Saturday, September 30, 2006

I can't believe it is the last day in September! Our October is booked solid with Birthday's, camping, a visit from Bethany and Johnny 4, John's graduation from college, and a trip to the pumpkin patch.
Good news on the medical front - John's injections did eliminate the back pain for a whole week! He did, as predicted, pull a muscle in his shoulder thought. His body is going to have to learn how to live without back pain and with relaxed muscles; a challenge that John is more than ready for. Our next step will be for John to have a Rhyzotomy sometime in October; the doctors predict he will only be stuck in bed for a day or two, nothing serious. Then, he will start routine electric muscle stimulation to try and relax the knotted muscles in his back and physical therapy to add strength . Best of all, John will not be on ANY drugs for back pain. This is the first doctor John has been to in four years that was willing to work on eliminating his back pain without daily painkillers! The Lord was so good to provide a doctor educated in modern medicine. Hopefully John will be able to walk and run without pain . His foot is also doing well, the doctor isn't requiring him to wear the boot any longer ; John is moving slower than normal but is at least up and mobile. He even received a funny comment from a friend at work stating that he couldn't hear when John was coming anymore because he isn't dragging his toe!
Today Drew and I played in his kid pool in the backyard - it was 92 degrees - what a fun filled afternoon we had basking in the sunshine! Sorry, there won't be any pictures of Drew for a little while, my camera broke and had to be shipped back to the manufacturer. I don't know what I will do without it! Drew is running and playing constantly. He is getting so much better at coming when called, we made it into a game so he loves to "Come to Mommy." It has been so useful! Yesterday Drew went outside ahead of me and when I went to look for him I couldn't find him. I started to panic and then remembered to call Drew with "Come to Mommy" and out popped this little head from behind our car, he then toddled over to me for a big hug!
This week I have been reading a new book and also journaling. I was told by a counselor that journaling is a great way to work through stress. Stress; evidently I don't work through it well. I think contemporary culture would call me a "stuffer." Hence the back giving out, TMJ, and headaches. I must admit that being told to write, which is something I love, was a very exciting possibility that I hadn't allowed myself to enjoy. I also went horseback riding on Sunday afternoon with some friends of John's. Now that was relaxing; riding a beautiful paint gelding down the trails of the grasslands on an 80 degree day - a soothing and tranquil Sunday. My new book for this month is a biography on William Wilberforce. I had never heard of him until John Piper broadcast a sermon series on influential men and women who shaped Christianity away from religion and towards an individual relationship with the Jesus Christ. I was so intrigued by Wilberforce's plight towards freeing the slaves in early 1800 England and his revolutionary faith, that I had to get his biography. So far it has been a very testing read; the book has been demanding and I feel very amateurish reading such eloquence and though provoking material. William Wilberforce was such a deep thinker who loved sentences packed with greatness and length. To think when I correct John's papers I am always adding periods, maybe John is more in step with great minds of writing that I give him credit for? My AP English teacher Mrs. Craig would be so proud of his sentence patterns! I just read this great quote by Wilberforce
"It seems to be an opinion pretty generally prevalent, that kindness and sweetness of temper; sympathizing, benevolent, and generous affections; attention to what in the world's estimation are the domestic, relative, and social duties; and, above all, a life of general activity and usefulness, may well be allowed, in our imperfect state, to make up for the defect of what, in strict propriety of speech, is termed religion. Many, indeed, will unreservedly declare, and more will hint, the opinion that the difference between the qualities above mentioned and religion, is rather a verbal or logical, than a real and essential difference; for in truth, what are they but religion in substance if not in name? Is it not the great end of religion, and, in particular, the glory of Christianity, to extinguish the malignant passions; to curb the violence, to control the appetites, and to smooth the asperities of man; to make us compassionate and kind, and forgiving one to another; to make us good husbands, good fathers, good friends; and to render us active and useful in the discharge of the relative social and civil duties? We do not deny that, in the general mass of society, and particularly in the lower orders, such conduct and tempers can not be diffused and maintained by any other medium than that of religion. But if the end be effected, surely it is only an unnecessary refinement to dispute about the means. It is even to forget your own principles; and to refuse its just place to solid, practical virtue, while you assign too high a value to speculative opinions."
I hope you have a mind challenging week packed with the pursuit of knowledge! Challenging our minds is such fun!
Melissa

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

July 29, 2006
Wow, I think I am on the right track with Drew's Closet! Drew's Closet is no longer an online retail business, God has turned it into a ministry! Today I met a single mother of two children named Jamie. She has a 2 year old little girl and a 2 month old little boy. My friend found her on Craigslist looking for clothes for her children. I contacted her yesterday and was able to meet her today. She came by the house and "shopped" for some new cloths for her children. She was so happy and excited! I was able to invite her to church and gave her my info incase she needs a friend to talk with! Drew was also there and able to watch us give away clothes for someone in need. I pray he will grow to be a man of generosity and humility. How cool, God is so good! Please pray for Jamie's salvation and freedom that can only be found in Christ.

Next, I received an e-mail from my Mom's group at church, there is a 17 year old pregnant girl in need of baby things. I don't know much about her, but I send over my phone number. Please pray for her salvation and that the gifts we give would open her heart to the Lord. How wonderful to be able to bless others - I've been smiling all day!

July 27, 2006
Drew's new word today was "...is it?" (he can't say what ) He now points to items in books and around the house and wants to know what things are called. It is so cute. He even said it when the door bell rang, he wanted to know who was at the door. Too cute!
Please pray, I have really been thinking about all these clothes I have around the house. The plan for Drew's Closet isn't working out so well. So, I've been praying about what to do with all these clothes. I love to give them away to friends and such, but there are too many now to just give to friends. So... God laid on my heart to adopt some families that are in need. Our church has a long term project in Haltom City where they feed and cloth families in need, they also provide a lot more, if your interested you can visit http://www.northwoodchurch.org/v2/glocal.htm
I spoke with the person at the church in charge of the program and he thought adopting a few families was a great idea! He will call me back with the information on our first family. We are going to start slow, with only one family, and then see where it goes from there. I am so excited. I will be able to bring Drew and the two of us will be able to meet some of the needs of this family. Once John graduates, he gets to join in on all the fun too! We will be clothing the children for school and hopefully meeting a few times a month with parents to pray and encourage them. I am very excited to see how God is going to use us. So, please pray for the unknown family that we will be serving in the name of Christ! Please pray that I will be a help and not a hinderance to Christ. I am so excited that Drew will be able to come and I can start to plant little seeds of service into his heart.
July 24, 2006
I am 18 Months Old! I can't believe how much I am learning. Today I said a few new words " vacuum" which sounds like "a ume" and "eat it." I also said the word "ouch" when mommy dropped a toy on her foot today. I have learned to climb too! I am now climbing on all the furniture and chairs. I can even get onto the computer and type like a big boy. Daddy has to watch out and save all his work, I haven?t mastered not deleting things! Mommy and Daddy are hoping that I will start to talk soon; they are making me say certain words like "please" and not letting me whine for things that I want. So far I am still very content to point and jabber in my foreign tongue.
I have been a very good boy! Mommy took me to the Botanic Gardens this Saturday to have my first photo shoot. Mommy had so much fun taking pictures of me. Aunt Julie also had her bridal portraits taken, I can't wait for everyone to see them! They turned out so beautiful. Everyone here is getting ready for Julie's big day! Mommy ordered my little tux for the wedding last week. She can't wait to get pictures of me wearing it.
Oh, mommy was bitten by a spider yesterday and had to go to the doctor. She is on antibiotics for the infection . She was so glad it was her and not me. Daddy called the pest company today and set up a new contract so they can kill all the icky spiders and bugs in our house. Mommy is also glad because the ants have been eating the roots on her vinca, killing them in the process. Hopefully the spray will help the plants to stay beautiful.
Daddy is still studying. This term is by far his worst yet. He is putting in about 40 hours of work at Home Depot, and about 65 hours a week of school. Doing the math you can see that there is no time for anything else. Poor Daddy, I really miss playing with him. Only a few more weeks and these two classes will be over. His next and final term should not be quite so hard!
Love,
Drew

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Guess who is leaning all kinds of new words (sky, grass, cold, airplane, up & down please, no thank you)? Oh yes, Drew is talking up a storm, so much so that I am seeking out quiet hiding places just to avoid the incessant chatter. As many of you will notice, Drew's hair looks a little shorter, I had a run in with some clippers and a simple trim turned into a trip to the barber for a buzz cut. Poor Drew, all his cute baby hair is gone, replaced with a new look and a new big boy attitude. Drew is no longer my baby, he has grown overnight into a "big boy!" Drew talks like a big boy, acts like a big boy, eats like a big boy, and plays rough & loud like a big boy. He even received his first Thomas Train, that he must sleep with every night! The train is suppose to be for 3-6 year old, but Drew loves to carry it around, even into the bathtub. How quickly times change from the quiet slumber of a sleeping infant to a free spirited toddler that takes cushions off the couch just so he can jump off the arm onto the pillows. How fun and fatiguing it is to take in. Much of Drew's new achievements could be due to his one day a week preschool program. All of the 6 children in his class are older than Drew by about 2-5 months, and 4 of them are girls who talk very well. It was just the encouragement Drew needed!
I drove John in early this morning for injections on his Facet Joints; he is currently recovering on the bed watching lots of movies and eating Sonichamburgers. He received 6 cortisone injections in his lower back; hopefully his back pain will temporarily be alleviated. If the pain goes away then the Facet joints are the problem area on John's back that are creating all the pain. In a few months, a Rhyzotomy can then be performed to eliminate the pain for 2-4 years. Hopefully during that time his muscles will loosen up and he will work aggressively on strengthening the muscles around the joints in his lower back. Please pray for John, he is excited to have a possible resolution to all his back pain, but anxious about another surgery. John's foot is healing quickly but he is still in a special boot and the swelling in his foot tends to occur frequently. John hasn't decided when to have the other foot cut open, but says that it doesn't hurt at all anymore so he wants to prolong it as long as possible. I think he is just anxious to get back on his feet and move around like normal again.
In the midst of being a mom, wife, nurse, and barber (oops) I found time to bake a third pie. My first two were Strawberry Rhubarb and this last one was a peach. The pies tasted wonderful, but I have yet to master the art of appearance. The peach pie was much better looking, but I didn't quite get the "fluting" down. I guess I will need to make another, maybe a Pumpkin!
Melissa

Sunday, September 17, 2006

September 17, 2006
Things are back to normal ... well almost normal! Drew has finally worked his way back into the ordinary swing of things and his temper tantrums have subsided. All the company from the wedding have left and the garage has finally been cleared of all the wedding paraphernalia. Grandma Patti blessed us with her love and generosity for about three weeks and has sadly departed back to Oregon . I am so sad: no more cooked meals, magically clean laundry, and full fridges of food for me. Life is back to order, self discipline & habit. My normal isn't bad just routine and simple. We all had so much fun with Patti, I miss the "girly" company. We even made it to Frisco for a women's day out! Now that was fun, we ate Mediterranean food and then spent hours in Ikea. How fun!
Drew's vocabulary is starting to grow, he is jabbering about everything, I just wish I understood what he is saying. He has been a little sick this week and has not been sleeping as much as usual. Drew did the cutest thing yesterday, I was cleaning up the kitchen around 4:00 pm when Drew toddled in and asked for his binky. I told he if he had his binky he had to go take a nap and since he had already had his nap for the day he didn't need it. Drew continued to persist so I gave him the binky and started to walk to the stairs. Then, Drew ran into the living room, grabbed his nap mat that we take to school, grabbed a few books and laid down right in the middle of the floor and began to read books. He stayed reading books for over an hour! Wow, I was impressed, and enjoyed the time to read my own book! It looks like quite times in his crib, are turning into reading time on the living room floor. Drew has also started to ask to take naps and to go to bed! Smart boy! Drew's favorite book is from Home Depot, called Home Projects for kids. The book goes over all the tools and their uses. Drew carries the book around and asks to had it read at least 2-3 times a day.
John's foot is healing nicely and he is back at work, helping customers! John even received an award at work because so many customers complimented his helpfulness and cheerful attitude. Drew and I met John and his co-worker at Costco today and his friend pulled me aside and told me what a great guy John is, something I already know quite well but love to hear about from others! John has only 4 more weeks of school! He can't wait to be done! He has a whole garage just waiting to be dirtied with projects.
Drew and I have been busy visiting our "adopted" family again this past week. We are really enjoying creating new relationships. I am also busy with work, baking, and gardening. I baked my first two pies a few weeks back; all from scratch! They were actually very yummy! I am looking forward to taking Drew to the pumpkin patch the beginning of October, I can't wait to make a fresh pumpkin pie & pumpkin bread!
On a more difficult note, please pray for my father Brian. He has been admitted to a psych hospital in Washington because his Schizophrenia has become much worse. Please pray for healing, specifically that the voices that plague his mind 24/7 would be destroyed and the gentle whispers of Jesus penetrate his heart to strengthen and direct him.
I am praying Isaiah 58:8 for my Dad, I pray the Lord's healing will swiftly break into his soul. I take comfort knowing that even though I can't be with him, the Lord is present, He is my Dad's "Rear Guard," following, defending, attacking, and comforting.
Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.
I love the verse just prior, it reminds me to stay focused on serving others so I can bring Glory to my Lord, and to always be growing in my faith so that I can grow closer to the Lord and not desire to hide my sinful self from Him.
Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry And bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; And not to hide yourself from your own flesh?
I hope you have a wonderful week filled with rest & service to others in the name of Jesus Christ .
Love,
Melissa

Monday, September 11, 2006

Pweese?

A Daughters Plea
Like a little sparrow, he is my song, all day long I listen to the chimes of "Pweese"?

Drew, 20 months old, tweets his sweet melody from dawn to dusk, his plump fingers pointing, signing in unison to his little plea. He points to the door: " Pweese"? To the cakeplate: " Pweese"? To the fridge, a glass of water, a train, a book: "Pweese, Pweese"?It is one of the few word he knows, the only constant word he speaks. His entire vocabulary consists of that sole word: Please? "Drew, use your nice words" He responds "Pweese"? Drew use your words instead of whining? "Pweese" I hear in response. "Please what" I say, "Pweese"? I hear in return.
Who can resist his persuasive blue eyes, his fair white fingers, and his gentle pierced lips, the appeal of his request? Drew use to holler, scream or throw a fit, but now everything is said so sweetly "Pweese"?
But oh, how this sweet, gentle, "Pweese" "Pweese?" melts my heart. Is it that way for You too, Lord?
"For everyone who asks and keeps on asking receives; and he who seeks and keeps on seeking finds; and to him who knocks and keeps on knocking, the door shall be opened.
If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good gifts, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask and continue to ask Him!" ~Luke 11:10-13
Lord, I humbly pray, I thank you, for always listening to my plea's. Thank you for always listening and answering in some way. Just as Drew doesn't always get what he asks so gently for, so do you sometimes deny me for a greater gain? Lord, you know my heart this morning, you know my heart cries out to you for answers, Please, Lord will you answer my incessant plea? As I reflect on Drew's patient requests, probably heard 100 times just today, it gives me strength to continue petitioning, just as the widow who kept going back to the king, I come back to you again, please I cry! Give me that which You deem a valuable gift, please bind up the broken hearted & free the captives enslaved to the mind control of schizophrenia... please.

Idea from ( http://holyexperience.blogspot.com/), I am not too sure how to reference that?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

September 10, 2006
The fancy picture of John and I was taken a few nights ago, I was finally able to fit into a pre-pregnancy dress! So, John took me out on a fancy date, our first fancy date since Drew was born. Grandma Patti watched Drew for us. Patti has been visiting us over the past month to help out with John's recent foot surgery and to play and spoil Drew. You can vaguely see John's "boot" on his left foot, he had bunion surgery three weeks ago. He is healing quickly, but not quick enough for John! John will need to have his right foot cut open in another few months, poor guy! He is also scheduled to graduate with his Criminal Justice Science and administration degree the end of October. Needless to say, John is very anxious for school to be over, at least for a little while. He is already looking into Master's programs, but we have decided to wait at least a year. I really need time to relax and enjoy John not being in school!
Drew is reaching a new phase, at 19 months he has learned how to ask politely for things. However, he doesn't understand the concept that "just because you can ask for it, doesn't mean you get it." So, temper tantrums are now part of our day again! Drew really is a very sweet and curious little guy who is taking after John in so many areas. Drew loves to play with his Daddy in the garage and discover how things work. Anything with wheels and knobs and buttons are always being discovered and tested. We are thoroughly enjoying our new family of three. God has blessed us in so many ways.
Love,
Melissa