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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Happy Hump Day!

What started out as a bumpy morning turned out to be terrific. 1st off Gabrielle woke up way too early and was a grumpy butt the 1st hour she was awake. That quickly turned around when I told her Chase was coming over to play. Gabrielle was all geared up to have a couple hours of play time with Chase but I received a call from Allyson saying both Chase and Gage were somewhat under the weather so they wouldn't be coming over. Gabi turned on the alligator tears in a moments time so to redeem myself I quickly returned a call to April who had phoned earlier in the morning asking if we wanted to meet them at the park. I loaded the kids up and headed off to the park. Ethan and Gabrielle had a blast being little dare devils playing together. We treated ourselves to McD's for lunch (I even splurged and allowed Gabi chocolate ice cream for dessert) & April and I were able to converse and catch up. It was much needed time with one another! The highlight of our day was making our 1st trip to the library. Gabrielle thought she was so privileged to pick out a pile of books to take home. I am unsure if she fully understands that they don't belong to us & we have to return them. Dawson was his good spirited little self and was just happy to be in tow. He is changing at the speed of lightening! He is now pushing himself up on his arms, sitting for LONG periods of time playing with his toys, gets from a sitting position to his tummy & lets out screams of shear delight.

This was my attempt at snapping a pic of my little man w/his Mommy. UGH! I hate pics of myself. Should an almost 33 year old have a double chin already?

A quick shot I caught of Dad with the kiddos this afternoon

Friday, April 25, 2008

Awesome wonder

Rene' and I took the kids to the Arboretum on Wednesday.
It is a little piece of heaven right here on earth.

I so look forward to taking my family (my parents and mostly my brother Derek and his family) in the coming months. There is so much beauty to take in. I was trying to put into words to Travis how at peace I felt when I was there; the sound of running water, feeling the breeze and just soaking in all God's creation. I also had so much respect for those volunteers whose hands were at work planting, watering & tending to the flower beds.

I love to watch these two together.
Gabrielle enjoys every minute with Tatum. I am so thankful for Rene's friendship and that our children are so close in age. It has been a fun ride watching them grow up together over the past couple of years.

Gabi would live outside this time of year if we would allow her to. I so often say she is a boy in a girls body. She loves to pick flowers, get her hands down in the dirt & just run at her free will.

I love this sweet picture of her - she is such a pretty little thing!

I am thankful for my time at the Arboretum, for gorgeous flowers, flowing water, breathtaking views & for refreshing time with a dear friend. I am also thankful for the rain which followed. It was a great teaching discussion with Gabrielle how God provides the rains to nourish every living thing.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Koyaanisqatsi or vyinafeshing?

Our church is doing an all church small group study of the book "I became a Christian and all I got was this lousy t-shirt". I highly recommend this read to anyone who isn't already involved in the study. As I was preparing for small group on Tuesday evening I was really convicted of several things. Here is what I learned:
1. Jesus' method of caring for people was to focus on the person standing right in front of him. I typically view the person in front of me as an obstacle to accomplishing my true mission, but Jesus viewed the person in front of him as his true mission.
2. Jesus knew how to say no. He would leave the crowds behind and go off and commune with the Father. He prayed.
3. Jesus said, "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." Matt 11:28-30

Koyaanisqatsi is a Hopi Indian word meaning "life out of balance" or "crazy life" or "life in turmoil."

Vyinafesh is a Hebrew word in the Old Testament related to Sabbath that expresses what happens when we live a life where we walk with God at the spiritual speed of love. It will lead us to an intentional life of deeply loving God and people, a life of being fully present in every moment, a life of Sabbath rest. The word is found in Exodus 23:12 and means to "rest, be refreshed, i.e. to cease from an activity, resulting in rest and refreshment from a weary state."

So my question for myself is Koyaanisqatsi or Vyinafeshing?
And my challenge for myself is this
1. practice moving at the speed of love
2. focus on the person standing in front of me
3. take a real rest

How do I answer this?

This is the question that Gabrielle just threw out at me as I opened my Bible and small group study book ... Does Jesus make sure that the life of Kansas doesn't die? Hmmmm ...

Friday, April 18, 2008

Praise Update

All is well! For those of you that have been following all our adventures with Dawson, an update is overdue. We saw an orthopedic specialist on March 27th. He ordered an x-ray of Dawson's pelvic region and the results were normal. He is recommending we see a massage therapist in Kearney, MO who specializes in cranial sacral massage. We will return in several months to proceed with Botox if he hasn't received any further progress with physical therapy and the massage. We continue to see Debbie Foster at the Lee Ann Britain Infant Developmental Center connected with SMMC. I always look forward to our time with Debbie. She is a fellow Christian and is an encouragement to me. She joined me at Dawson's appt with the ortho doc which was so beneficial as she was able to relay what her findings and concerns were as his therapist. She is now taping a different muscle known as the psoas muscle across his abdomen and down his left groin region. I leave the tape in place for 3 days and then remove it.

Dawson had his 6 month well baby exam on March 14th at which time Dr. Martin ordered a panel of blood tests to be performed. We had the blood drawn at our insurances preferred lab which is Quest Diagnostics. We waited 3 very long weeks for the results only to be thrown back when the pediatrician phoned herself saying the results came back very abnormal. She asked our permission to consult with the genetics department at CMH to have them review the tests for accuracy, etc. Good news is that the results were based on adult values versus a pediatric value. We had the tests redone at CMH South on April 11th and everything is in the clear. Praise the Lord! This was a huge sigh of relief.

We saw the ophthalmologist at Children's Mercy South on April 14th to rule out ocular torticollis. We received good news and bad news at that appointment. Good news is that Dawson's condition is not due to ocular issues however the physician was able to determine through dilating his eyes that he is more far sighted in his left eye which can and often does lead to lazy eye so this is the latest in fashion accessories in Dawson's world. We are patching his good eye for a 2 hour period each day to help strengthen the weak eye.

We have had more set backs with his helmet. Last Monday we had an add on appt with the orthotic department at KU as Dawson had significant skin breakdown above his right ear. We were ordered to leave his helmet off until it was 100% healed. We put the helmet back on Friday mid morning only to have it off again early that evening. The modifications they had made on Monday caused a severe area of inflammation and swelling. We were back to KU today for his regular adjustment appt and wouldn't you know we were told to leave it off again until the swelling is 100% gone. That crazy helmet has been more hassle than help to this point.

We made a short trip to Springfield this past weekend to purchase new family wheels. I am officially a mini-van mom. I love it! Travis enjoyed playing a round of golf with his high school buddy Rod and the kids and I had a great afternoon at the local zoo with Aunt Shari. Gabrielle showed an extreme amount of patience as we waited in line for nearly an hour for her to get this little butterfly painted on her face. She was so proud of it!!! and I was proud of her for being so patient. This is an area we (Gabrielle and Mommy alike) struggle with and are working on.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

It's beginning to feel like Spring

The high was 67 degrees yesterday so I took advantage and headed outside with the kids after lunch. Gabrielle and Bree had such a great time sliding and chasing each other around the back yard.

I snapped this quick shot of the girls playing with our neighbors Boston Terrior through the fence. They have become great little playmates despite the 18 month age difference. Gabrielle enjoys the days that Bree is with us. She likes to be mother hen.

Here is my boy sporting his most adorable Harley Davidson jacket for the 1st time! Aunt Shari & Uncle Darren will love him in it. It is by far one of my favorite consignment sale finds! Dawson has become really good at supporting himself sitting up in the past several weeks. The girls went on a dandelion hunt therefore Gabi though it necessary for brother to have one to munch on.

I didn't post the picture, but the dandelion DID indeed make it into his mouth. I love this time of year and the new life it brings with it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Princess ?or is it Ballerina? Gabrielle

I am so behind on my posting and daily happenings so here is a real quick one

I have learned that rewarding Gabrielle's good behavior has its benefits. I recently picked up this princess crown & clip on earrings at Target for $2. She was beside herself when she earned it. The cheap thing broke the 1st hour she wore it and she gets really frustrated because the earrings won't stay on her ears ... but it made a cute picture while they lasted.

I bought this ballerina leotard from Cindy Wright for $.50 I think and what a buy!!! It has been worn more than any other clothing item in her overfilled closet. She loves to play dress up. She stands in front of the fireplace (where she can easily catch her own image) and sings "I'm a ballerina, ballerina, ballerina. I'm a ballerina, and Gabi's my name. I sing and I dance and I twirl and I leap. I'm a ballerina, and Gabi's my name." (sang to the tune of The More we get together).
All for now - more to come. Love, C

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Handsome Hunk (Punn intentional)

I know we are all partial to our children, but can I just say that I am crazy in love with MY little man? When Travis and I found out we were pregnant with Gabrielle I had strong conversation with the Lord that he had to bless me with a son 1st. I had this in my mind for two reasons.
1. I have 2 amazing handsome older brothers with whom I grew up having a great relationship with, whom I looked (and continue to look) up to, & who I have the utmost respect for
2. Every little girl deserves a big brother to look after & protect her the way my 2 did for me. Don't let me forget to say to ridicule, harrass & embarrass the way they did as well.
As you all know things didn't go my way and the Lord blessed me with the most beautiful, strong willed, curly haired doll instead. So we were elated when Dawson came along. God's timing is perfect!

Not only did He give us a son to love, he gave us one with sweet baby rolls, eyes that sparkle & a smile that will melt anyones heart. Dawson is so much fun to interact with, laugh with & love.

My friend Allyson did a quick mini photo shoot to document Dawson at 6 months of age. I love every shot she took. He so often has his tongue pressed against his lip as shown in the above photo, but most of all I love how she captured his eyes. A person's eyes & smile speak volumes.

This is just one of my favorites. I simply adore how you are drawn to his little foot and how he has his toes curled. I really like how the photo sillouettes his figure in the background.
Thanks again Allyson for a fun morning and for all the great shots!
James 1:17 Every good and perfect gift is from above

Friday, April 4, 2008

Whole Name

We spent a little time with Gabrielle last Thursday evening teaching her her Mommy & Daddy's whole name. It was a great teaching moment as we were able to share a little about where our names came from. Friday the kids and I went to Chick-Fil-A with my parents and then made a quick run into Target. While mom and I were in Target Gabi said to her Papa "Mema and Christine are in Target." When we got back to the car Dad asked me "When did she start calling you by your 1st name?" I explained that she doesn't and then turned to Gabrielle and said, "Tell Mema & Papa what my name is." She said "Christine Mary." I said "Tell them my whole name," and she said "Christine Mary to my Daddy!" She got a good laugh out of the 3 of us. Each and everyday something comes out of that mouth of hers that either astonishes us, embarrasses us, or makes us smile with delight. She never has been at a loss for words!