Monday, September 30, 2013

Dayna's First Race

Dayna's been working so hard all summer to be able to participate in a race with me. Her little legs have pumped all over town!

Yesterday was the big day! Unfortunately, it was also the day Mama got sick. No, I probably shouldn't have done it with her...but somehow, it was too hard for me to let her down.

So we took it slowly. And walked more than we should have.

But...we finished! Dayna's first 5K. She came in 241st and I was 242nd with a time just over 41 minutes. And if you keep track of things like this, Dayna was 2nd for kids 10 and under and 1st for girls 10 and under.

So proud of you, girl!

Pinning her race number

Ready to go
We're on our way!

41 minutes later!

Way to go, girlie!


The two weeks following Annie's repair have been pretty rough. Our sweet, independent girl decided that if she can't feed herself, she's not going to eat. By the end of the first week, we were lucky to get a few spoonfuls of food in her and maybe an ounce or two of liquid. By that point, we were getting a little concerned about dehydration.

Out of desperation, we finally decided to ditch the arm restraints (she could take them off, anyway) during mealtime and let her try feeding herself. Slowly but surely, she started to eat again. In fact, she's become quite the little chow hound.

We're not sure how much weight she lost after her surgery. She didn't have much weight to lose to begin with. But we think we're on the upswing now. We're taking things one meal at a time.

Unfortunately, Annie & I both came down with a nasty case of strep over the weekend, so we're back to square one with liquids. Annie seems to be handling it better than I am! She has her post-op appointment tomorrow and we'll see what the future holds.

We haven noticed now that she has tubes in her ears, her hearing is greatly improved. She loves to take walks in the stroller and now hears every single nature sound. She's quite captivated. It's like a whole new world has opened up to her!

We appreciate your continued prayers!

Annie's Palate Repair

Early in the morning on the 16th, Annie's palate was closed. We spent 3 days in the hospital and cheered along the way as Annie slowly started to eat and drink. It's tough to see your independent little one so helpless and lethargic, not to mention confused. We continue to pray that this traumatic experience will continue to connect her to us as her parents and form the strong attachment this little one needs.

Her little lovey was patiently waiting outside OR 8 for her.

So happy to see an almost smile the next morning!

She loved putting stickers on papers around the room

We had a fun visit from the College boys

And when life is hard, cute pigtails and a baby doll will do the trick.

State Fair

Earlier this month, we took Annie to her first Nebraska State Fair. It was a beautiful day - not too hot. She enjoyed the animals, the food, and the general atmosphere of the fair. As long-time fairgoers, however, we're not sure this will continue to be a feasible family outing. A few years ago, the fair moved to the center of the state. We really don't mind the drive. But since then, it seems the cost for everything has gone through the roof. By the time we pay for admission, food, and a few rides for Dayna, it's just not an affordable family outing anymore. Nonetheless, it was a fun day and we scored a few great pictures.

First Camping Trip

We took advantage of one of those beautiful fall Friday afternoons and took the girls to Memphis State Recreation Area for Annie's first camping trip. From Annie's perspective, the campout was sheer success. We've never seen her wake up as happy as she did Saturday morning. She giggled and smiled for almost an hour!

From a parent's perspective, the campout was a disaster! The campfire never lit (wet wood) and the next morning, we ran out of propane while cooking breakfast. No worries...just grab the backup propane! Nope...that one ran out too. So we braved Husker game day traffic and made it to Denny's for breakfast. While packing up, the girls had a ball playing in the sand and flowers...only to realize that we forgot to spray the girls. Poor Dayna is allergic to mosquitoes and looked like she had the measles for about a week. I'm pretty sure we'll be doing school picture retakes!

Nonetheless, it was a fun family overnight trip.

New Kid

After 10 years in the same BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) class and 6 years with a great circle of leaders, it was hard to say goodbye last spring.

This fall, I was able to start up again, this time with Annie. We're going to a new class so she can attend as well. It's wonderful how BSF is the same everywhere you go. I'm still doing the same lessons as Dan & Dayna (at her age level), and now Annie is learning, too. I loved after last week that she had a little star sticker on her shirt and kept saying "star...Jesus." Even now, she's learning this case, about the star that led the Magi to Jesus.

And as much as I miss my old friends, and as much as I felt like the new kid at school, I must feels good to be "home" with BSF again. Some of our big decisions may impact whether or not I can continue...or at least how it would look if I continue...but somehow, I know God's got it all worked out.

If you're seeking to know God and His Word better...I strongly urge seeking out a BSF class near you. They're all over the world!


Messy...Melting hearts
Independent...Interested (in everything!)
Growing (too fast)...Giggling

These days go by so quickly. Praying I enjoy every moment.

Of Shepherds and Singing

I've been thinking about this post for over a year now. It's a story I've told many times, but I want to get it in writing so I never forget.

Years ago, while we were waiting for Dayna, we sent her a care package. (We also sent one to Annie, and I blogged about that here.)

Among other things, we sent her a CD. We made recordings of us reading her stories and me singing to her, so she could become familiar with our voices. On the CD, I sang "You Are My Sunshine."

We had no idea if they ever actually played the CD for her. We received everything back from the care package but that.

On Gotcha Day, everything went smoothly. A little too smoothly. She never cried. Just a bit shell-shocked. Dayna came straight to me and let me hold her.

Several hours later, the three of us were alone in our hotel room waiting to be called for our passport pictures. Suddenly, it hit Dayna in full force. For the first time in her life, she was alone with people who looked nothing like her. We looked funny, we smelled funny, and we sounded funny. She just lost it. Cried and cried. Indescribable grief.

A bottle didn't work. She didn't need changed. Wasn't sure she wanted me to hold her. We didn't know what else to do. And so I sang. "You Are My Sunshine." I didn't get to the word "sunshine" before she whipped her head to the side and stared at me with eyes of total recognition. The sobs turned into hiccups, and then sniffles. Her expression was "You're the one!" From that moment, whenever she would get upset, I would sing. And her tender heart would know that Mama was there. And she was safe.

It reminds me of this verse:

My sheep know my voice, and I know them...John 10:27.

I pray as she grows up, she continues to listen to the voice of her Shepherd.

Win-Win or Lose-Lose?

Today we have a really important decision to make. We're really choosing between two good options, but trying to decide what's best for the family.

In sharing with Dayna, I told her that it's always better to be in a position to choose between two good things rather than two bad things.

Her response: "Like choosing between Barack Obama and Mitt Romney?"

This girl is wise beyond her years.

Grace Where You Are

This is one of those places where I really wish I were more eloquent and could express my thoughts the way others do. It goes back to the ongoing conflict, often among Christians, where those who make different parenting choices receive judgment and guilt. Why do we do this to each other?

On a Facebook site in the last month (one that is supposed to encourage parents), I have seen some pretty negative messages to moms who work outside the home and those who send their kids to public schools. In fact, a blog entry was written (and later edited) that likened sending our children to public schools to sending them to Islamic terrorist training camps. Really? How, exactly, does this give any credibility to Christianity? I'm the first to admit that there are some very unhealthy public schools out there. (I've worked in some of them.) But there are also some remarkably wonderful ones where our kids are given a chance to shine. It goes back to my point in an earlier post...we all have different stories. Why should I expect your family's story to look like mine?

In the middle of all the guilt, where is the grace? I've never been big on grace. I'm a rule follower. Very black and white. Often more focused on the holiness of God than His grace. But the older I get, the more I see just how imbalanced my view of God is (and how far short I fall!)

Lisa-Jo Baker is a blogger I've recently discovered. And today, when I needed the encouragement the most, I stumbled across this entry:

The One Where I'm a Working Mom.

I love that her words are filled with grace...wherever you are.