Here are some highlights:
Two weeks ago, we had Emilie's 11th birthday party. Emilie, by nature, is my "love to have a party" girl, and last year, we did not know enough people well enough to have a party for her. We still found a way to make it special for her, but this year, this girl was READY for a PARTY!! She had about ten girls at the house, but I haven't asked permission from any of their mothers to show pictures of them on the blog, so here is a cute one of Emilie before it all started.
This past weekend, we celebrated Megan's 5th and Clara's 6th birthday. Talk about a house full of kids! Again, didn't get a lot of parent's permission, so I will stick mostly with pictures of my girls:
My sister made the horses and ladybugs for this cake. Aren't they cute!! She also made these adorable little flowers to put on the cake, but unfortunately, they melted together during their shipment. So, we split them apart and made a flower bush on either side of the stream. :-)
Cowgirl hats and boots from Papa and Grandma Bev!!
Round 'em up!!
Cowgirl boots. The shoe for all occasions. :-)
Jeff built a "kid-wash" in the backyard that was enjoyed at both parties. Lots of squealing ensued, and lots of fun was had by all. :-)
For everyone who gave the girls birthday money, either while we were in Georgia or via the mail, I thought you might like to know how it was spent. All three girls got new bikes!! That is something they have needed/wanted, and they were very happy about getting them....and have had a ball riding them! Thank you!!!
I must say that I have been feeling especially homesick lately. I guess with all the birthdays we've had recently, that's usually a time of the year when we see everyone......and I miss it. I must say, however, that my little brother came to visit for the little girls' party, and it was SO GOOD TO SEE HIM and it did wonders for my heart. Just having a little piece of home here for a party was such a blessing, and by far, the best part of my day. Thanks, Drew. :-)
Emilie and Clara joined The American Heritage Girls this past January. We were so excited to find a troop here! They are a Christ-centered scouting group where service to God, family, community, and country are emphasized. Their oath:
I promise to love God,
Cherish my family,
Honor my country,
and Serve in my community.
Cherish my family,
Honor my country,
and Serve in my community.
Gotta love that!
They earn badges and memorize lots of scripture as part of their requirements, in addition to lots of camping, nature hiking, and all the other fun things you would expect from scouts!! They were endorsed by James Dobson on Focus on the Family and are the only girl scouting group that the Boy Scouts of American has ever allowed themselves to be affiliated with because of their mutual strong commitment to godly values, not to mention the partnerships formed with Dannah Gresh's ministry Pure Freedom, and Big Idea Productions/Veggie Tales. All of this makes me feel really good about their participation....not to mention the LOADS of fun they are having!!!
Just a week ago, they had their Spring Court of Awards where Emilie and Clara received badges and a promotion they've been working hard for, and Megan was officially accepted into the troop, thanks to a recent birthday making her the right age. :-)
Clara with the beads she earned for her Pathfinder necklace, and her new badges to add to her new Tenderheart uniform. This was one excited girl!
Emilie with one of her leaders, Ms. Kathy. Emilie also received a number of badges that she worked hard for. They were: The 7 C's of Creation, Daughter of the King, Textile Arts, her Joining Award, and a HUG award. (That stands for something, but I need to ask what it's for.)
Here's Megan. She was helping with the play about about Sacajawea by holding up one of the "Act __ " signs. She was very excited.....but she's always excited. :-) Notice Jessie, her race horse, on her left arm....he goes everywhere with her. :-)
This is Clara with Mr. Dan, whom she absolutely ADORES! He was her leader this year. I failed to get a picture with their other leader, Ms. Tami. They really love her, too!!
Definitely significant on our list of achievements is that Jeff did his first half-marathon!! So proud of him! Here he is with a few other Life Action folks he ran into (no pun intended). :-) He finished his race in 2 hours and 18 minutes. Not too shabby for a first time!
And finally, for some really big news.....
Clara was accepted!!!
Clara will be checking in to the Shriners Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri on a Monday in September and checking out that Friday for a week full of thorough testing and making a plan for her care. In the
"The Research Facility currently follows the largest group of children anywhere with XLH (X-Linked Hypophosphatemia). ....Healing of rickets, correction of bone deformity, and improved growth rates and stature have been seen when compliance with medical therapy is maintained."
This gives us some hope. Right now, we're getting nowhere. She has grown about a half of a centimeter in two years, and we are facing a very invasive surgery to correct one of her legs. The care management nurse Jeff spoke with encouraged us to wait on that surgery, because with their treatment plan for these kids they have seen success with the bone fixing itself. The doctor she is seeing sees over 100 kids per year with XLH. She will also get an orthopedic consult while she is there.
We have always been so thankful for those of you who keep us in your prayers. Once again, we covet your prayers. Specifically, for
1) Wisdom as we prepare for this visit and decide how many of our appointments with other doctors we follow up with between now and then, and how many we should just cancel.
2) That we will get the answers we need to help our girl.
3) That God would, once again, provide everything we need to get us there. Her hospital stay is covered by the Shriners, as well as my bed beside hers, but we have to cover transportation and my food once we're there.
4) Please begin to pray now for Jeff as he stays back with the other girls. It is going to be hard for him to be here while we're there. He is a wonderful Daddy, and I never worry about him or the girls when they are here.....I know he'll take great care of them. (That probably won't stop me from leaving some meals in the freezer and feeling guilty while I'm gone.). :-)
5) That I will be able to get all of the paperwork needed to the hospital in the amount of time I have to get it to them. I have a huge notebook full of her medical records, but there are some things I just don't have. SO, we are sending release forms to every doctor she's ever seen, and praying they will get those to the hospital in a timely manner.
6) That Clara will stay healthy between now and then and that nothing will interfere with her visit.
As always, thanks for caring about our little family and for staying up-to-date with us. I pray your day is blessed!!