My Family

My Family
Summer 2015

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

a tender moment in WI....

not many words for this pic.
But, I thought it deserved it's own post.

While we were in WI, Isaac requested we stop by the cemetery where our other 3 boys are.
Benjamin Gary--born 3/18/90--lived apx 1 hour
Samuel Curtis--born 9/13/91--lived apx. 1 hour
Jacob Georg--1/23/98-4/29/04  6 years old

Lucas knew about Jacob, but we never quite got around to telling him about Ben and Sam his other two Gege's (big brothers).  And this was the first time he had been to such a place.  He was a little confused as he was trying to figure out where the boys really were since we've told him they were in heaven.  It's a lot to comprehend.

Isaac often reflects on his brothers as well.  I think he wonders too--what would it be like to have those 2 older brothers?  What would it be like to still have Jacob?'s something we will always wonder, and we will never forget any of them.

(the 3 wreaths are all of our boys...front to back, Jacob, Sam, and Ben)---thanks Oma for being so faithful in placing wreaths and flowers there for us.

When we were having Lucas fitted the other day for his new legs, the prosthetisist asked if he had any other sibs.  Lucas said "yes, 4 gege's"...and he left it at that.  He never really explained any more than that.  I love his matter-of-fact attitude...they are just his big brothers and that's that!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Lucas is fitted for his Prosthetics

Yesterday, we had our first "fitting" appointment at Shriners for the prosthetics.  All is healed well enough and we moved forward.

He was GREAT!

Here are some pics of the day....

Our Prostheticist (is that a word?)...India...was so kind to Lucas and made him feel so comfortable.
The first step was to measure his body.  They have charts that tell how tall he "should" be and ratios that show what size his feet "should" be compared to his upper body length.  I'm curious to see how tall he ends up being.  As you can see he was pretty happy and excited about this day.

Next she put some special socks on him...

 then inserted a tube before doing the casting...

 Of course Lucas needed to have his own set of gloves so he could "help"

Then came the messy part....and on went the "casting"...

 then off came the cast...

 and on to leg #2...

We had the physical therapist take a look at him while there and she said he is VERY strong...I think we knew that.  But it will work in his favor as he begins this new journey.  His only issue right now is tight hamstrings, so we will work at home the next 3 weeks wil having him sit straight and stretching out his legs.  He also should be walking around more on his legs, so we will encouraging him to do that more and more as well.  She said he will eventually be able walk even without the prosthetics on his own on his legs.  Right now he needs assistance to do so, either our hands or support of some sort.

Our next step is to go back for a 2 day appointment on Dec. 14 and 15 for him to try on the "rough draft" so to speak....They will put his newly created legs/feet on and have him do some physical therapy.  They will look to see if it is a good "fit" and how he is handling them.  We need to do several sessions to be sure it is a good fit, so they want to space that out a bit --some one day and some the next, so we sleep there and then go home and wait for them to finish the final touches and when they are all done, they will send them in the mail....I still think that is going to be one of the most awaited and funny packages to get in the mail....

He won't have them by Christmas, which we had hoped, but shortly of the first weeks of January likely.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The tender heart of Lucas...

Sometimes we go through our days just as if Lucas was always in our lives.  Even though today marks just 8 months since we met him in that hotel lobby in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, China.  That scared teary little boy who had yet to know these strangers who were taking him away from everything he had ever known would soon be sitting on my own couch...smiling and playing with toys.

Today, as I sit and think about it I recall his tender heart for those left behind.  Two nights ago as we sat in our hotel room on our way back from Wisconsin, we were watching a movie on TV and one of "those" commercials came on the TV.  None of us were really paying much attention, as I'm afraid even We have become hardened to them.  It was a commercial for a "Help the Children" organization.  They spoke about how these children live on the streets and are orphans and have no mommy or daddy.  Lucas zoned in on it....and looked at the three of us with those puppy eyes and said, "'dey have no mommy or daddy"....and he went on and on about how sad it was and how they should have a mommy and daddy.  And how he didn't have a mommy and daddy in Mongolia.  Those children need a mommy and daddy.

How could we ever forget?
How could we ever just gloss over a commercial like that and ignore the plea?

Here sitting on our bed was our own very amazing blessing.
And he has a heart for all those kids that have nobody.
He wants us to do something about it.
 I think this Christmas season we will be finding a way...
finding a way to "do something more" and letting Lucas "help" someone who has no mommy and daddy.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Back online...

We've been gone and not near internet for the week as we travelled to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving.  (grandma's don't have these things at their house--and we were busy at Oma and Opa's house with so much activity that we just didn't get a chance to post)

Lucas got to meet relatives and just a handful of our friends and he did GREAT!

We didn't know if it would all be just too overwhelming for him or what.  But, he seemed to love all the activity.  I will post pics later.

Also, Isaac is working on a cool "self portrait" project for his photography class at school and we went to visit sites he wanted to see while there so he could add them to his project.  He took pictures of Opa in his workshop and other things.  There were a few melencholy moments while we were there.  We saw the 2 houses we lived in, plus visited Jacob, Ben and Sam's gravesites per his request.  Lucas did not know about the "other two gege's (big brothers) he had in heaven. It was a trip down Senitmental Lane for a few days.  But, very good.

I'll update again soon.

Friday, November 18, 2011

misc pics--leaves, laughter, Fire Engine 21 and some artwork

A few days ago we were blessed with some weather in the 70's which was awesome for raking leaves and tossing Lucas into the pile.....he had never done that before so I think he had a fun time.  Until he realized he got all full of leaves and then he got sort of obsessed by cleaning them off.  =)

little Charmer

"don't you dare take another picture of me"

"or I'm going to throw leaves at you..."

"look, my legs are all dirty"


On Wednesday we had a huge blessing of a visit from Lucas's favorite fire engine...Engine 21....along with 3 firemen and a fire captain and Karla who coordinated the whole thing.  Lucas LOVED it!!!

FireMan Andy carries Lucas around to look at his favorite Fire Engine--Engine 21

Lucas pretending he is flying the emergency helicopter while sitting in Engine 21

our sweet friend Ms. Karla who coordinated this sweet event for our boy!!!Thank you so much Ms. Karla you're the bestest!!!

Lucas the Fire Captain!

Lucas decided to do some FireEngine Artwork with soap fingerpaint in the bathtub that night

and then there is this.....Homeschooling with Lucas is .... let's just say "entertaining"

A.W. Tozer

I'm doing a study on Discerning the Voice of God by Priscilla Shirer.  I'm being challenged by it.

But, this quote was part of the study and I just had to post it and keep it.

"Whoever seeks God as a means toward desired ends will not find God.  The mighty God, the maker of heaven and earth, will not be one of many treasures, not even the chief of all treasures.  He will be all in all or He will be nothing.  God will not be used.  His mercy and grace are infinite and His patient understanding is beyond measure, but He will not aid men in their selfish striving after persaonal gain.  He will not help men to attain ends which, when attained, usurp the place He by every right should hold in their interest and affection."----AW Tozer

Convicting today and everyday to recall God's desire for us is about having true and right relationship with us where He alone is lifted up and glorified.  Let's just say idols will not be tolerated. No job, no person, no other relationship, no money, no goals -- nothing can take the place that he rightly should hold.  

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Lucas's progress

Here is an update on Lucas's "home therapy".

We keep encouraging him to stand on his legs.  He is working at it and we have discovered that if he has one chair on each side of him, he can pull himself up to a standing position.  2 days ago he was still kind of hunched over and knees were really bent. Last night, before bed I had him do it again and he stood pretty straight and we counted slowly to 60.  (probably a good 1-2 minutes worth of standing)  yeah lucas!!

I took him to our little park in our subdivision yesterday too, and let him climb around on the slides, tubes and other stuff.  He has definitely lost strength compared to where he was this summer.  And he is very cautious.  Hopefully, we will be able to get back over there to play some more before the weather gets colder.  (it's pouring rain today).

He still is not very keen on doing stairs.  (on his butt).  He got pretty mad at me yesterday when he wanted me to pick him up and carry him up the stairs.  I said "no, you can do it"...(ugh, I'm such an enabler it was hard for me to be that tough).  He got ugly about it but then proceeded to climb all 16 stairs alone backwards, pulling his butt up each step.

He is scooting like a pro now.  And can disappear pretty stinkin quick around the house.  So don't have too much sympathy for him being mobile...just sayin'.

He and I had a few "rounds" of discipline issues yesterday too. Let's just say he was edgy.  Perhaps it is realated to the above--but Peter and I talked about how it just amounts to a control issue.  I just want to deal with him like I did with Isaac which would be to spank him and be done with it.  We've decided this is not the best approach for our boy, so we are going to try a few other things, but whew!  I was exhausted last night after going head to head most of the day.

On a lighter note...Lucas found "Dennis the Menis" on Netflix a few days ago.....................He sits and watches it and bursts out laughing repeatedly.  It's so funny to watch him watch this old black and white sit com.  He just loves the physical humor--(ie Mr. Wilson on a ladder, and sticking is foot in a bucket of paint that Dennis left at the bottom of the ladder...)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Drum roll please....

God’s Provision -- Part 6

(written 11/2)----
I got a note from a sweet friend this morning asking how we were and financially how things were.  I responded to here telling her with all honesty how it’s tough and complicated. I’m just being vulnerable here people...

at 6:26 a.m. I wrote this to one of my dear friends...
“He has been getting some work with both insurance and construction jobs.  But, won't get paid for another month or more.  We've made our last mortgage payment and paid the bills we can pay, and there isn't much left.  as in  we won't be able to pay the next one if the timing doesn't work out. 
We are probably going to ask ** for money AGAIN!  I just don't know how much longer we can keep doing that.  ** are tapped out.  ** is willing to keep giving, but that is not the way to live either.  It's rough.  
I would love to have a regular paycheck (as would he).  Just a job that shows security, has full benefits, etc.  My man deserves it.  (ok, none of us technically "deserve" anything--but I hope you hear my heart in that).  I'm dealing with my own issues of looking for security in that, and not wanting to live on the edge all the time.  But, I just don't know how/where he can get a regular job.  
You asked.
Sorry if I verbally "vomitted"...
love ya
I'm just laying it out there people.  Just sayin' I struggle and am seeking the Lord on His perspective on this whole thing.

and 32 minutes my inbox at 6:58 am this devotional came...
Could God be any more obvious?  These devos are on ALL topics, not just finances.  And they just show up everyday in my inbox...I highly recommend them but some days---God just Blatantly reveals Himself like today...It’s like He wrote a letter directly to my questions...Sometimes this stuff just blows me away.  I really didn’t make this one up...and I did NOT write it.  (although it’s almost verbatim what I was struggling with)
Also, I'm doing a Bible study right now on "Discerning the Voice of God"----I would say, he uses things like this to shout out to me...
Daily Hope (daily email devos)
by Rick Warren
God Can Provide Through Any Faucet
“But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your forefathers, as it is today.” Deuteronomy 8:18 (NIV)
The Bible teaches that God is the source of our finances. He is the one who provides for our needs.
What does this mean? It means that, instead of looking to my employer for financial security, I look to God. It means that, instead of looking at my savings account for financial security, I look to God. It means that I don’t look to anyone or anything other than God to provide for my needs.
Let me illustrate it this way: When I turn on the water, I know the water doesn’t actually come from the faucet. The water comes through the faucet. The water is actually from a reservoir, and the way I happen to receive it is through the faucet.
In the same way, the income that God wants to give you may come through a job or through something or someone else.
But the source is always God.
We don’t need to worry about which faucet God uses to supply our needs. In a sense he says, “If I turn off one faucet, I can just as easily turn on another. If you lose one job, I can give you another. I am your source, not your job. I am your source, not your bank account.”
Worry reveals the places where you are not trusting God. Ask God to help you understand what causes you to not trust him, and ask him to teach you to start trusting him. Look for how he does that. In addition, when you start to worry, talk to God about your concerns.”

Not much more to say today...God is the source--I will go to battle over releasing my lack of trust back over to Him.  After all these years, why is it still a struggle?  On my knees AGAIN!  Seeking His face---not only seeking answers.  Seeking the "source" and all that He is about.  

Monday, November 14, 2011

God’s Provision--Part 5

(written 11/2/11)
Even after God hands down such a tender blessing like Psalm 84...I still have been working through some issues with questioning Him and wanting to hear from Him and Discern his voice.  I'm a slow learner sometimes.  Yesterday, (11/1/11) I was wrestling.  I mean really wrestling with thoughts like this:
Do people who are driving past me in their nice cars, with their nice homes and stable jobs have a clue what they have?  Did I when we had that?  When you have it, I don’t think you really understand it’s significance especially if you’ve had that stability for years.  I think what I’m asking for is really not that complicated...  
#1 I know it is not too hard for God.
#2 I have a mentality that I deserve it--Peter has worked hard, he is a great man, he is talented and skilled, (caution: this is not a good attitude...prideful--head’s up on that one)
#3 I compare to others--”most” people have jobs and are surviving even in this economy--why not us?--”seriously, why can’t we just have a secure job?” (jealousy--ugh!)
#4 I have a false sense of security--
and here in lies the bottom line:
 “if only we had a ‘normal’ job I wouldn’t have to worry”....ugh!  That is my issue....I’m looking to the ‘job’ to fulfill a need so I don’t have to depend on God for every moment and for every need.  
He really caught me on that one yesterday.  I tried to weasel my way out of that thought pattern but no matter how I looked at it I have to admit I kept coming back to looking at a stable job with benefits as “security” ---I know better, cuz we’ve had those and lost them too, so it’s a stupid thought.  But, it is a reality I struggle with.  
Can I stay fully dependent on God for our Provision if there is security in the ‘job’?  I want the burden to just ease up.  But, if I don’t have the burden (the thorn in my flesh so to speak) will I still be able to honor and Glorify Him as effectively?  Will I remain as desperate for Him to supply all my needs?  As Pastor Louie brought up on Sunday (10/30) sometimes it is harder to Praise God when things are going well.  We get comfortable.  There isn’t a desperation for Him.  I want to get a little sarcastic here and say “try me”---I mean really, like---test me to see if I will praise you if I have $1,000,000 in my bank account.  Just see if I can handle it ...just once...
So the wrestling continues with thoughts of financial security and full dependence on God’s Provision--can I be fully dependent on God for every month not knowing if Peter is going to have a construction job to carry us through, or actually make an insurance sale?  There is uncertainty.  There is risk.  There is shaky ground here.  
But, in it, I must Praise Him.  
I’m reminded again of this song which carried us through so many shaky days with Jacob--I sang it with a broken heart, and will continue to recall it. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Lucas is hesitant...

Since Lucas had his casts removed 5 days ago, he has been happy and relieved, but also hesitant to do certain things.   He was getting up and down off of chairs with the casts on, but without he is very cautious.

He has no limitations from the doctor.  He is all clear to do whatever he wants to do or is able to do.  But, he doesn't seem to want to put pressure on the bottom of his legs---they do not hurt--checked that all out already.

Today I have been gently encouraging him and showing him some things he can do or try to do.  I think I may someday look back on this and think ..."what was I worried about".

Right now I'm trying to encourage him to be a little more independent--ie going up and down the stairs, on and off the sofa, on and off his bed.  I guess you could call this physical or occupational therapy at home.  I don't know all the things I should encourage him to do, but just like homeschooling, I'm just taking it one step at a time and showing him step by step "how".

Today he went up the stairs on his butt-backwards; climbed onto his bed;  learned he could crawl on his knees; and  got on and off the sofa.  I also tried holding him under the armpits and showing him he is going to need to learn to put pressure on the bottom of his legs.

His knees were bent in his casts and he doesn't seem to want to really straighten them all the way so we are also just practicing that as well.

so, that's the latest update on the boopski.  He's doing great.

I also cautiously asked him a question today that I have not asked yet---"do you miss your baby feet?"
he gave me an adament "NO"....
so there ya go!
For anyone wondering...
the boy does not regret any of it!

God’s Provision --Part 4

(i worked on this post a few weeks ago, thus the delay in some dates)

As God would do---and has done a Multitude of times in my life...on Sunday (10/30/11) after I wrote the above 3 parts for these posts, He delivered this Word to me during church.  Chris Tomlin read it to us before the service and I felt as though God was speaking directly to my heart.
Pslam 84
1 How lovely is your dwelling place,
   LORD Almighty!
2 My soul yearns, even faints,
   for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh cry out
   for the living God.
3 Even the sparrow has found a home,
   and the swallow a nest for herself,
   where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
   LORD Almighty, my King and my God.
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
   they are ever praising you.
 5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
   whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
6 As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
   they make it a place of springs;
   the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength,
   till each appears before God in Zion.
 8 Hear my prayer, LORD God Almighty;
   listen to me, God of Jacob.
9 Look on our shield, O God;
   look with favor on your anointed one.
 10 Better is one day in your courts
   than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
   than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
   the LORD bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
   from those whose walk is blameless
 12 LORD Almighty,
   blessed is the one who trusts in you.
not much more to say on that one.  God’s word is clear.  No matter what we think is or is not “enough” 
“No good thing does he withhold from those whose walk is blameless”
Gonna ask for Him to “bestow his favor and honor” upon us which may or may not look like “wealth”.
Love the way my God delivers His word so clearly when I actually listen

a sweet prayer from a sweet lady

My dear friend Sharon's mom sent this prayer to me yesterday on Facebook.

I just love it and Love her...I wanted to post it and remember it....

"Lord God, You are a God of Big Doors, open Your Big Doors for this family so they can move on with their lives in the manner You intended. We believe Jesus You are able to do all that You have promised this precious family You will do for them. We praise and thank You Lord for honoring and manifesting Your Word to them."

Thank you Mrs. Janice Wilson--love you tons!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

God’s Provision - Part 3-- an attempt to understand

I’m not a theologian, and I don’t want to lay claims to being one.  Please do not take my word as the final understanding of God’s Provision.
But, this I do know...
I am a believer in the ONE who Provides. 
And I have learned a few things over time and I have a LONG way to go to understanding all of this.  As I write I am also trying to process and speak truths to myself as reminders--cuz we are in the midst of needing reminders right now.
When I say “God has Provided” I hesitate.  
Because I don’t want to be flip about it.
The reality is God never promised us a nice home in a subdivision with a swimming pool and my best friend as my neighbor forever.  He never promised “x” number of dollars a year income or guaranteed employment with health insurance benefits “like it used to be”. 
But, He did Promise to Provide deliverance for us.  It may not “look” like the kind of deliverance we may expect.  But, our ultimate deliverance is our eternal deliverance through Christ.  
“for I know that through your prayers and God’s provision of the Spirit of Jesus Christ what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance." Philippians 1:19
Knowing God has all the Power He needs to deliver us at anytime from anything...well there is comfort in that.  
He is Able. 
2 Corinthians 9:8
New International Version (NIV)
8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
Ephesians 3:20-21
New International Version (NIV)
 20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen

Will He deliver us in the way we desire or expect?
Only He has that full plan and purpose.  
I do wish I had a glimpse of what His imagination could come up with for our future.
If there is one thing I’ve learned in the trials of life it is this: 
My worship is deeper, My worship is more full and meaningful when my heart is the most broken and desperate-when I am the most dependent on Him to Provide and not on a dollar amount or bank account.  
God’s provision doesn’t always mean we get to “keep” everything we want for as long as we want....It means He provides what we need for the moment, and reserves the right to remove it at any time to fulfill His ultimate plan--For His Glory.  That may sound counterintuitive or selfish on His part.  But, He still has an ultimate Goal in mind and promises salvation--which in reality is His GREATEST Provision.  Earthly provision--that is temporary.  Eternal Provision---now THAT is something to rest your assurances on. 
I have felt somewhat neglectful in mentioning this issue.  There are dynamics to it that are beyond just “me”.  My hubby has been working so hard.  It is hard to watch him work so hard and still struggle to help our family make ends meet.  He is an amazing man.  An awesome father.  
I on the other hand, admittedly have some issues of anxiety over it and fear of change if God decides to change direction for us.  I don’t really want to admit that, especially after writing what I just did.  There is evidence all over it of His Provision, yet, anxious thoughts still creep in.  So I’m just going to lay it out there and say I struggle in this area.  But, God is revealing things lately that are blowing me away.

Part 4 to follow....

Friday, November 11, 2011

God’s Provision--Part 2--A Timeline

The story continues to unfold like this...(part 1 posted 11/10/11)

Sept. 2009 The church that our dear friend John was hired at in GA, had further complications and then a flood struck with irreparable damage to the church.  This was a sad hard time for so many people.  
Nov. 2009 the church closed-  John, was unemployed and searching for another position for months.   We walked with them in prayer and with heartache on so many levels for months.  All while living in their backyard.  
April 2010 Peter lost the GA job (again unemployed--it’s been a rough few years for construction guys)--the commercial construction industry was collapsing here as well as residential.  Foreclosures are still everywhere.  The company has since completely closed that division.
August 2010 With much prayerful consideration, John accepted a position in Florida---our dear friends would have to move.  My backyard would be very different.  I  cannot even begin to share the heartache in that...for all of us.  Still.  But, God Provided a job and home for Cz’s.  
Sept 1, 2010 John was suppose to start his new job in Florida but they woke to a flood (have you seen that word before?).  This time in their home here in GA---John left the next day for Florida and Sharon and the kids lived with us for a month until they moved to FL in October.
Peter handled the re-construction of their home for several months.  But, it was another devastating blow for Cz’s and thus for us as well as we prayed some more and often asked “why”?
April 2010-Dec. 2010 Meanwhile Peter was struggling to find employment and began working with a partner in starting up his own new construction project management company.  But, the other guy had other ideas and let’s just say that ended.  We sat again, asking “what’s next?”
Fall 2010-During this time, our adoption paperwork needed renewal for the FOURTH time.  We’d been waiting for over 4 years for our adoption from China.  God led us to switch to the Special Needs Program and we were matched a few months later with our sweet Lucas (age 7).
March 2011-God Provided the means for us to travel and adopt our sweet boy Lucas.  Thank you thank you thank you Jesus!  It was just enough!  God Provided!
January 2011-present-Peter has been working with more due diligence than I’ve ever seen anyone have, looking for employment--either in construction (Project Management) residential/commercial or anything else.  He has pounded the pavement, he has sent out resumes, he has sought out residential remodel projects, etc.   In the meantime he also got himself trained to sell Individual Health/Life Insurance as well as supplemental policies to try to fill in the gaps.  This is a very slow process.  
But, God has Provided.
....painful at times to admit
....not always the way I would choose
....but He has provided

part 3 to follow....

Thursday, November 10, 2011

A surprise Police Visit for Lucas

First, Lucas got a new outfit for his Build A Bear when he was at Shriner's yesterday. 
 He wanted to put on his own police uniform to match.  
(Lisa he is wearing the hat your officers gave him =)--maybe you could use this pic?)

Then our dear friend Lisa managed to arrange for 2 Atlanta Police officers to stop by today.  They were so great with Lucas and flooded him with everything from hats to stickers to a sweatshirt and coloring books and other cool stuff....
Lucas LOVED it !
Thanks guys for taking the time out to stop by to see our boy.  You were more than generous!

God’s Provision--Part 1 --How we got here:

switching gears a little from the posting I've been doing lately and taking another journey...

I will still keep everyone updated on the sweet boy, but since this is a blog about God's Provision, I have felt for a long time like I need to delve into blogging about what our family has been gone through for the past three years or more and our dependence on God’s Provision. 

I’m making multiple entries because it is long and I don’t want to bore the socks off anyone.  
For Part One I'm going to give a little backround, 
a portion-and I mean “portion” of the history and the craziness of our lives.  And just one sampling of friendship---not meant to be exclusive of others or family love and support (we love you all)--but this was a significant part of our life.
In approximately 2001, our family was blessed to meet the Cz's (initials used to protect the innocent--ha ha) They were on staff at our home church in Wisconsin--John the Worship Arts pastor, Sharon Drama Director, and their 2 precious kids Jack and Hannah. Peter, my hubby, became involved in the Arts ministry there and we began getting to know them.  We loved them from the start, but our friendship grew over the years.

In December of 2002, at age 4, our son Jacob was diagnosed with Wilm's Tumor--a childhood kidney cancer.  We had no idea that the Cz's were working so much behind the scenes to walk us through that journey for 16 months (and beyond). They along with
many others, helped coordinate the hands and feet of God at our church, as meals were delivered, prayers were offered up, an unexpected joy was found in our fully decorated home at Christmas (2003) when we came home from St. Jude with no options left for treatment, people even helped us move in the midst of it, and so much more.  They didn't operate alone, but they were significant in the process.  Although, we were too slow to pick up on that clue ‘till after most of it was done.

After Jacob died, April 2004, our friendship continued to grow over time.

We homeschooled together, Sharon and I scrapbooked together, we even went on a cruise together.
In 2008 they felt led by God to move to Georgia. They made the announcement in May of 2008, and along with so many others our hearts sank and broke because we were saying good-bye and would no longer see them as often. They were part of our every day life.  Peter and John had become Accountability partners by this time and my heart broke that they would no longer be able to see each other regularly and enjoy simple pleasures together like Starbucks. Of course, I also wouldn't have the amazing wisdom of my sweet friend Sharon at my fingertips. And those sweet kids of theirs would be so far away.  UGH!  I have to say I asked the question "why" more than once. (along with many others)

"Coincidentally" (or not so much) Peter
suddenly lost his job the same weekend they had announced their plans to move. It was a strange time. The day Peter went into John's office to tell him the news about his job loss, John said, 
"Well then, why don't you look for a job in Georgia?"- a simple solution in John’s eyes....
I almost punched him...=)
But, honestly we didn't have a clue how the next months would unfold.
By August of 2008 just a few months later, Cz's had miraculously sold their home in just 6 weeks (God's Provision) and they were on their way to Georgia. Since Peter was not working, and we home schooled, we packed up and helped them move. 
We stayed for 2 weeks.  And while there, Peter continued his job search. He had talked to people in WI but nothing was developing. All of our family was still in WI--our other sweet friends.  Moving would be a big deal.  Can’t say my heart really wanted to go willingly.

As God’s plan unfolded
---we prayed
--they prayed
--we wanted to seek God's guidance and not miss God's plan for our lives or for His greater good.

While we were in GA with them, Isaac wanted to do some skateboarding at a local indoor park. As I sat and waited for him I picked up the book--"Bringing up Boys" which I'd just grabbed off the shelf right before we left home for our trip--I had just never finished reading it. (God’s Provision)

As I was reading at the skatepark, a lady just randomly came up to me and said, "I've read that book". 
We got to chatting about some common interests. She began asking where we were from and why we were here. Long story short, I explained helping Cz's move and my husband looking for work. She asked what line of work..etc. and then found out he was a commercial construction Project Manager. She said she knew some people in commercial construction and that I should have Peter send his resume to her to forward to these 3-4 guys she knew. Not thinking much of it, I said ok and that was it.

Peter went ahead and sent his resume to her after we got back to WI, she forwarded it on.  None of them had anything. But, one of them thought of a company that he had worked for a while back that might want to hire someone...(can you see God in this?)

THAT company ended up being the one that hired Peter. So the company that hired him was not even the company that lady knew about. Yet, God used lay out the plan. (God's Provision) Let's hear it for women getting involved in each other's go girls!!! Get in each other's business. Don't just sit there...let the Holy Spirit move you!

He started work with them in November of 2009.   That was the final month we would have been able to pay our mortgage....(God's Provision)
He worked from WI till we sold our house in April of 2009 and moved to GA in July of 2009.

We came to look for houses in GA several times. Sharon kept looking too. Our sweet friend Ms. Judi Hayes also had her hand, her prayerful hand, in that search...Soon a house began to show up on Sharon and Judi's radar---it was in Sharon's
 backyard and Judi's front yard, in the same neighborhood. Literally, 25 steps from her backyard to the backyard of this house...the neighbors were fixing it up so they could sell it. No sign was even in the yard--but Sharon and Judi got themselves "in".  Let's hear it for those women again!
Eventually, Peter got into it on one of his business trips. But, what a sight it must have been.  Peter with our sweet realtor Angie, and of course Sharon and Judi....hmmmm what the owner's must have thought about this guy and his 3 women...none of them his wife...
--all the time I'm in WI....waiting for pictures.

Another long story short--and yes
56 houses later (so sorry Angie)
----we Bought THAT house......
Finally, Cz's and us were backyard neighbors. We joked about how being 2 miles apart in WI was just not close enough...
Friends from Wisconsin---husbands accountability partners----wives raising each other's kids----sharing meals together---praying together through more trials that arrived since our move here---so incredibly blessed to have them in our lives and thanking God EVERYDAY for what He alone had orchestrated! Who "gets" this? (God’s Provision)

and that was just the beginning---
Part 2 to follow....

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

3pm--we are home!

So the reason my head was spinning was because we waited for 2 1/2 hours to be "taken" and then when the took him in they did not give him any versid or anything before hand and then said he probably would not even need an IV--they would do it all with "gas".

I left him at about 9:40.  Went one floor down to the waiting area and told the guy that sits in that room with the parents that I was going to get some food.

I walked through connecting hallways between the 2-3 hospitals to get to ChickFilA and found out they didn't open till 10.  So I waited 15 minutes.  Then ran back to the waiting area.  I waited about 30 min. and then a nurse came in and said "the therapist is in his room and wants to talk to you".  I thought that was odd, but when I got there, Lucas was there, all awake and chatty like nothing had happened.

Apparently in that 20-25 minutes I was gone from the waiting room, the doctor had already come in to tell me it was done and he was back in the room before an hour was up!

Then they just wanted us to get out of there, but the therapy "dogs" showed up so we had to stay for that of course and then they gave Lucas a new outfit for the Build A Bear they gave him last time, (he chose a Police Officer uniform) so we had to do that.  And by 11:45 we were out-a-there.

So once things started hoppin' it went fast.

Then Lucas and I drove home.

He is doing GREAT!  never went back to sleep since we left.
His legs are very scaley and itchy so that is kind of nasty.

But, he is very interested in seeing what he can/cannot do now.  He is very happy!!!

We keep the ace bandages on till Friday and then put on "stump shrinkers" (why does that term just disturb me?---seems so crass or something)  I think we will call them his "special tight socks".  He keeps wearing those everyday for 3 weeks and we go back for a check up and prosthetic fitting on Nov. 28th.

So there ya go.
Overall a good day!
Thank you Jesus for your many blessings and for covering us in love and protection!

Wow, that was fast....

So this is Heidi's ghost writer.  Lucas is done and they are already on their way back from SC.  She said that it went so fast it made her head spin (a rotten husband here would make a comment like "I wonder how she could tell", fortunately I'm not a rotten husband).

Seriously, it went great and it was practically done before it started.  He is a little itchy right now, but the final wrappings come off in a couple of days (need to give the spots where the pins were a chance to heal) and then he will get a full bath for the first time in more than 6 weeks.  He is very excited about that, and I'm sure it will make him feel a lot better too.

Thanks everyone for praying.

Stay tuned, I'm sure Heidi will have more to say later...

9:45 a.m. .... and he's off...

to "surgery"

They did not give him the "loopy" medicine before he left.

They said they may not even give him an IV---may just use "gas"....I hope that means he is all the way "out" and doesn't see or remember anything..=) just sayin.

They said about 30 minutes of actually being in surgery--so that is not long--and then a little recovery time.

He is SOOO ready!

just waiting.....8:20 a.m.

Lucas and I got here last night and "slept" in a family room here.  It was a nice room.  Two single beds.

But for some reason I just could not sleep and kept dreaming I missed the appointment, or forgot to bring something or couldn't find the right room this morning or or or.  It was crazy.

Then at 2:00 a.m. a THUNK....

and Lucas was crying...he yelled "MOMMMYYYYY"

I jumped up to find him on the floor.  He fell out of bed.

I did the best mommy thing and said "are you ok?".....

He said ..."My BUTT hurts"...

this morning it's kind of funny but last night it was a little earth shattering.

We got checked in at 7 a.m. and are just sitting and waiting---life in a hospital....

Thank you for the prayers for the boy.  He appears to be very relaxed and without anxiety this morning.  Yeah God!

Will update soon.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

TOMORROW's the big day...

Yeah!  Tomorrow's the big day for ....

Casts to come off
Pins to come out
and we will be on our way...

We've decided that I'm taking Lucas to Shriners alone.
--reason being--
Isaac has a "gig" tonight with his band and we need one of us to go along (Peter) because it is downtown and we are still "parents" that feel a need to "be there" for a variety of reasons.

His appointment is at 7 a.m. tomorrow which means surgery maybe at 9??(hopefully).  That means we could/should be home at a reasonable time tomorrow.

Lucas and I will drive up tonight and spend the night in a "family room" so we don't have to get up at 4:30 a.m. tomorrow to drive there.

Since it technically is still surgery and he will be put "out" for all of it (including the cast removal) he could get anxious while we are there tonight.  I'm praying his anxiety level is not over the top tonight as we sleep there.

So if you have time to pray....cover this as you feel led....

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Endless Hallelujah!--Matt Redman

I just LOVE to crank this worship song by Matt Redman in my car and cry out in worship. 
 I cannot wait to "See him face to face" and to "Worship forever in (His) presence"
Complete abandonment to the King...An ENDLESS Hallelujah to the King!!! 
I can almost hear the resonance in the heavens as I hear this song
 I cannot effectively put it into words...

just listen...

Friday, November 4, 2011

Shriners apt. report today

GREAT NEWS!! we are all set to get the casts off and pins out next Wednesday!!!

Our appointment went well.  They took xrays of his legs in the casts and we got to see the pins.  They actually stick out about 2" and go into his leg about 4" (sorry if too graphic for you weaker stomached people)...(sharon...)

It was cool to see them and to see everything fused so well.

Today was interesting for us with Lucas though.  Of course he woke up way too early, and then he didn't want to eat anything.  He also has developed these goofy fever blisters on his face and one on his tongue so that could have affected his desire to eat.  But, he got very ornry while we were at the appointment.  We called it as "low blood sugar" and crabbiness from that, but it was sort of weird and out of character for him lately.  It made me realize we really have had very few issues with his behavior lately.

By the time we left the appointment and got to the car his spirits lifted.  I looked at Peter and said "what was that all about?"  then I had my "ah ha" moment.  Duh!  He was anxious....totally understandable.

Peter asked him about it and yep!  That was it.  Just being there and being talked to by nurses, doctors, etc. Even without any real invasive procedures being done, just made him anxious.  We tried to tell him that he can tell us that stuff. Tried to give him words for the future to use...

He does not seem anxious about next week.  So praying he remains calm and excited to get rid of the casts...=)

Thanks for praying!
God is Good!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

a few (delayed) Halloween Pics--

well, let's just say, pumpkin carving started out like this....blech!

I thought Lucas was gonna puke...

 Digging the goo out of the pumpkins was not Lucas's favorite nor Isaac's....

Everyone drew faces on with marker...

and then the Carving began.....really I didn't hurt anyone---other than the pumpkin.

 Everyone had their own design....and carving tool....

 Lucas actually had the best carving knife--a kids version, but it worked better than any of ours and was very "safe".

 Lucas kept carving after everyone else was done....chunks kept coming off  and then this big smiley pumpkin immerged.....

from left to right...Daddy, Isaac, Lucas,  and Mommy Pumpkin....

 Annabelle, the firefighter, and Isaac the Construction Man took Lucas the Police Officer Trick or Treating.
A few neighbors went along...

 Abelle gave Lucas this very cool beard....I think he is quite a handsome Police Officer....

a few updates

Trick or Treating was a blast for the boys.  Isaac and A'belle took Lucas around in his wheelchair as a police officer.  They were out for about 2 hours.  It was chilly---maybe that is why Lucas got sick the next day..=(
I have pics that I will post, but Isaac has my camera memory stick for school so I can't post them quite yet.

Speaking of Isaac...
It's been a few days of craziness around here.
If you recall I posted a few months ago that Isaac was selected to participate in a Governors Scholarship program through his school.
He has been frantically preparing his portfolio and prepping for the interviews that are TODAY!

Praying for you handsome!  We are so proud of you!  This would be such a huge blessing for him as he would have a month of college level classes next summer completely "FREE" and it would help him with other scholarship programs potentially in the future.  HUGE!

Lucas got sick again.--maybe due to the trick or treating episode.
He seems to have this little routine of getting a fever for 24 hours and then being done with it.  But, with his surgery coming up next week I didn't want to risk it so ended up taking him in this time to see the Dr. She bascially said she thinks it's viral.  This time for the first time he ended up with the nastiest looking fever blister though.  youch!

Tomorrow we go to Shriners for our pre-op visit for next Wed. surgery.  We need to pray for complete and adequate healing to be seen by the Dr.'s tomorrow or they won't do the surgery on Wed.  I don't have any reason to believe they would postpone, but anything is possible.  So please pray they see all the needed healing because he is pretty set on being "done" next Wed. am I...I just want to bathe the boy in a bathtub...and be done with the lifting.

Last night we had a talk about the post surgery life.  We talked about swimming and all sorts of other fun things we have missed.  But he is very worried that he will sink and go to the bottom of the pool without his feet.  I reassured him we are not dropping him into 12 feet of water and expecting him to swim the first day.  But that I think he is going to do great!  He will just need to adjust how he swims a little bit.  Then he started getting more excited about the possibilities.

He asked me about how he is going to get around the house for a while without feet and no new ones till about Christmas time.  I said I was not worried about that at all and that I think he is going to figure out all sorts of things he didn't know he could do.  I think I managed to convince him that he really is going to do great.  Which I believe with all my heart!

I'm also working on a series of blog posts on a topic I have not really touched on yet about God's Provision.  It's taking time to formulate and create so that's where I've "been"....I also need some input from Peter on this one.  So stay tuned---

by the way ...where did the warm Georgia weather go???? I had to wear my footie jammies last night.