Another One!

Look who got his braces off!

Caleb is such an amazing young man. He couldn’t wait to have his braces off so he could…..bite into an apple again!☺️❤️

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Looking good!😉

Elijah’s eye looks great! We tried again today to do “the machine” which takes special pictures of the eye without anesthesia, but he is still not ready for it. He’s getting closer though! He woke up in a pretty grumpy, funky, challenging mood, so I knew not to expect too much from him today.

By the time he had his poke, he was pretty upset…..but once it was over he calmed down. They are preparing to do some renovations on the Ophthalmic Oncology Suite, so they have cleared out some things in order to prepare for construction. It was a nice and mellow day at the clinic and Elijah got a special present when he was all done:

They continue to check his vision and we are all amazed at how close his tumor, and now scar, came to his central vision. It is truly a miracle that he can see as well as he does and we are so thankful.🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻🙌🏻❤️

The bakery nearby, Padoca, where I get his green juice and GF banana-chocolate chip bread opens at 7am, which was his appointment time. Thankfully, she opened a little bit early so I was able to get his stuff before we got to the hospital.

Now we are resting for a bit and Elijah is delighted with the cars.

I’m hoping tomorrow will give Elijah a chance to sleep in a little and recover before we head home Friday.

Thank you forpraying!💕

Hello NY!

It’s a rainy day here in the city. I’m always amazed at how much I’ve come to love it here. Unfortunately, the fickle NY weather means I was hit hard by allergies!

They took some pictures of Elijah and I (they had someone here doing family photos, I guess):

Elijah was dying to get to the playroom:

(And threw a raging fit when it was time to go.)

We’ll be at the hospital tomorrow so hopefully Elijah is okay with a mellow night and heading to bed early. We shall see!❤️

Elijah enjoyed being a *big boy* on the plane…..honestly, I thought he was so much smaller than he is. But we did okay not having his seat, and it was certainly much easier having one less heavy thing to carry.

Uber is great about having car seats available, so we just did that for our quite long drive into the city:

My buddy boy sure is growing up fast!

Updates and Postponement….

I’ve been a little more quiet, but rightfully so since life is full. We were scheduled to be in NYC today, with Elijah having his exam under anesthesia. Unfortunately, he caught a little cold and so they felt it was best for him to postpone his appointment. We are working on the details of getting him to NY next week, as long as he is well.

I realized that I neglected to update on some important things. After my crazy miscarriage and D&C in North Carolina, we came home and received word–which we were sort of expecting after I read the ultrasound report–that the pathology came back as hydatidiform mole….I’ve linked more information here. This condition is also known as Gestational Trophoblastic Disease (with another link to information). In my case, it was a partial molar pregnancy, meaning that there was a fetus, although there were probably chromosomal abnormalities present.

The next course is to have weekly blood draws to monitor my HCG levels, which I’ve been doing since I have returned. I am not supposed to get pregnant for approx. 6 months to a year, depending on how my doctor feels about things. So far, things are looking great, and my doctor has even allowed me to space the blood draws just a bit since….well, life is pretty full already.

And on a really happy note, Emma and Caleb finished their first class at Ventura College. They both did extremely well in the course and it was a really positive experience. The teacher has even recommended Emma to be a tutor for the writing center at the college (although we don’t know yet if it will be allowed due to her age).

Elijah and his “new schoolwork.” He’s not actually quite ready to start. We are going to work some more on coloring, but he is anxious to start, and it will be waiting for him when he is ready.

The gang. I’m not exactly sure what we were doing😂

MRI is clear!

Great news! MRI is clear! Heading to NYC next week to get a better look at his eyes.

I was pretty impressed by this drawing daddy made while we waited☺️

Poke went pretty well. It is both comforting and heartbreaking that this is normal. That there is a routine to this all.

He wakes up from anesthesia and promptly *rips* the oxygen tube off of his face. Then he wants food and of course the nurses all freak out because they want you to start with apple juice. But, I assure them we have done this before. I give him his green juice and he wants FOOD. So after I get at least a sip of green juice in him, I bust out the banana chocolate chip muffins I made last night.

After he has gobbled down two muffins and asks for a third (which Ben is ready to hand over), I confess that there is a generous amount of oat bran and flax meal in them and we may want to consider slowing down a bit.

This is his first anesthesia being POTTY TRAINED. He did so great!!!!!!! We will see how the trip to NY goes with a newly potty trained kid.🤔

Thank you all for your prayers!

Fifteen

My darling Emma,

Honestly, finding the words has been very difficult for me this time. Fifteen years ago, YOU, my baby girl, made me a momma for the first time. I had no idea what to do or how to do it, but I knew one thing: I felt a love for you that was beyond anything I had ever known before that time.

Fast forward fifteen years, and I can hardly express what an amazing young woman you have become. As the oldest of seven children, you have borne your share of responsibility–much of it being more than I would have liked, sooner than I would have asked it of you. You could have let it shape you towards frustration or bitterness, or even a demand for more freedom and independence. But instead, you let it shape you towards beauty, responsibility, kindness, a willingness to serve, and the ability to work hard.

In the midst of our crazy life, we have been fortunate to have many adventures together. This last trip to North Carolina was……memorable!!!!☺️. There were so many special moments, ways in which God showered favor upon you. There were some really hard moments too, and yet even those had much to teach us and ways to grow us.

We have also had many adventures in New York–most of them revolving around food and people (two great loves that we share.)

As you grew, and I became aware of how different we are, I began to be concerned…..I saw how reading God’s Word every morning did not come naturally to you, and how studying and searching the Scriptures seemed to feel burdensome to you. I’ll be honest. I worried a little. I prayed about it a lot. My heart for you was just that I wanted you to have what I had–to love God’s Word so deeply and to come alive to it, and to hear from it….

As you continued to grow, especially through dance, your ability to hear from God and act in obedience to Him without fear…..I began to see you growing in your love and attentiveness to His Word, but you came at it from such a different vantage point. It was not consistency or duty that drove you to His Word, but it was usually a love for people and a desire to encourage them that brought you there. When you dance in worship, it is as if heaven itself opens up–not just for you, but for me too. And instead of thinking about how I wanted you to have what I have, I started thinking that maybe I would want what YOU have.

I know we aren’t finished yet. I’m still your mom, we will still have difficulties and emotions and hard things to work through together. But I just want to say, as I do often, that you are one of my favorite humans on the planet. I have great joy in knowing you, loving you, teaching you, and learning from you. I admire you and I respect you. You don’t always get it right, but I am so impressed (and even challenged!) by your ability to process through and admit when you’ve been wrong.

I bless you in the many ways you are gifted, and I bless your ability to see and serve our Great King. I pray with you and for you, for the exciting adventures ahead and the many ways that you will impact this world by spreading love and kindness. It is my great joy, honor, and pleasure to be your momma, and I remain your champion and fan. Happy birthday Emma Faith. When the hard times come, remember what you have learned even in the difficulties you have already endured–He is real, He is good, and He is for you.

(Birthday flowers from Daddy💕)

With all my love,

For the King! And the Restoration!

Momma