Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Update and Birthday Wish!

Here I am, and yes I am still alive. Quite frankly, I just have not felt like even getting on the computer much less blogging. The baby and I are doing okay. He is still growing well, and I am too! ;) I had some significant swelling at my appointment yesterday, but my blood pressure is still holding steady so for now everything is still good. Dr. P is out all week so I am praying that this week proves to be a good one. The swelling is still pretty bad which is usually an indicator that my blood pressure is either on the rise or going to be. We are hoping to get me to 36 weeks, he would be happier with 37 weeks, and if I have not delivered by 38 weeks, he will for sure induce me then. So before Christmas we should have a happy, healthy baby boy in our arms at home. The best Christmas present ever!! Oh, I guess you probably would like to know how far along I am right now...35 weeks tomorrow. On another note, I have officially reached that point in my pregnancy when I can no longer sleep. Going to sleep usually isn't the problem, staying asleep, now that is a different story. If something wakes me, I am pretty much up for the night. I have been awake since 3:30 this morning, and don't foresee me going to sleep until bedtime tonight. Oh well. I guess God is preparing me for when Jonathan arrives. I have joked in the past that I have to have a baby to get any rest, and this time I am definitely thinking that may be the case. Oh.......I just realized what today is.........

Today is Abigail's 3rd Birthday! I really cannot believe it. She is getting so big, and her personality is really beginning to shine through. She has come a long way over the past two years health-wise, physically, and developmentally and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for her. Daddy, Mommy, and the Girls love you very much and hope today is a very special day for you! What was it you wanted?...a white kitty cat (stuffed animal) with green eyes? I guess we will have to see if your birthday wish comes true!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Sweet Boy!

Here is a profile of Jonathan sucking his thumb. What a sweet boy!

Well, I had my 31 week appointment today. After an ultrasound to check Jonathan's growth, it was determined that he is a very healthy growing boy! It is estimated that he already weighs 4 lbs 10 oz., and he is measuring 11 days bigger than his due date shows he should be. As if I wasn't stressed that he was going to be a big boy before now, I really am after hearing that news! For goodness sakes, Ross weighed 11 pounds. Eleven pounds! Now I figure that I will be delivering before I am full term, so hopefully I won't be having anywhere near an eleven pound baby. The goal right now is to make it to 36 weeks. That will be December 2, and Dr. P will be on-call then; so for now, December 2nd is the goal. From here on out, I will have a non-stress test to check for baby distress and prenatal visits every week until delivery. I could be bringing home this sweet baby boy in 5 weeks. Oh, and bed rest. He did say that he was not putting me on strict bed rest, but that I do really need to take it easy. In his words, "I don't want you out running around all day, but taking care of your kids is okay." So, I will take it easy so that I can bring home my beautiful baby boy.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bed Rest

That's right folks, it's that time again. My blood pressure has been a little elevated for a couple of weeks now, but it spiked pretty high today. After seeing the on-call doctor this afternoon, monitoring the baby, and doing lab work, I was told to increase my medication and take it easy. "Take it easy" translates into bed rest. So for now it isn't strict bed rest. I just have to take it easy, laying around as much as possible...no cooking, cleaning, or shopping. Sounds like strict bed rest to me! Well, she did tell me that "if I had to" I could pick up and take the girls to school. Actually she said that realistically, complete bed rest would probably be impossible with three children. I appreciated the fact that she took that into consideration. All she kept saying was do as little as possible, call in favors from friends, have my husband help, and so forth. The husband helping isn't a problem. He is really great about helping with the kids, doing laundry, picking up the house, etc. Just so you know, as I am writing all of this my husband is reading over my shoulder (out loud I might add) in his seductive voice. No really, he is! Silly boy!! The only problem with all of this is that I am not at all prepared. When I was pregnant with Abigail, I already had the nursery done, most of the Christmas presents purchased, and all of the baby stuff done. I am not prepared at all! Nothing is done. I still have baby stuff I need. I haven't even started on Jonathan's room, and as for Christmas...well, Merry Christmas...they may be all anyone is getting. Have I mentioned that the baby bed and bassinet are still in the attic? Oh my. The good news is that she did allow me to still be a bridesmaid in my sister's wedding. I just have to sit down immediately following the ceremony and have people cater to me at the reception. Hum? How well do you think that will go with 3 little girls running around? I didn't mention to her that the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner are tomorrow night. I figure I just need to make it through this weekend and then I can really take it easy. I may just have to excuse myself and lay down and rest for a bit while dealing with the wedding and stuff, but that will be okay. I have to go instruct my children (from the couch) to start their bed time routine now. This should be interesting...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Small-town Inconvenience

I love the small-town qualities of Siloam Springs, but it also has it's inconveniences. A major one being that it does not have a 24 hour pharmacy. Hey, at this point I would settle for one staying open until 9 or 10 on a Saturday night. We think there is a pretty good chance Mary Grace has the flu. Well, either that or mono. Both Sarah and Blair have mono, and we are pretty sure that Coy and Daddy have it too :( . Now, there is a better chance that MG has the flu than mono so Dr. B called in Tamiflu and said to start taking it immediately. Hence the reason I wish there was a 24 hour pharmacy here. Ross is on his way to Fayetteville as we speak to pick up said Tamiflu. Here is to hoping the Tamiflu works and we don't have to worry about anything more than keeping the rest of the family healthy!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Blog Time

So, it has been a while since I have blogged. Prepare yourselves, this could be a long one. Last week was our trip to Cincinnati. I didn't blog while we were there because this was this first trip since Ross and I have had kids that we didn't have to bring anyone along. I decided to spend my free time with my hubby instead of updating our blog! :) His scope went well, and by appearances nothing has changed from last time. Although appearances really mean very little; we are hoping that is a good sign, and that he has passed his beef trial. We won't know anything until his biopsy results come back in about a week.

Our time together in Cincy was wonderful. Amanda said it was our "babymoon" and really it was. Our last chance to be alone before he gets here! It was nice being able to just walk through stores and around the mall without having to keep up with little ones or push a stroller! We were able to go to a movie at 10:20 pm and then to a restaurant afterwards because it didn't matter what time we woke up the next morning. We did see a family at the movie theater that I would like to address.

Dear young Mom with your pajama pants and over-sized sweat shirt and Dad standing outside the bathroom yelling, "Let's go!",

The next time you want to see, and I quote, "The scariest movie of the decade" (Paranormal Activity), you should probably leave your three year old little boy at home! Not only did that movie probably give your child nightmares for days, but really? did you have to take him to the midnight movie?! Let me give you an example of what "good parents" do: If you want to take your three year old to a movie, I suggest the 3D version of Toy Story and Toy Story 2. Accompanied with popcorn, M&M's, and a bottle of water. Oh, and let me mention that for best results take your child to the matinee or at latest the 7 pm showing. This way he will be able to enjoy a horror-free film and be in bed at a reasonable hour.

Concerned Parents

Now that I have gotten that off my chest, let's get on with the rest of the week. We were finally able to find Jonathan's coming home outfit! It is a little blue cable knit sweater outfit with little brown suede shoes. So cute! My sweet husband literally took me to every baby store in Cincinnati in search of this outfit. We finally found it in the last store we went to. On our way home, we had decided to stop for the night in St. Louis to break up the trip a little. However, this plan quickly changed when Ross' dad called (as we were driving to St. Louis) to tell us that Ross' grandfather had passed away. Poppa was 93 years old and really lived a full life. His health had suddenly gone down hill so we knew this was coming. We just didn't realize it would be so soon. Fortunately he passed in his sleep and did not have to suffer long. All that to say, we ended up driving to Springfield, MO and arrived at 2:30 am. We slept for a few hours, got to Fayetteville about 1 pm, packed up the kids, were home for about an hour and a half and then drove to Hot Springs. The funeral was Monday morning, and by Monday evening we were finally home. So much for a relaxing trip home. We were in the car for about 20 hours over a 3 day period...I don't care if I go anywhere else until after this baby is born. My body hurts in places I didn't even know could hurt. Really, for being 7 months pregnant I did very well. Now we wait for results and go from there.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Bitter Sweet BB&B

So I really have nothing important to say. I should be up cleaning the house, but sitting at the computer blogging about nothing seemed more appealing. I can't imagine why, she says sarcastically. Ross is out riding his motorcycle. Bikes, Blues, and BBQ is this weekend. We anticipate it's return from the time it is over every year. This year is a little bitter sweet. Excited that it is here, sad that it's just not going to be quite the same. Grumpy (Ross' dad) always rides up here on his bike the week of BB&B, but couldn't this year. Ross' grandmother has been in the hospital and was just discharged today. Ross is disappointed and a little sad that Grumpy couldn't make it, and frankly the girls and I are too. (Although, let me say that we completely understand why he cannot make it.) This is the one time out of the year that Ross gets to spend some time alone with his dad. They always enjoy a ride together on Friday morning, and then we all meet up as a family sometime Friday afternoon. Saturday is probably the best day of the week. We all go as a family that morning, watch the parade that afternoon, and then that evening it's just Ross and I with Grumpy. We all get "our time" with Grumpy, and this year he is going to be greatly missed. My girls LOVE there special Grumpy time and looking at the motorcycles. As they are getting older, they have learned that when the motorcycles start rolling into town, it must be time for BB&B. I hope that we can continue this tradition for many many years to come, and we are already looking forward to next year! We miss you, Grumpy.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Africa on My Mind

If you didn't know, our friend's the Kennedy's are in Malawi, Africa until November. See their amazing story and Africa journey here.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Coughs All Around

Cough-cough-cough, cough-pause (about 2 minutes), cough-cough-cough, pause-repeat. This is how our past four nights have been. At times for hours...and hours on end. Usually ending with coughing so hard, Abigail throws-up, takes a bath, and then finally gets enough relief to fall asleep. Allergies, asthma, coughing, and no sleep. Exhaustion. That's all I can say; pure exhaustion. Just when things looked better with Abbz, Hannah wakes up with the same coughing spell. Oh, my two asthma girls. Abigail had to begin oral steroids to open up her airways, and I am hoping to avoid that with Hannah! On a happier note, Ross took the girls to school for me this morning and is picking them up this afternoon. That allowed Abigail and I got to catch up on our sleep a little.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Go Away Rain, Bring on Fall

Rain. Rain. Go. Away! At least for a few days, so I can finishing painting the bunk beds. Really, it's been about three weeks since we painted the first half of the beds. I am ready to get them done so my girls can have their room back. It is in total chaos right now. Their mattresses are on the floor, and everything is in total disarray. Hopefully if the end of the week proves to be pretty I will be able to finish them up and get the girls' room done so I can begin on Jonathan's. If and when both projects are completed, I will post pictures of the finished products.

Total subject change, but I LOVE FALL!! Here are just of few of the things I enjoy most:

*Crisp, Clean, Cool Air
*Chai Lattes
*Apple Pie
*Pumpkin Pie, Muffins, and Cookies
*Hot Apple Cider
*Fall-Scented Candles
*Scare Crows
*Bikes, Blues, and BBQ

And the list could go on and on...Since I cannot get my fall decorations out (yes, I know fall does not officially begin for another 7 days) due to the above mentioned disassembled bed in the way, I will pay tribute to my blog by changing the layout to fall. Enjoy!

Friday, September 4, 2009


So Ross, Mary Grace, and Hannah were discussing the fact that we (the girls and I) will be going to two showers this weekend. My sister's wedding shower and my baby shower. Here is the conversation that followed:

Mary Grace: I have already been to one shower and I am going to go to two more this weekend. Bragging...That means I will have gotten to go to three showers!
Ross: Do you want to go to the shower, Hannah?
Hannah: No.
Ross: Hannah, do you know what a shower is?
Hannah: Yes. We have one in our house.

Ross said I couldn't make fun of her because I didn't know what they really were until I was like 10. He thought a bunch of women got together and really took turns taking a shower (hey, at least he thought we took turns and not that it was a group event). Lesson to be learned? Please inform your children, girls and boys alike, that wedding and baby showers are not where a bunch of women get together to take showers. It is for celebration and gifts for the upcoming event. :)


Thank you Jesus!! He provided the money for us to purchase the two new tires we desperately needed. Ross' hard work lately (even harder than usual) has paid off. We have two brand new perfectly treaded new tires that have replaced the smooth, balding tires we had before. It's amazing to drive over 65 mph and not have the entire van shake anymore. Ha! :) He is faithful to provide...exactly when we need it! We are leaving at 5:45 tomorrow morning for a family reunion in Searcy (4 hours away). We were so thankful to be able to replace the tires before making that trip.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Self-Reminder...

Update on Lydia; the last I heard she was going to be okay, but her numbers were still a little too high. She was still in the PICU at ACH, but it has also been a few days since I have received any updates. Thank you for the prayers for the Macfarlan family!

So, Mandy and I went to Rhea Lana's last night. I got three outfits for Jonathan, a shirt for Abbz, and the cutest little camo backpack (with GAP written in orange) ever. I plan on using the backpack when "the boy" gets a little older. We had a great time. There were a TON of people and the check-out line was crazy long, but it was totally worth it. Plus, we got to enjoy a little free time without kids. We should have; however, thought through the Starbucks and then later the ice tea a little more carefully because neither of us slept very well last night. Oh, the joys of caffeine!

Ross' next scope is scheduled for Oct. 8th. We will leave on the 7th and come home on the 9th or 10th depending on how he does with his scope. The medicines they use tend to knock him out the first day and make him jittery the second. They are only doing an upper scope this time, so hopefully less drugs will equal less side effects! I am for some reason really stressed about this upcoming trip. It is because we only have $100 in our "Cincinnati Fund", but we have been in this situation before and the Lord has ALWAYS been faithful to provide. My heart knows that as long as this is where He wants us, He will provide the way; but my brain is having a hard time dealing with it this time. I'm sure it is because it feels like we are being hit from every direction for money. Hundreds of dollars in doctor's bills and medical expenses, a HUGE increase in personal property taxes...we are talking over $600...how is that even possible?! The baby. While exciting, we are totally unprepared. No clothes (well, 4 outfits, 2 gowns, and a pair of jammies), no carseat, no stroller, no diapers, and the list could go on and on and on! We desperately NEED 2 new tires; they are all but completely bald. Okay, I know that it sounds as if I am having a pitty party for myself, but I really just needed to vent my feelings. I am more than aware of the blessings in our lives. A roof over our heads with clean running water, electricity, heating and air; three beautiful children and another on the way, free formula...enough said, provisions to allow us to seek medical treatment at the best eosinophilic facilities for both Abigail and Ross. I know HE will provide for all of our needs. For everything listed and for those not listed, I just have to be reminded and remind myself sometimes. Thanks for being a sounding board today! Jehovah-jireh...the Lord is our Provider!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Special Family with a Special Prayer Request

The Macfarlan family is very near and dear to our hearts, and really need to be covered in prayer right now. Below is a copy of an email I received this morning. Before reading it you should know that the Macfarlan's really helped our family out when we were first learning about Abigail's diagnosis. Our laundry had gotten piled up because of hospital stays, doctors visits, and more pressing matters. That doesn't even do it justice. It was ridiculously backed up; so badly they took it to the laundry mat and spent several hours washing, drying, and folding our laundry. When they brought it back to me their kids cleaned my house while Laura took me to lunch. Not because they had to, but because they were showering us with His love and service that day. We had never been touched by a family in quite the same way before or since. Please join us in prayer for their sweet Lydia.

Please be in prayer for Lydia Macfarlan. She is the 11 year old daughter of Kevin and Laura who taught our Sunday School class for several years. Their children Ginger and Luke (with Lydia's assistance!) have watched our boys. They are a really special family to us. Lydia is the baby and their "miracle child" - her birth was what caught her mom's ovarian cancer in stage 1. Please join us in praying for this little girl. From what we have been told, she was in Branson with her mom this week and got sick -- that progressed and when they returned, she was really sick. They went to the doctor and her blood sugar was in the 800's. They decided to life flight her to Little Rock Children's Hospital for stabilization, but because we had storms last night, they ended up having to make the four + hour drive via ambulance. Please join us in prayer for this beautiful little girl. For God's healing, for peace and comfort for their family, and for wisdom. Please be in prayer for Laura and Kevin and their other three children, Kyle, Ginger, and Luke. Classes just began on Wednesday at JBU and Kevin is an Engineering professor and Kyle is a junior and Ginger is a freshman. Please pray for their studies in the midst of all of this!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Poor Jonathan Doesn't Have a Chance!

See our friends' blog, more specifically the August 24th post and you will understand! Thanks Angela, for the insight on what it is like to raise a son! =)


So, I had an appointment with Dr. Pickhardt yesterday. On a side note...I just love him, he really is a great doctor! He said that since the contractions were not progressing anything that there is no need to worry at this point. I am to treat these previous contractions as a baseline and if they differ from that I am to call him right away. They have backed off quite a bit; more like true Braxton Hicks contractions now. He said that I could have uterine irratibility. That basically means that I am having consistent regular contractions (unlike Braxton Hicks which are random) that are not productive. If these contractions continue there is a test that can be done at 24 weeks to see if I am in or at risk for preterm labor. This test is very accurate, so if it comes back negative he said that I could contract all day long for several days and still not go into preterm labor. If the contractions cease or become more random then we will not have to do the test at all. Hopefully this was just a fluke one time ordeal. Since I have had to be induced all three previous pregnancies and never gone into preterm labor it is a really good sign that everything is going to be okay. Thank you all for covering baby Jonathan and I in prayer over the past few days!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Little Man

Contractions. Bet you weren't expecting to read that word so early in my pregnancy, but for the past few days that has been our reality. Friday morning around 6:45 am, the contractions began. At first they were just cramps, and I really thought they were just Braxton Hicks contractions. By about 11:30 am I realized that the contractions were regular and coming more frequently then they should be at only 21 weeks pregnant. They also changed from feeling like cramps to actually tightening and relaxing my uterus. Mandy and I took the girls to the park and I began timing my contractions. It was nice having Mandy there to feel my belly tightening up and relaxing...she was my proof that I hadn't just imagined having contractions. By this point they were coming every 10 minutes pretty much on the dot while sitting and every 5 minutes when walking or standing. Ross took me to the doctor, and I had to see the doctor on-call. This proved to be more frustrating than helpful. Long story short, he said that there was nothing they could do so go home and wait. Wait for what? To loose my baby? I don't think so! This did not set well with either of us. The contractions did slow down a bit later in the evening and I was able to sleep well. I really thought that I would go to sleep and wake up the next morning fine. That was not the case. I awakened at 6:30 in the middle of a contraction and they just kept coming. At one point they were as close as 3 minutes apart. After trying to decide what to do, I called our lovely family member who just happens to be an OB here in Siloam Springs. He checked me out and gave me several meds. Two antibiotics and a medication to stop the contractions. Luckily today my contractions have pretty much ceased. It seems the medicines have worked. I have had a few here and there, but nothing like Friday and Saturday! So much for "there is nothing we can do!" Even if the medicine had not worked, at least I felt like I was being pro-active and not just sitting waiting to deliver a baby that would not have survived. Thanks, Chad! You have no idea how much it that means to us!! I guess the little man is making his presence known early. This is not a problem I have faced before. Braxton Hicks contractions and high blood pressure yes, but regular contractions no. In fact, I have had to be induced with each of my other pregnancies. Boys...ornery already! ;)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cleaning Machine

Apparently I am sticking to my new motto "out with the old, in with the new." Although I don't have any new yet; that will come soon enough. I have cleaned out toys, closets, dresser drawers, and old baby stuff. All of this was done while also cleaning the house. I am consigning my "good" baby clothes, threw away icky toys, rearranged closets and drawers, and donated the rest. I started at 8 am and stopped at 4 pm. Oh, and did I mentioned the loads upon loads of laundry I have done today?! I have not vacuumed nor clean-cleaned the bathrooms, but that will just have to wait until tomorrow. That will give me something to do while the big girls are at school. School. I am so not ready to be sending Hannah to Kindergarten. I am way more upset about sending her than I was Mary Grace. Probably because MG was six going into the first grade, not 5! My baby is only 5...why do we have to send them to school so young? I do not like it! Can you tell this is a sensitive subject? She is so ready for the first day of school to get here. I am sure tomorrow will be exciting. We met their teachers last night, and both of them seemed very fitting for each of the girls personalities. Although it will take some adjusting to not having them home, I am excited to see how they will each grow throughout the year. Sorry for totally switching gears in middle of my cleaning conversation, but hey that is how a pregnant mind works!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Out With the Old, In With the New

So, I spent several hours last night going through the one and only baby tub of clothes I had saved, plus Abigail's old clothes. It was much tougher to get rid of those last few baby girl clothes than I originally thought. Plus, it just felt wrong to be getting rid of Abigail's clothes that only she wore; they would have been perfectly fine to pass down to another baby ;). I am selling the old clothes to a consignment retailer in hopes to make enough money to buy Jonathan some new clothes. Bye bye old clothes, hello new! Let me also just say that it is really strange having clothes in blue, brown, and green hues. It seems as if they are the wrong color. Ha! I still find my eyes wondering to baby girl clothes, bedding, and accessories. I have to admit, it has been fun searching for the perfect "coming home" outfit. Which by the way, I have not found yet. Okay, I suppose that is enough of the boy talk for today. I can't help it. It's new. It's fun. A little scary. And totally exciting!

"Sons are indeed a heritage from the Lord." Psalm 127:3 (HCS)

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Boy's Name...

Jonathan Ross
Jonathan means "God has given", and after re-reading his story in the bible we both decided this would be the perfect name for our son. You can find the story of Jonathan sprinkled throughout 1 Samuel and in the beginning of 2 Samuel if you are interested. Before you ask, we will not be calling him Jon. He will be Jonathan. :) Ross was actually the first one to mention this name; and the more we thought about it and said it, the more we liked it! It replaced our old standby of Nathanael that we have had since before we had Mary Grace, but it seems to be a better fit. Funny how those things change.

Monday, August 10, 2009

IT"S A.....

BOY!!! Can you believe it? Neither can we. We are having a son! Wow, that still seems surreal. It almost seems as if we are starting over. From scratch. Like it's our first child. Ross keeps saying, it almost feels like we are having a child of a different species. I have to admit, it does feel strange. We thought we were meant to raise daughters and both of us were happy to do so. When the ultrasound tech said it was a boy, I think we were both a little numb and totally shocked. Although we were hoping for a girl and after the shock and fear wore off; we are very excited about the adventure raising a son will bring! The adventure began the moment she said, "It's a BOY!!" We have nothing! Not a car seat, stroller, nothing. No clothes, no bedding, no toys...poor boy, he will have to go to the garage with daddy to find any "boy stuff" in this household. :) I am thinking we have a lot to do and not much time to do it in. It should be exciting and will definitely keep us on our toes! When the girls go to school, mom will go to painting in hopes to bring a little "boy" to our lives.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Our Purpose

This is an excerpt from Beth Moore's Blog found here.

“I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills His purpose for me.” Psalm 57:2 ESV

Here’s what God is using that verse to say to me right now: When I’m in a really hard and hurtful situation, somehow the present difficulty of it overrides my conscious thought that God is going to use it in my life and then through my life. Not one time in my entire tenure on this planet has He ever failed to turn around and use the hardship for good. NOT ONCE. Not when I gave Him enough time and cooperation. Yet, in the midst of it, I often can only hang onto Him for dear life while we ride the wave to shore and then stand there in the aftershock and look like I’ve just been on the spin cycle of a washing machine. Afterward, when He invariably turns it into some kind of maturity, intimacy, insight or ministry, I think, “Why didn’t I just trust Him for that at the time??? Why did I have to take it so personally and injuriously?” I want to learn to CONSISTENTLY claim the victory right there in the worst of the pain or crisis. At the very moment that I’m crying out to God Most High for help, as the psalmist says, I want to proclaim that He’s smack in the middle of fulfilling His purpose for me. Challenging stuff.

There are several of us in this same situation that Beth is speaking about in this expert. God has shown me many times personally that every situation, place, and timing were for His purpose; most of the time it is for nothing more than for His and His Son's glory (John 11:4). Although He has shown me that there is a purpose in everything, I do not always remember this during the midst of a trial. It often comes to me afterwards. May we strive to remember to "...cry out to God, who fulfills His purpose for us!" I hope this brings forth encouragement for you as it has me.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Glorious Day!

It is a glorious day when your seven year old walks into the kitchen, sees the sink full of dishes, and ask what might be the most monumental question in her little life; "Mom, can I do the dishes?" Trying to contain my excitement I said, "The dishes in the dishwasher are clean and have to be unloaded first." She simply said, "Okay." The best part...she enlisted the help of her little sister! A glorious day indeed.

The finished product...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Wish and Dream...and do it BIG!!!

Let me just say that I am in desperate need of a "real" vacation. One without doctor's appointments and procedures. One where we can escape from the real world for a short time and enjoy our family with no worries. It has been over three years since we have been able to enjoy a relaxing vacation with our children...and poor little Abigail has never been on vacation. Not that she would remember anyway, but Ross and I would. Please do not view this as complaining because we have been able (with the Lord's help...and most likely yours) to pay for our medical trips to Cincinnati and other medical expenses that have accumulated throughout the year. Without the continued support, Ross and Abigail wouldn't be getting better; and our continued trips to Cincy wouldn't be possible. I cannot afford to trade that for a vacation nor would I want to! It would just be nice to have a little break. Vacation or a weekend away with my hubby...no kids??? Humm...I don't know which would be better! ;) Ha! Sometimes that's nice too, and I can't remember when...oh wait; yes I can. We haven't had a weekend without kids since we have had kids! :) What?! If I'm gonna wish and dream I might as well wish and dream big! Right? I declare this wish and dream day. But...if you are going to do it, do it BIG!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Smarties Bandit!!!!

Smarties, where have you gone???

Ross and I have decided that there is a Smarties bandit on the loose in Northwest Arkansas. This above mention bandit has apparently hit every Wal-Mart in NWA. Not only can we not find them, but they have been totally stricken from the shelves. Why does this matter? Why make such a fuss? Smarties are the ONLY thing that sweet little miss Abigail can eat, and the ONLY thing keeping my husband sane while he is on formula and beef only. They are not easily found at Wal-Mart or any other stores for that matter, but IF you happen to run across them please call me, email me, hunt me down and find me so that we can get some...or possibly have you pick them up and mail them to us (depending on where you are located). We will refund said purchases.

Friday, July 10, 2009

New Africa Themed T-Shirts

Our friends, The Kennedy's, adopted a sweet baby boy from Ethiopia nearly a year ago, and have created a new T-Shirt. The proceeds for the shirts will go to Esther's House, and new orphanage in Malawi, Africa. Click here to order yours today! Check in frequently for new designs and accessories.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Ross' Results

So, Dr. Kushner called with Ross' preliminary results. He still has mild to moderate eosinophils, but the numbers went down from 245 to 26. That is huge improvement but the disease is still prevalent. He is going to continue his beef trial along with the formula until all of the the doctors (from U.C. and Cincy Children's) meet sometime in July. They will discuss his further treatment options and get back with us. He also still had eos in his small intestines as well as in his esophagus; so this may change his diagnosis a bit, but we will have to wait and see. Please be praying that they will continue letting him trail beef and the eos continue to deplete. I did point out to Dr. K that it took Abigail nine months on formula only to have a clean scope and he is definitely taking that into consideration with Ross.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Abigal's Results

I received a phone call from Dr. Putnum today. He said that Abigail's scope looked great! There were only minimal eosinophils; nothing to prevent food trials. However, because of Abigail's status with this disease and her age, he suggested that we wait another six months to a year to begin trialing foods. This is because most of the children like Abigail fail their food trials, especially at her age. Another big reason we are waiting is because Abigail shows little to no interest in food. She is curious about what certain foods are, but other than asking what it is and if you eat it, she shows no desires to consume it herself. If and when she shows an interest and we cannot put her off any longer, then we begin the trials. Unless of coarse, we reach close to the year mark at which point we will begin them either way. When we do begin, we will start with grapes. She will have to eat them for 3 months and then be re-scoped. Although this was a bit disappointing, I agree that this is in her best interest. I would hate to set her up for failure by beginning too soon. Plus, the Lord has perfect timing! Having a high-risk pregnany and a potentially very sick two year old would not be a good thing. By the time she is ready to begin trials, the baby will have already been born and we will all be in a better position to handle possible mishaps with the foods. Okay, I think I have rambled long enough. I will post Ross' results as soon as we have them.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Home Sweet Home

We are all home together as a "whole" family again. I do not like it when we are apart, but it makes it that much sweeter when we are together. The trip home was good but long. Apparently if you are pregnant and you think you are drinking enough fluids, you should drink more. I am pretty sure that I got slightly dehydrated, making the muscles in my legs hurt when applying pressure or flexing my feet. For two days I hobbled around like Frankenstein...a sight to see I'm sure! Needless to say the trip was pretty uncomfortable. I think I have been drinking my weight in water since we have been home and that seems to be helping some. All-in-all everything went well and we all all happy to be home!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Abigail's Scope and A Birthday

After an hour in recovery without us by her side, the aid of oxygen, and a little girl who did not want to wake up we got a sigh of relief. They gave Abigail a new medication to help with the nausea, and it knocked her out. She was fine, just a little sleeper than normal. Recovery usually takes about 20 minutes before we get to see her, so having to wait an hour was quite nerve-racking. Though, I would gladly wait an hour in order to prevent the vomiting that occurred last time. The medication worked and next time we will be prepared to wait longer before we see her. ;) Dr. Putnum said that her esophagus looked really good, and hopefully we will begin a food trial soon. We should have her pathology report next week. If her scope is clear and she begins a food trial then she will be scoped sometime in September.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROSS!!! The girls made daddy birthday cards before we left and he got to read them this morning...it was really sweet having them. They also called this morning to sing him "Happy Birthday". They actually beat me to it! Ross got a new grill, grilling cookbook, and last but not least he ate STEAK (for the first time in 3 1/2 months) for his birthday. It was a crazy birthday, but totally fitting for our family! :)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Ross' Scope

Ross' scope went well. The doc said that he has scarring which may not ever go away, but visually there were some subtle improvements. We are all hoping and praying for clear pathology results. We will not know any real results until those pathology reports come in, but for now he can begin a beef trial. He will continue the formula diet as well until he has a well-rounded diet; this will take some time to develop. If his scope is indeed clean then he can continue the beef trial and add a new food about every 3-4 weeks; tracking his symptoms. He will do this until he has four foods and then will be re-scoped.

Abigail's scope is tomorrow at 12:20. We have to be there at 11 am and she cannot eat past 4:30 am. Please pray for her safety during the scope, that her last feeding at 4 am will sustain her until after the scope, and that her results also come back clear.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Another Day

I have decided that if you have children, your house should come with hotel darkening curtains (fashionable I know) and highway noise because Abigail has slept in every morning we have been here. Of coarse, we have to be up early in the morning for Ross' scope, but we have enjoyed getting some extra rest the past two mornings. We have to be at the office at 6:45 in the morning and his scope will be sometime between 7 and 7:30. Today was uneventful. We rested most of the day with a quick trip to the mall, and then Ross began his prep for the scope at 4 pm. I will post an update after the scope tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Orthopedic Appointment

Abigail's appointment with the Orthopedist went really well today. The doctor spent at least 45 minutes with us drawing pictures and explaining everything to us. Abigail does have a twist in her tibia (the bone from the knee to the ankle) on the left leg, but she said that it is relatively mild and she expects it to correct itself as she ages. Now, the hips/femur are a different story. Her femur is definitely twisted inward in the hip socket. This is not something that will correct itself, but as long as she is functioning normally surgery will not be necessary. Even if we see a need for surgery it would not be done until she is 8 years old. At this point the doctor doesn't anticipate having to do surgery unless she doesn't progessly get a little better or if she is made fun of incessantly; becoming severely self-conscience about it. Her comment was she would rather see a child have a surgical scar verses a psychological scar. I was really impressed with this doctor and glad we got a third opinion. Having these answers and a doctor that was willing to sit down with us was an answer to prayer. So for now we wait, see the doctor in a year, and plan on having a sweet little girl with a little different walk. Thank you all for the prayers...they were answered.

We Made It...

We arrived in Cincinnati about 6:00 last night. We had a good, but very long trip. Sorry I didn't let everyone know that we had arrived last night, but by the time we got here all I wanted to do was get in bed and go to sleep! ;) I was ordered by Dr. P to get out and walk every few hours, so it made the trip longer than usual. Of coarse, I cannot complain because Abigail was great!! Abigail has an orthopedic appointment at 12:20 (11:20 your time). I will let everyone know how that went later this evening. We also have plans with Mike, Mona, and Conner around 5:30 this evening. We are so blessed that the Lord has brought them into our lives. It makes these trips more enjoyable.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Green Family "EE" Update Letter

The following is a copy of the update letter we mailed out concerning Ross and Abigail's progress and trip to Cincinnati. I posted a copy just in case some of you didn't receive a copy by mail.

Beloved Family and Friends,

Ross and I want to thank each of you for your support over the past 17 months. We have seen the face of Jesus through every answered prayer, word of encouragement, and financial support each of you have provided our family with. Our trip to Cincinnati was well worth the anguish, hard work, and patience it took to get there. I have honestly never seen a more educated and passionate team of doctors. They are dedicated to finding the best treatment option, and hopefully someday a cure for Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disorders.

Dr. Putnam (Gastroenterologist) performed Abigail’s initial scope in August, and said that her esophagus actually looked very good; however, the pathology report stated that the disease was still prevalent. Since there were still eosinophils present in her esophagus, Dr. Putnum decided to omit bananas from her diet. Her diet now consists of Neocate Junior only; a hypoallergenic elemental formula. In order to protect her oral motor functions, she is allowed to eat Smarties candy, Pixy Stix, and ice chips.

We also discovered in August, that Ross has Eosinophilic Esophagitis. His digestive track was in such terrible shape that he had to begin a formula only diet on March 1. The Neocate Jr. formula that he is on cost approximately $1200 per month, and the Lord has graciously provided $8440 worth of formula, free of charge from other families in the same situation. Praise God!! He is Jehovah-Jireh, the Lord our Provider! Ross is doing well. He has lost 52 pounds to date, and feels better than he ever has. Although there are days he “wishes” for food, I have never once heard him complain about drinking the formula. He and Abigail have shown unexplainable strength throughout this whole process.

We are currently awaiting our next trip to Cincinnati. We will be there from June 9 through June 13. It is our prayer that their eosinophil counts will be zero so that they can begin food trials. This has been our desire for quite some time; please pray that the Lord will bless the hard work and sacrifices made, so we can see them both eating food again.

Thank you again for all of your support, and most of all for the continued prayers. We could not have done all of this without you all nor could we have done it without our heavenly Father’s help. He has proven His sufficiency and faithfulness from the beginning. We have truly found joy in the midst of Eosinophilic Esophagitis, and look forward to seeing what the Lord has in store for our family and this disease. We will continue keeping everyone posted on our progress and hopefully the next letter will include foods! We love you all.

Ross and Lisa

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Playin' Catch Up

I have not fallen off the face of the earth; just been battling morning sickness and exhaustion. I haven't found the extra energy to post lately, but I decided I would catch everyone up before we leave for Cincinnati on Monday. This is Mary Grace's last week of school. Her last day is Thursday, and I don't think she is looking forward to it. She loves school; it helps that she had a wonderful teacher. I can't believe I will have a second grader and a kindergartener next year! Where does the time go?

Softball is officially over for us. Our little Lollipop Girls had a great season; winning ten out of twelve games. Mary Grace will be moving up to the pitching machine next year, and Hannah will continue in Tee Ball. It was fun watching Hannah progress throughout the season; and I cannot wait to have the four older girls move up together next season.

Abigail tested out of Physical Therapy a little over a week ago. This is huge because when she started at 6 months of age she wasn't rolling over or sitting up; she just flopped over our arms like a little ragdoll. She is now running, jumping, and doing most everything that a two year old should be doing. She will also be having a speech evaluation this week which I am fairly certain she will pass as well. She has been in therapy for the past 2 years and I'm not quite sure what it will feel like not having that as part of our schedule. Thank you Mrs. Alissa, Mrs. Heidi, and Mr. Daryl for all of your hard work! It has paid off.

Ross has been doing really well. He is feeling great, and as a bonus to drinking nothing but formula for the past three months has lost 55 pounds. He is anxiously awaiting his scope next week so that he can have that steak he has been dreaming about. Beef will be his first food trial...hence the steak ;).

I am doing well, and the baby is great. We heard the heartbeat (much to Dr. P's surprise) at 9 weeks. We have a fast little heart rate of 170. My blood pressure has already shot up so I have started my bp medicine. With the meds, my blood pressure does well and will most likely do so until the last trimester.

Wow, that was a lot. That's what happens when I slack on my blogging!! Well, this week will be busy with doctor's appointments and packing. Hope you all have a wonderful week, and I we promise to keep everyone posted while we are in Cincy.

Monday, May 4, 2009


We are happy to announce that the Lord has blessed us with a surprise. We found out, April 24, that we are expecting our fourth child!! I am due December 30. So as many of you already know, that means anytime from Thanksgiving on for me! While my blood pressure has been great thus far, we did have a little scare this past week. I was having pain on my lower left side, so I had to have blood drawn on Thursday and then again on Sunday to verify that everything was proceeding normally and that I was not having an ectopic pregnancy. My doctor called at 7:55 this morning to let me know that this pregnancy is progressing normally, that the sac was in fact in the uterus as suspected from the ultra-sound, and in fact the hCG levels actually quadrupled; which is a very good sign. The pain was probably the result of a cyst that occurred during ovulation, and is of no concern now. Yeah, mommy and baby are healthy!

"Every good and perfect gift is from above." James 1:17

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Rock and Worship Road Show

I have done a terrible job keeping up with our blog lately. As most of you know, I was in a car wreck in January of 2008. This was five days after being discharged from ACH with Abigail; so needless to say, I didn't have time to focus on me at that time. I have paid the price and am now having to do physical therapy. That being said, I have been in a lot of discomfort and thus failing to blog. I will try to keep each post limited to a couple of updates so you don't have to read forever :). The most recent excitement was last Saturday. Sarah and Coy, Blair and Nathan, and Ross and I went to Springfield, MO, for the Rock and Worship Road Show. We saw Mercy Me, Jeremy Camp, Tenth Avenue North, Hawk Nelson, and Addison Road. However, we were unable to see Addison Road because she was having her baby!! It was amazing and the best part was that the tickets were general admission and cost only $10 per person. Thanks little sisters and boys for a wonderful Saturday...it was a blast!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Pictures

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Change is in the Air...

My sweet baby is no longer a baby anymore. She is officially a toddler! We transitioned her from her baby bed to her "big girl" bed this past weekend. She has done better with the change than either one of the other girls did. Timidity is a good thing a times. All I have to do is threaten a spanking and she obeys....wonder how long that will last?! She has also been doing very well with the potty training. Yes, I do have pictures of that as well, but will save her dignity and spare her from embarrassment today. Of coarse, becoming a toddler also means curiosity and adventure! For the mothers who are new to toddlerhood...if your child is quieter than normal...RUN! See what they are doing! It usually means they are up to no good! ;) This is how I found my toddler as she was supposedly playing innocently in her room. No obstacle is too great between a girl and shoes!Last but not least, our newest developement. Reactive Airway Disease. Basically, this is the diagnosis before Asthma. Dr. K didn't want to diagnose her with asthma yet for several reasons. The main two being that it is a diagnosis that will haunt her forever (insurance wise) and the other because she hasn't had enough respiratory issues to warrant that title yet. So for now, when her respiratiry signs desipate or her coughing won't cease, we give her Albuterol updrafts through the nebulizer. When we first started this process there was screaming, squirming, and many tears. However, she quickly learned it helped her breathe more easily and that it was way more fun to do it herself. She is getting so big!!!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Dad/Daughter Date Night and More...

Our church had a Dad/Daughter date night late night. It was a Hollywood theme, complete with a Red Carpet, pictures, and the whole works. They had a chocolate fountain with fruit and other fun foods to dip, yummy dinner, and speaking about daddies and their daughters. It would have been a wonderful night if Mary Grace hadn't gotten sick halfway through it. She told her daddy she wasn't feeling very well, but did not want to go home. They stayed for about an hour longer than they should have, but she just wasn't ready to leave her night with her daddy. Ross called to tell me they were heading home after leaving early because she wasn't feeling well, and his words were, "She feels a little warm." Prepared mommy had her jammies ready to go and the thermometer in reaching distance when they arrived home. By the time they made it, she had fallen asleep and was running 103 degree temp. I got her dressed for bed, gave her some Motrin and put her to bed. Her temp. spiked to 104 at 5 am; I sure hope she doesn't have the...do I dare say these words?...the flu!!!

On another note, Amanda, called me yesterday with some exciting news. Her parents had to evict a family from their rental home (no, this isn't the exciting part, actually it's rather sad), and found 6 1/2 cases, or 39 cans of Elecare Elemental formula! That is the exciting part. Elecare is the other formula allowed for treatment with EE. The Lord sure moves in mysterious ways, and we are thankful! God is good.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Ross' Journey

Today marks day one of Ross' three month formula ONLY treatment. He is going to needs lots of words of encouragement; as well as, your prayers. Please join us in praying for strength courage, and that He would continually bless us financially throughout out this new journey. God has been so faithful to provide, and to do so abundantly. Ross attended the men's conference at our church this weekend. At this conference the Lord revealed the scripture listed below to Ross. I will be praying it over him everyday until this journey is complete.

2 Corinthians 12:9
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Our God is AWESOME!!!

Beloved family and friends, I can barely contain the excitement I feel as I tell you of how God is moving. What an Awesome and Mighty God we serve! My dear friend, Cassidy, posted a message to an eosinophilic message board about our family's needs, and here are the responses we received...are you ready for how Powerful God is? Let me share in His wonder....

"I have some extra Neocate Junior that I can send him. You can give them my email address and they can contact me."

"I have Neocate Jr. which I would think could be mixed to his needs. I may be able to give 30 or more cans. I have to go take stock but I always keep way ahead on supply. I am willing to continue to help and share my supplies ongoing if it is helpful for them. Please let me know if this is helpful. That is sad. They cannot get insurance to pay? I will send you all the extra cans I have now and then each month I can get 4o cans, but only need to use about 30+/- so I would love to share whatever surplus I can with your husband regularly. Is he planning to drink it? Yucky . . . our is unflavored not that flavored is good. I am sure this will help him feel and be better. Does your child also take formula or are you on elimination diet? I am willing to share anything I have that would help you guys. Let me know if there are other supplies you need and I will see if I have them."

"Just wanted to let you know that I am happy to help your friend out in any way. I know that there have been multiple people offering different types of formula. Once your friend gets on a formula and can tolerate it please have them contact me and I will be happy to purchase a case or two of whatever formula works for him.Thanks."

"Hope you do not mind me emailing you off list, but I did not want to post this. My son was on an elemental formula, Neocate Jr., and got worse (EOS were the highest ever!). We opted to go with swallowed Flovent. While on the formula, I ended up with several extra boxes of the Neocate, which is not expired. I would be willing to ship it, assuming that I would be reimbursed for postage. Let me know."

Are you smiling yet? I am. Thank you for joining me at the Throne; please continue to meet with us there. I am so thankful I can share in this experience with those I love so dearly. There is nothing more empowering than the Mighty Power of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Jesus! Thank you, Jesus! We give You ALL the glory.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pray, Pray, please Pray...

FYI: God just provided 8 cans free!!! He is working!

After much prayer and consideration, Ross has decided to do the hypoallergenic Elemental diet for the next three months. He will need to begin this by March 1 to have his 3 months in by June. This formula will help begin the healing process for his digestive system with the ultimate goal of putting him into remission. There is no risk involved with the formula and it will help with Abigail's future with EE as well; unlike the steroids. Here is where we are needing the prayers...this formula is extremely expensive! If ordered directly from the manufacturer, the cost will be minimally $1100 per month. However, I have found 24 cans on eBay for $375, BUT the bid only lasts for another 18 hours and 32 minutes! I know that it is only 24 cans, but that is 24 cans that we can get for nearly a third the price. Please be in prayer that the Lord will provide. I do not ask this lightly; I ask those reading this to join us diligently in prayer over the next 5 days. This is the part where I may very well melt down, but this formula is for my husband. The man I love and cherish will all of my heart. The man who is the best Daddy I have ever known. This is something that he NEEDS. It isn't something we want to do nor it is something we desire, but it has to be done. No amount of money should limit how we can care for those we love, but the harsh reality is that we don't have the money. We are barley scraping by as it is. We have hundreds upon hundreds of medical bills piled up on the bar that we have hardly put a dent in. Please don't see this as complaining...please see that this is coming from my aching heart. The Lord has provided for our every need, and I know He will not stop now. This is just me being very real. My husband is sick everyday. Stomach cramps, abdominal pain, difficulty swallowing, and vomiting are among the list of daily issues he faces. I rarely hear him complain. I talk about the strength Abigail shows, but the strength this man has is equally as powerful. The true testament that strength is ageless. I want to help him to feel better and to ease his discomfort! I just desperately want to give him the treatment that will be best for him; and I don't want cost to stand in the way. God's resources are not our resources, and we have seen Him move in mighty ways. Thank you for your prayers!! Thank you, Lord, for what You have done, what You are doing, and for what is yet to come!

Friday, February 20, 2009

The Hill Grands!

Aunt Belinda, this one is for you. Enjoy! Thanksgiving was a blast, let's do again soon.

The Grands (left to right)...Hannah, Caroline, Tyler, Andrew, Mary Grace, Lauren, and Abigail

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Strength Comes in All Ages

Abigail recovered from pink eye just to find herself with a violent stomach bug. She was up from midnight to 5:30 throwing-up every 30 minutes to an hour. Poor baby!!! After the vomiting stopped, then started the diarrhea, and when that all ended...the fever came. (I'm sure when she is older, she will be happy to know that I am writing this for all the world to see). My child never ceases to show me but a tiny glimpse of the strength the Lord bestows upon us exactly when we need it. Oh...I have just remembered the perfect verse to back up that statement. This is taken from the Prayer Book Version, the Great Bible; published 1488-1569. Psalm 68:28, "Thy God hath sent forth strength for thee." Our loving God has already sent forth strength for us before the trial we are going to encounter even begins.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Conjuntivitis...a.k.a. Pink Eye

My child of strength can smile through anything...even Pink Eye! Her poor little eyes are so pink, swollen, and oozing with green stuff. Since nothing comes easily to her, we were calling the doctor on call last night after having an allergic reaction the the eye drops. The sad thing is, I made her have a reaction twice before I really believed that she was allergic to them. Not five minutes after administering the drops, she broke out in a rash all over her stomach. Poor girl was literally clawing at herself. Mark one more down to the already growing list of antibiotics that she is allergic to. Thankfully we are able to give her Omnicef; which she is starting today to get rid of the Pink Eye. Hopefully in a few days she will be back to "normal" again. I leave you with the conversation Abigail and her daddy had...

Daddy: Well Abigail, I know why you have Pink Eye. Abigail: ....confused look.... Daddy: It is because Mommy and I argue over what color they are. Mommy says brown, daddy says green, and God says....PINK! :) Abigail: yep...

He thought he was so clever.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Testimony that God is good...ALL THE TIME!

C.S. Lewis writes, "God whispers in our pleasures and SHOUTS in our pain." I can think of no better quote as I begin this post that I have wanted to write for so long. As I have pondered over the past several days of how the Lord has provided for my family over this past year, I really marvel at His work. If I am going to start this, I should really begin at the beginning. In July of 2005, the Lord began convicting Ross and I about our tithing habits. We have always tithed, but never regularly until then. Now, I have to admit that in the beginning this was neither easy nor was it pleasurable; it was out of obedience. During this same time, Ross was being approached by a friend to start their own business together, and we were longing desperately for our third child. Ross had dreamed about starting his own company some day, but never thought it would turn into reality. After much prayer and continued obedience through our tithing, the Lord provided the opportunity for Ross and Richard to start their business, Control Services Inc., debt free in March 2006. We also found out that after trying for 14 long months we were expecting our third little bundle of joy. I am so glad that God's timing is not our own because my pregnancy wasn't an easy one; and with two small children at home already it was about to get much more difficult. I am so glad that the Lord knew that Mary Grace and Hannah needed to be a little older and a bit more independent before enduring eight weeks of total bed rest. After bed rest, multiple hospital visits and several overnight stays we had our sweet Abigail in November 2006. This sweet baby has been blessed and showered with prayer from before she was conceived until this present moment. On December 18, 2007, Ross and I took Abigail to the emergency room at Arkansas Children's Hospital out of desperation to find out why our daughter refused to eat. Much to our surprise our sweet girl was admitted for 15 days and diagnosed with dehydration, malnourishment, failure to thrive, and eosinophilic esophagitis. Eosinophilic Esophagitis...what is this rare disease and what does it mean for my daughter's future? At this point, we knew very little about EE, but what Jehovah-Rophe, "The Lord who Heals" was quick to show us was this: "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it" John 11:4. He showed me this through our first and our last roommates at ACH. The night we were admitted to the hospital, Ross had to go back home to work. I prayed that we not have roommates and no sooner did the words come out of my mouth did I have to change them to whomever we share this room with, let them be sent here by You. We did share that room that night; little did we know that He would send us a christian family that we would become friends with, laugh with during some of our hardest trials, and stay in contact even now. Thank you Jesus for sending Jerry and Rita to room 4703! Our last hospital stay was very exhausting and stressful; the last thing I wanted was a crying baby (who wasn't mine) in the bed next to us, but that is exactly what God sent our way. Lying in the bed next to Abigail's bed was the most beautiful little boy named Elijah, who has Downs Syndrome. That isn't even the best part! They were a nice christian family, and even though he was screaming at 2am I didn't mind because God had reminded me that He was in control and He has a purpose for everything. He brought Elijah's family and Abigail's family together in that place at that moment for a reason. Let me also tell you that He allowed Abigail to rest even throughout the screaming. What an AWESOME God we serve!!! After leaving ACH, Jehovah-Jireh, "The Lord our Provider" pointed us to Cincinnati Children's Hospital after Ross and I completed three days of prayer and fasting. I chose His name, Jehovah-Jireh, because He and He alone is our one true Provider. He knew that we were not financially in a position to take Abigail to Cincinnati, OH for treatment, but trusted that He would provide the way. Provideth He has done and He is still doing! His provisions have not been limited to health care alone, but have radiated throughout every aspects of our lives. Our dear friends, the Harris', knew that Mary Grace did not have a winter coat nor did we have the money to buy one. So after picking Gracie up from school we returned home to find a package hanging on the door. This package contained the most beautiful, meaningful white coat I have ever seen, and a perfect fit I might add. The funny part of this story shows God's amazing sense of humor; I had previously told Mandy that the only color I would not pick for a child's coat would be WHITE; yet white is all they had! A few weeks later, Amanda sent us a Christmas package a little early. There were Christmas pajamas for each member of our family, family pictures she had taken for us, and a gift card to Ozark Natural Foods. She knew that we had no Christmas jammies to sleep in Christmas Eve night, and the gift card would help with Ross' grocery needs. I never even had to tell her we needed these things...she just knew because after a 20 year friendship, there are some things you just know. See, the reason we needed these things is because Ross has had little to no work over the past four months. Because of this, we were unable to buy any gifts for our children or any others for Christmas. Our family members showered us with love and gifts for our children this year. That was a humbling lesson, and the best Christmas we have ever had. We will never forget the enormous generosity each of you have shown. Month after month we have gotten to the point where we have told Jesus we wouldn't make it without His help. It might be the day the bill was due, but each month He has been faithful to provide. Just this week we received two letters in the mail. A reimbursement check from a doctors office and a bill to another. The check was a credit of $41.71, the bill $41.76. Coincidence? No folks, that is the Mighty God we serve! The most recent example of God's faithfulness to provide came today. Ross and I were discussing and praying about where we were going to spend our money. Do we pay the car payment or do we eat? As I was praying I really felt like He was instructing us to pay the car payment because He was taking care of the food. In the next moment, Erin called to tell us to make a "Wal-Mart list" because our Sunday school class wants to help us out by getting us groceries. Thanks Directions Class! Throughout this whole experience Ross and I have cried tears of sorrow and tears of joy; and we have been in complete awe of how many times we have seen the face of Jesus in those we love and in those we have never met. Thank you Jesus for the amazing people we would have never met if not for EE! Thank you for Cincinnati Centers for Eosinophilic Disorders, and thank you for allowing us to build a friendship with Mike, Mona, and Coner while we were there. We have gone from controlling our own assets to completely entrusting them to Jehovah-Jireh, and honoring Him with our first fruits that He has given to us. I know this has been a long post for me, but that is really who it was for...me. I hope that our testimony can be strength for those of you who are in the midst of your own trials. God is good...all the time!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Pretty Daddy

Two words you don't often place together; but indeed, he was "Pretty Daddy." Saturday evening, Mary Grace walks into the living room and says in her sweetest voice, "Daddy can we (she and Hannah) dress you up like a girl?" This process started with Baby Pink fingernail polish with sparkles. Hannah painted his left hand and MG his right. They took turns back and forth on each fingernail. Of coarse it couldn't stop there...he was adorned with the most gaughty plastic beaded necklace and bracelet in the girls jewelry box. Oh, but wait! Every girl must have lipstick; so we compromised with lip gloss. Again, Mary Grace in her sweetest voice then says, "Talk like a girl now daddy!" Oh it was so sweet. Sorry gang, no pictures. Only a story of possibly the very best daddy there ever was.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Ross' Results

We wanted to let you all know that we received Ross' results in the mail today, and they were not exactly what we were expecting. The results were actually much worse than we had originally anticipated. There were increased eosinophils present in his small intestines, large intestines, and blood vessels; as well as, his esophagus. The numbers were outstanding in his esophagus at 245 eos/hpf...they should be zero. His doctors have a meeting scheduled for February 5 to discuss his treatment options. At this point, his options are very limited. The three options that we know about at this time are: 1. Formula only for three months (like Abigail) 2. Large doses of inhaled steroids swallowed (indefinitely) 3. Biological trail drugs. Please be in prayer that God direct the doctors and us down the right treatment path and that we are prepared to do what needs to be done. Thank you all for the prayer and support you have shown our family. Although this news was difficult to take in we know the Father has mighty things in store for the future!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Pasta Picture

Thanks for the compliments on the picture. Yes, to answer any questions, I did take the picture. I decided that I had to have a picture to remember all of my hard work ;). Also, I have not yet tasted the pasta, but Ross and Hannah both gobbled it up. I suppose that means it was good! I am hoping to try it next time around.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Updates and Noodles

Although we do not have an update at this time on Ross' progress; Abigail, does have results. She still has a few (11 eos/hpf)residual esoinophils. There was some progress from the last scope, so we were instructed to continue formula only for the next six months. At that point we will scope again, and hopefully be able to start food trails.

Here is a picture from what I like to refer to as "Ross-free" pasta that I handmade today.