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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Thursday, March 31, 2011

"It Is Well With My Soul"

I felt compelled by the Holy Spirit to share this with you today. I pray that you find comfort and hope in the words written below. Please be sure to read the story BEHIND the song (below). You will find it most interesting, especially if you are a "heart mom". When singing this song in Church you will probably find me with tears streaming down my face and my hands raised in Worship to a most amazing God :)
"It Is Well With My Soul"

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.

It is well, with my soul,
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.


This hymn was written by a Chicago lawyer, Horatio G. Spafford. You might think to write a worship song titled,'It is well with my soul', you would indeed have to be a rich, successful Chicago lawyer. But the words,"When sorrows like sea billows roll ... It is well with my soul”, were not written during the happiest period of Spafford's life. On the contrary, they came from a man who had suffered almost unimaginable personal tragedy.

Horatio G. Spafford and his wife, Anna, were pretty well-known in 1860’s Chicago. And this was not just because of Horatio's legal career and business endeavors. The Spaffords were also prominent supporters and close friends of D.L. Moody, the famous preacher. In 1870, however, things started to go wrong. The Spaffords' only son was killed by scarlet fever at the age of four. A year later, it was fire rather than fever that struck. Horatio had invested heavily in real estate on the shores of Lake Michigan. In 1871, every one of these holdings was wiped out by the great Chicago Fire.

Aware of the toll that these disasters had taken on the family, Horatio decided to take his wife and four daughters on a holiday to England. And, not only did they need the rest -- DL Moody needed the help. He was traveling around Britain on one of his great evangelistic campaigns. Horatio and Anna planned to join Moody in late 1873. And so, the Spaffords traveled to New York in November, from where they were to catch the French steamer 'Ville de Havre' across the Atlantic. Yet just before they set sail, a last-minute business development forced Horatio to delay. Not wanting to ruin the family holiday, Spafford persuaded his family to go as planned. He would follow on later. With this decided, Anna and her four daughters sailed East to Europe while Spafford returned West to Chicago. Just nine days later, Spafford received a telegram from his wife in Wales. It read: "Saved alone."

On November 2nd 1873, the 'Ville de Havre' had collided with 'The Lochearn', an English vessel. It sank in only 12 minutes, claiming the lives of 226 people. Anna Spafford had stood bravely on the deck, with her daughters Annie, Maggie, Bessie and Tanetta clinging desperately to her. Her last memory had been of her baby being torn violently from her arms by the force of the waters. Anna was only saved from the fate of her daughters by a plank which floated beneath her unconscious body and propped her up. When the survivors of the wreck had been rescued, Mrs. Spafford's first reaction was one of complete despair. Then she heard a voice speak to her, "You were spared for a purpose." And she immediately recalled the words of a friend, "It's easy to be grateful and good when you have so much, but take care that you are not a fair-weather friend to God."

Upon hearing the terrible news, Horatio Spafford boarded the next ship out of New York to join his bereaved wife. Bertha Spafford (the fifth daughter of Horatio and Anna born later) explained that during her father's voyage, the captain of the ship had called him to the bridge. "A careful reckoning has been made", he said, "and I believe we are now passing the place where the de Havre was wrecked. The water is three miles deep." Horatio then returned to his cabin and penned the lyrics of his great hymn.

The words which Spafford wrote that day come from 2 Kings 4:26. They echo the response of the Shunammite woman to the sudden death of her only child. Though we are told "her soul is vexed within her", she still maintains that 'It is well." And Spafford's song reveals a man whose trust in the Lord is as unwavering as hers was.

It would be very difficult for any of us to predict how we would react under circumstances similar to those experienced by the Spaffords. But we do know that the God who sustained them would also be with us.

No matter what circumstances overtake us may we be able to say with Horatio Spafford...

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well with my soul.

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul!

It is well ... with my soul!
It is well, it is well, with my soul.

The source of Mr. Spafford's strength is an open secret. It is available to you and will enable you to live victoriously. It is found first of all in forgiveness of sins.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

To know one's sins are forgiven brings great release, for "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." 1 John 1:9 He removes our sins as far as the east is from the west and buries them in the deepest seas.

Another source of strength is the knowledge that God works all things together for good to them that love Him. (Romans 8:28). God's unfailing love enables us to be masters of our circumstances, instead of its victim.

Finally, the sure hope of the resurrection is an unbound source of strength. The hope of reunion with loved ones, the joy of seeing our Lord face to face supply strength enough and to spare to face all of life's trials and fill us with "joy unspeakable and full of glory" 1 Peter 1:8.

Is it well with your soul?

(Source: http://www.biblestudycharts.com/A_Daily_Hymn.html)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Sinus Infections and Heart Mom Night Out

Sooo sorry it has been so long since my last BLOG update. The kids and I are over our flu, but Anna Grace and I have developed sinus infections as a result of our flu so she and I have both started with Amoxicillin this week. (Zachary came through the flu without a scratch!)

I have to say that Anna Grace does not like her antibiotic. She is a great medicine taker when it is her "regular" medicine, but this stuff she cries and spits out and gags on. It is not fun administering this medicine to her. She has also started in with a yucky diaper rash as a result. But..... this is "normal" baby stuff and so for that I am thankful.

Anna Grace has her last round of Synagis injections for the season tomorrow. I am so glad we are done with that for a while and I know Anna Grace will be glad to be done with that as well.

Also, if the rain cooperates and stays away then the kids and Brian and I will be walking with some other Moms from our Upstate Heart Moms group in a Heart Walk here on Saturday. I'm really excited about getting the kids out amongst the living... I feel like it is our "Coming Out" party for the season :) We are planning on decorating a little wagon for our sweet Anna Grace to ride in. I'm not sure how far we are actually going to walk... since Anna Grace still has a pretty big stranger anxiety, but we are going to do our best. Her cardiologist, Dr. R is supposed to be there too so hopefully we will be able to meet up with him as well. I will be sure to take pictures (weather permitting) and post them up on the BLOG for you to enjoy.

Also, just a reminder, Friday night is our Upstate Heart Moms meeting from 7-9 pm. Same bat time, same bat channel :) Leave me a comment if you're interested in attending and I will get you more info!

Oh... one other thing.... one the the Heart Moms in our group had some SUPER CUTE t-shirts made up for our group to wear to the Heart Walk on Saturday. I am excited about sporting our new look. Thank you Kristie for designing and ordering our shirts. She is super talented ya'll and I am thankful to have her in our group!

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Doctor

It's Friday morning and I just got back from taking Anna Grace to the doctor. For the last two nights when we've gone to put her in her crib at her normal bedtime she has just cried and pitched the biggest fit - shaking her head and swinging her hands and screaming and crying. She can't be consoled... so we've been taking her into our room and letting her watching cartoons for an hour or so and then trying again. It has been about 10:00 pm before we've been able to get her to sleep in her crib.

I suspected it might be just an "I don't want to go to bed" kind of attitude, but I neeed to rule out ear infections, etc before trying the dreaded "cry it out". So... off to the doctor we went today. Her ears looked great as did her lungs. Other than a runny nose she is fine. Great news for a heart baby who it battling the flu. So.... that means tonight at bedtime there is likely to be some crying at our house.

Please be praying for Anna Grace tonight to fall asleep without a fight. I really hate to hear her cry. At the same time, I can't have her up until 10:00 every night. Seriously... I can not have her up until 10:00 every night.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

No More Tamiflu

Last night Anna Grace slept all through the night. It was wonderful. Seriously. Wonderful. I never heard her once. Not even a cough.

This morning she woke up happy and although I didn't check her temperature she didn't feel warm to me so I assume no more fever. She drank her whole bottle this morning but wouldn't eat food. As long as she is drinking her bottle I am happy. Her nose is still running but not excessively and I haven't really heard her cough but maybe once or twice. She's been playing pretty good today and acting quite happy. She did start walking a little funny this morning, kind of weaving a little like a drunk person might walk. I thought maybe it might be a side effect of the Tamiflu so I just stopped giving it to her. Hopefully it is just some weird side effect of the medication and it will correct itself soon. I will keep you posted, but it is certainly something I will be keeping an eye on.

So other than the little off balance walking Anna Grace and I are feeling much better. I think a good nights sleep always helps!

I called to check on Zachary this morning, the plan was for him to come home today, however he REALLY wants to stay at the lake another day so...... I told him he could stay one more day. Tomorrow morning (pending Anna Grace doing well the rest of today and through the night) AG and I will ride down to the lake tomorrow and spend the day and bring Zachary back home with us. Honestly I'm glad that he's having such a great time down there but I really miss him.

His Mee-Mee and Granpop-pop said that he has been really good for them and that other than his runny nose he is feeling fine.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Last Night's Results

So Anna Grace did BETTER last night than the previous night, but we were still up about 3 hours. My theory... based on what I've seen with Anna Grace and some info I received from another Heart Mom who's baby took Tamiful is that the drug must have something in it that causes insomnia in little babies (and makes them act just a little bit crazy). However, the benefit of the drug outweighs the side effect for her right now so we will just continue on this course knowing that this will be a sleepless week. Anna Grace wasn't crying as much last night as she was the previous night, but when she woke up she was just AWAKE. So.... she and I watched some Wonderpets and Blue's Clues in the middle of the night together. My middle of the night musing.... I like Joe better than Steve in Blue's Clues. Oh and... where are Max and Ruby's parents???? Yes, I'm a little bit tired.

Anyway.... she is napping right now for me. I have put a call into her doctor just to tell him about how she is doing. I'm not sure if he'll want us to come in today or not. Her fever has held steady at about 101. She hasn't really had anything to eat for me today, but she is drinking her bottle pretty well so I'm just going to try to add a couple more bottles in today. (Yes, my 14 almost 15 month old still takes a bottle). She doesn't appear any more blue than usual to me and she doesn't appear to be in distress at all. She is not coughing overly much but her little nose is till running like crazy so I assume the coughing will start in the next couple of days.

I talked with Mee-Mee this morning about Zachary. She said he slept fine last night and that he is acting fine. No fever. He will probably come home from the lake on Tuesday. We won't have to quarantine him since we're all sick (except Brian) but honestly I don't think I can keep up with him after being sick myself and staying up half the night with Anna Grace so I am REALLY thankful that Mee-Mee and Grandpop-pop are graciously hosting him down at the lake. Mee-Mee and Grandpop-pop are both still well. Please pray for health over them, I would really hate for them to catch the flu from Zachary.

Thanks friends... I'll keep you updated.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Well... We've Got The Flu

So yesterday when I posted I thought maybe Anna Grace and I had managed to bypass catching the flu. Nope. About 9:30 last night Anna Grace woke up screaming. It was about that same time I started with a super sore throat and runny nose along with a few aches and chills. Needless to say, Anna Grace and I were up until about 4:00 am when she was finally able to fall asleep... until about 7:00 this morning. Sigh....

So... I ran to the drugstore this morning for Mucinex for me and Puffs Plus Lotion for Anna Grace and I to share. I thought SURELY my heart baby will be sleepy and want to nap with the flu. But no.... even after partying all night long she only managed a 45 minute nap this morning and a 30 minute nap this afternoon. My urban legend theory from my previous post still stands.

So, it is now 7:00 pm and I just put Anna Grace to bed with a prayer that tonight goes better than last night... after all I HAVE THE FLU TOO. I suppose it is in the job descrption of being a Mom that sleep is actually the LAST thing on the list of priorities. Sigh.....

Anyway... I spoke with Anna Grace's doctor today to tell hiim that she began presenting flu symptoms today. He kept her Tamiflu dosage the same and told me to call him tomorrow to discuss how she is doing. I'm sure at some point this week I will take her into the doctor to have him just listen to her lungs to be sure she is tolerating the flu and not developing any pneumonia or secondary infection. So far she has acted pretty happy today and played pretty well. She has also not run any significant fever (101 at the most).

My heart baby is handling the flu much better than her mother.

Please pray for Anna Grace this week that the Lord will continue to give her body the endurance and strength it needs to fight off thie flu and to give me the wisdom and discernement to notice if she begins to get into distress at all.

Thank you friends.

P.S. - Zachary and Brian are still at the lake. Zachary has still not run any fever and has played and acted fine all day today. Although, Brian did say that his appetite hasn't been great and that he hasn't been begging to stay outside all day (which he normally does while at the lake). So.... really he is Zachary as usual with a runny nose and a cough. Brian still has not presented any flu symptoms. I think the plan is for Zachary to stay at the lake until Tueday and then we'll bring him home. Hopefully I'll be feeling a lot better by then and will have some energy to keep up with him!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Flu Update

Here's an update on how we're doing with the flu. We confined Zachary to the master bedroom yesterday, but he is the most active sick kid you've ever seen. After an hour of watching cartoons and two hours of playing on the computer Zachary had enough of sitting in the master bedroom. He started jumping off the bed pretending he was Spiderman. I went upstairs and told him to rest. Then about 30 minutes later I went to check on him and he had managed to open a window in the master bedroom (it's on the 2nd story) and he was swinging from the blind cord. Seriously. I was thinking "how are we going to keep him in here for the next 3 + days????).

So... my very gracious Mother-In-Law offered to let Brian and Zachary come down to the lake to spend the weekend... totally putting themselves in jeopardy of catching the flu to help protect Anna Grace and to let Zachary get a little playing and attention and love.

So... Brian and Zachary headed down to the lake last night about 8:00 pm. I spoke with Brian this morning who said that Zachary slept all through the night and hadn't run any fever. He's been playing outside in the sandbox at the water's edge this morning and other than a runny nose and cough he is like Zachary as usual.

With that being said.... I have heard rumors that some children actually nap and sleep when they are sick. I have never actually seen a child do this in person so I suspect that it might be some sort of urban legend or something. Even the flu won't stop Zachary!!!!

As for Anna Grace. My gracious Mother went to the drugstore yesterday and got her prescription onf Tamiflu filled. She had a dose last night and a dose this morning. She is supposed to take it twice a day for 7 days. So far she hasn't had any negative reaction to it. She also has not presented any flu symptoms yet... she is Anna Grace as usual.

As for me.... I have been scrubbing the house and washing and washing and washing. So far Brian and I have not presented any flu symptoms. Please continue praying for our family. I will keep you updated. Thanks!

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Flu

Brian took Zachary to the doctor this morning after a LONG night and Zachary tested positive for the Flu (Flu A). Yes, we got our flu shots this year, but the doctor said that the flu vaccination loses resistance. So.... since Zachary and Anna Grace are all over each other every day there is a very good chance that she has been exposed although she is not symptomatic at all yet.

The doctor said that healthy kids should be able to fight the flu, so Zachary is not on any medication, but he is starting Anna Grace on Tamiflu to try to head it off at the pass (so to speak).

He said that about 30% of kids have a pretty severe reaction to Tamiflu (mostly stomach related) so please be praying that Anna Grace's body can tolerate this medication and that should she contract the flu that her little body can fight it.

We will just ride this storm out one day at a time and trust the Lord and His soverignty.

According to the doctor, the biggest risk of the flu for Anna Grace is that it could turn into a pretty severe case of pneumonia pretty quickly so we will just be on the lookout for any signs of that over the next week.

Thank you all for praying for our family. I will keep you posted.

(P.S. - for now Zachary is being confined to the master bedroom and he has been given carte blanche to watch as much Spiderman and Ironman as he wants).

Monday, March 14, 2011

Truth Matters

Rob Bell has a new book coming out, or that just came out called – Love Wins – that more than likely will find its way into most local Christian book stores. I have not had an opportunity to read the book but I have had an opportunity to read a very extensive critical review of it here – Love Wins Review

It appears from De Young’s review Bell does officially move into Universalism (the doctrine that everyone who has lived, is alive or will be born will be eventually be saved and go to heaven). It appears Bell just cannot accept the orthodox traditional Christian doctrine of Hell, so he has set out to try and write it away. The problem is of course the Bible does not support him in his endeavors to do so but actually fights against Universalism from Genesis to Revelation.

We are influenced by what we surround ourselves with. What we watch, what and who we listen to, and what we read. Our theology of God – and everyone has a theology of God – has great impacts in our lives on how we live our lives. Our main source of influence about God should always be the Bible first, and second people who with fear and trembling teach from the Bible. As a great evangelist out on the West Coast says “what’s more important, what you believe, or what you believe is true?” Truth matters.

I would recommend anyone who might feel persuaded to run out and buy Bell’s book to read De Young’s review first (warning though it is a complex and lengthy review). Here is De Young’s conclusion to his review:

A Concluding Pastoral Postscript

The tendency in theological controversy is to boil everything down to a conflict of personalities. This is the way the world understands disagreement. This is how the world sells controversy. It’s always politician versus politician or pastor versus pastor. But sometimes the disagreement is less about the men (or women) involved and more about the truth.

This is one of those instances.

I have not spent hours and hours on this review because I am out to get another pastor. I may be a sinner, but with four young children and a very full church schedule, I have no time for personal vendettas. No, this is not about a single author or a single church. This is about the truth, about how the rightness or wrongness of our theology can do tremendous help or tremendous harm to the people of God. This is about real people in East Lansing where I serve and real people an hour down the road in Grand Rapids where I grew up. This is about real people who have learned from Bell in the past and will be intrigued by his latest book, wondering if they should be confused, angered, or surprised to hear that hell is not what they’ve been told.

No doubt, Rob Bell writes as a pastor who wants to care for people struggling with the doctrine of hell. I too write as a pastor. And as a pastor I know that Love Wins means God’s people lose. In the world of Love Wins, my congregation should not sing “In Christ Alone” because they cannot not believe, “There on the cross where Jesus died, the wrath of God was satisfied.” They would not belt out “Bearing shame and scoffing rude, in my place condemned he stood.” No place for “Stricken, Smitten, and Afflicted” with its confession, “the deepest stroke that pierced him was the stroke that Justice gave.” The jubilation of “No condemnation now I dread; Jesus, and all in him, is mine!” is muted in Love Wins. The bad news of our wrath-deserving wretchedness is so absent that the good news of God’s wrath-bearing Substitute cannot sing in our hearts. When God is shrunk down to fit our cultural constraints, the cross is diminished. And whenever the cross is diminished we pain the hearts of God’s people and rob them of their joy.

Just as damaging is the impact of Love Wins on the nonbeliever or the wayward former churchgoer. Instead of summoning sinners to the cross that they might flee the wrath to come and know the satisfaction of so great a salvation, Love Wins assures people that everyone’s eternity ends up as heaven eventually. The second chances are good not just for this life, but for the next. And what if they aren’t? What if Jesus says on the day of judgment, “Depart from me, I never knew you” (Matt. 7:23)? What if at the end of the age the wicked and unbelieving cry out, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of him who sits on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb” (Rev. 6:16)? What if outside the walls of the New Jerusalem “are the dogs and sorcerers and the sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices falsehood” (Rev. 22:15)? What if there really is only one name “under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12)? And what if the wrath of God really remains on those who do not believe in the Son (John 3:18, 36)?

If Love Wins is wrong—if the theology departs from the apostolic good deposit, if the biblical reasoning falls short in a hundred places, if the god of Love Wins and the gospel of Love Wins are profoundly mistaken—if all this is true, then what damage has been done to the souls of men and women?

Bad theology hurts real people. So of all the questions raised in the book, the most important question every reader must answer is this: is it true? Whatever you think of all the personalities involved on whatever side of the debate, that’s the one question that cannot be ignored. Is Love Wins true to the word of God? That’s the issue. Open a Bible, pray to God, listen to the faithful Christians of the past 2000 years, and answer the question for yourself.

Delight or deception, suffering or salvation—yes, even heaven or hell—may hang in the balance.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Lower is Exalted

I found this on my hard drive I rambled off a while back. Thought I'd post it for your enjoyment.

God being perfect, lacking nothing and needing no one to worship Him, chose to give grace by lowering Himself out of the realms of eternity and becoming part of His creation as Jesus Christ the Righteous One. He, the Lord over all things became a man to save man.

He then continued to lower Himself while on earth by being born not of royalty, but as a common. He was a carpenter from Nazareth and more than likely poor by worldly standards.

He being fully God waited for 30 years to start His ministry of seeking the lost. He had no earthly home, earthly estate, and more than likely nothing more than what He had on His person.

He lowered Himself by putting up with the ungodly and impure, washing the disciple’s feet, associating with people who would betray Him, and putting up with lies being spoken by those who claimed to know God.

His own disciples could not even stay awake to pray before His arrest. He was betrayed. He was stripped. He was whipped. He was beaten. He was shamed. He was crucified as a criminal although He never committed a crime. He was murdered by hanging on a tree.

And after this amazing demonstration of humility and obedience to the Scriptures, He was exalted with great power by first bursting forth from the grave three days after His death. And then riding the clouds alive as a real man to heaven where He then was exalted and given the Name that is over all other names. He is seated next to the Father and coming again for His bride.

Are you ready?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Rainy Day Surprise

Yesterday it rained and rained and rained. For a family who is in quarantine that means stay inside and stay home (since we can't go to the library or Monkey Joes or the Children's Museum or a friend's house, you get the idea). For a little boy who is 4 it means climb the walls, aggravate your little sister and drive your Mom batty.

So, what a treat to see the FedEx delivery guy show up at our house on this rainy day with a box... direct from Granny and Poppy in Texas. The timing couldn't have been more perfect! The box was full of toys and goodies for the kids.

The below video clips speak for themselves. Thank you, thank you Granny and Poppy for the awesome care package. Not only were the gifts terrific it was an extra special gift for me on a rainy day... once the box came... the kids PLAYED!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

A Miracle Witnessed

I want to start by telling you thank you for praying for Anna Grace this morning. I believe I was witness to a miracle today. Seriously.

The morning started off great. My Mom, sweet woman that she is, took the day off work today to watch Zachary so that Brian and I could both go with Anna Grace to the cardiologist appointment. What an awesome Mom I have to do this for us. Brian had to go into work early this morning to get something urgent wrapped up before AG's appointment so my Mom also came to the house at 7:30 today to watch the kids so that I could take a shower. Alone. In peace. Oh.... it was such a rare treat to just shower and get ready uninterrupted. Once I was ready my Mom headed out with Zachary to go to her house and Anna Grace and I waited at home until Brian got home from work about 9:30. At 9:40 Anna Grace got her dose of Benadryl and at 9:45 we hopped in the car and headed to the cardiologist.

Before we walked in the doctor's office Brian stopped us and we prayed for Anna Grace and for the Lord to calm her. Now... here comes the miracle. Dr. R had made special arrangements for us to go directly into the echo room. No one talked to us or looked at Anna Grace. We didn't have to check in or even be taken into an exam room. We went straight in and put her favorite movie in "Sesame Street's: What's the Name of That Song" (thank you Michelle for this gift). I tried laying Anna Grace on the table, but she wasn't having it, so being the nimble Mom that I am, I hopped up on the table and sat her on my lap. I dressed her in a zip-up outfit so that I could leave her clothes on her during the exam. I just unzipped her sleeper and gave her a bottle of milk and she sat quietly on my lap drinking her milk and watching Elmo. She didn't make a peep. The tech did the echo and got phenomenal pictures of her heart - the shunt, the aortic arch, her pulmonary artery - EVRYTHING. It was amazing. It was a miracle. You might not appreciate the magnitude of this miracle unless you really understand how upset Anna Grace gets at the doctor's office. Believe me when I tell you - this was a direct hand of the Lord on Anna Grace. Thank you Lord and thank you all for praying for her.

Now.... here is what Dr. R saw on those wonderful pictures..... he saw no more mitral valve regurgitation which means she can now stop taking her Lasix. Her aortic arch was wide open as was her pulmonary artery. This means no cath and no ballooning (at least right now). It was great news.

We also checked her O2 sats which were 89. They have NEVER been that high before, but I suppose that is because she is usually SCREAMING and crying which she wasn't doing today. (She usually reads 83 at the MOST).

However, when Dr. R decided to pull out his stereoscope to have a listen to her heart she started screaming and crying in normal Anna Grace fashion. It was at this point we called it a day. We didn't attempt a blood pressure check or a weight check. Dr. R was satisfied with what was accomplished this morning and didn't feel like pushing her farther.

Dr. R also cancelled the sedated echo which we had scheduled for April 7. Whew.... what a blessing.

So, as it stands right now, we go back again in June for another echo. He said to call him if we needed him any sooner than that, but he thought she looked real good. He did make the comment that he has had to be more "creative" with Anna Grace than any of his other patients - I am really thankful that he is so willing to work with us and accommodate us to make things easier for Anna Grace. Truly, I think most cardiologists would just say "let's sedate her" and not have to jump through all the hoops he has done AND his staff has done to help Anna Grace.

So.... right now I am feeling very blessed and thankful and honestly I never want to forget that I truly did witness a miracle today.

P.S. - I am thinking of purchasing a "real" stereoscope to have at the house to start having Brian and I place it on her chest to get her more comfortable with it. If anyone has one that maybe is old or doesn't work anymore I would be interested in buying it. I don't really need it to work, but I do want it to be a "real" one and not a toy so that she gets used to the feel and weight of it. I think it might help her some.

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Little Nervous

I've spent most of the morning today on the phone with the insurance company.... it's been my part-time job since Anna Grace has been born. I don't really like my part-time job so I'm not going to spend any more time dwelling on it..... can I quit????

Also, I want to let you all know that Anna Grace has her echo scheduled for tomorrow morning (Tuesday morning) and I am asking you to please pray for the Lord to calm her so that Dr. R can get a great look at her heart and then she won't need to have a sedated echo done. I really want to try to avoid a trip to the hospital if that is possible. She is already so scared just of going to the doctor.

Dr. R said that I could try giving her Benadryl to help make her sleepy to see if that would help. I am doing the trial run of Benadryl today - because he did inform me that it makes some kids (a small minority) hyper instead of sleepy. Let's hope that Anna Grace is not one of the hyper ones :)

Right now her appointment is scheduled for 8:00 am, but if he wants her to be sleepy then an 8:00 am appointment is really not going to work. I think even with Benadryl she is not going to be sleepy at 8:00 am so I'm trying to get it rescheduled to sometime later in the afternoon. We'll see how that goes.

Anyway, if she doesn't cooperate with the echo tomorrow then I won't have much to report other than when her sedated echo will be. I will keep you all posted and thank you for praying for Anna Grace.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Heart Mom Night Out and Lemonade Stand

We had our Heart Mom Night Out last night and there were 5 of us Heart Moms there. It was great getting together with these ladies and just chatting about heart stuff. Collectively we have a GREAT amount of knowledge about the heart and it is so nice to talk about our children's hearts without having to explain what words mean... what acronyms stand for.... where blood flow goes.... etc, etc. Just nice to be able to have a heart conversation :) Our next Heart Mom's meeting is going to focus on how our relationships have changed since having our heart babies. Should be an interesting topic of conversation! There is no doubt that having a heart baby WILL change your relationships..... we are proof of that since we NO LONGER SEE ANYONE!

Although there were 5 of us there, we were missing one very special member of our Heart Mom team.... as she has been down at MUSC with her precious son Mason for 23 days now recovering from his Glenn. He is struggling with coming off the ventilator and there has been some talk about a trach for Mason. So.... please pray for Mason throughout the weekend for wisdom and discernment for the doctors to know WHEN to try again to remove him from the vent AND for strength and endurance for Mason's little body as he tries breathing for himself again. Mason's BLOG is located here if you want to follow his progress www.mason2010.wordpress.com

Another thing that has been on my mind that I mentioned at our meeting last night was having a lemonade sale. I had a few lemonade stands as a child and it was fun. So, I thought I would let the kids do a lemonade sale this summer and split all proceeds between Palmetto Hearts and Crossbridge Ministries. I thought it would be fun for the kids as well as helping to raise awareness about CHDs and raise some money for some organizations that are very dear to me. So, I think we're going to try to do it the last weekend of May or the first weekend in June in my driveway. A lemonade sale that the kids can help with and have fun with. So... if you have a taste for lemonade drop on by. I think we'll sell it for $1 a glass.... it that reasonable? I think when I was a kid we sold it for .25 cents a glass.... but that was about 30 years ago...... yep. Inflation affects everything, even lemonade stands :)

Thursday, March 3, 2011

She's So Scared

We just got back from the doctor for another round of Synagis injections for Anna Grace. As soon as we walked in the door to the doctor's office she started crying, not just whimpering or fussing but all out CRYING. She knows. She knew where we were and I'm sure she knew why we were there - injections. My poor baby CRIED the entire time we were there. I couldn't soothe her. Nothing would calm her. She cried during her weight check, her temp check, her O2 sat check and as you would expect during the injections themselves. I told the nurse, "this is what happends when you've spent too much time in the hospital". I know some kids do OK, but there is no doubt in my mind that Anna Grace has been scarred by everything she has been through in her little life and I CAN'T MAKE IT BETTER. It's a tough pill to swallow as a Mom.

She has her echo coming up on Tuesday and I am asking you to please pray for the Lord to calm her - there is nothing I can do - it would truly be nothing short of a miracle if we are able to get a good echo on Anna Grace Tuesday. She just has so much FEAR. It is justified, I know, but this is our journey. My eyes well up with tears for her and I am sad.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Some Randomness

Just a few random things I wanted to mention.....

I am sorry to say, but Huggies Little Movers do not hold a candle to Pampers Cruisers. I've always been a Pampers loyal fan, but recently tried Huggies on Anna Grace. Well, she still takes Lasix which makes her pee-pee to help keep fluid off her little lungs and when she takes her Lasix Huggies just do not do the job, so I'm going back to the old tried and true... Pampers.

Also, I have been experimenting with making "homeade" chicken tenders. My son has been stuck on the Tyson pre-made chicken nuggets which I don't really like to feed him because I am trying to break the "processed food" habit. So, I have tried a couple of different chicken tender recipes without success.... until now!

I am happy to share with you the recipe that I found and made that my very, very picky son LIKED and my husband who is not crazy about chicken also liked. So, without further adieu, here is the recipe:

2/3 cup Bisquick Mix
1/2 Cup Parmesean Cheese
1/2 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs (It HAS to be PANKO)
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
3 Chicken Breasts Cut Into Strips
2 Eggs Slightly Beaten
3 Tablespoons butter melted

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Line cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.

Mix Bisquick, Cheese, Bread crumbs, Salt, Paprika in 1 gallon plastic resealable bag. Dip chicken into eggs and place in bag and shake.

Place chicken on cookie sheet. Drizzle butter over chicken.

Bake 18 minutes - turning over after 8 minutes.


One last thing.... we have a Heart Moms Night Out coming up THIS FRIDAY from 7-9 pm. Leave me a comment if you're interested in attending and I will let you know the location. Have a great week!