Friday, August 29, 2008

Love Letter

Dear Child,
You are my masterpiece. Ephesians 2:10
You are wonderfully and fearfully made. Psalm 139:14
I created you and formed you. Isaiah 4:31
I knit you together in your mother's womb. Psalm 139:14
My eyes saw your unformed body when you were being woven together in the secret place. Psalm 139:15
In love, I chose you before the creation of the world. Ephesians 1:4
I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. Acts 17:26
All you days were written in my book before you came to be. Psalm 139:16
I will work out all things for your good [if you love me]. Romans 8:28
I have a future for you that is full of hope. Jeremiah 29:11
I have planned out good works suited especially for you to do. Ephesians 2:10
Find your refuge under my wings. Psalm91:4
My eyes are always looking out for you and I will strengthen you as you commit your heart fully to me. II Chronicles 16:9
Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified or discouraged about anything, for I will go with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9
Dedicate yourself to my sacred purpose, and I will do amazing things before you. Joshua 3:5
Remember the wonders and miracles I do. I Chronicles 16:12
I do these things so that all peoples of the earth might know that i am powerful and so you may always know to fear me as the Lord your God. Joshua 4:24
Seek me with all your heart and you will find me. Deuteronomy 4:29
With My Everlasting Love,
Your Father
Almighty God

Over the past couple of years we've been given many Bible verses to encourage us, sustain us, heal us, and rebuke us but this is the first we've received quite this way. On the right hand column of the blog you'll see a painting that a family friend of Shan's painted. Shan's parents buy every grandchild a painting for their first birthday. For Noah we walked through many art galleries to find the one we wanted and with Jordan it seemed so clear that Kim could paint one for her personally. With the painting she wrote this "Love Letter to Jordan" from her Heavenly Father and I just loved it. It was so creative the way she put it together and she unknowingly used so many of the verses that have spoken to me in the past.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Thrive Camping Trip

We went camping at Lake Nacimiento this weekend with our Bible study group from church (Thrive is the name of the group). There were 18 adults and 18 kids camping by night boating and swimming by day. It was a BLAST for the adults and the kids. Two families brought boats, wake boards and even a surf board to surf the boat's wake. Other families brought Sea Doos and Jet Skis to share along with an inflatable slide for the kids and innertube like things to pull behind the boat. It was SO much fun! Noah rode in a kayak with me, on a Sea Doo with Shan and I and also loved the boat. Jordan rode on the Sea Doo with me and loved being rocked to sleep in the boat. We swam, rasted marshmallows and got to know other couples from church. It was the best weekend. Thanks so much to the Youngmans, the Sathers and the Darms for setting it all up!!!
Here are a few of my favorite shots of the kids...

I also put a few other faves on the permanent right side of the blog page.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Huntington Beach - Pre-Kids

When Shan and I were first married I moved into his condo in Huntington Beach. It was our home the first year of our marriage until we moved south to San Clemente. We have SUCH fond memories of our first year as husband and wife. We loved our little condo and the associations pools and jacuzzi's. We loved riding our bike downtown and to the beach/pier (yes only a mile away). We spent many afternoons jogging, walking Junior to the nearby Starbucks and local restaurants. We ate breakfast downtown at Sugar Shack most Saturdays while we read the morning paper, we rode bikes along the boardwalk, Shan surfed non-stop at local breaks and I invested in my future skin cancer many days sunning myself on the beaches. Since moving we've rented it to the same tenant until last month. We've been working hard to get it up to speed and ready to rent again. Today we spent another day cleaning, repairing, hanging blinds, cleaning, changing lights, cleaning, and showing it to prospective renters. We also took some time to take the kids to the pool and hang out with our old neighbors. It really was a great day. I took some pictures of the condo to post online if the current prospective renters fall through. I thought I'd post them here for you all to see.

Jordan was obviously wiped out by the time we got home. Both kids fell asleep before we were even to the freeway. They were SO good all day and so patient that they both got to have pizza and M&M's before crashing. Look closely at all the dirt on her. Nasty! :)

More from DC

Here are a few more pictures.
This one is from our anniversary date to the city. We took the Metro into DC, had an amazing dinner at our favorite restuarant there, Gergia Brown's, then walked around for a while. My mom and step-dad had the kids and had a great night with them.

Here is Noah's favorite in the airplane that looks similar to ones that Grandpa (my dad) and Uncle John (my dad's brother) flew years ago. Uncle John is a pilot and has therefore automatically reached hero status in Noah's world. He LOVES seeing Uncle John and talks about him all the time.

Here's the famous Lockheed F-104 Starfighter. My grandpa (the one who recently passed away) oversaw the work done on this plane and actually got fly as a passenger in it once. I hope I've got the information correct here (Dad, correct me if I'm wrong). I believe my dad said that my grandpa got a certificate for being one of the only civilian passengers. Weird to think that my grandpa - my hero as a child and beyond actually touched that plane, sat in it and it now hangs in the Air and Space Museum in our nation's capital. What a great man he was and what a colorful life he led. I wish he were still here with us to see Noah's face as he looks at that plane and tries to understand that Great Grandpa flew in it.

BBQ North Carolina Style

Every time we go back to my mom's house in DC some of our family from North Carolina drives up and the rest of the family that lives in Virginia drives over too. Aside from seeing family the best part of our trips to my mom's is the BBQ. I am telling you now that Uncle Ronnie (Danny and cousin Ricky help too) makes the best BBQ I've ever had. Fourth of July I tasted some BBQ that came close, so close in fact that I was suddenly unsure that my Uncle Ronnie's still held the title. I shared this with him after he pulled up hauling his hydrolic pig cooker ("peeg cookah" as my Aunt BJ calls it) and it was on! He was "fit to be tied" losing sleep and feeling the pressure the next day for the cook off. This friend from church who made the 4th of July BBQ is also from NC but he is a Lumbee Indian so the taste is similar but not the same. I became the official taster for the day, sampling sauces, meats, and toppings. I also became the blacklisted member. I walked up and conversation hushed for fear I'd leak the recipes or traditions to my new Lumbee friend. It was a pretty good position to be in - I got to taste the food all day long, everyone was waiting for my response and I didn't have to do any of the cooking. :)
In the end I must confess that Uncle Ronnie's BBQ is the best. Sorry Nick. Maybe it's the trailer full of love that drives 5+ hours just to cook up some "peeeeg" for the family to enjoy. Uncle Ronnie and Aunt BJ love us dearly and we feel the same about them. They pray faithfully for our family and Aunt BJ spoils the kids rotten when she sees them. How can I imagine any better BBQ than that??

Uncle Danny insists the secret ingredient to Ronnie's sauce is in the brush - an old paintbrush he rinsed with laquer thinner before giving it to Ronnie to baste the meat.

Here's my mom's husband, Denny AKA Pop Pop, basting with the brush.

From left - Danny, Ricky, Ronnie

Jordan obviously loved the ribs! A girl after my own heart - be sure you wash it down with some sweet tea!

Noah and his 2nd cousin Brad. We pulled out the Nascar shirts and even cut the sleeves off Noah's for the event.

Unfortunately all our pics of BJ with Jordan are on her camera but here she is and Ronnie is in the yellow.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Hand Surgery Update

Jordan and I went up to Orange today to see her hand surgeon, Dr. Neil Jones. This is her usual UCLA hand surgeon who has now moved to UC Irvine. I am SO thankful for him and for his wisdom. I found an article online last night about him. It is an article on UCI's site talking about the top hand surgeon they recently hired - Dr. Jones. Here's the link:

He went over her x-rays again and still has the same plan as before. Between now and her third birthday (she's turning two next month) he will take bone from her leg and pin it to the bone that's already in her thumb (the lowest bone in the thumb that is closest to the wrist). The bone will grow together and the pins or rod will be removed six weeks later or so. One concern he has is that there is no bone to connect it to on the other end meaning she will have the lowest bone connected to the next one from her leg but there is no bone in the tip of her thumb to attach the other end of the new bone to. Yes, I know it's terribly confusing without seeing a picture. Anyway, when new bone is attached by only one end the end that is not connected to existing bone slowly dissolves. This means that her longer more stable thumb will have to be redone. They can't continue to redo it her entire life. They can only redo it twice. Long term this is not such a great prognosis but we are figuring that the worst case is that her thumb will be back to the way it is now which is not so great (no pincer grasp on that hand - basically no opposable thumb) but maybe medical advances will be as such by then that she can have something else done. He was considering taking a toe and putting it in the place of her thumb but she doesn't have enough good toes to work with. Bummer.

Our plan now is to see Dr. Oppenheim (the orthopedic foot specialist at UCLA who we will see in a month) to find out when he wants to do the surgery on her foot. We will then find out if he wants to coordinate with Dr. Kawamoto when he does her face and artificial tear duct. If so my guess is that they'll do it next summer/fall which means Dr. Jones can do her thumb surgery this fall or winter.

It's funny how I used to go to doctor's appts anticipating and focusing on what the doctors would say about Jordan. I would speculate, ruminate, wonder, obsess about what the plan would be for her. My perspective has begun to shift. Of course I'm praying before I go for wisdom and for discernment for the doctors and us as we plan her course but more now I'm praying for opportunities to share Christ or to influence people for God. I'm also praying specifically for her doctors in their own lives as opposed to simply as they relate to Jordan. Today I was praying on my way that I would be able to meet and talk with people about God and all that he's done, that lives would be changed from my time at this office. I will admit/confess I was skeptical. However as I was filling out papers a woman who had been in a terrible auto accident began talking to me about God and Heaven. She said that God had special plans for Jordan because of her challenges. I told her that God has special plans for all of our lives regardless of our challenges. We talked about Heaven and briefly how to get there. During that conversation a woman walked up getting my attention and I realized it was an old friend I taught with years ago. Her son was in a JetSki accident in high school and lost part of his thumb. He and Jordan have the same doctor and I had forgotten but this woman told me about Dr. Jones before we even had Jordan. We ended up talking for such a long time about trusting in the Lord, examining ourselves to be certain we are in the faith, how trials and our response to them can work out our faith in the Lord. It was great to share the work that Christ has done in my life and also nice to talk to someone who has been where I am now running from therapy appt to doctors appts, wondering how it's going to work out. We talked until the office was nearly closed and I can't wait to keep in touch with her. God is so good and DOES indeed provide. I prayed for His will during this appt and for Him to be glorified and look what happened!
Okay we are still recovering from our trip to my mom's so I am exhausted and still on east coast time. I must sign off for tonight.
I did get a cd of all of Jordan's x-rays from UCLA today. They are so cool! I am dying to post them on the blog so you all can see the bones in her hands and feet. I just can't figure out how to do it yet. When I do I'll post them.
Thanks for reading such a long post.
:) Good night!