Monday, May 31, 2010

Double Take

So many people tell me my boys look so much alike... I have a really hard time seeing it. What do you think?

Zeke at 5 months

Ben at 7 months

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Meet Turla

We have a new pet! SIKE! It's more of an invasion. We found a turtle a couple months ago, I actually think that it's the same turtle I found last summer. Here is the one last year:

We aren't sure it's the same, but really... two turtles happened into my backyard...I think not.

We have decided to name him/her Turla because that is how Zeke says turtle. We look for it every day when we go outside. Zeke loves finding it and talks to it whenever he finds it.

Spotting the turtle with dad

TURLA, look at me

Turtle on the move

Turtle stay away from our corn!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Conversations with Zeke

Zeke has gotten really verbal lately. I know he is my kid so of course I think he is a genius, but seriously some the stuff that comes out of this kid's mouth is scary:

  • After being checked a few times to see if he needed a diaper, he looked at me and sternly said “NO, poopy!"
  • In the backyard we have a turtle that hangs out, after hearing Spence tell the turtle not to eat his plants, Zeke squated down to the turtle and said "Turla, look at ME!”
  • “Zeke what are you doing?” while he was at the directv box; he replied “pushing buttons” with a smile
  • Singing at Daylight Donuts “nonut, nonut, nonut”- yeah he made up a song about donuts
  • Nana couldn't understand what he was saying so he drug it out and said "COOOOLLLLOOOORRR!"
  • Singing in the car “big yellow tractor”- his other love in life
  • One morning he was talking and I didn't understand him, so I asked him "what, buddy?", he said "I said..."
  • Many times a day says "pray" and when I ask what we should pray about he names someone. Sometimes Nana, sometimes Scott, often Amber, and recently Sawyer
  • I was cleaning up something on the carpet and Spencer tackled me and started tickling me. Zeke ran over saying "No, sir. No, sir! No, no, Dada!"

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Parent Commissioning

We took part in this service last year with Zeke. You can read about it here. (this will give you the background on what it is and why we participate) Since we are trying to have a baby every year in order to be a part of each wave of babies on staff (JK), we were commissioned last Saturday along with 20 other families. There were 24 babies total (4 sets of twins!) and 4 were staff babies (more staff babies have been born in the past year, but not everyone could make it this time). I am hoping to get the pics that we had taken there because ours leave much to be desired...

talking about how to get Zeke to look at Paw Paw (who had no clue he was taking pictures through out this whole time)

Look at PawPaw

3 out of 4 ain't bad...

And this is the best we got...

Son, we love you dearly and are so proud and blessed to be your family. We pray that we will be a daily living example of Christ's love to you. We desire to honor and serve our mighty God through parenting you. Our hope is that you will run hard after God all of your days. Our verse that we have chosen for you is Romans 15:13 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope". Our prayer is the same that we have for your brother: that you would grow into a man who worships, with your whole life, Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. We love you, peanut!
Mama, Dada, and Zeke

Friday, May 21, 2010

From Rec Therapy to WRECK Therapy

HURRAY! The long and short of it is Sawyer is going home (and actually may already be by the time you read this) Thank you so much for joining me in praying for my friends, the Lairs. Please continue to pray as Sawyer continues to heal and Cher and Stephen jump back into recovery with their 2 year old along with parenting their other three boys, Jackson- 8 years old, Campbell- 4 years old, and Houston- 8 months. This has been a rough experience for them all, so please pray for the transition back to "normal".

As written by Cher around 11 am Friday, May 21:

Party people, we are breakin' out of this joint, and headed to the Lair! we decided sawyer is headed from rec (rereational) therapy to the more organic "wreck" therapy instigated by 3 bouncy, jacked-up, often over-zealous (yet loving) brothers (expecting, "mommy, this incision really won't open back up, no matter how hard i try", or "mommy, i put the staples back in his leg"). fun times ahead! still waiting on the staples and sutures to be removed, and for an official discharge, but we are packing up! little man is taking one last run at the playground, and then we're off to see the boys! i HAVE to take a moment to recognize the people who have cared for us so well, and made it possible for us to stay here round the clock with sawyer: *MISS BECCA BOCK got into her car a week ago (in boston), and started driving when she heard we might need help, and has been with the boys for NINE days now. NINE. she has fed them, clothed them, taken the to movies and field trips, and most importantly, loved on them and kept them just informed enough to know we're ok, and just ignorant enough not to be completely freaked out...a true mommy in the making! then, her sister, KATE, whom i have only met 3 times, drove from atlanta to help her! she then paid to have our carpets and upholstry professionally cleaned and de-germed. rockstar diva. she may also been in mexico somewhere with the baby, but we're not totally sure yet...one thing at a time. *KRISTIN BROUGHTON swooped in with a vengeance and cared for the boys, made meals, organized meal drop-offs for the boys, and did the horrifying deep-clean of the very infected Lair house! She is a superstar! *JULIE FORREST did not even blink when we needed help with baby Houston, and just took the whopper jr. into her home as one of her own. not totally sure she's giving him back, but we're in talks. *there are just SO MANY of you to thank that i could not possibly name you all, so please do not feel we have overlooked you, but i wanted to make sure the world knew what amazing ROCKSTAR women I am privileged to call my friends. we have been loved on by the greears, treeces, heidorns, poseys, biggerstaff/tresolahvys (sp?), babers, wiggins, culbersons, franks, sheltons, hills, sullens, broughtons, foster-coburns, douglas', gaynors, and just so many more that i don't even know about. i know many of you have taken meals over to feed the boys and miss becca, and i just cannot thank you enough for filling up their tummies and making it easier on miss becca. Kristin, Terri Turner and Miss Dorris cleaned our freakin' house so we would not have to return to a den of scary, streppy filth, and for that, we are SO THANKFUL. it has probably never been, and will never be again! our INSANE laundry mountain was also sent to a laundromat and professionally cleaned, and honestly, i don't even know who to thank for that! superheroes you are!! many of you (jen heidorn, christy lassiter) helped with drop-offs/pick-ups and playdates to help the machine run smoothly and keep the boys nice and distracted. you win. I LOVE YOU ALL! * i am just utterly flabbergasted by the outpouring of love and support you all have shown, from near and far. those of you that couldn't be here encouraged me daily with your prayers, calls, notes, and scriptures. i love you for it. I LOVE HOW YOU LOVE OUR LITTLE (but not so little anymore) FAMILY! i want to be the kind of friend that you all are, and i am utterly convicted and challenged because i know i have not been. you have changed me forever. now, let's (gently) rip out these sutures, and get outta dodge! Romans 8:28 "for we know that all things work together for good for those who love God, and those are called according to his purpose"...i'm claiming this mess for GOOD!!!!

The boys lately

The boys have been super busy lately. Zeke has become quite the wordsmith, but that is for another post. Ben is moving all over the place and learns new (as in crazy) sounds each day.

Ben likes squealing at his dad

My theologian (yes that is a prayer book and a Bible)

Zeke can put his shoes on by himself!

Ben loves jumping

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Sawyer Update- GOOD NEWS!

I got to hang out with Sawyer and Cher again today. He had Rec Therapy so I tagged along to the amazing playroom. The whole goal is to get him walking. Well, today he did that and some! It was amazing. I captured it on video, which you can see at the bottom of the page. I was also able to get some pictures of him working hard. He isn't fully walking on his own yet, so keep praying for that. He has been fever free for over 36 hours!!! Keep praying for no more fevers. He does have a weird rash and an ear infection that they think is a reaction to some of his meds. He is having an MRI today, they will get the results tomorrow. PRAY that it will be clear of any infection so that this sweet, dimpled, Rex (his stuffed dog) loving, sassy pants boy can go home!!!

"Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God
the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He does not grow faint or weary;

his understanding is unsearchable.

He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.

Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;

But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles,

they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not be faint."
Isaiah 40:28-31

Summa, Summa, Summatime

Sing the Will Smith song with me, you know you want to...
We had an impromptu play date/dinner with the Gastons on Friday. Katie had to work (only one more Friday, woohoo!!) so she came over afterwards for the fun. We set up the sprinkler for Holt and Zeke. We were all a bit surprised when Holt didn't like it. (he just needed his mama to get here to get his courage up) It didn't matter because the boys had a blast playing in the backyard. They played, had popsicles, ate dinner and even had a bath before we called it a night. We look forward to more fun afternoons and evenings with ya'll!!

Check this out, Holt!

Throw the ball

or just hit it with a bat... or shovel

Resting after lots of playing


They devoured their popsicles!

getting braver

Ben even got in on the fun
Katie got Holt interested in the sprinkler, but the best part of the entire time was Katie's teaching Zeke the hokey pokey!

Wild boys

They definitely egg each other on...

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

"Um, your little guy is pretty...stubborn, shall we say?"- Sawyer Update

so, that's what the physical therapist told me yesterday after his session. stubborn? yes. pistol? um, yes. sassy for days? affirmative. they keep telling me that these attributes will help him as he fights through and pain and therapy, so we're gonna go along with that, and thank the lord for once for his sauciness! the dude is hangin' right on in there, but they're still not comfortable enough to let us go home. there is still a ways to go with physical therapy, and he's still taking IV antibiotics and spiking fevers, so the docs aren't totally thrilled with that. the fevers do seem to be subsiding in severity and frequency, so i'm gonna claim that one as a victory, too! when the fevers disappear, the bloodwork is totally clear, and he's up and running (literally), we'll be able to venture home. i don't want to go home until he's totally ready, but i'm desperate to see the boys, and get everyone back to our normal routine (and by "normal", i mean, hectic, erratic, disorganized, and perpetually tardy). i think the other boys also really need to see us, and have us home,and see that sawyer is, in fact, ok....jackson has made a few comments about sawyer never coming home and never walking again, and we've tried to encourage him as much as possible and set his mind at ease, but he's as with it and attentive as an adult, so he basically knows too much! the other 2 are a bit more oblivious, thankfully, though i'm sure they wonder when the heck we're coming home! it's been a week now, and looking like it could feasibly be another few days, so i feel for the lil' dudes...can't wait to squeeze 'em! they are in perfectly wonderful and capable hands with my friend from ye old wake forest college days (miss becca), and have also spent lots of time with my friends, kristin and julie, so they are more than loved and cared for right now! they're probably having more fun than usual, and may be getting more baths. thank you all for your continued prayer! we see answers and little (and sometimes HUGE) miracles everyday! one by one, the things that the docs are concerned about fall away, and pretty soon, we should have the "all clear"! please pray for clean bloodwork, NO MORE FEVERS (they really wipe him out), and renewed strength/determination for walking! i need to see that boy chasing cats and kicking his brothers! he had some additional staples added yesterday to close the large wound even further, and he LOVED that. the good news is that they gave him the good stuff to get him nice and loopy for the procedure, so he was tripping pretty hard for a few hours and was cracking us up. it was nice to laugh! they gave him one of those spinning, light-up spheres that you win at the state fair, and he held it about a quarter inch from his face and just giggled for an hour. it was kinda awesome. he leg still looks like frankenstein, but thinking the initial staples may come out while we're here, maybe today or tomorrow. there is some concern that with the fevers persisting, there may be some deep-rooted infection somewhere that still has a hold, so they may do more x-rays on his leg today...PRAY!!! also, we'd love to avoid the aforementioned PICC line for his take-home meds, and that depends on his fevers/infection, so it's all tied together...PRAY! no picc line, no fevers, no infection. LET'S GET OUTTA HERE!!!! in happier news, he's moving his leg a little more each day, and even got up onto his knees yesterday in a semi-crawl. he kicked a ball i held in front of his leg, and stood a few times (with assitance). he's eating like a trucker, and is smiling and sweet, and returning to his old sweet/sour, sassafrass self! LOVE THAT BOY!!! we appreciate your thoughts, prayers, cards, pizzas, cinnamon rolls, toys, and coloring books. we love your phone calls. we love your FB messages. we would COVET your continued prayer, and are just claiming the victory of JESUS over SAWYER!!!!

Sawyer Update

I know another post with out any pictures... sorry. I should have taken some last night when I got to visit. Yes, you read correctly. I got to see that sweet boy's face. I walked into a Summit party. Cher and Stephen know how to draw a crowd whereever they go :) Sawyer was in a great mood. He had surgery about an hour and a half before I got there to close up his leg with staples, so he was high on drugs. I got to hear from Cher and Stephen the down and dirty of this experience, but the most amazing thing is that through all of this they continue to cling to Jesus. They know with out Him, they would not be getting through this. Yes, they are tired and ready to go home, but they are praising God that their son still has his leg. They are praising God that he is eating (he ate about a ton of popcorn while I was there). They are praising God for his sweet smile and silly laugh. They are praising God that he protests and doesn't want to do PT (it is a good sign that he doesn't just take it all). They really don't know a ton more now.
Here is the quick and fast of what all has gone down, told to me by them:
Sawyer had a version of hand, foot, and mouth (as did the other boys). Somehow they are thinking that because Sawyer picked at his sores around his mouth that he got a strep infection in his blood. (all the boys also have the strep infection, but it hasn't gotten into his blood- everyone is now on antibiotics) This infection caused swelling in his leg. They cut one long incision on the outside of his left leg and three smaller ones along the inside of the left leg. When they went in to operate, any number of things could have been found. What they found was good because it wasn't spreading like crazy and it hadn't attacked muscle or bone. They weren't able to close the wounds all the way up because of the swelling being so much. This is why he had to have another surgery yesterday to staple his big incision more closed. They are hoping to have xrays today to look for more infection in his leg. His fevers keep coming, although not at high or as frequently. (this is the meningitis part, but it is viral not bacterial which is also the good case version). He has been on a cocktail of antibiotics so there really shouldn't be any other infection needing to be fought. They have been told by the PT that Sawyer can not go home until he walks, they have been told by infectious disease people that he can't go home until he isn't getting anymore fevers.

Specific prayers:
Sawyer will walk on his own
Sawyer will stay fever free for 24 hours
Continued strength, peace, and wisdom for Cher and Stephen

While daddy's away

Spence went to California for work for a few days so the boys and I packed up and went to McLeansville/Whitsett. We stayed three nights and the boys did a fabulous job. This is very encouraging for our upcoming beach trip this summer. I didn't take many pictures of our fun, but here is what I did capture.

Zeke playing at Yaya and PawPaw's

Supper picnic with cousins

Mashed potatoes are YUM

Bampa's driving range

perfecting his swing

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Stop it RIGHT NOW, friend!- Sawyer Update

...so that's sawyer's fave statement at the moment, and he uses it to express any and all displeasure regarding needle sticks, , temp checks, suture checks, and general discombobulation. the good news is, his sass is well in tact! according to the docs, his feistiness is a good sign...they say they'd be more concerned if he were laying there ambivalent to the pain and irritation, soooo, we'll call this one a victory. know that you have all been wanting an update, and i must apologize that we've been remiss in the past few days. our computer has access has been somewhat more limited in the regular children's wing, as there are only 2 for several floors of patients and families. so, there is lots of great news, and some other more sobering news, but we'll start with the good....the dude is really hanging in there, and is showing improvements every day. he's sitting up in bed, talking, and laughing, watching movies, drawing on his doodlepro, and taking rides in the wagon. this has been the most encouraging thing for stephen and i because the medical specifics are so far beyond our grasp and control, and the only thing we can really measure is his "spark". well, folks, his SPARK is on the mend! he's eating like a maniac, which is FANTASTIC news, and means we won't to go the route of a feeding tube, which is just another procedure for him to endure, as well as more sedation. YES! his leg wound is healing nicely according to the surgeons, but just slays us to see...basically the outer leg looks like frankenstein, and the inner leg has 3 large incisions that are stapled together. looks like the staples will have to stay in for a while, and we'll go home with them, but the amazing part of that last sentence is that we'll get to go HOME! sawyer regularly says, " i want to go back." and has said that since the first day in the ER...just yesterday, i asked him, "go back where", and he said, "home, mommy". just kill me now. looks like we'll be back in the OR on monday to have the wound closed more tightly because it's basically been open this whole time with a loose "shoestring" stitch to keep it together. it was basically too swollen to close at the time of surgery, but the swelling is now coming down slowly, which tells the docs that the antibiotics are working! on the antibiotic front, infectious disease draws blood daily (sometimes at 4:30 a.m. by the way...psychos!) and examines it to see where we stand with the infection. he certainly still has the strep infection, but it looks like his platelet count is up (it was dangerously low before), and his white blood cell count is down, meaning the infection is diminishing. this is AMAZING news, which we have been waiting for. in the beginning, they can only guess what the infection is, and use the broadest antibiotics they have to try to kick it, but now we know exactly what he has, and to what degree. they had to put all his junk (blood, mucus, spinal fluid) in a petri dish and watch it grow, which takes time. not sure where we stand on his course of antibiotics heading forward, but waiting to see how much progress is made to know whether or not he can take the meds by mouth (we are hoping for this), or if he'll have to go home with a picc line, which is basically a semi-permanent IV that threads all the way through the arm, and into the body, and which we can load ourselves at home...again, another procedure/sedation we'd like to avoid. physical therapy is daily and makes me want to stab somebody. basically, he still cannot (or maybe will not) stand or walk, so that is, of course, excruciating for us to watch. the therapists basically assist him in walking, standing, stretching, kicking, and he screams, "help me mommy! make is stop! Come hold me!", or "stop it, friend", which, i'm not gonna lie, makes us laugh. at least his manners are in tact. we're hoping he'll be up and walking when we go home, but either way, we're looking at lengthy out-patient PT for a while to come, and we're just not sure how sturdy he's gonna be when we head home. hoping he doesn't mind it when the others boys saddle and ride him later. all that to say, our big boy has been miraculously healed from what could have been a life-ending, limb-threatening infection. honestly, the more i find out about severe blood infections, and spinal meningitis, and how fatal they can be, my stomach turns. we were pulled out of the depths by our GOD, and i will boldly proclaim that to ANYBODY! i have been previously more reserverd about shouting the name of jesus, particulary because many of my friends do not believe, and i haven't wanted to offend them, but that is no longer my chief concern. i feel like i've found the cure for cancer, and i have to tell somebody! HOW COULD I NOT TELL SOMEBODY?! EVERYBODY?! we have been utterly cared for and prayed over in ways that i don't even fully know yet, and i am so completely thankful for all of you who literally got on your face and cried out to God for our baby boy. i'm weeping into the rivets on the keyboard as we speak....i pray that you will all know the comfort, peace, assurance, and joy we have found in these last days, even in the midst of utter turmoil and terror. I know that it can only be found in the name of JESUS!!!! i love you all too much to not tell you that! more info to come as we have it. you've all been amazing. thank you for the meals, matchbox cars, warm socks, hairdryers, sweatpants, magazines, blueberry muffins, and movies. you've all loved us in such specific, unique ways. we adore you*

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Sawyer Update

From Stephen last night

"Rough day of physical therapy today with boughts of high fever thrown in for extra fun. Infectious Disease folks insisted we all get tested and as it turns out Jackson, Campbell, Houston, and me all have Strep Group A. Sawdog is slotted for more surgery on the leg on Monday. Computer access limited now- I will try to post a note soon."

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Laughter of a Child- Sawyer Update

This was written at about 11 last night.

It has been said that there is nothing so pure as the laughter of a child. I am here to tell you that I agree. Today we saw a spark. For around ten minutes this afternoon, Sawyer perked up for the first time in what seems like an eternity. It didn't last long, maybe fifteen minutes but those were the fifteen minutes Cher and I needed most. He ate a couple animal cookies. He drank some apple juice. He was responsive to questions. He showed interest in a toy tool set that had been brought into the room. But most of all he laughed. Not a hearty guffau, not a full-fledged belly laugh varietal but a laugh nonetheless. That was as sweet a sound as I believe either of us has heard to date. We needed that. We know now that his body will heal. Every step has been taken to address all of the different infections raging through his body. What we needed to know was that the cheery, happy little man that we have fallen in love with over the last two years was still there underneath all the wires, swollen, tissue and bandages. Once again the God we serve knew exactly what both of us needed and he delivered in a way that only a father who knows his children could. At this point the medical team feels that we are heading out of the woods. His temperature remains a source of concern and ranged from 99-103.7. The white blood cells found in the spinal fluid are indicators of menangitis but all evidence points toward the viral and not the far more dangerous bacterial. This is an interesting "coincidence" as everyone other part of his body is fighting of a bacterial infection. We got our first look at the wounds on his leg and that was sobering. The three small incisions were not the small that I was expecting; ech measuring around three inches in length and held together by four or five metal staples. The large incision runs the entire length of the outside of his calf and is held by a loose stitch which resembles a shoelace. The closure is designed to allow them to tighten the closure as the inflammation subsides. Seeing these for the first time today as they changed the bandage gave us a more realistic picture of what kind of recovery we are going to be looking at over the weeks to come. The plan for now is that we will leave the PICU tomorrow and go to a regular room. This will be a welcome change as these rooms are situated more for comfort than the ICU. As far as Sawdog's condition goes it is still pretty pitiful. He gets morphine every three hours to manage the pain which is understandably intense after seeing the leg today. This steady stream of narcotics keeps him half sedated for the majority of the day and when he wakes it is usually because he is in pain and the next dose of drugs knocks him back out immediately. Tomorrow, that schedule will have to be adjusted as we begin physical therapy. He will not enjoy this ( and by he I mean his mother and me) but it is a necessary evil in order to make sure that the muscles in the leg heal properly. Prayers have been lifted up literally all around the world for our son over the last few days. From LA to Texas to Florida to Georgia to North Carolina to New York to Boston to Central Asia to South Africa to Japan our brothers and sisters in Christ have gotten on their knees on behalf of Sawyer. I am moved to tears by this demonstration of love. But this is not the love of people for a child. Most of you don't know my son. You have never met him. You don't know the name of his stuffed animal ( Rex, by the way). But yet you prayed. You cried. You took our need before the Creator and asked for his healing. What we saw was not a demonstration of a huge number of people's love for a boy most of them had never met. What we saw was a glimpse of just how much God loves each and every one of us. People all around the world have been following our story not because of their love for a little boy. People have been united by the love of God which has driven them to their knees, overtaken them emotionally at times, awoken them in the middle of the night and been poured out on behalf of a two year old boy and into the life of a family who desperately needed it. Some people look at this and don't really see anything spectacular. They see an illness brilliantly diagnosed by knowledgable physicians, nothing more. This two year old boy is not more special than anyone else and the circumstances surrounding his healing are ordinary at best. They miss the more amazing occurence. God's people all around the planet have put aside their busy lives and lifted up our family. As a result of our prayers, literally hundreds of God's people all over the planet began praying for us and sending us words of kindness and encouragement. He mobilized an army of volunteers through our local church to help with the logistics of our other kids during this ordeal, bring us meals in the hospital, even clean our house while we were away in hopes of rooting out the cause of this infection. These are not natural occurences. This doesn't happen every day. We praise God that it happened to us. We thank him for each and every one of your that are a part of this movement. Please thank him with us tonight. The credit is his.

Update: Fever is back up to 104.5 this am. Lift Sawyer, his family and doctors up. Cover them in prayer!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sawyer Update

5 hours ago from Stephen:

Our old nemesis, Fever Monster, has returned. He has trudged into our ICU suite wearing lymphocyte boots and tainted our spinal tap. The fear now is spinal menangitis. We are awaiting further testing. For now 103 degrees and rising. Saddle up prayer warriors. The battle wages.

1 hour ago from Cher:

fever is down to 100! still concerned about spinal meningitis, and treating preventively. also concerned the infection has settled in his little lungs. i alternate between total freak-out and alarming calm...calmness comes when i remember that Sawyer Thornton Lair was NO ACCIDENT, that his days were ordered long before this day ever came along, and that God is not surprised by these events. His provision is PERFECT!

Circumstances part 1

This post isn't going to be one of those "cute babies" post. This post isn't going to be one of those "wow, they do fun things over at the Shelton crib". This is going to be a "bare all, naked, ugly truth/man that girl has issues/no one will ever mistake Courtney for being perfect and having it all together" kind of post. This post has been a long time coming... as in probably since January, to be exact since Zeke was in the hospital over night with pneumonia. It hasn't been written yet because God was working on me... He is still working on me, but I am at a point where I feel like I can verbalize what is going on. So, if you aren't interested in that and all you want is cute chubby babies, come back another day

I feel like I need to give a little background here. Not much, but just a little. I was rescued from an eternity in hell when I was 17. I had been searching for something to fulfill me for a while. When approval from friends, a boyfriend, and competitive dancing did not make me feel whole, I didn't know where to turn. I wasn't brought up in a home where I wasn't shown love and affection. I was told probably too many times a day (according to my older brother once a day was plenty, thank you very much) how much I was loved by my parents. I wasn't brought up in a home that lacked discipline. My parents taught me boundaries and how to make choices that I wouldn't regret (and also how to fear the parent + a spanking). This wasn't something that my parents had lacked in providing for me. What was missing is something that everyone needs. When I discovered what I was missing it was as if Jesus had been running after me and all I had to do was turn around and run to Him. I had to acknowledge that I am in need of a Savior (not an easy task for an independent girl). I had to acknowledge that I can't do things on my own. I had to ask for Him to forgive me for my sins. I have to daily die myself and my selfish desires. This isn't something that I do easily or well a lot of days. I need God to give me strength. I need God to give me a desire to please Him and seek after the things that will bring Him glory. And that is the reason why we are here, why we were created... to bring God glory.

This post is getting to be quite long so to be continued at a later date...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sawyer Update

From Stephen and Cher:

"Well sports fans it has been a day. That is the only way to describe it. Sawyer is coming out of surgery right now and there are tears of joy running down our faces. The team of surgeons made three small incisions to check the pressure levels that had built up in little man's leg. The ankle and thigh were relatively normal and not at a point to cause concern. The calf was extremely high. They then made an incision the length of his calf to alleviate the pressure. The lead surgeon said that with pressure of that level within 24 hrs the entire muscle would have died. There was a bacterial infection that was causing the swelling. They believe the bacteria was a member of the Strep family. Remind us not to invite them over for Thanksgiving dinner next year! They left the wound open and laced it up like a shoe with the intent of tightening it over the next week as the infection abates. Bottom line- Doc says that the worst thing that will come of out of this little shindig looks like it will be an awesome scar to impress girls with in high school. The only remaining source of concern is the abnormalities that showed in some of his tests. They are performing a spinal tap as we speak to insure that the bacteria has not managed to get into his spinal fluid and therefore traveled to his brain. That is, at the moment, a distant possibility but one we are monitoring nonetheless. The prognosis is that we will be in the hospital with him for at least another week so we are not out of the woods yet. However, things are looking up. Way up. When nerves are not frayed and computer time not at such a premium I am looking forward to sharing how much we have been blessed by God through this experience. For now, know that we love you, are thankful for you, have been blessed by you, and that it looks like our little man will be ok."

They still need our prayers, but things are definitely looking better!!!

Pray for Sawyer

Our dear friends the Lair family is in desperate need of prayer. Please join me.

Below is the most recent update from Stephen (aka the dad). Prior to this update, Sawyer has been in the hospital for 2 days complete with a transfer via ambulance. His first symptoms were a bug similar to hand, foot, and mouth, but has turned into much more as you will read below. Please lift up this family with me.

"Well I would love to report that everything was hunky-dory in Sawyerland but alas that is not the case. Previously on 24(month old)- The MRI took twice as long as we initially thought which was a delightful experience for a waiting mother not allowed in the room. WakeMed will undoubtedly spend thousands re-wallpapering the waiting room from the mother claw marks on every vertical surface. The big concern at the moment was that his temperature would not regulate itself and that the infection was in his bones. The good news is that the MRI showed that the infection is not in his bones. The bad news is that the MRI showed inflamation of the tissue surrounding the muscles in the left leg. This looked to the team of pediatric specialists most like fasciitis. Before you google it they do not at this point believe it is the popular flesh-eating form of the bacteria. Just your garden variety severe bacterial infection of the tissue of the left leg. Good times. This diagnosis would fit nicely with their previous declaration of the interovirus. They think that perhaps the bacteria got into his body through one of the sores around his mouth and headed south to the land of the rising bum. They started a third antibiotic cocktail with the hope that this would reverse the swelling in his leg before any serious nerve damage had been done. Our other concern is that he hasn't eaten anything in around a week. There was talk about a possible feeding tube if his appetite didn't pick up. So last night we went to bed, Cher in the hospital and me on the couch, with a prayer in our hearts and hope on the horizon for a dramatic change of course for our two year old son. Unfortunately, morning brought very little solace. The antibiotics were not effective in reducing the swelling in his leg and the temperature continues to dip down to 97 and slowly climb back up. With the swelling, more pain which brought morphine to help make him comfortable. The situation had rapidly turned from bad morning to horrible nightmare. The pediatric surgeon was consulted last night just in case and today we opened that case. Sawyer was treated to another ride in an ambulance from WakeMed in Raleigh to the Pediatric ICU at UNC in Chapel Hill. I have until this point felt it was important to maintain some semblance of normalcy for the boys at home. Today our priorities changed. My wife needs me. I am here at the hospital now with her at Sawyer's side. We are awaiting the surgical consult to determine our next course of action. As always, our church community has amazed us with their physical support on the ground. The body of believers has certainly embraced us in every conceivable way. The future is a complete enigma at this point. I will continue to keep everyone as up to date as possible. While this is the most terrified that either of us has ever been, we rest in our God who is larger than any situation that could possibly befall us. There is no diagnosis that evades him. There is no bacteria he cannot eliminate, no infection he cannot treat. We love our child more than we could possibly express. Our God loves him more. We cry because he suffers. Our God knows what it means to watch a son suffer. We are comforted by the knowledge that the God who has ordered every aspect of our lives is not a distant force or theory but a present savior who knows and cares for his children and grants us all that we need to endure the course laid before us. Your prayers have sustained us in ways that I am excited to tell you about once these days are past. However, we continue to be in desperate need of his Spirit and pray that he is glorified in us. Thank you for all you are doing. Stephen and Cher"

Sawyer has been taken in for surgery. Please pray for his doctors, family, and of course healing for him.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


On this Mother's Day, I am thankful. I am thankful for my mama, who supports and loves me always. I am thankful for my mother-in-law who treats me like her own daughter. I am thankful for my husband who doesn't need a designated day to make me feel special. I am thankful for my boys who bring me great joy (and much stress). I am most thankful for a loving God, who has blessed me beyond measure.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

21 months

I am loving this age! Well, there are definitely some aspects I'm not loving, but all in all we are having a blast! Things Zeke is up to lately:
*wearing 18 month or 24 month clothing (yes this time last year he wore 18 month, he is wearing some of the same clothes from last year, weird, huh?)
*wears a size 4 diaper, but we went back to cloth during the days while we are home (hoping this will help with the upcoming potty training)
*will sit on the potty
*going through a clingy stage with mama
*cries when left at church, and if others are picked up before him
*still dislikes weird sounds (blenders, air conditioner, vacuum, hair dryer, etc)
*knows his colors, size words, shapes
*throws, kicks, shoots, and tries to dribble balls
*loves crafts especially coloring, but is getting into stickers, playdoh, paint
*sings along with us
*makes up songs ("Big yellow tractor", "No-nuts, no-nuts, no-nuts", "Praise Ye Crackers")
*Go Fish is his favorite group
*Baby Einstein or Little Einstein are his fave movies
*saying long phrases (like 4+ words)
and I am sure I have forgotten tons

Chilling in his car

Pondering life

Looking like a redneck


he played in this tub for 30 minutes

Friday, May 7, 2010

7 months

Ben is 7 months old. He is in such a cutie pie stage! Here are some fun things he is up to now:

*wearing 3-6 month clothes, but can wear a few 6 month/6-9 month clothes
*saying mama like crazy
*can say dada, but doesn't often
*babbles baba, beh, and some wierd sucking in his breath type thing
*eating sweet potatoes, yogurt, pears, bananas, white potatoes, mango, applesauce, green beans
*can drink from a sippy cup
* loves his walker
*rolling all over, scooting everywhere
*A-DORES Zeke, literally lights up when he sees his brother
*has some serious red hair...
* and the temper to go with it
*opens his mouth to give kisses
*sucks on my chin (weird, but something I will want to remember because it makes me laugh)
*plays with his toes
*still in size 2 diapers, but wears cloth most the time

sporting his shades

walk like a man

new way to use a paci

Lil man

Love that face