with prostate cancer.

We know that to many of you, Dr. Smith was a trusted physician, a colleague, a personal friend. His passing is a great loss to the Thoracic Institute, to CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital and to all “rib” kids. Our deepest condolences are extended to his wife, Marylyn, their children, Meredith, Elaine, and Melvin Douglas, II and family, as well as his siblings and mother.

As many of you know, the Titanium Rib Project began in 1987 when Dr. Smith approached me about a patient with severe congenital absence of ribs and scoliosis. The infant, who was full-time ventilator dependent, was expected to die without intervention. We implanted a chest wall prosthesis using orthopaedic fracture pins to try to help him, and, to our amazement, he was then able to be weaned from the ventilator. The titanium rib was developed just for this child so that his artificial chest could grow with him. The Titanium Rib Project evolved from the care of this first child and, through the efforts of Dr. Smith and myself over the past 20 years, surgeons in 26 countries now use the titanium rib to help other children. We never thought it would get this big, but it seems it is here to stay as a new standard of care for young children with spine and chest wall birth defects. The FDA approval of the titanium rib in 2004 was a great accomplishment for us, and for the many families, children, and colleagues who helped make it possible.

Dr. Smith received his medical degree from Howard University in Washington, D.C., and has held various positions throughout his medical career, including serving as Acting Chief of the Division of Surgery at Wilford Hall Medical Center, Chief of Pediatric Surgery at Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital, President of the San Antonio Surgical Society, and President of the Texas Society of Pediatric Surgeons.

Dr. Smith and I spent years developing the five surgical procedures made possible by the titanium rib. He taught me a great deal about thoracic surgery for children and made many contributions. He pioneered the insertion of tracheostomy tubes through the breast bone for children with short neck syndromes who could not otherwise be ventilated. His colleagues in pediatric surgery were amazed when he presented our work to the American Pediatric Surgical Association Meeting. Dr. Smith’s contributions have helped give hope and life to many children throughout the world.

Dr. Smith was a kind and compassionate individual who never failed to take the time to listen to a child’s concern, calm a parent’s fears, or answer a colleague’s question. To many “rib” kids and parents, he was their hero. His passing is a great loss and he will be sorely missed by all. We appreciate all of you “rib families” and friends of Dr Smith who made a special effort to be in San Antonio the past few years for the “rib kid” picnics in his honor. We will continue to have these yearly as a memorial to Dr. Smith.

I have lost not only a colleague, but also good friend, who had worked tirelessly to help children in spite of his disease for the past 10 years. He fought his cancer hard, with a brave dignity that was an inspiration to us all. He will always be admired and respected for all he has done for others. I will miss him.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Foundation for the Thoracic Institute-Titanium Rib Program at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital, San Antonio TX. Sympathy cards may be sent to the Smith Family c/o CSRCH Thoracic Institute, 333 North Santa Rosa Street, San Antonio TX 78207. A memorial service, which will be held at Asbury United Methodist Church, 4601 San Pedro, San Antonio TX 78212, has not been finalized. Details will be forthcoming.

Dr. Bob Campbell

CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital

San Antonio, Texas

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Kaedra is home

Kaedra came home on Friday afternoon. She is doing much better. She is still on her vent, oxygen and has 15 hours of IV infusions every day. Things are very busy around here right now, I am sorry I have not updated sooner. Between her feedings, nebulizer treatments, IV infusions, suctioning and her vent, she is a handful by herself! We also started school last week and I am more organized this semester.

well that's all the time I have. I will be back sometime. Thanks so much for your prayers, keep them coming!

Monday, January 07, 2008

First Day Back!

Today is our first day back at school. I realize it is only 10:18, but we are doing really good! I am excited. :-) I have a REALLY enthusiastic crowd this morning and I am very enthusiastic myself! We are doing some new things, revamping some old things, trying a new schedule, and buckling down a little harder. More memorization, more tests, more writing. I have only a year and a half to get Brittany ready for High School and I want her to be REALLY ready. And Emily isn't reading yet, so I really want to work on that.

Okay, off to get more done!

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Another pic

You have to look closely, but Kaedy is signing "I love you"

Kaedy is feeling a bit better!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Kaedra Update

Kaedra is doing well medically. The doctor is happy with how she is doing. She feels awful, though, and it is hard to see her this way. She doesn’t move, doesn’t smile, doesn’t open her eyes and doesn’t talk. She will move her lips and nod or shake her head. The nurses told us that once she begins to fell better, it will go really fast. We are hoping that happens soon.

They gave her a picc line again, to be able to give her IV antibiotics even after she comes home.

She IS back on the ventilator and she isn’t able to tolerate full feedings yet. Those are two of our prayer requests. And, of course, we need her to feel better soon! We would love for her to be able to come home in the next few days.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Kaedra Prayers Needed

Kaedra is on her way to the hospital as I write this. She has a serious case of pneumonia. Dr. Carey said it was the kind that set in quick and can be taken care of fairly quickly. He said she would be in the hospital for a minimum of the next 3-5 days.

We have a few prayer requests:
1. Obviously, that she would get over this quickly and that she would feel better soon. (She feels horrible today, won’t even move)
2. That she will not need to go on her vent, or, if she does, that she is able to get off quickly again.
3. That they will let her out of PICU as soon as possible so we can all go up there and see her. (Since Ethan isn’t allowed in PICU, I am not able to go up there at the moment. He isn’t weaned yet… and I don’t really want him around all that sickness anyway.)
4. That Michael’s new job shows him favor and understands that he needs time off already.

Thank you all!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New Year's Poem

{repost from 2005}

Twas the night before New Year's, and all through the house
Everyone was partying, even the mouse
The snacks were all out, with people beside them
And drinks were being poured, as fast as people eyed them.

The kids were all playing Monopoly and cards
And some were outside playing tag in the yards
While Dad and I were snug in the den
Sitting around and talking to good friends

When in our conversation, such a topic arose
To frighten the women and curl the men's toes.
Someone had the audacity to bring the word up
And the rest of us just stared at the ice in our cup

RESOLUTIONS the word was, that caused us to groan
And as they searched for paper and pencil, more intense grew the moan
We all had been there before, with our intentions grand
Only to fail miserably, everything we had planned.

The lost weight, the exercises, pilates and tae bo
Were forgotten as our waists continued to grow.
The plan of time spent with God and kids and friends,
Lasts until the new TV Season begins.

What went wrong, we ask ourselves, as we avoid making more
Knowing that new resolutions are something we all abhor.
As we sit and we think, contemplating our downfall
The missing element comes to me, as I think and recall

We never asked God to give us His life goals
Instead, we thought we were the bishop of our souls
And leaving Him out, we let in defeat
And year in and year out, this we did repeat

Instead, let us Listen, this year to our perfect Lord
And let us with the Holy Spirit be in one accord
God has great plans for us, when we listen and obey
So before another year of broken resolutions…..let's take the time and pray.

by Kahri Lynn 2005

Happy Independence Day!!

Oh, I'm sorry....I think y'all call this day New Year's! So Happy New Year's to you! However, it is my independence day! :-)

December 31st, 1999 was the last day I ever worked away from home!! Starting January 1st, 2000, I was able to be a full-time stay-at-home mom! Thank you, honey!! What a wonderful husband I have that he:
a. changed his whole outlook on marriage and finances to agree for me to stay home
b. that his heart changed, too, and now he really loves it
c. that he has been able to support his growing family

And what a wonderful God that supplies all of our needs out of HIS riches in glory so that I am able to stay home! HALLELUJAH!

So, everyone else was getting ready for Y2K and I was getting ready to start homeschooling Brittany (for Kindergarten). It is one of my most favorite memories and therefore, one of my favorite days of the year.

Happy Independence Day!