God alone is Sovereign

1 Chronicles 29:11

Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all.

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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Anna Grace - March 31

I wanted to share this with you. A friend sent me a picture of the wall outside Anna Grace's Sunday School classroom. She hasn't been to Church yet, but she is already enrolled in Sunday School and her teachers have put her name up on the wall outside her classroom. I thought it was so sweet that I had to share......

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Anna Grace - March 30

Had an appointment with Anna Grace's cardiologist, Dr. R., today and we got a good report. He initially saw some fluid around her lung during the echo - so after the echo he sent us for a chest x-ray, but the chest x-ray did not indicate that the chlyothorax had returend so we are free to continue keeping her on breast milk (thank you Jesus)! Her echo showed that she had good heart function (for Anna Grace) and her O2 sats were good for Anna Grace (87). Her weight is up to 11 pounds 4 ounces so we had to up her meds just a little to compensate for her weight gain. Overall, a great day for Anna Grace.

So, we go on Thursday to her pediatrician for a check-up and I am going to see if we can get the OK from him to take her to church to dedicate her before we have to go back to Chalreton for her May 10 heart cath. I'll keep you posted.

My little one is waking up so it's time for me to go. Thank you all for continuing to pray.....

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Anna Grace - March 23

So our little one is now 12 weeks old and she will offically be 3 months old on the 28th. I can not beleive it!!! What a journey it has been. Just to report how she has been doing, she did roll over twice from her tummy to her back. We finally got the "all clear" to start putting her on her tummy, which had to be delayed due to the surgery she had. But, she now spends about 5 minutes each "awake" time on her tummy, which she doesn't really care for hence the rolling over I guess (hee-hee)! This past week Anna Grace has discovered her hands. She is absolutley fascinted by them. She will hold them up in front of her little face and just move her fingers and stare at them. She has started trying to grab hold of toys & things as well but hasn't quite mastered that yet. She has also started putting her hands on her bottle as I'm feeding her. She can't hold her bottle, but I think she likes to try. It is really cute. As much as I have tried and tried I have not been able to get this little one on a set schedule (sigh). I will continue to try and perhaps one day it will just click with her. What a treat it is to BLOG about normal baby things..... Perhaps we can even come out of quarantine in the next few weeks??????

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Anna Grace - March 16

Today was a big day for our Anna Grace. She had an appointment with Dr. R this morning (her cardiologist) and Dr. R looked at ther chest x-ray and said it looked CLEAR (thank you Jesus)! So, that means her Chylothorax is healed (???) and she can continue eating breastmilk (woo-hoo)! Dr. R wants to perform another chest x-ray in a month just to be sure there is no fluid accumulating around her lungs, but for now we have the green light to continue with the breast milk. What a blessing, truly. Her tummy is so much better since she has been drinnking breastmilk which makes Anna Grace a happier baby which makes Mommy a happier Mommy which makes us all a happier family!

He did increase her blood pressure medicine because her blood pressure is a little elevated. He said that as she continues to get bigger we will have to continue to increase her medicine, makes sense to me. Speaking of getting bigger, she weighed in at 10 pounds 6 ounces today at Dr. R's office. He said he was pleased with her growth. Accourding to the "statistics" she is in the 20% precentile in weight/size of "normal" babies so Mommy is happy that she is even on the "normal" baby chart :)

So, we see Dr. R again in 2 weeks for an echo (which we didn't have today) to be sure that things in her heart look OK. All in all it was a good day for Anna Grace. We are thankful.

Oh... for those of you who are wondering about how Anna Grace is doing with Babywise.... she is doing pretty good with it - I think she is starting to begin to get on a routine and although she would prefer Mommy & Daddy to do "pat patrol" after some fussing in her crib she usually settles herself down & is able to nap. Dr. R just said to use some discernment and that if she really gets upset to pick her up & try to soothe her. Sounds good to me!

Thank you all for continuing to pray for Anna Grace. Now we are just trying to stay well until her Heart Cath on May 10 & then surgery #2 this summer.

Oh... one more PRAISE to report... we received a letter in the mail today stating that Anna Grace was approved for TEFRA (the insurance for "special needs" children). We are SO VERY thankful for this. Whew.... thank you Jesus!

"Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you." Psalm 9:10

Monday, March 15, 2010

You Will Develop At What Pace

The doctors warned us to be prepared that Anna Grace might develop at a slower pace due to her heart condition. This is common with babies who have CHD (Congenital Heart Disease) which Anna has. See here for more information about her condition.

Well I guess the doctors forgot to tell Anna because today she turned over from her back to her belly. This is truly amazing not only because she is only 11 weeks old but she only has half a heart. We are so grateful our Lord Jesus has allowed us to experience this huge hurdle in Anna' life.

Father, may our situation be a glorious reflection of Christ' mighty power and glory. Thank you for the 11 weeks and thank you Lord for making our daughter strong.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Anna Grace - March 12

Anna Grace saw her pediatrician today for a "check up". She weighs 10 pounds 7 ounces today, which is great. She had her Synagis (sp?) shot today to help protect her from RSV. This will be the last Synagis shot she will need until the coming Fall (hooray)! While we were there, Dr. Y asked if we wanted to go ahead & do her chest x-ray there since I told him we were having that done on Monday at Mary Black. I jumped on that - it beats having to make another trip on Monday. So.... after we saw Dr. Y we had her chest x-ray & Dr. Y "unofficially" looked at it for us. He didn't see any fluid buildup on her chest, but Dr. R will have to "officially" look at it on Tuesday & make the call. I was encouraged though :) So, perhaps we can stay on breast milk????? It would truly be a blessing.

So, while we were there I asked him for suggestions on getting Anna Grace on a schedule and getting her to sleep without "pat patrol" which consists of me or my hubby swaying her and patting her bottom until she falls asleep at which time we gingerly place her in her bed with a prayer that she stays asleep. Now, let me clarify by saying we did Babywise with our son Z and think it's great, but with Anna Grace's surgery, hospital stay & then crazy Portagen doing Babywise with her wasn't even feasibile until now. So, Dr. Y assured me that it would be fine to do Babywise with her and that letting her "cry it out" would be OK. So.... it will be a tough 3 - 5 days as we begin the Babywise process with Anna Grace. And who knows, it really may not be a good option for her, but we will give it a try and see. Pray for Mommy & Daddy - it is heart wrenching to hear her cry :(

So, Babywise for the weekend and then we'll see her cardiologist on Tuesday for a check up and the official verdict from her chest x-ray. Thank you for continuing to pray for Anna Grace :)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Our Children

Powerful three minute video helping our children cherish Jesus Christ...

Anna Grace - March 8

So, we don't take Anna Grace back to the doctor until Friday. Today we are just seeing the pediatrician for her "normal" 2 month check up. I am so curious to see how much she weighs now. If the pain in my lower back is any indication then I think she has put on a little weight in these last 2 weeks she has been drinking breast milk (ha-ha)! I'll keep you posted on what the number is after our appointment on Friday!

Other than a little rash she has developed (which I think is from fabric softner I have been using on her clothes which I have discontinued) she is doing just fine. She's been relatively happy (for Anna Grace) and sleeping pretty good as well. She gets up once during the night to eat and I am thankful for that. I am praying for a quiet week.

I also want to mention that I was able to go to Church yesterday as well. Hubby stayed ome with the kids. What a true blessing to get to go Worship -

Friday, March 5, 2010

Anna Grace - March 5

I am happy to report that Anna Grace slept through the night for the first time last night - WOO-HOO!!!!! Daddy fed her at about 11:00 pm and then she didn't wake up again until 6:30 am. She started stirring around 4:30 am, so I got up to fix her a bottle. By the time I got back upstairs she was quiet again, I thought she would wake, but she never did. YEAH, I am hoping we will have a repeat tonight:)

Also, took the kids to the park again today, but since today was a super nice day every other Mom in Spartanburg decided to take their kids to the park as well - many with running noses & coughs - so after 15 minutes we had to high tail it out of the park. Needless to say, Zachary was pitching a fit to leave after only 15 minutes of playing. I tried to explain to him about germs & hjis sister, but there is no reasoning with a 3 year old. So, we played in the backyeard after we got home and tht seemed to appease him. Sigh.....

Thursday, March 4, 2010

John Piper at Westmont College

"You are precious to Him, and the greatest gift He has for you is not to let your preciousness to Him become your god, but rather have Him as your God." John Piper -
Listen and grow.

Anna Grace - March 4

So for the moment BOTH kids are napping -at the same time - yes, I can hardly believe it myself!

I wanted to update everyone about how Anna Grace is doing since she has been on breast milk. We started her on breast milk Friday around noon. Since that time she has not thrown up. When she was on the Portagen it was a fight every feeding to keep her from vomiting. Also, when she was on the Portagen she was taking two different tummy medications - one of them twice a day - the other 4 times a day. Since she has been on breast milk we have dropped one of the tummy medications completley (the one she was taking 4 times a day). The other tummy medication I am going to experiment dropping to only once a day & see how she does with that. Overall, she is feeling remarkably better - she still cries - but it is not at all like it was when she was on the Portagen. Also, when she was on Portagen - she was eating two ounces at each feeding - since she has been on breast milk she is eating 4 ounces at each feeding - she doubled her volume almost overnight. It really has been such a blessing to be able to feed my daughter food that her body was meant to eat. I guess I am thankful that Portagen exists, because without it she would have been in the hospital on an IV all this time because there would not have been anything for her to be able to eat that her body could process. But, I am so thankful for God's mercy that at least for now she is able to eat breast milk. Please continue to pray that when we go back for her chest x-ray in two weeks that there is no fluid accumulation in her chest & she can remain eating breast milk.

Oh... I took both kids by myself to the park yesterday for about 30 minutes and again today for about 30 minutes. We are supposed to be in quarantine, but the park was pretty much a ghost town yesterday & there were only 3 children there today. We scrubbed our hands when we got done. It was such a treat to be able to be outside in the sunshine even if it was only for a little while - I have really missed it and I know Zachary has too. I just LOVE cold sunny days, don't you?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Love Your Trials

Trials come in all forms and sizes. They are always personal and no matter the size of the trial, they always have a large impact on us physically and emotionally. From personal trials as serious as brain cancer, to the earthquake victims in Haiti and all trials in between (loss of a loved one, loss of a job, martial problems, teenage problems, children sick, etc….), it seems everyone has them, and the ones we have affect us deeply. I’ve heard it said that “You’re either going into a trial, in a trial, or coming out of trial.” This statement I believe is very true.

I ran across the below statement in a book I am reading Make My Life a Prayer. The book is a collection of diaries and short concert messages from the late Keith Green who was killed in plane crash when he was 28. You can find more information about Keith Green by clicking on this link.

Anyway, the below short message from Mr. Green spoke to me so I thought I would repost it here. I pray whatever trials you are experiencing that Mr. Green’s short devotion does the same for you.

Love Your Trails

1 Peter 1:6-7

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Every Christian should be yearning for a deeper walk with the Lord than what he or she has. Maturity is a never-ending process because we never can reach perfection in this life. We’ll always be making mistakes or misunderstanding our circumstances to some degree, but as we grow those times should be less and less.

And as much as we all like to get the goosebump feelings that signal an emotional high, it’s not then that we really grow any deeper in the Lord. Instead God chooses to use trials to deepen our faith and to conform us to the image of Christ. Sure, we go “ouch” or “that hurts!” but God is using those trials to sand us like a fine diamond. The problem is that most of us run from the trials God sends us. We don’t want to grow if there’s a bit of pain involved. But if we open our arms, embrace the trials God sends – give it a big hug, it will disappear as a trial and return as a blessing. If you love your trial, it isn’t a trial anymore. If you can say, “Thank You, Lord. I don’t want to be any other place but where I am right now, because I know this is the place where You want me,” then that place becomes God’s safe place for you.

That attitude removes the trouble from the trial. The way to victory over a trial isn’t to run away from it, which is our natural inclination, but to love it. The same is true with a person. We all have someone in our life who is obnoxious or maybe just a trial to us. Our natural response is to stay away from such a person until God answers our prayer to “change him, God, change him!” Instead, let your prayer become, “God, don’t change him until You’re through using him the way he is in my life. I want to learn how to love him the way he is.” When you pray that way and mean it, that person is no longer a trial to you.

Today is the day for you to embrace your trial, whether it’s circumstances or another person. Turn the trial into blessing and watch God move.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The Cross by Shai Linne

Atonement Q+A by Shai Linne

Anna Grace - March 2

So... Brian & I took Anna Grace on Friday for her baseline chest x-ray and we actually started giving her breast milk on Friday, a few days early, but we were so desperate to get her off the Portagen. So, she has been having breast milk since Friday (3 days). Anna Grace saw her cardiologist today who had us go for another chest x-ray just to see if any fluid has started to accumulate around her lungs. Tofay's chest x-ray looked clear - thank you LORD!!! So, we go for anothe chest x-ray in 2 weeks. If that one looks clear as well then we will know that her lympatic system has healed for sure.

Anna Grace also had an echo at her appointment today (yes, we had a long morning)! Today's echo also looked good so we won't have to have another echo for a month :) The doctor also weighed her and she weighed in at 10 pounds even. Not a lot of weight gain, but she is steadily growing so we are thankful.

Thank you all for continuing to pray for Anna Grace. We are thankful for our little miracle and the many ways that the Lord has made Himself known to us.