Friday, August 29, 2014

Early Turkey

We decided to have an early Thanksgiving dinner with our Josh before he heads off to college.  We invited the Grandparents and Uncle Marc.  It felt strange smelling a huge turkey baking throughout the day.  My brain feels like it should be in shopping/decorating mode for Christmas!
There was lots of food and everything was soooo yummy!

 I wanted to get a picture of Josh with his Grandparents.  Once Silas and Callie heard that, they wanted their picture with Josh, too!
 We're all trying to get in as many hugs as possible before Monday!

 Thanks for the Photo Bomb Marc! :o)

 A little bit of sister love.  I think he still thinks they have the cooties! Ha!

 Josh with my Mom (Grandma)

 Josh with Patrick's Mom (Grammy)

Josh with my Dad (Grandpa)

What a fun evening!  Loving every moment I get with my boy!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

A post by Patrick from our family blog...

Here is a portion from our latest prayer letter...God is so good!

     "We were able to make a trip to Braselton, GA to meet with the Home Office of Macedonia World Baptist Missions on August 20thIt was decided at this meeting that Kami is not physically ready to travel at this time due to the P.I.C.C. line still inserted in her arm.  This line runs through a vein to her heart in which she is still receiving daily antibiotics via IV.  Also, the doctors feel that Kami has a co-infection called Babesia, which is another Tick-borne disease.  The blood test needs to be finalized but the doctor fully believes that the test will come back positive and that Kami will then be placed on an oral antibiotic to treat this infection.
     After our meeting with the leadership of our mission board this past week, we were excited to learn that Macedonia World Baptist Missions along with our Pastor, Dr. Don Strange, have readily agreed to extend our medical furlough through the next few months in order for Kami to complete her medical care and have her PICC line removed.
      We are excited to note that the new antibiotic (of which sent her to the ER after the first dose) was re-administered.  Kami is now on a special medication which offsets the adverse and allergic reactions caused by this very strong antibiotic.  The first few days consisted of dripping the medication via IV for 7 hours!  But after 10 days of treatment, we are excited to say that Kami is beginning to dramatically improve!  The pain is beginning to diminish, the chest pressure is letting up, and she is able to breathe much more easily!  Praise the Lord!  It is almost as if we can see an end to this trial!"
"Thank you!" to all of you who have faithfully prayed for our family during these medical trials!  God has been so gracious to our family throughout all of this...We do indeed serve a mighty, loving God!  He is great and greatly to be praised!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

How are we going to let go?

This morning I woke up with the sun slightly coming up and saw the light at Patrick's desk on.  Why is he up so early on a Saturday?  He was moving things on his desk.  Did he really wake up early just to clean off his desk?  I looked at him and said a sweet "Good Morning"  He glanced at me and could barely talk.  I knew something was wrong.  He said, "I just keep thinking about Josh. I had a dream that was so real and we were dropping him off at the airport (a reality that will happen 9 days from now) and my heart was breaking.  How are we going to do this?  How are we going to let him go?"

 We shared plenty of tears together this morning.  We are so excited for our son.  Really, we are!  He is following God's plan for his life and it's going to be amazing!  But, as Mom and Dad, it's hard to let go.  It's hard to think of him leaving and not having him in our home on a daily basis.  How can we get through this?  How can I get through this as a Mom? 

 Then, I realized that the lessons the Lord has been teaching me for quite a while, apply here, too.

How am I going to get through?

~Gratitude.  I heard a preacher once say that Gratitude produces Contentment.  I wrote that down in my prayer journal to help me remember when I have that feeling of being discontent and just not satisfied.  When this happens, I know my heart is not being thankful and taking the time to reflect on my blessings.  Yes, I will cry when Josh leaves, and yes, I will miss him bunches. (and bunches and bunches) But, I don't want those feelings to make me discontent and constantly think about days-gone-by.  Think of all the blessings God has given!  Contentment will come, it works everytime!

~Grace for the day, the hour, the moment.  I know God will help me get through this.  He gave me this Mother's heart that doesn't want to let go!  But, he will also supply me with the grace to go through this next journey in my life.  I read a book a few weeks ago that talks about the sufficiency of God's grace. It's always exactly enough!  But, it's always exactly when we need it.  The Lord's grace will help me through this time.

"Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits, even the God of our salvation."  Psalm 68:19

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness."  2 Corinthians 12:9

So, we will get through.  We will find a new normal for us.  What a journey filled with blessings we are on!  And I'm so thankful for my son!

Now, it's off to have a busy week with my family!  We have so much planned!  There will be plenty of packing, I am having a baking marathon and preparing all of his favorites, and just being together.  I warned Josh that I will be glued to his side this week!  Then, it's off to the airport....with California on the other side of a plane ride.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Prayers Answered!

Thank you to all that prayed for me last week!  God is so good!  And I'm so thankful to have sweet  friends and family that will pray for me.  

We started the drip of the new antibiotic super slow.  I mean super slow!  It was taking 7 hours a day!  I did itch some at first, and had some slight pain the first couple of days.  Then, I started to tolerate the meds better and was able to drip a little faster.  We are now down to 3-4 hours a day!  Big Improvement.

  I was a little frustrated with being stuck on the couch watching a slow drip.  My thoughtful sister and her husband (Thanks Keela and William!)  made me an IV stand with wheels so I can get up when I need to!  What a blessing that was!
 And while I I family stepped up and worked together and took care of one another.  They are pretty fantastic!

And some really good news?  I've had some really good days!  Now, the pain isn't gone.....but it is much less!!! And I'm starting to feel some improvement!  We are so excited about this!  It's hard to not get our hopes up when we see improvement because we know that quite often good days are followed by not so good ones.  But, I'm enjoying these good ones!  It's going to be a busy few weeks for us.  Many things are happening, and all of them emotional!  One major one is we're starting to help Josh pack for college......I think I need more prayer!

Friday, August 8, 2014

New Meds...(a post from Patrick's blog)

New Meds...

Kami and I were supposed to have left yesterday (Thursday) at 5:30 a.m. to drive to her doctor appointment in Brooksville. (3 hours away)  However, on Wednesday night, we heard the sound of throwing up from Callie's bedroom.  Shortly thereafter, we heard Silas.  It was after several rounds of vomiting, that we realized I needed to stay home with the kids.
Joshua volunteered to drive Momma to her appointment the next morning.  It turned out to be an all-day affair and Kami & Josh finally made it back home at 5 p.m.  I am so proud of Josh and he did a great job of taking care of Momma who had spent the entire night dealing with sick kids.
Elisabeth, Brenna, & I spent the day cleaning, washing, and disinfecting!!!
Kami returned with new meds...not just any meds...but the meds that had caused the severe, adverse reaction that sent her to the ER the last time she was given this.  The doctor was concerned that Kami has had the PICC line for 8 weeks now and hasn't seen a dramatic improvement.  So she asked Kami if she would be willing to try the Vancomyacin again.  Kami and I had already spoken about this and we agreed that if we had another opportunity to try this medication again, we would do it.  We noticed a major improvement after the last time she was given just one dose of Vancomyacin after the bad reaction had ceased.

The doctor doubled the dosage for her to take.  This is a 5-day supply!  It took us 3 1/2 hours to administer the first dose last night!  Kami has to take Benadryl before, during and after the IV treatment, which knocked her out!  We will have to do this 3 1/2 -hour treatment twice per day.  That's 7 hours of IV treatment per day for the next couple of weeks.  But praise the Lord, no ER trip last night!!!

This is Kami's other medications that she must take as well.  Some are vitamins, others antibiotics, meds for nausea, meds for her thyroid & pain medications. 
Kami has been getting her IV meds for almost 2 hours now as I type this post.  She is itching and we stopped the meds for a few minutes to allow the Benadryl to kick in.  Once the itching subsides, we continue again.  So far, she has not had any severe pain and we are thankful.
Please pray along with us that the Vancomyacin will work!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Prayers much appreciated!

Last night, as we prepared for our super early outing the next morning to my doctor, we heard that dreaded of my kiddos throwing up in their bed.  Poor Callie and what a mess!  Then, shortly after Silas joined her.  O boy!  I felt bad for my babies, it sure was a long night!  With plans to leave the next morning before 6 and knowing one of us needed to be here with the little ones (and it couldn't be me!)  Patrick and I decided to take up Josh's offer to drive me to my appointment this morning.  I think the Lord was blessing me with some unexpected time with my soon-to-go-to-college boy.  

Things went well at my appointment.  I was able to see my doctor (for the past couple of weeks I had only seen the Nurse Practitioner).  She looked on my chart and saw that I had an incident with Vanco.  She said that this is very disappointing because she is finding more and more of her patients improving with it.  Then she asked if I would like to try it again WITH a couple extra precautions....I must take Benadryl before and after, take the IV meds twice a day, let it drip incredibly slow, and stop if there is ANY sign of a reaction.  So....I headed home with a cooler full of the scary, yet powerful, Vancomycin.

I would be so blessed if you could pray for me.  I want to take the medicine that will help me.  I want to get better! But, I am afraid of the horrible pain that came with taking this medicine last time.  I'm willing to try again, and Patrick has the IV bag all ready.  Thank you, my dear friends.  It is such a blessing to have you lift my name to the Lord!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

A better sight!

We've had fun doing a few small projects and it's so fun to see the before and after!  A sore sight was our TV stand.  We were excited when we first arrived to find this tv stand all by its lonesome on the side of the road.  (Trash digging can be so fun! :o) ) It was perfect since we didn't have any furniture at all!  But after looking on Pinterest, there were some very cute repurposed TV stands.  

So, I was pretty excited when I saw this dresser at a yard sale for $10.  And with a crafty husband at home, I knew I could share my idea and he would run with it....and he did!!

 Voila!  Isn't it cute?  Love the color and that there are drawers to hide games, movies and controllers!

Monday, August 4, 2014

This and That and a little bit about our future... A post from Patrick

I thought I would put in a couple pictures of our daily life for you to enjoy...

With summer in full swing, the kids have been taking advantage of play time!  Micah and Silas are having some "football" time...although Micah seems to be taking it a bit seriously!

We had a rodeo tournament in full swing!  Beth was a wild horse as Callie tried to stay on!

Next was Silas...he did good but I think he held on too tight as you can tell from the next picture!

Summer will be over in just a short, few weeks.  We have already ordered Silas' K5 materials.  He will be starting school along with Beth and Brenna this year.  Kami has always taught the younger ones for kindergarten and that is her goal for this year...although I am wondering if her health will allow her to.  We are holding off on purchasing the girls' curriculum for now until we get a better picture of what our 'future' holds.

I have had the opportunity to fill-in teaching Sunday school and our kids are still working in the bus ministry, choir and Joshua has also filled-in teaching Sunday school classes.

We have an appointment to meet with our mission board on August 20th to discuss our future.  Kami is not much better, although there are times when she has more strength and energy than she did before.  We are awaiting another blood test which the doctor is ordering.  She feels that Kami may also have a parasitic infection called Babesia which can be found along with Lyme disease.  This would be the reason for the severe chest pressure/pain and difficulty breathing.

We have been traveling to Kami's doctor each week (3-hour trip one-way) since the beginning of June.  This week, the doctor may once again switch medications if she does not see some definite improvements.  This would be the 5th "switch".  The idea is to get the right combination of antibiotics that will work together against the Lyme bacteria.

The doctor informed us that Kami will be on IV antibiotics for at least another 5 weeks minimum.  If there is still no improvement, she will continue longer.  When the IV antibiotics have shown dramatic improvements, she will then be switched to oral antibiotics. 
 Please continue to pray with us about all of our decisions for our future that lay ahead in the next 2 weeks.  Either way, our lives will be dramatically affected...