New pictures

We had pictures taken Saturday at Portrait Innovations (http://www.portraitinnovations.com/). We LOVE them and cannot say enough good things about them!! While these aren't the exact ones we chose, we thought we'd post a few of them (if you order enough, you get a free CD with all the raw, unedited images on them and then you can have fun with them!).


(my hands are bothering me so pardon the abbreviations!)

The airway fluoroscopy went very well on Friday. The doctor looking at the computer images said he did not see any evidence of T's airway collapsing but did see a slight collapse in his larynx. Something, he said, T would not only outgrow but could very well cause his "snurgling" sound alongside the acid reflux. But, he did say that they would print the x-rays off and look at them again just to be sure. I haven't heard anything today so I'm hoping no news is good news. The best news, though, came about 9 this morning. I had called on Friday and left a message with the general surgeon about cancelling T's circumcision since we did not want to have him under general anesthesia twice within 9 days. (Side note: We had not yet cancelled that surgery even though we had been given an appt for 5/5 with a urologist who might have considered doing the circ with a local anesthetic. We really didn't want to put that off any more and had decided that, if he was well enough for the surgeon to do it on 4/25, then we would let them go ahead. If he wasn't, then we still had the appt on 5/5 with urology and would go from there.) The scheduling secretary for the surgeon called today and, long story short, said that if we would change his ear surgery to Friday, 4/25, both drs would work together and do both the tube surgery and the circ on the same day! We really feel like this is an answer to prayer -- we don't have to worry about putting the circ off any longer and we don't have to worry about general anesthesia two times.

In other news, N went to the eye dr today. He got glasses for the first time in December '06 and when I called to schedule a new check-up right after T was born, the dr that saw him the first time no longer took our insurance. So, I called this new dr and the earliest they could see him was today. It doesn't seem like 3 months have passed....Anyway, there was a pretty big increase in his prescription and he'll have to wear his glasses all the time now. But, I kinda felt that one coming. I was about his age when I started wearing glasses full-time (although I don't remember a time when I just wore mine while doing school work). He's excited about his new glasses and about getting them before Mamaw Faye comes for a visit in April. She was originally thinking of coming on the 19th but is trying to work it out to be here for T's surgery day. We'll be glad for the visit, of course, but glad for the help, too! I just hate leaving the kids with a sitter all the time so I can take T to all his dr's appts. It'll be nice for them to have Mamaw here for a change. Not that we're not thankful for Ms. Candace who's helped us out a lot lately. Ms. C was here Thurs, Fri, and today helping with the kids! We're very thankful for friends who love us and don't mind pitching in! Thank you!


Timothy update

I took Timothy in yesterday to see the ear, nose, and throat doctor regarding his failed hearing tests. On that front, the dr decided that since there was still so much fluid in his ears that he needs surgery to insert tubes to drain the fluid out. He is scheduled for surgery on April 16th and, because of his age and his other health issues, he will be staying the night. However, this dr was more concerned about Timothy's persistent congestion and the sound that he constantly makes. He believes that this is not related to his RSV or the subsequent colds he's had. If it was, then we would have seen a pattern of him getting better and then getting worse again when he caught these other colds. That has not been the case. The dr did a scope of Timothy's nose and throat and determined that while he does have severe acid reflux (which can cause and/or aggravate congestion), he does not think that the acid reflux is the main culprit. In fact, our pediatrician had already tried Timothy on meds for acid reflux and Timothy did not improve as far as his congestion is concerned. But, we will put him back on the Zantac immediately to help with this. Timothy is scheduled today to have an airway fluoroscopy performed. It is a special x-ray to look specifically at his airway (Timothy will be given the contrast fluid beforehand) as the dr believes Timothy's airway is collapsing slightly and that is causing the persistent congestion. He did not say what the treatment for this collapsing would be if that is what they find, but he did say that if it is not what they find on tomorrow's x-ray, then while he is sedated for his tube surgery, they will perform a more invasive scope called a bronchoscopy. We got so wound up in trying to figure out what to do related to Timothy's congestion that I never did ask him what, if anything, he wants to do regarding a repeat hearing test on Timothy after the surgery.


Happy Easter

He is risen!

(the kids' eggs this year -- we especially like Nathan's gold one!)


12 years

Today is the 12-year anniversary of our first kiss!


Movie reviews

Review by me, of course! Movies we've seen recently:

If you haven't yet seen Amazing Grace (the true story of William Wilberforce), you MUST!! Great movie and I just love the version of "Amazing Grace" sung by Chris Tomlin. It's called "My Chains Are Gone" and can be found on his CD called "See The Morning", which I also give a hearty 2-thumbs up!

Last week, we watched We Are Marshall, also based on a true story -- the 1970 plane crash that killed the Marshall University Thundering Herd football team, it's coaching staff, and some football boosters. The movie focuses on the rebuilding of the team. The coach that comes in to rebuild the team is played by Matthew McConaughey (probably my favorite actor). One word of caution -- although I loved the story line, I'd give this movie a grade of "C" because McConaughey's characters likes to curse, especially the s-word. Not bad enough to where I felt compelled to turn it off, as I have with other movies, but enough to leave a little sour taste in my mouth, so to speak. I believe it's rated PG but I'm not sure.

One movie I give an A- that we watched last night is No Reservations, starring Catherine Zeta-Jones as a chef who is left with custody of her niece after her sister dies. Catherine's character has to kind of allow a new person into the kitchen of the restaurant where she works and she doesn't take kindly to letting anyone in -- not in the kitchen, and not in her heart. It's a romantic comedy but I honestly can't remember even 1 curse word and there was no s*x scenes although we are left with the notion that the cute guy chef spends the night at one point. This one is rated PG.

On a related note, we use www.PluggedInOnline.com as a must go-to source whenever we're considering watching a movie with the kids. This is an outreach of Focus on the Family and we love it. It has caused some problems for us in the past because we've read reviews on it and haven't allowed our kids to see certain movies that our families think they should have been allowed to see. But, this website is obviously reviewing movies from a Christian stand point and gets so technical that it counts the curse words in many of its reviews! Their reviews will tell you what spiritual content a movie had, what and how much violence is in the movie, what the drug and/or alcohol content of a movie is, and if there is any nudity or s*xual scenes, with a conclusion at the bottom. (I've been known to just read the conclusion 'cause their reviews are kinda long sometimes!) However, Plugged In does review movies based on family friendliness so movies such as No Reservations don't get a good review 'cause it's obviously not something you're going to set down and watch with your children. Still, I read the reviews for what Jonathan & me watch by ourselves, too. Our minds might not be as impressionable as our kids' minds but things still get "stuck" in our minds, wouldn't you agree? And if you're looking for a good family movie to watch, the one we've watched recently that surprisingly kept our kids attentions at least for the majority of the movie is Evan Almighty. A take on Noah's Ark that Plugged In gave a glowing review by James Dobson himself! Enjoy!


Regarding Timothy's circumcision

This is the first and last time I will say something on this subject:

Whether or not we have our boys circumcised is, frankly, our business and not anyone else's. The decision has been made. Our other 3 boys were circumcised and were (and are) just fine and we, quite frankly, know what we're doing and what the possible consequences of our decisions could be. The topic of circumcision (aside from sharing updates as far as Timothy alone is concerned) is hereby closed on this blog. Please do not comment or send us emails on this subject. We know how and where to find the information if we so choose to look for it.


Catching up, part 3

Last but not least, our pics of the Blizzard of '08. These were taken Saturday morning -- we continued to get snow all day long. I believe the "average" snowfall around Columbus was about 20 inches!!!!!

The view from our garageOur streetOur front walkThe picnic tableThe shelf on the side of our grill

Catching up, part 2

Sunday School lunch....Elizabeth was trying to be polite and not eat with her fingers!!! :)What a face!And here's some new pictures of Timothy....tummy time!

Catching up, part 1

Some things I've been meaning to blog about, #1:

Our trip to Ohio Caverns in West Liberty, OH. We've been studying Earth and decided to tour a caverns. Ohio Caverns were a little over an hour away, not quite an hour and a half. They're open year round as opposed to Olentangy Caverns which is closer. Anyway, here's some shots.

What do you think? Does this look like Donkey from Shrek?

Wii would like to play

The story goes like this -- he arrived at Sam's about 8:30. Got in line with about a dozen people at 10:15. Tickets were passed out at 11:30 -- he claimed ticket #5. Went back to his car to warm up before the midnight store opening. Claimed our wii and headed back home (after stopping at Wally World for some accessories). Perfect timing for church to be cancelled (if you can say such a thing). We spent Sunday resting and playing the Wii -- all of us! :)


A foot of snow on the ground, what's one to do?

Why, go stand in line for 2 hours at your local Sam's Club for the chance to get 1 of only 32 Wii's going on sale at midnight, of course! :) Yep, folks, you read that right -- my dear, dear, hubby has been standing out in the cold since about 10:15 at Sam's Club. Tomorrow, they're apparently releasing some new game (Smash Bros., I think) and so Sam's is opening from midnight to 2 AM tonight to sale the game and a minimum of 20 Wii's at each store. Jonathan's Mom works at Sam's so we knew exactly how many they had and how it was going to go down. (No special privileges, though!) Just talked to him a few minutes ago and he said they were going to hand out tickets at 11:30 before the doors open at 12. He said there's about a dozen or so more there with him but he was one of the first ones there (if not the first one). He's been there since about 8:30, hanging out in his car until after 10, when others started to show up. Oh, the things we do for our children!!!! (And for ourselves -- those darn Wii's are sure a blast to play!!) :)

Hoping I have good news to post in the a.m. about our new purchase! In the meantime, ya'll don't forget to set those clocks forward. Which, if you're like us and snowed in with no church tomorrow, you can sleep in (did my kids get the sleeping in memo? probably not!).


You've got to be kidding me

Not only is this the worst storm of the season (and I hate snow), not only am I snowed in with kids bouncing off walls, I now am not going to the Steven Curtis Chapman concert. The church insists that the concert is going on as planned which means that not only am I snowed in and unable to get there, I'm also out my $85.......I'm disappointed, my husband is disappointed, and my kids are disappointed 'cause Nathan & Caleb were supposed to go to Grandma's tonight for a sleep over. I know I'm 31 but I might just join my toddler (or 2) in a good melt down.......


Whether or not you homeschool, please sign this petition!!!


Homeschooling was just ruled "illegal" in the state of California (see post below). Sure, it was just for 1 family but if the ruling stands and isn't overturned, it could possibly make homeschooling illegal for everyone in CA. As CA laws state it right now, a child between the ages of 6 and 18 must be in a full-time public or private insitution or be taught at home by a tutor with teaching credentials. And, as you've probably heard said, "As goes CA, so goes the rest of the nation". The Homeschool Legal Defense is pursuing this and that is who is doing the petition drive. You can read more about the ruling here: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/03/07/MNJDVF0F1.DTL&tsp=1

It just makes me sick to my stomach. I do not want my children in a public school system in Ohio. Public schools are against what we stand for -- teaching that there IS a God, that He alone is Creator of the universe, and that marriage is a Godly institution between 1 man and 1 woman, just to name a few "issues". I am saddened at thinking about children in school in California, where teaching homosexuality as a "positive" lifestyle is now being taught as early as kindergarten, thanks to Gov. Schwarzenegger (State Bill 1441, as well as 777). I don't want my children being taught about sexual issues at the age of 5, do you?? Nathan at age 8 doesn't even know what homosexuality is!!! And, even sadder, religious organizations, such as private Christian schools, are not allowed any option under this bill, either -- condoning homosexuality (or bisexuality or transsexuality) must be taught as positive lifestyles.

Please help us protect our rights to homeschool and ensure that our children will have the same rights when they are married and have children. Sign this petition.


Hang on, folks...first CA, then the rest of the USA

OneNewsNow.com Blog
Homeschooling Against the Law? Permanent link
Well, I suppose we should have seen it coming in California. First, Gov. Schwarzenegger signs SB 777 into law, which basically allows public schools to indoctrinate children as young as pre-kindergarten to accept homosexuality and other sexually deviant lifestyles as normal and okay.

Now, we have a panel of judges in the California Court of Appeals ruling that parents in the state of California have no legal right to home school. California Justice H. Walter Croskey said: "parents who fail to [comply with school enrollment laws] may be subject to a criminal complaint against them, found guilty of an infraction, and subject to imposition of fines or an order to complete a parent education and counseling program."

The ruling also states that home-schooling deprives children of social situations and interactions and that children can better “develop emotionally in a broader world than the parents' 'cloistered' setting." What this really means is that California cannot properly indoctrinate your children with the homosexual lifestyle if they are home-schooled, and therefore you must bring your children to public school.

3 months old today!

Time certainly is flying by! Seems so unfair sometimes....and not just with Timothy getting so big. (see post below)

I have no idea what Timothy weighs now but he's certainly getting to be a big boy! He is still fighting either the effects of the RSV or a new virus or both and has had a rough week. Starting to sleep through the night, though, most nights sleeping from 10 to 5. It's nice to be getting caught up a little bit in the sleep department! He's smiling a lot now and starting to coo. He seems to be ticklish when you kiss him under his chin!

One year later

"Aunt" Krimson
(pictured with John, May '06)
12.29.80 - 3.6.07


How do we handle disappointment?

And how do we teach our kids to handle it? 2 very disappointing things happening at the Stevens' house. First of all, we had told the kids that if they (meaning Nathan & Caleb) could earn 300 points (earning 1 or 2 points for basic chores around the house; Nathan earning 1-5 points for different school things such as good handwriting or "perfect" worksheets/tests), we would buy them a Nintendo Wii. Nathan's favorite cousin, Jeff, has one as does his cousin, Robert. His grandparents (Jonathan's parents) even have one for when the kids come over. They all seemed to just walk in and find one. We knew the Christmas rush would be bad but when we set up the point system in January, we thought by the time the kids got to 300, the rush would be over and we'd be just like everyone else, to walk in and get one. Wrong-o! They're very disappointed as no one in the Columbus metro area has one and doesn't anticipate getting one any time soon. They keep giving the "you'll just have to keep calling back to ask" kind of answer. The kids are handling it better than I thought they would -- in fact, I think I'm more bummed than they are! We've seen them work hard and we so badly want to reward them and yet, our hands are tied. And now it looks as if I have to take a cue from the 2 of them who are very much moving like "life goes on, we'll get one eventually". The only problem is, what I wanted, there isn't a "I'll get it eventually" promise attached to it. With a sigh, I was outbid for the concert tickets that I really wanted. Now before you go off and laugh or say something about how childish that sounds, that isn't the point of this post. Sure, I'm disappointed. But what I'm trying to get at here is how do we handle that disappointment? Let's talk about bigger things -- not disappointment, but absolute crushing blows. How do we handle that? I've heard our pastor say several times that anything we receive this side of hell is grace....stop and think about that for a second. No, I'm not talking about not getting the latest and greatest gaming system or having to deal with not getting to meet your favorite artist at a concert....think about the "bad" things that have happened in your life lately. Maybe it's a job loss...maybe it's the loss of a baby (as I'm constantly reading about from the MOMYS group I'm a part of)...maybe it's the loss of a loved one, or, more closer to home for us, the 1-year anniversary of the loss of a loved one. Our good friend, Krimson, passed away 1 year ago on March 6th. A dear friend at church yesterday told me of something that just boggles the mind -- a family member has had to bury her father recently and exactly 2 weeks later this past Thursday, suddenly lost her husband and is burying him today. Not just 2 deaths in 2 weeks -- 2 of what I'm sure were the most important men in her life (earthly speaking, of course) -- her dad and her husband, only 2 weeks apart. That would be an unbelievable blow in 2 years, much less 2 weeks! How do we look at these things and say that they're God's grace to us? How could we say cancer is God's grace? Think about it, though -- he's right. We've been talking a lot about God's sovereign choice in biblical election lately and that, if some of us are chosen, then it stands to reason that some of us aren't chosen. Even though we believe in election -- we believe that we are God's chosen people and that we were chosen before the creation of the world -- we still struggle with thinking "why am I chosen and others not?". (I'm not going to get into any more details about that right now but if you're interested more about what we believe about election and why, please email me at sing2praisehim@hotmail.com and I'd be happy to share with you.) Think about it -- what do we, just by being born sinful creatures, deserve? All of us from the moment of conception are sinful creatures, enemies of God. It's hard to look at your little ones (unless they're already toddlers! ha ha) and think that such a precious bundle of joy could be an enemy of the God that created him/her, isn't it? But, that's clearly taught in scripture -- we're born sinners and we deserve hell, plain and simple. So, God's sovereign choice in calling out His people isn't about Him not being "fair" to those who He has not called (do you REALLY want God to be fair when you, too, deserve hell?) -- election is about the Amazing Grace that He bestows on those of us whom He does call, whom He does save. (And God's sovereign choice in our election does not negate our responsibility to repent and believe and walk in faith but that's getting more into election than I have the time to share right now.) And that's how we can say that anything we receive -- pain, suffering, disappointment, loss, illness, death, etc -- anything we receive that isn't our eternal punishment in hell, forever separated from our God, is grace. Makes some things seem so trivial, doesn't it?


Pump it up!

Nifty little place we found on the northwest side of Columbus, around Marysville. Our homeschool co-op took a field trip there. Big room full of inflatable play things (like a giant slide, an obstacle course, and a jumpy!). The kids had a BLAST (but very expensive so who knows when we'll be going back?). John was a little scared of just about everything but the toys they had! (He did go down the 20' slide, though -- with his Mommy -- but that's a picture that WON'T be posted!)

Caleb eventually got with the program (him getting off the smaller slide at the end of the obstacle course) but the only way he'd go down the giant slide was with our friend, Fionna. Elizabeth was our little dare devil but I just didn't get any good shots of her 'cause she kept moving!!
The obstacle course
The giant 20' slide
The jumpy

How 'bout a friendly game of....

Candy Land?!?! :)