Aug 30, 2011

Happy Two Week Birthday Jude

Today is baby Jude's 2 week birthday. I must remind you that this is the same baby that Dr.'s offered his parent 4 times in his first few days to just take him off life support.

I'm convinced God has bigger plans for this little guy and his family!

  • He is opening his eyes! You MUST CHECK OUT THIS VIDEO OF IT! The most beautiful thing I've ever seen!

  • His MRI is looking better. There is still bleeding but the brain tissue is looking more normal! Keep praying for that healing of his brain! The neurologist is hopeful and encouraged his parents (Brandon and Mandy) to be as well!!!

  • They are going to do the surgery on his two heart defects (which at many points, they were not even sure the surgeon would agree to operate on him)! That is probably coming at the end of the week. Pray for that!

I have been praying LOTS lately between Jude and my Aunt Karen and other things going on in my life. I hope you are praying with me! It's been a rough week for me, and this good news about Jude is just what I needed. Praising God for that!

Aug 29, 2011

Aunt Karen Update

Please continue to pray for my Aunt Karen who had a brain anurism last Wednesday.

Praise God that scans continue to show no further signs of stroke or damage since the anurism and surgery.

She has developed pnemonia. Please pray that this can be treated and cleared quickly.

She has also developed a condition, not unexpected in patients who have experienced SAH, that decreases the blood flow to the brain. The doctors are treating this, please pray for this.

Please pray that God would heal the damage that was sustained from the anurism. Continue to pray that she would make a full and miraculous recovery.

Please pray for the day to come quickly that her husband, children, grandchildren, mother, siblings, and friends can once again see her beautiful eyes, hear her infectious laugh, and listen to her wonderful voice.

Aug 26, 2011

Needing Your Prayers Once Again

This is my grandma Fraunhofer (my dad's mom) and my Aunt Karen (my dad's sister) on a visit to Maine two falls ago.

It seems like just yesterday.

My Aunt Karen is a woman of faith, a wife, a mom, a grandma, a nurse and so much more! She is an early riser and a hard, hard worker. She is a woman who is alway busy, always doing, always caring for others and nothing ever seemed to slow her down.

But Wednesday morning she was slowed down by a brain anurism.

I first of all praise God that he orchestrated the following circumstances. She was visiting her daughter in the Twin Cities, near big hospitals. I second of all praise God that my grandma found her. I third of all praise God that her son-in-law Jeremi had decided to go into work late and so was there to respond quickly and call 911. I praise God that she made it to the hospital still conscious and coherent. I praise God that they found the bleed and performed a successful surgery. I praise God that she made it through the surgery.

But there is a long road ahead, one that is uncertain. So please pray.
She is in the ICU and heavily sedated. Pray that there are no further anurisms, that she does not experience stroke, and that she makes a full and miraculous recovery.

Aug 24, 2011

The Poop Jar

While Ella has been pee potty trained for quite some time, she's still not pooped in the potty. Oh sure she did it a few times in the beginning but they weren't really successes, because they really just made her more scared. So we backed off because I was afraid she'd hold it in with the veracity that she held her pee in, and we'd have a real medical issue on our hands.

But when your child knows she needs to poop and afterwards says, "Mom, I pooped. You need to change my bum." And while changing her she reminds you to "Make sure you don't get any poop on your hands mom." You know it's time. And although this might be completely unrelated...when your toddler tells you she's "building a cantilever" and she actually is...she can probably go poop in the potty.

Now, just so you don't think we're totally being played...she does have some sensory processing issues that make change and new sensations very anxiety provoking. But we're working with someone from CDS and we've learned so much about small little things to do and changes to make that have made a WORLD of difference in just a few months time. But I'm still bound and determined to have her FULLY trained befor three.

So, in light of all that, we decided to wait until after all of our summer traveling was done...which was A LOT. We made a social story about it and read it a lot. We prepped her for it, telling her after we get back from camping, Pull-Ups are gone and she'd be pooping in the potty. We returned from camping and she participated in getting rid of the Pull-Ups. Then we went over the system with her and introduced the Poop Jar (thanks Kristie for the great idea!).

Once she fills the Poop Jar up with pom-poms she gets to take a trip to York's Wild Animal Kingdom. We scoped it out online and she's super excited. She said the kangaroo was her favorite animal so a picture of him made it on the jar.

So she gets to put one pom-pom in for every time she sits a while and tries. (This is difficult for her because up until now, she's run around for a good 1/2 hour to work out her poo.) And she gets to put 5 pom-poms in if she actually goes. She also gets a swedish fish and m&m's for an immediate reward when she goes.

I thought I was in for another long battle...but it's not been so bad. We implimented this on Sunday when we returned from camping and she resisted that day and most of the next, holding it in and clearly becoming uncomfortable. But then, on Monday, she did it! It still scares her, but she did it again today! I think this will prove to be much less of a struggle than I thought! Yay!

Aug 23, 2011


So I was buying some pregnancy tests yesterday, (Now don't anyone go getting all excited...I buy pregnancy tests all the time. In fact, I think they've been a staple on my grocery list for the past 6 years except for the 9 months I was pregnant with Ella. That's not the point of this story. I know I was kind of evil with the picture over there :) loading my groceries into my cart and tending to Ella when I heard the cashier say, "Are you Wicken?"

To which I wanted to turn around and say, "Dear Lord, please tell me what about my appearance, speech, mannerisms or grocery items makes you think I'm Wicken and I will go home and immediately change all of those things!" But instead I politely stated, "I'm sorry, come again?"

At which point the woman held up my pregnancy tests and restated her original question, "Are you Wiggin'?"

"Oh, no not at all," I replied, " We're hoping."

"Oh, oh my gosh. That's so great," she responded as her face lit up, "I'll say a prayer for you. It's so nice to hear someone wanting a baby!"

It was an interesting and ultimately nice little exchange. But I felt my heart heavy as I wheeled my cart to the car and drove home. Don't get me wrong. I know there are still plenty of people who want children and plan and hope for them. But what a sad statement it is about our society when those people... those planning, wanting, hoping for, happy to have a baby people are exceptions to the norm.

How have we reached a point where it is commonplace, for people to be so reckless in their actions. To think only of themselves and their wants and not consider what the consequences might be...pregnancy, birth, the creation of another human life that had no say whether or not to come into this world. And how it breaks my heart to know that the typical and expectel response to being pregnant is to be "wiggin'".

Call me old fashioned here...but we ALL know how babies are made. If you don't want one...DON'T MAKE ONE. AND, if you can't take care of one, DON'T MAKE ONE. I long for a world where babies are made only when they are wanted. Where they are brought into the world only when they will be given the utmost love, attention, financial wellbeing and stability in life. I know...I'm a dreamer. But I like to keep dreaming.

(Stepping off soapbox) That's all for now.

How Our Garden Grows

I'd say our first year gardening has been a success. Here is a salad I made the other night solely from our garden alone! Lettuce, cherry tomato, pea pods, cucumber and carrots. Yummm! I've pickled 6 quarts of cucumber and eaten many fresh. I've used our onions in recipes, and sliced some beautiful big tomatoes as well. We've got squash and pumpkins coming in too! AND I've also canned 22 pints of dilly beans, frozen several pounds of beans more, eaten near a ton of beans and there are still some growing and blossoming! They're the bean plants that never end!

I got to thinking about our meager little plot and I was overwhelmed with gratitude. How blessed we are to have a home, a beautiful home. How fortunate we are to have land that we own. How prosporous we are to be able to buy seed and supplies. And how favored we are to have MORE than enough food to eat every day...from our own garden none the less.

Take a moment to think about the world as a whole. There is a HUGE percentage of the world's population that does not have these things. Think about why it is that you were born where you were born, and live where you live and have the things you have. If you live in America you are fortunate and you are rich. Don't keep it all to yourself. Spread the love.

Update On Baby Jude

Baby Jude is one week old today!!! Praise the Lord! This is a little boy who had brain surgery in the first days of his life because blood was covering most of his brain. The doctors asked his parents 4 times in the first few days if they wanted to just take him off life support. They said no, and have an army of people praying with them.

As of Today:

An eye that they thought would never work, is responding well.

The dopamine that was once required to keep his blood pressure stable, has been turned off (A VERY specific prayer his momma, Mandy, had asked for.)

He was tested off the respirator and breathed on his own!

He is being transferred back to the first hospital because they have an excellent pediatric heart surgeon. Pray that the doctor will do the surgery and it will fix his two hear defects. This boy is a fighter and God is answering prayers for healing.

The road is no doubt still long and he is by no means out of the woods. Keep praying!

Aug 19, 2011


The verdict is in. Hunter has anaplasmosis. This is what the vet thought based on the symptoms. It is very hard to diagnose by bloodwork but they did confirm it.

It is so similar to Lyme disease. It is caused by a bacteria carried in ticks. Dogs get lethargic, lose their appetite, get upset stomach, have stiff swollen joints and usually run a fever. Hunter never ran a fever. If it progresses too far, they can have seizures, neurological affects and it can affect the liver and kindneys. He's not had any seizures or neurological affects and it doesn't seem to have affected his liver or kidneys, let's hope not.

The good news is that after a four week course of antibiotics, most dog make a full recovery. He's been on his meds for one week and the only symptom he still displays is a limp, but it's much more slight than before. His prednizone has cleared up his itching, he's eating like a champ, and chasing his ball once again. Yay!

Aug 18, 2011

Spiritual Conversations With My Two Year Old

Me: I love you.
Ella: Why you love me Momma?
Me: Oh sweetie, I can't even begin to tell you all the reasons why. Because I'm your Momma and I'll always love you no matter what.
Ella: Yeah.
Me: Do you know who else loves you?
Ella: Daddy.
Me: Yes absolutely! Do you know you else?
Ella: You tell.
Me: God. God loves you very much.
Ella: And Jesus.
Me: Yes. (Decided not to delve into the whole Trinity, Jesus is God thing right now.)
Ella: Are we going to go see God? Up in Heaven?
Me: Oh yes honey, some day. But not right now. And hopefully not for a long time.
Ella: Are we going to go dere in da car?
Me: No sweetie, when we go to Heaven we won't need a car. God will take us up, up, up through the sky.
Ella: (Eyes grow WIDE with amazement.) Are we gonna have wings Momma!?

Aug 17, 2011

Pray For Baby Jude

There is a little boy named Jude Matthew that entered this world just days ago, and his life hangs in the balance. We spent a summer with his parents Brandon and Mandy when we were on staff with Cru. They are amazing people. Read more about Jude's battle HERE. And please pray for this precious baby and his family.

Aug 12, 2011


When it comes to Hunter (Our Beloved 11 Year Old Golden Retriever), we definitely don't treat them like they are little people, or children...

He's not allowed on the furniture or on the bed...but he does have a memory foam dog bed of his own. He doesn't get people food or tons of treats and chews...but he does get the TOP OF THE LINE all natural dog food and dog treats. He doesn't ride in the front seat of the car, but he does travel with us almost everywhere we go. We don't take him to a groomer or dress him up....but we do brush him all the time, keep his nails trim and I'm a pretty handy home groomer with the feet and ears if I do say so myself.

Oh who am I kidding, Hunter's life is WAY cushier than mine, he is our first child and there's nothing we wouldn't do for that animal.
This is a picture of him last year...rounding the corner on 10 years old. Looks amazing right? And he acts it as well. He's in better shape than most dogs half his age, not a stiff joint to be found and other than so pretty fierce seasonal allergies he's fit as a fiddle, with the only indicator of his age being his slightly graying face.

But lately, he's had us a bit worried. After his vaccines in May he got really stiff and started to limp. It did settle down a bit for a while but then came back. We put him on glucosamine and chondrotin suppliments. But now everything's gone down hill...and FAST. He limps on two legs hardly putting weight on one, needing to be carried up and down stairs, he started itching like crazy and ripped so much hair out that he has a bald spot, he became super lethargic and stopped eating. It was like he aged 5 years in 5 days and Jason and I were crying in bed one night because we thought this was the beginning of the end for him. We're just not ready for that so...

It was off to the vet A.S.A.P. They believe it is a tick born illness (not Lyme) but that's really just their best educated guess.

So, our old man is on a white rice and boiled venison diet and loving it. (very glad we have deer in the freezer by the way). He's got an antibiotic for the tick born disease, a steroid for the itching that caused him to rip his hair out to the point of having a bald patch, and the dreaded cone around his head to keep him from doing more harm to his poor skin. If this course of treatment helps, then the diagnosis is correct.

He has regained his appetite and a little pep. But he's still itching like crazy and his limping is only a little better. So back to the vet we go tomorrow and see what they say.

Aug 9, 2011

The Harvest Continues

After we returned from our weekend at camp, this is what I hauled in from the garden.It is our THIRD bean picking. I have already canned 17 jars of dilly beans, frozen two pounds and eaten plenty more! There will be AT LEAST two more pickings from what I can tell.

The tomatoes are exploding and so are the cukes. I pulled a carrot and onion just to see where they're at...a bit more time for those. The poor little pea pods in the back corner are from the few pea pants that survived the bunny raid. 'Fraid there won't be many of those! But they sure are tasty, eaten as pods or peas!

I picked four pounds of pickling cukes today and am taking my first stab and pickling them as we speak! This stuff just makes me giddy!

Aug 8, 2011

8 Years and Counting

Yup, today is our 8 year anniversary. Still going strong. Call me sappy, I don't care. We're literally more in love every year. And what, pray tell, does one get on one's 8th Anniversary? Well, apparantly the traditional gift is bronze. What the crap? We've never really done the traditional thing.

If you're my husband, 8 years of marraige gets you a sweet little card with messages from your girls, a yummy dinner (that is fully prepped, but you have to grill) and a wife that shaved, put on a lovely summer dress, did her hair and dabbed on some make-up before you came home from work today.

And if you're married to Jason, 8 years of marraige gets you.... a stop at the flower shop on the way home from work, but they were closed soooooo....nothing. Oh wait, it gets you a second effort trip out while you put the babe to bed that results in a redbox and dessert from Fogarty's.

It may not sound exciting to some folks, but it really is grand.

And by the way, our real celebration takes place at the end of September. We decided to forgo presents for anniversary and birthdays this year and instead take a weekend trip to NH and go on an extreme zipline/suspension bridge/rappel canopy tour. AWESOME!