well hello again

Happy 2015! I haven’t updated for over three weeks which is always a good sign. Things are going well here, and I can hardly believe it is already the middle of January. I’m not sure where the past two weeks have gone, but I’m happy to say every passing day brings us one sunrise closer to spring! I’m already over winter, and we’ve hardly even had any snow! So the holidays….Christmas was full of traditions we love. We hardly seem to vary from our usual fondue on Christmas Eve, Christmas morning routine and New Year’s Eve at the farm. This year was no different, and we enjoyed some wonderful moments with people we love. We are so very blessed to be surrounded by such a loving, fun group of people we call family.

Christmas break was full of the typical sleeping in, shopping for last minute gifts then spending Christmas money, time with friends, more sleeping in, celebrating another year of Travis’s life and lots and lots of popcorn! We bought the kids a big popcorn maker like the movie kind which they love so there has been a lot of popping going on in the basement with friends. Ryan had a wonderful break too sleeping in and playing with his toys. He especially loves (and I do mean LOVES) to open and close the pantry door over and over and over again. It bring a smile to everyone’s face especially when we get to watch him spill his giggles while he does it. I’m not sure why the repetition brings such delight to his heart. The louder, more annoying sound coming from the kitchen is the slamming of one particular cupboard door under the kitchen sink. He slams it just as hard as he possibly can and if we don’t stop him, he will do it for what feels like hours which produces a lovely headache. There has been lots of redirecting lately, but we are happy to do it as these are signs of a happy, healthy boy. And that’s about as mischievous as he gets these days!

The Lord has absolutely blessed us with stability in Ryan’s health and the feeding pump is going well. Every now and again we get into a bind with lots of beeping and readjusting, but in the end it usually just takes a simple, small flush of his j tube and everything is working smoothly again. It seems his tube gets kinked but it’s easy to fix. He isn’t eating much at all by mouth anymore – maybe once every 10 days, but when he does eat, he can tolerate about 1 cup of food. It’ been three years now since he stopped drinking fluids which is still baffling to me. But in the big scheme of life, it really doesn’t matter. Travis did take him to the dentist last week and also to the neurologist to have his VNS turned up again. The settings were at 60 seconds on and 60 seconds off before the battery died, so when we had it replaced in August we had to start all over turning the settings up. Right now he is at 30 seconds on and five minutes off so we have a long way to go to get him back to his previous settings. I guess it’s helping but there is really no what to tell how many seizures the VNS stops when he always seizes so much regardless of any treatment or medication we try.

Trevor is happy and adjusted and content as usual. He’s definitely our quiet low key child and is often with friends or in the basement. This week the school district starts looking at applications for Zoo School which is the science focus program here in Lincoln, and he is really hoping he gets accepted. Only 25 kids make it into the program every year, but he applied early and has excellent grades and lots of volunteer experience. Plus he’s already in the gifted program so hopefully that’s enough with the essay he wrote which blew us all away. This kid can write!

Sidney started club volleyball a few weeks ago, and her team is really getting off to a bad start. One girl is out with a shoulder injury, another was just diagnosed with mono and a third broke her ankle at the tournament this past weekend. Two of the girls were the setters so now they don’t have anyone in that spot. It might be a tough few weeks for the team until they figure things out. But she plays her heart out and does a fabulous job. School is going well, and she really loves high school.

And Brad has been his typical laid back self. He never complains about anything almost to a fault, but I really appreciate his humble spirit. His car’s air conditioning died at the beginning of last summer, then the motors for three of the windows died, every once in a while it won’t start for whatever reason, and now the heat went out so his car is extremely cold, and the kids have a very uncomfortable drive to school. He has not complained once; no exaggerating! He’s just so grateful to have his own transportation. We are not in a position to buy another car right now, but thankfully all three kids have had a great attitude and simply appreciate what the Lord has given them to ride to and from school every day in. I hope we can all find the humor in this situation some day! Golf will be starting shortly which will keep him busy, and he’s also in three AP classes so he has a lot of homework too. Time management will be very important in the next few months!

I hope you all are doing well and staying warm! It sure has been cold lately, but that’s old man winter for you. I love the changing seasons but would be perfectly happy if winter only lasted for just over one month from Thanksgiving to the week after New Years. I guess the cold makes us all appreciate the beauty of spring when it finally arrives.

Psalm 86:11 ~ Teach me your ways, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness. Give me an undivided heart that I may fear your name.

I simply love this verse and have been praying for an undivided heart for some time now. How easy it is to fall into the pattern of giving the Lord only pieces of our souls and keeping bits of it for our own ambitions and musings and dreams. A friend at work and I are doing a Bible study together twice a week studying Slave by John MacArthur which I have to say is a great book! It goes right along with this verse and talks about having a heart for Christ our master’s will and plan instead of our own. It’s challenging but exciting to press on toward that goal – an undivided heart.

Many blessings and much love to you all!

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