Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Joy Goes Home

I know I just posted, but just a few minutes ago, God called Joy home. Mom and Dad and my brothers were peacefully praying by her bedside, holding her hands as she slowly stopped breathing. She is now with my grandmother and my brother and I KNOW she is happy. Thank you for all of your prayers and support. Please continue to pray that details fall into place!

The Graduate

Jarrett graduated from Kindergarten today. What a milestone! I remember my kindergarten graduation still. Jarrett's class did the Pledge of Allegiance and sang the Star Spangled Banner. Then they walked across the front of the room and received a certificate and a book. It was quite cute. My not-so-little guy is reading and writing more than just his name and doing some amazing math. He is growing up so fast! Next year he goes to school ALL DAY and eats lunch at school (okay, secretly, I'm glad I don't have to run to school in the middle of the day for half-day kindergarten any more!). I don't know what I'll do without seeing him for that long!!!

JOY UPDATE: Joy has taken a turn for the worse. She spiked a fever of 104 yesterday and again today and her breathing is more labored. Please continue to pray for God's perfect timing and perfect peace.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Miracles Still Happen!

Monday morning my mom called to say that Joy had deteriorated and was now on 100% oxygen. Her lungs had 50% scar tissue and she had maybe 24 hours to live. They moved her into the "Room Above the Clouds" room to make her more comfortable as she deteriorated. Mike got me on a plane to SanAntonio that arrived at 10pm. My brothers and Dad met me at the airport and we headed to the hospital. We spent the night there and Joy had a horrible night. She was so sick to her stomach all night long. In the morning her doctors changed her meds to try and make her more comfortable. Their goal was to make her final hours painless. Joy was completely at peace with dying. One of her comments was, "I'll get to see Grammy today!" Amazing for one so young and yet so difficult to process. God seemed to have different plans. He is GOOD - all the time.

Tuesday, Joy started feeling a little better, Wednesday even a little more so. By Wednesday afternoon, she was sitting up asking for her lap top, eating french fries (her request). The doctors were befuddled! They decided they should just send her home with hospice care. They were now saying she had maybe a week, maybe two. The process of sending her home should have taken a week, but as I write this we are awaiting transport home and it is only Thursday!!! God IS good - all the TIME!

In order to go home, she needed to be on 60% oxygen and stable. I am happy to report she is just that! Her coloring is good, her appetite is coming back (she just ate a McD's cheeseburger), her oxygen levels are up, and her heart rate is staying low!!! God is good - ALL the time!

Through out this process I have felt like I was walking a balance beam. One the one hand accepting that Joy's death was God's will and knowing that Heaven was a million times better than life here on earth. On the other hand having faith that God could reverse the process and heal Joy. Seeing the lives that Joy has impacted while here is just amazing. God has touched so many people through Joy - so many unbelievers. And our family had been so blessed by so many people as well. All of Joy's doctors are making plans to come visit her at home with their families. They have given her their home numbers and personal emails (something many of the nurses are quite jealous of :) !!!). GOD IS GOOD - ALL THE TIME!!!

We do not know if this is a reversal or just a postponement. But what we do know is that Joy is now talking about things she hopes to do in six months. This is a change in attitude for her. I've also seen my mom's attitude change. She too is talking about the future. Joy is still weak and her treatment plan is still to make her comfortable, not to "cure" her; but we know that God is really in charge and He is GOOD!!! ALL the time!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

God's Little Princesses

Yesterday we had a Princess Party! Three little girls came and we made cute purses, did their hair and nails with LOTS of glitter. Then we went to the park for a photo shoot and to pick flowers. Then back home for a tea party! Lemonade, chocolate-covered strawberries, pink m&ms, cookies, and cupcakes (thanks Martha for the cupcake idea!). Carrie read the book God's Little Princess to them while they ate. The girls really seemed to have fun and we got some great shots outside (thanks Carrie!). I'm putting together little thank you books tonight, so I'll try and get some pictures and post later. All in all it was a fun time. It is still hard to believe my little girl is four! Mike measured her the other day and she has grown a whole inch in the last 30 days!!! No wonder none of her clothes are fitting!

My other Princess had her first recorder concert today. This was a jazz number. She did such a great job!!! She's growing up too fast, too. Sometimes I wish we could freeze time and keep them little for as long as possible!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007


This picture was taken in Seattle almost eight years ago, but I thought it was so pretty.

Today is Joy's 21st birthday. It is bitter-sweet as she is still hospitalized. My last phone call with Mom said there was "no change", not worse, but also not better. They were going to visit with the doctor again this afternoon. Joy is named after both of my grandmothers - Joyce and Elizabeth. "Grammy" Elizabeth went to live with Jesus last August. Her birthday was May 5th, so she and Joy had a very close bond. Grammy called her "Joybells".

Joy started making beaded necklaces a few years ago and very seriously two years ago before her diagnosis. She has adopted the butterfly as her "trademark" and always includes a butterfly bead in her work.

This was taken by my friend, Elaine, in her front yard.
Isn't she amazing, isn't God amazing!
Happy 21st Birthday, Joy!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Monday Update on Joy

Thank you so much for all of your prayers and thoughtful words. Joy’s status right now is still serious, but not deteriorating. Her chest x-ray last night showed no change, but that also means it is not getting worse. Her pulmonologist said her breathing sounds better this morning. At this point a ventilator is not being discussed; however Joy is still on oxygen all the time. She spiked a fever of 102 and is now on 5-days of antibiotics to get ahead of whatever else is brewing. She is sleeping better and eating some. Also, Mom’s sister, Debbie, flew in yesterday so Mom has some extra support. Please continue to pray. I’ll let you know more when I know it. Thank you!

Saturday, May 5, 2007


This is an urgent prayer request! My sister, Joy, (will be 21 on Tuesday) had a bone marrow transplant last July because of aplastic anemia. she has done remarkably well until two weeks ago when she came down with pneumonia. My mom just called and said after the doctors report this morning (Joy is back in the hospital because of the pneumonia), Joy is seriously ill. She is at a critical stage. her heart has swollen to accommodate the lack of oxygen. Within the next 24 hours, she could be on a ventilator. Her oxygen level should be at 90 and hers is at 60. They are feeding her through a tube, because she can not eat enough to get the calories and protein that she needs. she is awake and joking and looking good. Her transplant is good, but the pneumonia is too hard on her body. PLEASE PRAY!!!! The next 24 hours is very critical!!!

Thursday, May 3, 2007


Jeffrey has started something new...

Jeffrey: "Here, Mama."
Holding his hand up towards me with a finger pointing.

Me: "What sweetheart?"
Taking his hand.
"Thanks for the booger!"

Overheard at Mandy's house...
Andrew: "Caleb said you can't pick your nose and ride a motorcycle at the same time. You might fall over!"

UPDATE: Mike says you can if your helmet isn't a full-face helmet. Apperently he's tried. Eeeewwwww!

Spring Cleaning

Where did this idea come from? What crazy person thought that after the house was closed up all winter we should open all the windows and doors and clean every last speck of dirt and dust from the home? Logically, when you open the windows and doors, doesn't all the dust and pollen from the outside come in? Tuesday I mopped my floors and dusted the living room/dining room. It looked pretty - it sparkled. By Wednesday morning it looked like a tornado had blown through. My kids played outside and brought in the dirt on their shoes. My youngest ate dinner and breakfast and my dog has gotten picky. Mitzi won't eaten cheerios or Gerber's puffs anymore. I'm pretty sure that Jeffrey doesn't have anymore toys IN his room! So back to my original question: what purpose does Spring Cleaning serve? Can we just skip this and go to Summer where we just live in our bathing suits and eat outside???

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

My Muffy Bear

Doesn't she just make you smile? I can not believe that Meredith, our little Muffy Bear turned four yesterday! She is getting so big. Four seems so old to me. Like she is not a toddler anymore, not a baby. She really is a big girl! I can clearly remember four years ago. I had gone to church to produce the weekend program that Thursday morning. Mikalah was at school and Judson and Jarrett at day care. All morning I was feeling funny. Not bad, just weird. Finally about 3 pm I called the doctors office, "I know this is child #4, but I'm not sure if I'm in labor." I really felt dorky. They had me come in and sure enough I was! (in labor, not a dork!) They actually let me go home and get my stuff and then come back. As Mike and I drove home, we were each on our cells calling various people, making different arrangements.

My girlfriends and I were going out for Pam's birthday that night. Instead, they all came up to the hospital. I don't remember a whole lot of the actual event, other than the fact that my anesthesiologist and doctor had gone into a c-section leaving me without any pain killers. My nurse kept telling me not to push and wait for the doctor. And the room was filled with friends, and several nurses, including the charge nurse, dressed to deliver just in case. The doctor just made it, because I gave up and started pushing anyway. And Meredith was born around 9pm. Throughout my pregnancy, everyone was sure it was a boy, but I was pulling for a girl. When they said it was a girl, I cried. I think I was worried that I would be disappointed if it was a boy. As far as Mike was concerned, our family was complete. :)

Meredith has been on the go since then. I was quite proud that we made it to church that Sunday (I needed that socialization). She was really a pretty easy baby. She is our organizer - a product of her perfectionistic mother. Every thing must be just so. She always has a smile on her face - sometimes even when being corrected. Now that's a little frustrating as a mom! She is a princess. Always primping and posing. Loves purple and pink and jewelry - especially her tiara. There are times when I think she is really 15 not 4! She is a snuggler, but she can't sit still. She loves taking care of her younger brother and sister. She is such a little mommy. She loves to sing and make up knock-knock jokes. Occasionally they make sense. She's nailed the banana/orange one and the "nobody" one from the Pursuit of Happiness. She loves to shop - watch out! Yesterday she asked me when we were going to the mall again and could we go today. She's counting down the days until Build-A-Bear opens in the mall (May 25th). She is really goofy most of the time! Usually in a good way. I can't wait to see what a beautiful woman, God has for her to become! Okay, maybe I can wait!!!!