Saturday, December 8, 2012

So it's been a little bit crazy around here it seems....ok it is a lot crazy around here. First a quick Pax update: I took him back to the cardiologist a few weeks ago. His pressures were at 67, up 17 points from his check up in September. At 80 is when St. Louis would want to do surgery. St. Louis and his doctors here had hoped to get him to March or April before he would need intervention, but his cardiologist is thinking it's very possible that when I take him back in January that he could already be at 80. We weren't expecting at all that his pressures would jump so much in such a short time, but they did. I was pretty bummed by that news, but I know God has not fallen off His throne and I still stand on His promise of healing. Period.

For the whole month of October wr were without insurance for the kids due to some stupidness on Soonercare's part, but thankfully we got it back just in time for Pax's cardiology appointment. That would have been about $1600 out of our pocket! Thank you Lord for Soonercare so we never have to pay anything for our kids' coverage! Kaiden is now back on schedule with his Occupational & Speech therapies and starting next week he will get to strt his physical therapy. I'm so thankful for these services because they have so greatly helped him.

Another thing I'm grateful for are free clinics! I had gone to the free clinic for what I assumed was thyroid problems back in March. They didn't do anything then, but my symptoms have gotten so much worse. I'm absolutely exhausted...all...the...time!! I vacuum and mop and I'm done! My hair is falling out crazy and I don't even have a lot of hair to begin with. I've always have fine hair so losing any is a big deal. Josh tries to make me feel better about it, but I know it's noticible. Anyways, I finally got up the guts to go back this past Tuesday and after being there about 4 hours I left with a prescription for Levothyroxine and an appointment for a follow up in a month. Supposedly it takes 8ish weeks to kick in and start feeling better, but I'm hoping with all my might that they kick in much sooner!

Today we took the kids to Toys R Us to look around and get some ideas for Christmas. SUCH a bad idea! It was absolute sensory overload for Kaiden and it was insanely busy. Duh Cari! It's 2 weeks before Christmas...of course it's busy! I ended up having to carry Kaiden out after an all out meltdown. Still, I'm looking forward to goin Christmas shopping next week for the kids. Christmas is going to be so wonderful this year. Tim and Teresa are probably coming to town for Christmas. They are such a blast to have around. I love love love my family!

Well I hear the kids making a lot of noise so I better interven before our neighbors call the cops! Ha!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I thought I'd post some recent pictures of the kids for you. :)

There's some of them in their costumes. Dakotah was a ninja, as Ninjago (a tv show) is his current obsession. Kaiden was an Angry Bird and Pax was Elmo. It took a lot to get him to wear that costume. We finally forced it on him and immediately put him in his carseat so he couldn't wiggle out of it before Superhero Fest at church. Don't worry I don't think he was emotionally scarred. Haha

Theres also a picture of Kaiden at his Thanksgiving Feast at school. Pizza and sprite, the perfect Thanksgiving meal. :)

And the other picture is of Josh and the boys having "music time". They are so adorable when they do that. :)

Sorry the pictures may be out of order and I can't put my text with the pictures. The lovely Blogger app on my phone won't let me. Nonetheless I hope you get some smiles out of the pictures.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The last 6ish weeks have been absolute craziness...a test of my sanity for sure! Have you ever been in prayer and it was just one of those prayer times that was especially "powerful" and you could just sense that there was a breakthrough? Well I had one of those times of prayer about 6-8 weeks ago where I had just had enough of the devil attacking us financially especially, but really in several areas. I just let the devil have it during that prayer time. It was such an amazing time of breakthrough for me. Around the same time there were some meetings at our church that just really hit home spiritually and inspired me. When Jesus talked in the Bible about how the enemy will immediately come to uproot the seed (God's Word) that's been planted in your heart, He wasn't kidding. Shorty after that time of prayer and breakthrough our family was attacked big time by sickness. Straight sickness for the last 6ish weeks. I felt like the devil was saying "oh I couldn't knock you down by attacking your finances so I'll just attack your health and sanity." As you know, getting healthy and fit is hugely important to me and for those 6-8 weeks I couldn't workout. Last week I was finally able to hop back on the wagon, so to speak, but it has been so hard and somewhat disappointing not being able to just pick up where I left off. BUT the important thing is that I DID start again and I refuse to give up. So what now devil? Your brilliant plan didn't work. Ha!

The last several weeks have been hard, but it has given me a new perspective on things. It's given me the chance to re-evaluate my goals and what's important so for that I'm thankful.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Hello! I just wanted to give a quick update. Pax had his cardiology appointment yesterday and it went fabulous. I have never seen him so compliant before. Usually he freaks out if anyone other than close family comes near him, but yesterday he didn't fuss at all during his echo, EKG or his blood pressure and oxygen sat check. In fact when Lisa, (the nurse) walked in the door to do his pulse ox and blood pressure he immediately sat down and took his shoes off for her. Such a sweet boy! It made yesterday so much more peaceful.

Okay so his pressures are unchanged from after the cath in St. Louis, which is great news. Everyone was really pleased with how well he handled the procedure there and feel like they were able to give him some time before surgery. His pressures are about 50 right now. When they get to about 80 they'll want to do the surgery. The Ross-Konno is what they are looking at doing. They all think surgery will probably happen in March or April, but I'm doubting that. I think he'll go much much longer and I'm still expecting a miracle. I know wht God has already started in him He will complete. I can't remember if I shared this or not before, but a couple months ago when Josh was praying about Pax God spoke to him saying He would give him a new heart. A couple Sundays after that we were being prayed over and that was prophecies over Pax again and then it happened a 3rd time from someone else. I think God's trying to say something here. Haha! We have a few scriptures that we have been standing on that I'll have to share another time. I'm typing this on my phone an don't have the references on hand. So that's what we have been praying and speaking over him. Pax has a new heart praise God! 

Thankfully our St. Louis trip was covered by donations from people, but we have been having "fun" trying to stay afloat from Josh missing that week of work. Please be praying and believing with us that extra money would come in somehow to help get us back to where we need to be. God is so faithful and has brought us so far. I know He'll keep providing for us. 

Pleas ignore the phone isn't compatible with my fat fingers! Haha

Friday, August 31, 2012

St. Louis!!

What a tiring, fun, crazy, fast week this has been so far! We have been in St. Louis since Tuesday night for Pax's tests at St. Louis Children's Hospital. Our drive up here was the most quiet easy trip we have ever had...that's probably because we only had one kid with us though. ha! On the way up here we stopped in Springfield for our favorite coffee at Mud House downtown and then we spent some time at the mall letting Pax run off some energy.

Here he is introducing himself to the mannequin at Old Navy. He tried to ask for her number, but she didn't respond...

We successfully wore him out enough for him to sleep almost til we stopped for dinner in Rolla, MO. He wasn't very happy with our choice of Panera for dinner. He didn't eat a thing. We ended up making it to our hotel around 8:30pm. We were very happy with our hotel choice although we weren't happy to find out that we have to pay a ridiculous amount for parking. We are right in the heart of downtown St. Louis. The Ram's Stadium is literally right across the street from us. The St. Louis Arch is also just down the street as well as the Cardinals Stadium. After "exploring" the downtown area this week we have found it to be a really neat area full of really cool shops, restaurants and coffee shops. It's like downtown's that you would see in the movies where everyone walks everywhere and they live in buildings that have stores below them. There's a grocery market down the street that has apartments above it. You literally take the elevator down into the market. Pretty nifty. We also found the BEST COFFEE IN THE WORLD! It's called Park Avenue Coffee. They are also known for their "Gooey Butter Cake", which is a.m.a.z.i.n.g. We also found a little Italian restaurant called "Stefano's", which had the best veggie pizza I have ever had in my life. If you ever make it to St. Louis you have to try it. 

Okay so on to what this week has entailed other than the food...

So Wednesday our appointment was at 11am for an echo, EKG, chest xray and general assessment. We left our hotel an hour early thinking we could get breakfast on the way and maybe stop at the store for some hairspray and deodorant. (Our hotel also didn't have breakfast provided...geez!) Unfortunately we ended up getting lost and had to go to the hospital with frizzy hair, smelly armpits and extremely empty stomachs. Thankfully we were able to take a break between appointments to grab lunch in the cafeteria. Anyways, everything went very slow, but very well. We got out about 3pm and decided to go check out the Arch. It was the 1st time either of us has ever been to the Arch so it was pretty cool. After we went to the top and did some other exploring we took a walk down by the river where Pax fell flat on his face into the rocks and ended up with a black eye. Great, now everyone at the hospital is going to think we punched our kid! Anyways, here are some pictures. 

This is at the hospital on Wednesday. I guess Pax was trying to make Daddy play peek a boo.

This is the view of the Cardinals Stadium from the top of the Arch.

The big round dome looking thing is the Ram's Stadium. Our hotel is right behind can't see it though.

This is a picture of the Arch from just below it looking up. It's HUGE so I couldn't get the whole thing.

 Us in the little...and I mean little "elevator" riding to the top of the Arch. 

Thursday our appointment was at 11:30 for Pax's heart MRI. It lasted about 1 1/2 hours or so. Unfortunately we had to hold him down so they could place his iv, but when it came time to go back I was able to carry him back to the room where they gave him some sleepy meds in his iv. He basically passed out in my arms and then I handed him over. It was nice cause it wasn't traumatizing at all. We were released about 3:30pm so we decided to make a very fast trip to the zoo, which is just up the street from the hospital. We basically made a little circle to see the hippos, elephants, cheetahs and a couple other animals I don't remember. They closed at 5 so we only ended up being there for about 30-45 minutes, which was fine with me because I was a hot mess and I was exhausted. Something about hospitals makes you tiiiired! After that we made it to our hotel just before downtown became crazy. (There was a Ram's game last night.) We had a nice relaxing evening last night. 

Today was Pax's heart cath. It was scheduled for 10:30am, but we ended up having to wait until 1:30pm! Poor kid hadn't eaten since dinner last night and hadn't had anything to drink since 8am. He was not a very happy camper, but we successfully distracted him for most of the morning. They have an amazing rooftop garden. There are swings and lounging chairs as well as regular benches so you can take in the beauty. There are also a couple of telescope's to use if you want to spy on the rest of St. Louis. Here are a couple pictures that I took of the garden.

On the same level as the rooftop garden there is also a big playroom for the kids. It was full of absolutely everything that a kid could want. There was also a teen room, but we didn't go in there. There were video games (wii and nintendo ds), board games, puzzles, crafts, kitchen play area, musical instruments, blocks (I started a block house. :) and sooo much more! There was a huge dinosaur collection too that I'm sure Dakotah would have been so jealous of. Pax had a blast playing in there! Here are a couple pictures of him playing.

He also got to go for a ride in a car while we were waiting...

Okay so he finally got to go back for his cath about 1:30pm. He got done around 4:30 or so. He did great during the cath. They were able to balloon the aortic arch as well as the subaortic area that was of the most pressing concern. They originally didn't think they would be able to balloon that area, but they were. Unfortunately the ballooning didn't help much and actually caused his mitral valve to be leaky now and caused the leaking that was already in the aorta to go from mild to moderate. So basically it helped a little, but not much. So for now the plan is to communicate the new information with his cardiologists back home and come up with a plan. For tonight we are staying in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit (CICU) so they can monitor him overnight. He has to stay laying flat for 5 hours so they are keeping him sedated until about midnight. Every once in a while he wakes up and cries out, but he konks right back out. At midnight they'll take him off sedation and let him fully wake up and then he'll be able to eat and drink. As long as he's doing good then we will get released sometime tomorrow. It's probably going to be a long night, but hopefully Pax will want to sleep even though he's been sleeping the entire day. Are we that lucky?? We'll see. 

We have been very very impressed with the hospital so far. The staff has been absolutely amazing! I thought that the Children's hospital back home was amazing, but it doesn't even compare to this place. Everything about this place was made with kids in mind. The only thing that Tulsa does better is that it's more accomodating to the parents. The rooms here are small, there's no bathroom in the room and no couch/bed except for a recliner. Oh well...I'd rather have excellent care for my kid than be able to sleep and pee in the same room as him. 

Tomorrow, we get to go to Branson and spend the night with my brother and sister-in-law and get to spend time with my Dad and step mom. And then Sunday we finally get to go home! I can't wait to sleep in my own bed and get back to normal routine! 

Okay, I think that's it for now. If you made it this far hooray for you! You have a great attention span. haha 

Thank you for praying for us and standing with us in faith for Pax's healing.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

I've had this song burning in me all week and then the worship team this morning sang it and it's really blessed me so I thought I'd share it with you. It'sa song called "Healer". You can find it by Hillsong or Kari Job, which is my favorite.

You hold my very moment
You calm my raging seas
You walk with me through fire
And heal all my disease
I trust in You, I trust in You

I believe You're my healer
I believe You are all I need
I believe

And I believe You're my portion
I believe You're more than enough for me
Jesus You're all I need

You hold my very moment
You calm my raging seas
You walk with me through fire
And heal all my disease
I trust in You, Lord I trust in You

I believe You're my healer
I believe You are all I need
Oh, I believe

I believe You're my portion
I believe You're more than enough for me
Jesus You're all I need

Nothing is impossible for You
Nothing is impossible
Nothing is impossible for You
You hold my world in Your hands

Nothing is impossible for You
Nothing is impossible
Nothing is impossible for You
You hold my world in Your hands

I believe You're my healer
I believe You are all I need
Oh, yes You are, yes You are

And I believe You're my portion
Lord I believe You're more than enough for me
Jesus You're all I need
More than enough for me
Jesus You're all I need

You're my healer

Thursday, August 9, 2012

I wanted to share an update about Paxy with you all. I waited so long because we just wanted to process the information and we wanted to wait until we received some extra news, which we got yesterday. So basically, our surgeons here in Tulsa have decided there's nothing more they can do for Pax and thought that a transplant was the best option for him. So they sent his records off to Dr. Canter in St. Louis to be reviewed for transplant. Yesterday Dr. Canter contacted Pax's cardiologist who then relayed the info to us. They don't think Pax is a good candidate for transplant right now because all of his numbers are so good and he's doing so well. However, they do think they might be able to do a surgery to help him out. They want us to go up to St. Louis to have some tests done to check his heart for fibrosis/scarring. If there isn't scarring then they can probably do the procedure. If there is too much scarring then they'll evaluate him for transplant. So right now I'm just waiting on a call from St. Louis to schedule everything.

In other news I'm soo excited today because my weight finally entered a new "decade"!! I haven't been in this decade since probably 2006. I've lost 15 pounds so far and believe me I have worked hard for those pounds! Now just... A whole lot more to go! Haha

Friday, July 27, 2012

Hey y'all! Just wanted to give a quick update. Pax had his heart cath Tuesday morning. (I included a couple pictures for you. The first one is him in his big boy gown beforehand and the second is him trying to come out of lala land afterwards.) We went in at 5:30am Tuesday and they started about 8:00am. It only took about 1 1/2 hours and he did great during it. Other than having trouble throwing up afterwards there weren't any other issues recovering. They were unable to balloon anything unfortunately. The narrowing ended up being just below the aorta...basically it looks like its the aortic valve which is just below the actual aorta. The area he had repaired last August is just above the new narrowing and they said it looks great. The doctor was actually really impressed with how good it looked. The site where the coarctation was repaired during his 1st surgery has gotten a little narrow again, but not do much that they're concerned about it. The doctor said it could be a few years before he would have to balloon it. So back to the new narrowing...tomorrow is the big conference between all the doctors. They'll come up with a gameplan and then the surgeons office will call us to set up an appointment to meet. I've been told a couple different things regarding the possibility of surgery so I'll just tell you what is actually decided when we find out. I'm hoping I will hear about an appointment tomorrow afternoon, but it'll probably be Monday. It seems like each time we get a little more emotional than the last time. I just dread having Pax go through anything else as well as the effects that it has on the family. It's kind sucky, but I know that no matter what happens that God will give us the strength needed and we will come out the other side even stronger than before. Please keep our family in your prayers as we face the next step. Thanks!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Cath Scheduled

Alrighty, so here's the latest...I talked to Pax's cardiologist on Monday and the surgeons agreed that he needed to have the heart cath now. Dr. Madronero said they were concerned though that if the balloon can't be done that surgery wouldn't be the answer for him. I know his age and size factor into that, but I don't really know what exactly that means. She didn't go into any more detail about the meeting than that and I didn't ask because it doesn't matter...the balloon will work. His heart cath is scheduled for the 24th...arriving about 5:30am and starting around 7:00am & pre-op stuff the day before. Please be praying with us that the location of concern is located high enough that it can be ballooned. God has been so good and has brought him through so much already and we've seen Him do so many miracles in Pax before so we don't expect this to be any different. Also be praying that he stays healthy the next couple weeks so no scheduling changes have to be made. Thanks a ton!

Oh, I thought I'd include a funny picture for you. This past Friday Josh and I went to the wedding of some really close friends. I don't consider myself to be photogenic at all, but I'm pretty good at taking goofy pictures so here ya go. (The other woman is my lovely sister-in-law, Lish.)

And here's a picture I took of Pax and Kaiden playing in the laundry basket.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Gosh, it's been a long time since I last posted. Where have my days gone so quickly?

Well to start with, after 4-5 weeks I FINALLY got my biopsy results back. (They somehow got lost.) The mass was determined to be a thyroid benign cyst. So it's totally fine right now. Since it isn't interfering with breathing or swallowing or my thyroid function they'll just keep leaving it alone. I'm supossed to follow up on my thyroid numbers in a few months though and keep an eye on any symptoms in the meantime. So good news! Still taking the Prozac for now to help with the fatigue, which by the way that stuff makes you hot and sweaty, but it has helped so I'll keep taking it for now. Guess I'll stay warm this winter. Haha!

In May I celebrated my 29th birthday, which means only 1 more year of being officially "young". Although I don't think being in your 30's is "old" but being in your "20's" is just different. It feels younger. I plan to accomplish a whole lot this next year.

Josh and I celebrate our 9 year anniversary June 7th. It's hard to believe that next year will be 10 years. For the past 9 years we have jokingly talked about what we would do for our 10 year anniversary and now that it's only a year away I guess we should start saving for that cruise we wanted to take. Not to mention childcare for while we are gone. Haha! We had a wonderful time celebrating our anniversary though without any kids, thanks to the in-laws. :) We went to OKC and went to the Bombing Memorial. Wow...such a heavy place, but so amazing to stand there. We went through the museum which made everything even more meaningful. If you ever get the chance, go to the memorial and museum. Do the museum though before going outside on the grounds. It makes it a much more profound experience.

One year ago this past Thursday Pax had his heart cath and we got horrible news that he would need another open heart surgery. This past Thursday he went for his cardiology check up and we weren't given horrible news, but not great news either. Basically his pressures have still been increasing. Enough so that his doctor is concerned now. Next Friday all the doctors and surgeons will meet to talk about cases and they'll discuss Pax then too. His cardiologist wants him to have another heart cath to determine exactly where the narrowing is located and get a better idea of how bad it is. The general area is the same place he had repaired last August, but they can't tell the exact location. If the narrowing is located far enough above the aortic valve then they might be able to balloon it during the heart cath, otherwise he would need another open heart surgery. So please be believing with us that they will be able to just balloon it open. His cardiologist is supposed to call me next Friday afternoon after the meeting to let me know how the meeting went and how soon they decided to do a cath. I know that no matter what God has been with us throughout everything so far and we've already seen Him do miracles in Pax so I only expect the same.

I'll leave you with a few recent pictures.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I'm so excited about my life I could burst! My hormones must be flying extra high today allowing for this, but I'll take it! haha! I'm always excited and hopeful about life and what the future holds, but lately I'm extra excited. Here's the thing...I've been stuck at the same weight for about a year now. I have exercised on and off during that time and even started using "myfitnesspal" to track all my calories and exercise. For a few months I have been consistently exercising and eating around 1200-1300 calories a day and I wasn't losing anything! I was even getting headaches and have been extra tired. Thank the Lord for the internet! Last week I finally got frustrated and got online and did a little research and found that I was probably not eating enough calories and that my body was thinking it was starving. So I updated my fitness pal information and it upped my calories to 1530 a day!! All I had to do was update my information...duh! I wish I had done that sooner. So for the last week or so I've been eating those 1530 calories and occasionally I eat back a little of the burned calories and I have lost 3 pounds! In just a week! I am flabbergasted! Who would have thought I just needed to eat MORE?? I haven't lost that many pounds in a week since I gave birth to Pax! :) Finally I feel like I'm making progress and that I actually have hope of reaching my goal of being a size 6. It's a lofty goal and I haven't been in a size 6 since I got married almost 9 years ago, but I'm choosing to reach high this time. I believe I can do it and I'm going to do what I can to reach that goal. 

In other news, I had my biopsy last Wednesday and it went about a million times better than the biopsy I had 8 years ago. 8 years ago I just laid on a table while the doctor jabbed my neck with a needle over and over and over and over until finally I asked him to stop because I couldn't take it anymore. Beforehand I remember him going into this big explanation about how he couldn't numb me and why and he tried to prepare me for the pain I was about to endure. That experience was pretty traumatizing to both Josh and I. So I was pretty nervous going into this biopsy, but it was a complete 180 from last time. The doctor did it with the aid of an ultrasound so he could see exactly where he was poking and he numbed me. It still hurt, but instead of a screaming pain it was a dull pain and he only jabbed me 3 times and it was over. Have I made you cringe yet? haha Sorry, I tend to go into more detail than I probably should, but it's fun sometimes. :) I am still waiting on the results from the biopsy, but I have an appointment in 2 weeks to get them. I'm hoping they come back before then though. I hate waiting.

Thank you for praying for me! I very much appreciate it! :) Have a great Hump Day!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

I was going to wait to post an update about my doctor's appointments until I was all finished with them, but it might be awhile. So in my previous post about it all I was going to be getting the results of my latest bloodwork. I got those results back and everything was completely normal. I'm not even the slightest bit anemic, which surprised me because I have always been anemic and especially since we rarely eat red meat anymore. I guess I get plenty of nutrients from everything else I eat. So basically they are stumped as to what has been causing my major fatigue along with other symptoms. The doctor told me that it's possible that I just have chronic fatigue and that they don't know anything about it really, but found that when those patients were put on Prozac they got better. So for now, that's the plan...take Prozac and vitamins. By the way, in case you have never taken Prozac, one of the major side effects is drowsiness. Hmmm...I'm supposed to be getting help for fatigue so they give me drugs to knock me out. Supposedly the side effects get better over time...we'll see. I will say that I don't get stressed out with the kids as quickly as I used to. So that's nice, but it's probably because I'm so drowsy I simply can't respond. Haha! Oh well.

As for the growth in my neck, I had an ultrasound done and now I'm being scheduled for a biopsy hopefully in the near future. If I haven't heard from them this week I'm supposed to call them. Hopefully I hear something Monday or Tuesday though.

I'm not too worried about all this though. I had it biopsied 8 years ago and it was fine so I don't expect this time to come back any different. Besides that, I serve a big God who's got my back. :)

Sent from my iPhone

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Easter Pictures

Easter weekend came and went fast! Josh's show went very well although I didn't make it. I wanted to be there so bad, but I just wasn't feeling up to going. I'm feeling a little better today thankfully. I might even exercise...for...10 minutes...that's my goal! haha! We are going to Branson this weekend for a ministry trip/family trip/Dakotah & Kaiden's bdays. Tim is an avid bike rider and he's been promising to take me next time we went down. So it looks like I'm going to be putting my body through a crazy bike ride this weekend, so I better do some exercising this week to prepare for it.

Okay back to Easter weekend. I didn't get to take a whole lot of pictures, but I did manage to get some of the kids doing to annual Easter Egg Hunt after church Sunday.

And here are a couple pictures of Kaiden after thoroughly enjoying a chocolate bunny. Unfortunately the pictures just don't fully capture the mess. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Prayers Appreciated :)

I'd appreciate some prayers for myself if you could spare a few moments. Over the last few months I've been having various symptoms that led me to think that maybe I was having thyroid issues. Mom had major thyroid problems and so I figured I did too. A couple weeks ago I went to a free clinic to get checked out. They did some blood work and I went back this past Tuesday to get the results. My thyroid levels were excellent. The normal range is .40 to 4.50 and mine was perfect! They ordered more bloodwork as they think that maybe I'm anemic and have other deficiencies as well. (I go back to get the results from this blood work later today.) I also have had a growth in my neck...I think it's considered on my thyroid, but not sure. It first was found in 2003 and in 2004 it was biopsied and came back fine, but in the last 8 years it has grown tremendously. I also had this checked out at that first appointment a couple weeks ago. They ordered an ultrasound for it to start out with, which should have taken many weeks to get scheduled, since it's a free clinic, but thankfully it got scheduled for tomorrow. So if you could spare a few minutes to keep me in your prayers that through all this everything comes back fine and that whatever is going on with me will be easily corrected.

I'll keep you all posted. Thanks so much!! :)


I thought I would share with you all what I've been meditating on in the Bible lately. I don't know if anyone else has noticed this, but the body of Christ can be so judgmental sometimes....okay a lot of times. Christians are supposed to be the love of God on the earth. The Bible says that we are born of God and that God is love so aren't we supposed to be love too? Recently I have felt judged by others,whom I love dearly, about many different things. It has made me take a hard look at myself and whether I'm the same way. Do I judge others unfairly? Am I casting the first stone? Well a few weeks ago Pat Harrison taught about love and it changed my life. 1 Corinthians 13 is known as the "love chapter" and most of us could probably recite some or all of it, but have we really taken the time to meditate on it and realize what it really means? Probably not. I could go into all the things that Mrs. Harrison taught about it, but I just wanted to share the one thing that hit me the most. If  you take verses 4-11 and replace the word "love" with the word "Jesus" and then replace it with your name I guarantee you that it will hit you differently. I love to confess these scriptures and believe them about myself. It can make such a different in how you view yourself and your life.

Here's the NKJV version:

"Cari" suffers long and is king; "Cari" does not envy; "Cari" does not parade herself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek her own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. "Cari" never fails."

Here's the Message version (I love this one.):

"Cari" never gives up. "Cari" cares more for others than for self. "Cari" doesn't want what she doesn't have. "Cari" doesn't strut, doesn't have a swelled head, doesn't force herself on others, isn't always "me first", doesn't fly off the handle, doesn't keep score of the sins of others, doesn't revel when others grovel, takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, puts up with anything, trust God always, always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end. "Cari" never dies."

This has been such an encouragement to me as I hope it will be to you too! :)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Cardiology Visit And Easter Weekend!

I have great news! This past Thursday I took Pax for his 3 month cardiology visit and it went so well! The pressures that his doctor has been watching so closely hasn't changed, which is great! Everything looks about the same so no intervention is needed like she thought. He also FINALLY gained some weight too. He had been holding steady at 20 pounds since the end of last year. He kept getting sick and then we've been having trouble getting him to eat, but he gained 3 pounds since February! I was ecstatically happy about this! He doesn't go back until the end of June for another check up. 

I was going through pictures on my phone and there are a bunch on there from his first few months and it's just so crazy to look back and see how far he's come. I was watching him eat the other day and he was making googly eyes at me and I just had a "moment" where it hit me how amazing he is and how amazing God is. Pax is such a gift from God to me. (Of course all my children are.) Whew! I better change the subject before I get too mushy and gooey. ha! 

I'm excited about this weekend even though it's going to be busy. I love having things to do though. Tonight we are attending a surprise birthday party for my sister-in-law, who has been such a gift from God to me in the last few months. Tomorrow I get to take Dakotah to his last "run" for the year. He's part of the running club at his school and they take part in different "run's" that happen in the city. Unfortunately I'm not looking forward to the very very early hour that I have to get up to take him. I'm thinking coffee is going to be a MUST in the morning! Then tomorrow night Josh's band, Manifest Destiny, is having their EP release party. I'm so so so proud of him and all that he has accomplished. For sooo many years I've heard him tell me over and over about his dream to minister through his music and he's finally been able to do it this last year. His band recorded their first EP a few months ago and after a LOT of work they are finally releasing it. One of their singles might even be played on radio stations soon! (Still working out the details on this.) And then, of course, Sunday is Easter, which will be a super fun day for the kids. Lots eggs filled with sugary, fattening candy that I will secretly be throwing away, but don't tell them that. ha!

Here are a few pictures we took of the kids recently. Enjoy! And Happy Easter! :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I. Am. Exhausted! But in a good way. We went home to Branson this weekend just for the fun of it and to spend time with family. Paxy was getting over a cold and teething so he didn't sleep the best, which meant Mama didn't sleep the best. But we got some major shopping done, which was fun and got to have some great laughs with the fam as always. I absolutely LOVE my family!!! They are the best! I wish I could see them more often though.

Going home is always fun, but it always brings a lot of memories back too. It makes me think about my Mom a lot, which of course makes me miss her even more. For some reason a certain memory stuck out to me more than normal. When we go down to Branson we always drive by Skaggs hospital multiple times. (Mom passed away at Skaggs.) When we drove into Branson Friday night and drove by the hospital, as we passed I looked down the road and could see the exact spot where my Dad met my brother, sister and I to give us the news that she was gone. On that very early morning in May 2001 when Dad gave us the news my 1st reaction was to drop to my knees, lift my hands and start worshiping God through my tears of sorrow. My 1st reaction. I so distinctly remember doing this and how I was feeling at the time. I had always lived a life dedicated to God and had always wanted to serve Him, but in the days leading up to Mom's passing God brought me even closer to Him...probably in preparation for what was to come. So on that morning, I think in that moment I was surrendering everything to Him and choosing to praise Him no matter what life would bring. All of this came flooding back to me this past Friday night as we drove by, as well as every other time we drove by this weekend. I remember being so close to God and I had to ask myself if I was still in that same spot with God or if I had pulled away. The answer is no, I'm nowhere near as dedicated as I was then, but how I long to have that close relationship with Him again...and I've been working on it. There's nothing like it in the world. No earthly relationship could ever even come close to being as awesome as a close relationship with God.

It's hard sometimes to make time for your Maker when the kids are screaming, the house needs cleaned, breakfast, lunch and dinner need to be made and not to mention the enormous pile of laundry that needs washed, folded and put away. However, I KNOW that as I make time for HIM that somehow there will be more time in the day to accomplish all the Mom/Wife stuff. I just have to learn to put Him 1st and let Him be my 1st reaction any situation.

Matthew 6:33 NKJV "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you."

Ps. 69:32 NKJV "The humble shall see this and be glad; And you who seek God, your hearts shall live."

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

As you probably already know February is congenital heart disease awareness month. There's so much that needs to be done to raise awareness that I don't even know where to start. CHD's are something that I never knew anything about, but is the #1 birth defect. 1 in 100 babies born are born with a CHD and CHD's are the leading cause in infant death. How crazy is that!? I have no idea how I could not have known that before or why it's not more publicized than it is. In the US twice as many children die from CHD's each year than all forms of childhood cancer combined, yet funding for pediatric cancer research is 5 times higher than funding for CHD.

There's a whole lot more statistics that I could mention, but I'll move on. Recently I did an interview for Stephanie's blog where I got to tell Pax's story. If you'd like to read it click here.
She is doing a series of interviews with heart Mom's for CHD awareness month. You should go over and read some of them. They are so inspirational! Be sure to have some tissue ready though because you'll probably let a few tears drop.

Oh and I almost forgot...Dakotah is taking part in a fund raiser at school called Hoops For Heart for the American Heart Association. His goal is to raise $250, by Thursday. (He has to turn everything in on Friday.) He only needs $150 more to reach his goal. Here's his website that he has set up for it. You can read more information about it here.

Have a lovely Tuesday!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Did I call it or what? Last night Pax figured out how to climb the bunk bed ladder. Thankfully Dakotah was there to watch out for him. I had already forgotten about it this morning when I discovered him on the top trying to climb across to the top of the dresser which happens to be by the bed. Oh dear!! So off came the ladder!! I didn't even know he could climb up or down regular stairs (we don't have stairs here) much less a ladder. My growing little man!

On another note, this weekend was quite eventful. Last Thursday Dakotah had a major asthma episode that got him sent home from school. Then later that night I ended up taking him to urgent care who sent him to the hospital for the night. After breathing treatments every 2 hours and some other meds he is on the mend. He's finally back on controller meds for his asthma and finally got an inhaler instead of the nebulizer. Oh I was so sick of that stupid machine that takes forever!! Tomorrow he goes for a follow up appointment with his pediatrician so we'll see what they have to say.

Today was an almost snow day at home day, but for many of you it is a snowed in at home day so enjoy!!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

My little baby is definitely NOT a baby anymore. It seems that we are heading for the early toddler stage where they get into absolutely everything and you have to go through the trash to make sure nothing important is in your wallet. Im fairly certain this is the reason most of my silverware disappeared when Kaiden went through that stage.

Pax has recently learned how to climb onto things such as the couch, chairs, the diningroom table, my bed...oh and the bunkbed ladder! Thankfully he can only get to the 2nd step, but it only took him about a week to learn that so I'm sure that it won't be much longer before he learns to crawl to the very top. Oh dear!! He has also learned to WALK! Yay!! While I'm very proud of this achievement and glad that he has finally done it, it means I have to keep an even closer watch on him. He's just in the beginning stages of walking though so he loses his balance a lot so I've got a few more "lazy" days. Ha! I've been trying to catch him on video and I finally did today for a few seconds. I'm blogging from my phone, but I'll try to post it for y'all.

On a different note, Pax and I have the entire day all to ourselves. Josh and the band traveled to Missouri for the whole weekend for a show and so Josh could preach at a church. And Kaiden and Dakotah went to Wichita with Grandma & Grandpa Coats to celebrate cousin Isabel's 5th birthday. I'm thinking shopping is definitely on the agenda today. :) That and some peace and quiet. Enjoy your weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Here are those pictures I promised you a while back. Enjoy! :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Well grrrrr!! I was working on a post about the last couple months with pictures and everything, but for some reason my computer decided to log me out of blogspot in the middle of it. So I lost the post and all the pictures. So here's the summary, since my last post my sister got married, Thanksgiving was lots of fun, Pax had a wonderful 1st birthday party (and actual birthday), Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were so special and New Years Eve was an absolute blast! When I have reliable internet I guess I will upload a bunch of pictures for you then.

Pax also had his December cardiology visit and his 1 year check up. They both went well. His cardiologist said that the pressures have pretty much stayed the same. In addition to the issues with the pressures in the aorta his mitral valve looked "tight", but that was all she said about that. She said she felt safe in letting him wait until March to go back so that's when we will go back. She said he'd probably need a cath either then or within a couple months of that. But for now he's doing very well. He's growing and developing well. :)

His pediatrician is also happy with him. He had been really sick (GI stuff yuck!) for a few weeks so he got to temporarily miss out on getting his 1 year shots...there are 6...yes, 6 of them! How excessive is that!!?? Geez! He's in the 50% for height and 15% for weight. I'm not worried though...Dakotah has always been in the 10% for weight, while Kaiden was always at least 50%. We got to report that Pax had learned to sit and stand and walk around while holding onto stuff so he won't be needing physical therapy. yippee!! He's getting very close to walking too. The other night he took his 1st small step!! Yay!!! I love to watch my children growing and learning.

I think that's it for now. I'll post some recent pictures when my internet and computer cooperate. :)