Dec 15, 2008

Baby, its cold outside!

Sunday morning was a decadent 67 degrees here in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I wore short sleeves to chapel and didn't bring a coat! I wondered if I would regret this on the way home, but it was still quite lovely outside. Later that afternoon, the temperature dropped nearly 40 degrees in two hours. This morning, the roads were covered in ice! I bundled the girls up before sending them out the door with daddy for grandma's house and then prayed fervently for thier collective safety.

That's Oklahoma for you. A week ago last year hardly anyone around here had electricity or heat. Then again, we haven't had a white christmas in over 5 years. Who knows, perhaps tomorrow it will be warm and sunny again. If not, I'll be thankful for warmth in our hearts as we celebrate God's love by sharing it with others this holiday season.

Dec 1, 2008

Recommendation for your Kiddos

I just have to endorse this incredible Bible story book we got Elisa for her birthday. It is super simple and has great pictures. The best thing about it is how it tells the story of the whole bible. This book is not your average piecemeal conglomeration of little Bible stories. In fact, some of the classic kids stories are not in it. Rather, it focuses on "the big picture" (get it?) of God's love and faithfulness, man's sin and God's plan for redemption. It provides such a great way to give the gospel message to your kids and help them connect the concepts of God and the Bible.

Elisa is still a little young to grasp the concepts, but the words and pictures are simple enough to still hold her attention a chapter at a time. I look forward to reading it to her for a long time. What's more, I am really enjoying getting this back to basics overview of God's work myself.

Check out this link from Amazon for more info. You can even flip through some sample pages. It's a good price here too, although I encourage you to pay a few more dollars and support your local CHRISTIAN BOOKSTORE.

Nov 17, 2008

If you have time

We've been studying the Life of Moses in BSF this fall. Out of curiosity and a group members suggestion I did a little research online about the archeological record of the Exodus and found this really cool article. I don't need the proof for my faith, but it's inspiring nonetheless. If you have time, check it out!

Nov 7, 2008

Friday Mornings

Friday mornings Brandon doesn't have to go in to work until noon, so we all get to be a little lazy. Although, I think Daddy is the only one actually sleeping...

Oct 29, 2008

The one I've been putting off

Last time I posted here, we were in the hospital with Evelyn. Praise the Lord for her full and complete recovery! The official diagnosis was 'viral sepsis' which essentially means they have no idea what happenned. In the end, its the outcome that is more important than the diagnosis and my baby seems to be a healthy little girl at this time. Thanks to your prayers, she has not shown any of the side effects the Doctors said we could expect from the narcotis or heavy antibiotics. Thank you so much for each and every rememberance before the Lord on our behalf.

In the meantime, I think I've been putting an update off for two reasons: 1. I've been busy trying to establish a new kind of normal in our household and 2. coming back here takes me back to the hospital, and I'm so glad to be gone. So, to expel those demons, here are some pics...

This picture of Evelyn is about a month old (she's not really cross eyed, I guess we just caught her at the wrong moment). Turns out, while posting this I have discovered that I've been taking picture for the past month with no memory card in the stupid camera! Serves me right. If I had done this sooner I would have discovered it sooner. What a bummer!

However, thanks to the iPhone, not all pictures have been lost. Here is one from that magical device...Evelyn has a ready smile for anytime she catches your eye. It's so precious. This is in the morning, before she's been unswaddled.

And here is one of her big sister...Thank goodness she seems to be growing out of her obsession with TV since there is much less to watch since we cancelled the cable to help offset some of our medical expenses. Nevertheless, as you can see in this one she is still throughly absorbed. Her current favorites are Little Einsteins and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. My current favorite is anything that gives me a break!
I'll try to be back sooner rather than later, no promises though~ TTFN!!

Aug 27, 2008

One Week Later...

Today marks one week since Evelyn started crashing and was admitted to the PICU. While the cause remains a mystery (and may forever) I now have a completely different baby!

Yesterday we were moved out of the ICU and into a recovery room. Actually these rooms are more like suites if you ask me. I've never seen such spacious hospital rooms (with showers!). It's been nice considering I've been here every night.

Now that we are in recovery the care of my daughter is falling back on me. Feeding, bathing and changing. It's really nice because it makes me feel like I have a hand in her well being again. She is eating well for someone who hasn't eaten in a week. Unfortunately, they are not letting me nurse her because the doctor decided they want to monitor how much she is eating. So, I am pumping and bottle feeding. Hopefully if she demonstrates she is eating well we will go back to breast feeding in a few days. I may just make that decision on my own :)

Brandon went back to work today.  He will be off tomorrow and then work through the holiday weekend (we hope).  While he is off, I'm going to try and get some work done tomorrow.  I am thankful the Lord is allowing us to keep up a little so things don't get too out of control.

Meanwhile, I am holding Evelyn a lot.  She is going through pretty severe withdrawal from the narcotics she was on over the last week.  Mostly it is showing up in a lot of shaking and jitters.  I think it may get worse before it gets better and the doctor said some residual effects could last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months.  Hopefully it will be on the shorter end!  She seems so resilient and thankfully, is not complaining yet.  Just shaking.

We are optimistic that we may be able to go home over the weekend once she finishes her antibiotics, demonstrates she is eating well and gaining weight!  We'll see.  I am content to be able to hold her again, no matter where we are.  Elisa sure would like to have us home though!

Aug 25, 2008

A New Day

Ps. 118:24
This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.  

Monday brings no news in terms of Evelyn's diagnosis.  However, we are rejoicing that her vitals continue to improve.  So much so that right now, we are waiting for her to wake up so they can take her off the ventilator!  They will also take the catheter out today and by this evening I should be able to try and nurse her again.

Don't ask me how that's going to work.  She still has lines in her chest and belly button and lots of monitor leads all over her.  I imagine that nursing will create a lot of beeping noises in our room. 

Please continue to remember our family before the Lord.  We have a long week ahead of us.

Aug 23, 2008

As of Saturday Morning...

Yesterday was an encouraging day going into the weekend.  One big relief is that Evelyn's blood pressure has been in the normal range and the results of her second heart echo confirm that her heart is beginning to function stronger and normally.  Additionally her kidney ultrasound showed no abnormalities.  

Every single test they have run has come back within normal ranges.  She shows no signs of infections or typical abnormalities.  Regardless, she is improving dramatically.  We are so thankful for her obvious resilience.  As organ defects or failure and infections are seemingly being ruled out, the Doctors are leaning towards metabolic/genetic problems and have ordered many more specific blood tests.

Yesterday they gave her a more complex IV with simple protein.  Today they will continue to decrease her phentenol (?) and other medicines that are keeping her sedated.  She has obvious periods already where she is "awake" i.e. responsive to touch and sound and tries to open her eyes a little.

Please pray for me as I am having a very hard time with the idea of her waking up.  It is so hard to even see her like this and I really need more strength to deal with knowing she may be aware of all the needles and tubes in her.  Throughout the morning, a little toddler a few doors down from us, who I have heard wimpering off and on the last few days, is alert and crying in obvious pain and confusion.  It is truly unbearable and not even my own baby.  There is so much heartbreak and sadness here.

Before I started this post, I sat down and read all the posts on other blogs where so many of you have notified your own friends and family of our situation.  I am sure it may be redundant to some who read a lot of these blogs, but I want you all to know how encouraging it was to me to know that you are soliciting prayer on our behalf.  We need every one.  The doctors are amazed by how quickly she is bouncing back in so many areas.  Regardless, they still need wisdom to figure out why this happened so it doesn't happen again.

However, things slow down here on the weekend.  We will most likely continue to wonder a lot of things until Monday.  Please pray that fear of the unknown will not become overwhelming.  Pray also that we will get rest and know how best to balance our time as parents of children in two different worlds right now.

Aug 21, 2008

Introducing Baby Evelyn, in the ICU

I think most of you know little Cassondra Evelyn joined our family on the 12th!  I've been so busy with newborn stuff (and work) since then I haven't updated this blog with any cute pictures, even though I've wanted to.  

Of course, my plans are not the Lord's plans.  Most of you probably know by now that we were admitted to the Pediatric ICU on Wednesday.  So here is the first picture of Evelyn on my blog.
All those scary cords and tubes consist of: lots of monitors, a central line IV, a breathing tube, oxygen, blood pressure cuff, catheter and some sort of a tap in her belly button.

I wish I could communicate how much better she looks!  We brought her into the ER dehydrated and in shock.  She crashed so fast that by the time she was admitted to the ICU they were truly afraid for her.  Now she is very stable.

Unfortunately, we don't know what has gone wrong.  Over the first 24 hours the doctors have run a battery of blood, urine and spinal fluid tests.  She has also received lots of x rays, a kidney ultrasound and is preparing for her second heart echo.  They believe she is probably septic and her heart is malfunctioning as well, although the cardiologist is hopeful that is a symptom and not a cause.

Between now and Monday, test results should start coming back that will hopefully guide the doctors in a more definitive direction eventually leading us to a prognosis and treatment plan. We anticipate being in the hospital for a while, although hopefully not in the ICU.

Thank you so much for your prayers.  We need them all!

Jul 28, 2008

Praise the Lord!

Nate Madden had this Psalm read on Sunday morning and I have been enjoying the meditation of it. I wanted to share three thoughts with you regarding the works of the Lord in my life.

Praise the LORD.
I will extol the LORD with all my heart
in the council of the upright and in the assembly.
Great are the works of the LORD;
they are pondered by all who delight in them.
Glorious and majestic are his deeds,
and his righteousness endures forever.
He has caused his wonders to be remembered;

the LORD is gracious and compassionate.
He provides food for those who fear him;

he remembers his covenant forever.
He has shown his people the power of his works,

giving them the lands of other nations.
The works of his hands are faithful and just;

all his precepts are trustworthy.
They are steadfast for ever and ever,

done in faithfulness and uprightness.
He provided redemption for his people;

he ordained his covenant forever—
holy and awesome is his name.
The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;

all who follow his precepts have good understanding.
To him belongs eternal praise

Psalm 111

Last week, Brandon was recognized as one of the top 5 managers in the company and will be going to the corporate office in August to share the secrets of his success. It's no secret to us that his store is successful because the Lord chooses to bless his hard work and dedication. It is the manner of His provision for our daily needs and He has provided for us graciously. I am not sure that is the 'secret' that the Oakley executives are looking for though!!

On an opposite note, our station wagon bit the dust (again) last week and we've decided to call it quits with that one. For the time being, we are going to be a one car family while we try and save money for another vehicle and reduce the debt we will unfortunately find ourselves in. I've been stressing a little about this as we have NO room in the budget for a car payment. However, as I've meditated on this Psalm, I've been encouraged by remembering all the good things the Lord has done for us and I'm getting excited by what is quite obviously another opportunity to allow His work in our lives in marvelous and unexpected ways!

The third rememberance that this Psalm brings to mind for me is the much more serious case of Katie Bloom and her family with whom my thoughts and prayers have been a lot lately. Isn't it wonderful to know that our God is the God who delights in revealing Himself to us, who cares for us and whose soveriegn hand in our lives is always to His glory?

Not to us, O LORD, not to us
but to your name be the glory,
because of your love and faithfulness.

Psalm 115:1

...the baby update

In case anyone has been wondering where I am lately, I have been frantically wrapping up jobs for design clients before the advent of baby #2. For those who don't know or don't remember it's a girl! We will be naming her Cassondra Evelyn and will call her Evelyn. As of today, I have 16 days and counting to our induction date of August 12th!

May 23, 2008

Followup Post

Thanks to Brandon for posting the story in from the Daily Oklahoman with my Grandpa on the front page!  If you were interested, check out his blog.  

May 15, 2008

Ikea Trip Pending

For those of you who are local to me or will be in the near future. I am planning a trip to Ikea next week. If you have something in mind I would be happy to pick up and deliver. That is, as long as it isn't too big and bulky; I need plenty of room in the car for my own aquisitions! Let me know via phone or e-mail if you have a request.

My Grandpa, An American Hero

I know I need to update this blog with some pictures and other stuff, but here is what I really want to share with you right now.

I am so proud of my Grandpa! He is a gentle and wonderful man and I am so priviledged to share in this honor with him next week...The following is (an edited version of) the local press release:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE MAY 14, 2008 TULSA, OK - Oklahoma native and Tulsa resident Ted Anderson is an American hero. He will be recognized and honored for that title during a rare and unique presentation by Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry during ceremonies at the Oklahoma capital at 1:00 p.m., May 20th. Only two Oklahomans have earned the right to be honored at this ceremony. The other is fellow Oklahoman and Iwo Jima Survivor former Governor Henry Bellmon.

Ted is not just a hero that put his life on the line to help all Americans preserve and realize an unprecedented freedom and way of life, but he has lived an exemplary life that reflects a humble and proud American.

Yes, he was wounded during actions above and beyond the call of duty and ignored his own safety and welfare for the sake of others. But, just as important he quietly overcame life-threatening and debilitating physical obstacles to take his place as a proud family patriarch and impacting business professional in a developing world of technology.

His reflective and thoughtful demeanor, guided by a strong faith and his marriage partner of 60 years, Cindy, has entitled him to raise five successful children who have blessed him with 12 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

His impact as a behind-the-scenes leader and motivator has earned him the respect of untold numbers of friends and success among professional peers. And, all of this has been accomplished while silently concealing a remarkable American who proudly helped shoulder the fate of a nation and won. This experience and modest attitude has allowed him to become a model by example of who he believes Americans should be.

Ted will proudly stand beside his combat comrade Monday and modestly accept a reward that has been long in arriving. But, he will be most proud of his family and friends who share that honor with him.

Ted Anderson and Henry Bellmon will be honored with serial numbered American Flags that have flown over the Iwo Jima Memorial. This is an honor specifically for the soldiers who courageously fought in that deadly battle.

Ted Anderson's story in brief:

Ted was a Navy Corpsman attached to the 5th Marine division which attacked Iwo Jima. Ted was in the wave that hit at H-hour plus 2 hours. He witnessed the first American flag flying on Mt. Suribachi during the intense battle on February 23, 1945.Approximately two weeks later he and a comrade were bringing injured Marines from the intense battle fields to the Field Hospital. Along the way they were attacked. At the conclusion of the skirmish, he continued with his injured wards of responsibility. When he arrived, the doctor looked at him and said, "Sit down."Ted explained that he was the Corpsman and those he had brought in were the injured.

The doc repeated, "Sit down." Ted obeyed, went instantly unconscious and awoke on a hospital ship, blind in one eye and a head full of shrapnel, some of which he still carries.

The story doesn't end there. Ted's uncomplaining courage and determination to overcome blindness, other wounds and a future that doctors painted as being painful and limiting, tells an ongoing hero's story of strength and resiliency that all Americans can point to with pride.
Thank you for everything you've done for all of us!

Apr 16, 2008

Missing my baby(ies)

I just waived goodbye to Elisa and I miss her already. On the other hand I am ready for a break! Brandon's mom came to take her for a few days. I know she'll have a great time and it is good for her to get to know his parents better without me around.
Originally, Brandon and I were planning on taking a little 'vacation' this week while she is gone. Unfortunately, he had to fire his assistant mgr last week so we had to cancel. He has worked every day since, 10-13 hours, and has no days off in sight...So, if anyone knows someone looking for work (preferably male) he has a full time and two part time positions available. I miss him, and I am ready for my baby to be home!

Mar 17, 2008

First Steps

Elisa is finally walking at 15 months! If I was a good mother, more organized and with more time on my hands, I would have a video or something to share, but I don't. We've been very busy lately and she's keeping up as best she can. It is so cute how excited she gets about walking when we praise her and then next time she's cool as a cucumber. She still can't get to standing without some assistance, so if she falls in the middle of the floor its on her knees until she does.

She is also starting to demonstrate imaginative play and nurturing behavior. I am fascinated by how she does these things without having them shown to her! Last week she found a pacifier in her toybox (she never took it but we've never put it away). She immediately got excited, took it to her doll and put it 'in' her doll's mouth. So cute! Now this is a favorite game for her. Another time I found her in her room making a 'bed' out of blankets for her stuffed animal. The best, however, is when Brandon caught her 'bathing' her doll in the dog bowl. Hmm...don't think we'll encourage that one.

All of this is very exciting to me as I anxiously await her transition from 'baby' to 'big sister'. So glad we finally got to walking before I am too pregnant to carry her everywhere! Hopefully she'll be as loving to a new baby as she is to her doll babies.

On the downside, thanks to everyone at ETBC who suffers through our distracting display of discipline on Sunday mornings! This girl has an independent spirit and sitting through the worship service is not her idea of a good time just yet.

Feb 17, 2008

Bamboo Fun

In keeping with my renewed resolution to get more done on the computer, I played around today with a fabulous ditigal tool my wonderful mother-in-law got me for Christmas. It is called Bamboo Fun, by Wacom. I am ashamed to say it has taken me this long to play with it...but this thing is great. We got the full Adobe suite this year and this tool is really going to make it easy to take full advantage of it.

Here is my very first try, about 15 minutes...

This is going to be very fun if I ever fulfill my resolution to start digital scrapbooking I think! That is my actual, not too neat, handwriting. Cool, huh?

Feb 16, 2008

something to talk about...

I'm still thinking about Valentine's Day. Although I'm a few days late, I wanted to share my thoughts on some comments on marriage I enjoyed from my Real Simple magazine this month. While we all know this magazine doesn't have a Christian perspective, I felt the tips from their readership in the 'your words' section really reflect sound moral committment and some ideas I could relate to...
  • Choose to stay in love! It doesn't always come easy, but marriage is a committment best complimented by love. And love is often something you choose by your words and actions as you support and encourage your husband from day to day regardless of how you may be feeling. We try to follow John Heller's advice of saying "I love you" every night before we fall asleep.
  • Have something to talk about! My husband and I are two very different people. For a long time, I thought we shared few interests in common. However, we've found one common ground that's good for us both. We both listen to NPR when we are out and about. At the end of the day, we'll often say, "did you hear the piece about...?". It's nice to have something stimulating to discuss and share that doesn't have any bearing on the stresses of our real life and it keeps us up to date. (see my NPR feed on the right for randon headlines of the day)
  • Playfulness! One of my favorite things about Brandon is his playfull personality. It makes him a fun husband and great dad. I am not very silly and I am thankful for his little made up songs and dances to remind me to find joy in the little moments.
  • Sex and money! The question here is "what is the secret to a good marriage?" While love, trust and communication are all good answers - these two are deffinately key things to get right. So try to get 'date night' in the budget!

It's so easy to be busy being mommies. Let's not forget our first love. I know my husband, like my Lord, deserves my best efforts, not the leftovers.

Feb 15, 2008


The day after my last post, I was forced to download pictures because I ran out of memory. So, I am immediately sharing them with you! By the way, thanks for everyone's comments on my last post. I think Christina had the best idea. I will definately be sending Elisa down for the summer. (who am I kidding? I can't part with this cutie for that long! maybe a just a few weeks...)

This messy face is due to trying to bribe her to stay awake with M&M's. I guess it didn't work!
She gives great hugs! This Eyeore is great. When you push his 'tummy button' he sings an adorably depressing song called 'gloomy place.'

Elisa loves to read books, even by herself!

Daddy took her to the park for Valentine's Day! This mischieveous look says more than I can about the troubles I suspect we will have with this child.

She loves to swing. Who doesn't? Thanks Daddy!

Feb 14, 2008

bogged down blogging

So the reason I am constantly putting off posting on my blog is that I want to show you pictures!! However, it seems like the only time I can be on the computer sucessfully is at work and I don't have the pictures here. (To be truthful, there are over 300 pictures on my camera right now, haven't taken them off since December).

As I am determined over this pregnancy to move my IPA (income producing activities) more inside the home. This means I MUST figure out how to be more productive online. Right now it is very hard. Elisa only takes an hour and a half nap-or less. During that time, as baby number two zaps my energy, I also endeavor to be napping. In the evenings I am focused on cooking, cleaning and family time.

It is hard, almost impossible, to spend any concentrated time in the office when Elisa is awake. She wants to be in my lap, pounding on the keyboard, which is a little counterproductive! Hopefully this situation will resolve itself a little as she gets older. Anyone have any ideas, encouragement or commiseration to share on this topic?

Jan 17, 2008

in case you were wondering...

My goodness it's been a long time since I've posted. I keep meaning to, but I'm so busy right now. However, this particular one has been *FORCED* by my beloved sister who indicated that someone she is related to might be having a baby. There seems to be some speculation that it is me.

Well, if you speculated as such (or heard some vicious rumour) it is true. I never really intended to keep it a secret, I just haven't had time to announce it from the blog-tops. Christina has been threatening to do it for me and I guess I've learned my lesson. That girl means business!

Apparently so do Brandon and I. We are expecting our new little edition sometime between July and August. Not really sure yet as I haven't had an ultrasound and wasn't really 'keeping track'. I actually found out the day little Sophie was born, so apparently that is four weeks ago (sorry for the delay). We are sufficiently excited and glad to get such a good value out of all that expensive baby stuff we invested in last year!

Seriously, we are feeling very blessed and excited. I will have my first ultrasound early in February so we'll try and update you all then. That is, if Christina doesn't beat me to it....