Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Remembering Grams

My dear, sweet grandmother (Frieda Bender) passed away and went to be with our Lord and Saviour on Saturday, August 22nd 2009. She was a woman of which I look to with great admiration. A very hard and industrious worker, she helped run a local gas station that my grandfather owned. She took joy in cooking wonderful meals for her family. I especially remember the pineapple rice salad (white rice, whipped cream and pineapple) as well as her chocolate meringue pie. Grandma was one who loved life. She drove right up until her stroke made it impossible. She was 89 years old! I love her. I love how she lived, and how she was so beautiful at the time of her death. Her mind was still so sharp at the time she passed. These pictures were taken just two weeks prior to her death. She knew who all her great grandchildren were by name. Both her life and the process of her death were very inspiring. I know my children will not forget their great-grandmother. I know they will remember how the physicians spoke early on of letting her die by not feeding her - yet the Lord allowed a much easier transition into eternity, much more dignified. I know that speaks volumes to my family. God, by allowing her to live one month past her stroke - allowed my relationship with my father to be restored, allowed my grandmother to hold the hands of her little great grandkids running around her room, and allowed me to witness how - when we trust Christ - He truly cares for His own, even upon taking you home. He did not forsake my grandmother at the time she most needed Him. I am so very thankful for that.
We will be travelling back this week for the service and to remember her with other family members and friends.
Psalm 30:5b "....weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Just a quick note to let you all know what we have been up to and how we have been. This last week was ... crazy! Monday Justus had a cardiology appointment. Wednesday brought a yearly eye exam for Isaac and dental exams for five of our kiddos with it, and then Thursday was a surgery for me. Hectic.
Justus is doing great. His saturation levels (oxygen) were in the 90's. Which is outstanding. His EKG was great. His echo cardiogram went well also. There was a bit of a change in the pressure gradient regarding his lungs. This is an indicator that his lungs are working a bit harder. This is to be expected with children who have Down Syndrome. They typically are sick more often - creating an opportunity for the lungs to develop pulmonary disease which creates a stiffening of the lungs. This is why the specialists recommend having the open heart surgery prior to the child's first birthday - trying to beat that. The change in pressure gradient paired with Justus having had two minor blue baby spells equates to his little body telling us it is time for surgery. The cardiologist is suggesting late September or early October for the surgery. Wow! It's already upon us! We are praying for Justus to not be sick during this time. If he is sick at the time of surgery they will cancel and postpone for six weeks. I am not "looking forward" to the surgery - but am anxious to get done and out of the way. Make sense? We have decided to go with Seattle Children's Hospital for various reasons. Please - I ask on behalf of my sweet baby boy - if you think of him, please pray for the surgery to take place without illness delaying it, please pray for the surgeons to have steady hands and wisdom; and please pray for a smooth and swift recovery.
Isaac's eye appointment went well. There are no changes in his retina from last time. (a small spot was noticed behind his eye - but does not seem to be affecting his sight) We praise the Lord for this wonderful news. He is not "out of the woods" yet. The doctor is wanting these yearly exams to take place until he is out of his teenage years. For those of you who do not know - they are continually checking for Stargardt's Disease. He may or may not have it. Several years ago at a regular eye exam the doc. noticed pigment spots in his retina - thus the yearly exams now. Phillip and I have peace and know that with everything else: the Lord has this in His control as well.
Kids did great at the dentist - which by the way - is the coolest dentist's office EVER for kids. It's like Disneyland - for teeth!
My surgery went well also. I am healing nicely - just a little sore. I had my gallbladder removed on Thursday due to some horrible attacks from a stone that had lodged and blocked a duct. I am thankful that it went well and I am on the road to recovery. My hubby took AWESOME care of me.
Crazy. Yes. However, I am confident that the Lord has designed these things to take place right now for many reasons I won't get into. I love my Lord for allowing these trials and I will praise Him for them. Sound weird? Maybe so, but I can only trust in Him. I can have peace - or fret. I can find joy - or stress. I have gone back and forth, but have found refuge in my Saviour.
Love you all - and I am so thankful for your prayer and support!

Friday, August 7, 2009

Browning Bootcamp

This was Ethan when he was a baby. Yeah... we start training them early in physical fitness.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Justus Cooing

Sorry this is sideways. I am not computer savvy. Justus is now cooing and melting my heart in the process. He is doing great. I stand amazed at how my Lord just knew I NEEDED this sweet little boy in my life.

He has a cardiology appointment on Monday. We are praying for great, outstanding reports. (maybe even a miraculous healing of his little heart)

He starts physical therapy soon. He scores like a four month old in everything except gross motor skills - this is really impressive.