Monday, November 17, 2014

And Finally the Biopsy!

Praise the Lord!
We finally got a Bone Marrow Biopsy Schedueled!

I normally wouldn't blog about these kind of things until after it all passed, but I feel the Lord's peace to. 

We have the Bone Marrow Biopsy scheduled for next week.

And we got news today that Ahavah's lead level has risen again. It went from 14 to 23. I am still waiting to hear from her primary to get her course of action (which will probably be chelation therapy again). We are praying in the funds for that treatment.

Man, the Lord's guidance and anointing on today's appointment was incredible. 
We met a Jewish family in the waiting room to the lab and got to share Jesus' love with them. We told them we were praying for them and their country and their people. We told them we love them and God loves them. When they heard all Ahavah was facing, they were amazed at the peace and joy we had and we shared that we know where we are going when we die that gives us the strength even in the face of death and uncertainty. 

THEN I went to schedule the biopsy and a lady was scheduling hers at the exact same time. I scheduled for Monday and she needed Monday so they asked if I would be willing to switch my appointment. I quick prayed and asked the Lord if that's what He wanted. He reminded me I needed to be there for a friend Monday and had committed to that already. "Yes! Switching it would be perfect!"

We went out and bought Ahavah a new pink humidifier for her bedside to prevent bleeds and she treats her nose with gels and sprays several times a day. 

God's so good! He really is. 

I am praying for MORE opportunities to share Christ and His love, His death, and His life in us as we continue being lead by His Spirit.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

The Importance of A Word From the Lord

Now those of you who have no concept of what it's like to hear from the Holy Spirit, this post is going to seem very strange to you. You will either skip it, and move on, or it will challenge you to have a deeper relationship with Christ. One of complete dependance.

For those of you who do hear from the Lord and walk in the Spirit, I pray this encourages you and spurs you on to do it more!

WARNING: This may be a LONG POST, but I don't care. Every detail of this points out how detailed the Holy Spirit is and how He speaks to His people. 


Ahavah's last appointment was around the end of September/beginning of October. The platelets were at 57,000. Her lead at 15. We were instructed that this was probably her "norm" for platelets and we didn't need to take her in for another 6 months or so for anymore checks. Things "looked pretty decent" we were told. 

Bone Pain, Headaches, Lathargicness (if that's a word...), A few more bleeds... the norm for the next month and a half. Even her lips started bleeding a few days ago. 

This last week I felt the Holy Spirit telling me to bring her in. I scheduled a CBC (Complete Blood Count) and a lead blood test for the next morning. 1/2 hour before the appointment I was told unless I got a doctor to fax over the order I couldn't get it done. I scrambled, got everything they needed, only to show up to the appointment and was told I needed to pay for everything in cash, before I could be seen... this has not happened before, but... Okay?? 

Sure enough, a few hours later the nurse calls...
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Now, before I continue, there are a number of things the Lord told us about this whole situation:

(1) In May, when Ahavah first got sick, the Lord told us it was an issue with her Bone Marrow. He told us through His Word, through an outside source, and through two Words of Knowledge that two people gave us who had no idea the Lord had told us this same thing. 

(2) We got another Word of Knowledge from Exodus 14 that we were to "Stand back and see the salvation of the Lord" and to "hold our peace". We believed the Lord was telling us not to push to get the bone marrow test done until He told us or provided something.

(3) Both my husband and I were given the verse in Exodus where the Lord tells the people "the firstborn is mine." It was very sobering when we came together and both had gotten that the same day. We had prayed and committed our daughter entirely to the Lord.

(4) When we first bought our home, the Lord gave us a word that there was a great battle coming. We were going to be attacked financially, physically, spiritually, and emotionally and we were only going to get through it through being open, honest, and transparent and through prayer. It was a few days later Ahavah ended up in the hospital the first time and we were facing losing our daughter. There are MANY other things that happened at this same time that I will not blog about, but they hit every area listed above.

(5) I had a dream a few weeks ago that was very detailed and someone was given the entire interoperation to the dream. The basis of it was that we were being beat up, we were bruised and beaten and struggling with no help from onlookers, but we kept pressing on and persevering and there was victory at the end.

(6) There were also two separate people who got visions of Ahavah holding Jesus hand, looking up into His eyes with a smile on her face. There was peace and she knew Him so intimately. One person told me this on May 25th. The other person got the same vision and told me about it just yesterday.

*There were several other words we got, but for space sake, I will only mention the above.*

So with all this prefacing...
____________________________________

... the nurse says, "Wow! It's a good thing you brought Ahavah in! Her platelets are only 2,000!" (This is the lowest they have ever been!)

We had two options: wait until Monday and sit down with her hematologist and come up with a plan of action, or take her to the ER and get her treated right away. I told her to schedule the appointment for Monday and I would continue to pray about it.

After I got off the phone, I felt the Lord tell me, "Now is the time. Prepare for Battle." I remembered the verses from Exodus 14, about waiting on the Lord and felt that the Lord was saying, "Now is the time to see My Salvation".

I texted my prayer group and asked them to start praying. That's when I got the word of the second vision of Ahavah holding Jesus' hand and the peace that was there. 

I talked with my dad and step mom on the phone and my step mom texted me Psalm 91, 2 Samuel 22, and Zephaniah 3:17, all which are FLOODED with the Words, "Prepare for Battle", "He prepares me to fight", "He is my strength, power, support", "Trust in the Lord and see His salvation". 

I was overwhelmed by the confirmation after confirmation of what the Lord was saying. I know I am now to fight for what the Lord has told me to. I know beyond what anyone can convince me of otherwise, what I am to do and that the Lord has it all. "His way is perfect" (Psalm 91:31). 

_____________________________________

Dear Reader, I hope you see how important hearing from the Lord is! If we would have pushed for this bone marrow biopsy before it was the Lord's time, who knows what we would have done?!? 

Now, in confidence, we can say, we aren't doing anything else until you do this test. 

We have had people oppose us all the way, some begging us to "Push for it!" and the doctors saying, "You don't need that! We won't do it!", "Ahavah's fine it's just ITP. It will dissolve in 3-6 months."

We can stand UNSHAKABLY and UNQUESTIONABLY on what the  Lord has told us and confirmed to us over and over and over. 

There is no formula on how you can apply this to your life. You can't read this and try to do this in your own situation. BUT you CAN have this! In everything you do! We had several confirmations on the house we were to buy, the job we were to take, the ministries we were to do, the things we are to counsel others with... 

Pray. Seek the Lord. Wait on Him.


Philippians 1:12 "But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel."

Whatever the Cost. We will follow Christ.


Saturday, November 1, 2014

Boys, Girls, Nuggets, and Little Brothers!

Raising a Boy is so fun! 
My boy is very compassionate and protective
If anyone messes with his sisters, he'll fly across the room swinging his little arms like an angry bull.
If someones crying, he'll come up, pat their back and give them a smooch!
He also randomly comes up and give me kisses and hugs and then runs off to an awaiting adventure (probably to fight dragons or something heroic... which explains why I don't see many of them flying around our house).


He's always got somewhere to be and got something to do. 
Seriously, he runs around with his little arms swaying by his side off to a different room.
He's obsessed with my mop and broom.
He's also obsessed with my makeup (DRIVES ME CRAZY!!) which is in a basket on my bedroom floor next to a mirror. I have to keep it there since were a household of 7 and only have one bathroom. Unfortunately, it's a prime target for little man.


Many people have told me he's like a little man trapped in a baby's body.
He communicates so well! 
Not only does he sign, but he brings me his sippy cup and says, "Mom. Mom. Mom."
When he's hungry, he signs eat while saying, "Eat, Eat! Eat, Eat!"
He'll grab the Little Pim DVDs from the DVD basket and bring them to me, then go sit on the couch waiting for them to be played. 


He picks up spoons, swords, and spatulas and runs around making sound effects and beating things with the sticks. 
His favorite foods are bananas and rice (not together, although I'm sure he wouldn't oppose to that).

___________________________________________________

Hayven has been LOVING preschool! 
We are about 8 weeks into it. 
She's loves her letters and the Bible Stories. 



I LOVE being able to do school over a cup of coffee all in our pajamas some days! I'm going to miss these days for sure!
The Girls are all in the same CKC (Calvary Kids Club) class Thursday nights. They are actually on the same BOOK right now too, which makes life easier for mommy!!
They have been memorizing verses from the book of Romans which have helped them grow in their ability to share the gospel with other kids. 


Wacky Glasses Night at CKC

Speaking of sharing the gospel, my girls always blow me away when they go places (like Chik-Fil-A with daddy) and they come back and tell me that they shared Jesus with a girl they met at the play place, or a neighbor they met outside the house! 


Ahavah Reading the Bible to Elias one morning.


Ahavah accepted Jesus as her Savior two weeks ago! 
We were learning about Moses getting the ten commandments on the mountain and we wrote the commandments out and talked about them.
Ahavah was devistated that she broke God's rules and doesn't deserve to have a relationship with Him because of that! She actually deserves death and separation from God!
She learned what it meant that Jesus died in place of her. 
She was truly broken and asked God to forgive her and was so thankful for Jesus!

Alecia doing her Phonics Game on the computer.
We've had a GREAT month of October!
We've been able to meet with several families over dinner and pray and encourage one another.
We've been to a few baptisms and celebrated peoples commitments to the Lord!
We just had an outreach on Halloween Night last night called, A Hallowed Night (which by the way, was horribly difficult since I was preforming with bronchitis and a sinus infection... still terribly sick. Hence the blog post, sitting with my feet up in my recliner).
The Girls are at Chuck E Cheese right now with their CKC class (Again, hence the blog post :)).

Elias eating $1.50 10 piece nuggets from Burger King on a late Thursday night after church... okay maybe we got like 60 nuggets... do we regret it ? A little... 


The girls singing worship songs after a baptism.

_____________________________________________
 My baby brother FINALLY got to go home yesterday after his first nearly 2 months of life in the hospital! I want to pack up and go to Detroit and be with him so, so, so BAD!!! Here is AaronMatthew:


And my other little brother Tres rocking his new hair cut. I miss him terribly!
I talk to him on the phone almost every other day and just say, "Hi Tres! It's Favorite!!! I love you!!!"

Then he usually talks a little, presses buttons, and hangs up on me.

I LOVE IT!!



And the Lord's been working a great deal into me about so many things!
I've been really broken over my sin (and always surprised and humbled by how much of it there is! We are such a sinful bunch, us humans!) and so amazingly humbled at His grace and His blessings. 
I have so many things I wish to share, but the timing is not yet right. 

Just know that God will equip you to what you are called to do.

Step out and do it.

If you don't, you will miss out on so many blessings.
You don't have to feel good about it.
You just need to be obedient. 

I often tell the Lord, "I wouldn't do this if it weren't for You Lord! I wouldn't do this for anyone!"

It's not always easy.
Most the time, not everyone agrees with it.
But you don't live to please everyone do you?
No, you live for that day when you will see Jesus face to face and He will say,

"Well done, My Faithful servant! Enter into Rest!"

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Goodbye September

Wow! That month went FAST?!?

My little brother Tres (My kid's uncle) has been with us for the last almost two weeks. He's been joining us for ministry

Sunday Morning 
Agape Feast/Church Meeting

our regular errand running


school


and daily life!




It's been a blast!! Tres and Elias fight almost CoNsTaNtLy!! :)


We are about 1 1/2 months into Kindergarten and Preschool. So Fun.


Mostly we have been doing lots of cleaning, baking, organizing winter from summer stuff, ministry, meeting people for dinner once or twice a week. My dad is coming this weekend to get my little brother and head back home.


My other little brother AaronMatthew is STILL in the NICU! He's almost a month old. He has Down Syndrome and a hole in his heart. His lungs keep filling with fluid and he's not gaining much (if any) weight because he's working so hard to breath and pump blood through his little body he just burns all his calories right up! He's still being fed through a feeding tube since he falls asleep while nursing/bottle feeding. 



I also have some EXCITING NEWS coming in a few weeks!! (I'm not pregnant lol). I can't share it until it's finished!!! So exciting!!! 


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Omaha and Detroit

Hello!

Here we are in Detroit! Our Omaha trip was great! We left Saint Paul on Thursday the 11th and went to Omaha for the Pastor's Conference. 

This is right before we loaded up in the car of Omaha.

Here's my sisters and me. We texted this to my dad before we left and when we showed up at his house, he had a huge on printed and framed! Awwww!!
 So on our way to Omaha, we stopped in this little town in some state and went a little out of our way to get some good coffee at a local coffee house. Turned out the coffee house was a Christian coffee house and the lady working behind the counter went to the Calvary Chapel there! It was very encouraging for her to have run into us. However, when we were pulling out, Alex and a brother he was riding with got into a car accident and smashed up the front of our rental car! So we stopped on the side of the road and me and the kids played games with walnuts that had fallen from the tree.

Here is Elias and I playing catch with the walnuts. 
 Saturday morning My sisters, Hayven, Elias and I left for Detroit. It was a 12 hour drive from Omaha including a few stops for food and bathroom. Here are some pictures from that car ride:




We are now in Detroit visiting My dad, step mom and little brothers. Hayven and Elias are enjoying their Uncle Tres and their Nana and Papa!



Watching Jelly Telly with their Uncle

Elias "helping" me organize our dirty and clean clothes.

Alyssa and Tres working on Alyssa's birthday gift. Light Bright. 

Hayven helping to work on Dad's new house. We are trying desperately to get it done before AaronMatthew gets out of the hospital!!! Lord, please help us!


I was able to lead worship at dad's church Tuesday night and I am ready and available to lead worship wherever the Lord leads me this next week. 

All in all we are having a blast. Exhausted. But serving through it. Learning a lot. Spending a lot of quiet time in our Bibles and a lot of time serving our dad and mom and the church when we can. 

I miss my twins terribly and talk with them every night and ask them how their day was and make sure they got into their Bible at some point that day. 

I think we are off to go to the shooting range next and then back to the house to sand more walls and prep them for painting! Praying we get a ton done!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What Our School Year Looks Like!!

2014 - 2015 School Year. 

:) :) SoOoO ExCiTeD!! :) :)


I really look forward to when we start up school again. I love the new books, the new stack of worksheets, the new crayons, markers, paints, and colored paper. I love to look ahead a plan what weeks we will have off and what projects we will be doing. I love watching the Lord work in my children's hearts, molding them, and making them into the people He created them to be! And I am SO in love with our school out look this year! Here's a glimpse into what it looks like:

Kindergarten
Although my twins are only turning 4 years old this Saturday, we have started them on a Kindergarten curriculum by Heart of Dakota this year. They have been through the Preschool program twice and have an amazing grip on all the basics: colors, shapes, numbers, reading comprehension and a good knowledge of the overview of the Bible. We really feel like putting them through preschool again would be holding them back. They are starting to do basic addition in their heads and sounding out 3-4 letter words and writing them down. 

This picture was taking about 9 months ago when I ordered all their school stuff. 

We are 2-3 weeks into the Kindergarten curriculum already and I am so, SO, SO in love with it, I just CANNOT say enough! 

Our History will be a basic overview of all of history from Adam and Eve to our founding fathers, to the industrial revelation and more! We will be making a timeline of each event and seeing how the center of all history is Jesus Christ and His redemption of mankind!

Our Science section is filled with basic experiments, focusing on different areas of creation and bits and pieces of the world around us everyday. We may focus on kangaroos and learn how their babies stay in the pouch for the first months of their life, or we may learn about how plants have roots, leaves, and flowers. We may grow some plants, create boats out of foil, or mix baking soda with vinegar and watch what happens. 

Our Writing books help them focus on mastering the skills of staying on lines, cutting with precision, and focusing on fine motor skills. We start with tracing circles in a certain direction and by the end of the year we will be writing of verses from the Bible with ease and precision. 

Our Math books start with things we learned in Preschool with new twists such as sorting, matching, and reviewing numbers and their characters and will advance to counting, basic addition and touching on basic subtraction. 

Our daily Phonics program takes 10-15 minutes a day and is a go-at-your-own-pace program that will have them reading short stories by the end of it. It also comes with an accompanying computer game that correlates with each chapter. One of my girls is MUCH better at it then the other, so I have book marks with their names on them pointing to what page that child is on. We only cover 1-2 pages max every day. We do 1 Review and 1 New... unless the review was a struggle, then we will simply focus on that one page for the day. I don't want reading to be a frustration, but a joy and fun.

We have a daily Reading Comprehension time where we will be reading through all the Peter Rabbit series and asking the girls questions and what happened, or having them act out what happened, or getting them to write their favorite character a letter of admonishment or encouragement. This is usually what Alex does with the Girls.

We also have weekly memory verses that are accompanies to music and deeper Devotionals that ask deep questions such as where did God come from? and who is Satan? What is sin? ect. These typically correlate with our history and science lessons for the week also.

On top of all this we are supplementing with their CKC programs from church (which is memory verses and basic understanding of scriptures with applications), some French websites with free games and French movies that will continue to expose them to the foreign language, and since I lead worship, we will be having random jam sessions with drums, and other instruments for more music exposure. 

All in all, we usually take just a few hours in the morning at the kitchen table to get done with all of this. And I just love how the curriculum is based on reaching a child's heart for Christ. Just this morning we talked about how Cain and Abel made sacrifices to God, but Abel understood his sin needed to be covered by the blood because "the wages of sin is death." So he offered a lamb to God. Cain, on the other hand, thought the work of his own hands could cover his sins, so he offered his fruits and vegetables from the land he worked himself. God accepted Able's offering but not Cain's. Oh, how we need Jesus' blood to wash away our sins and forgive us! This was all after we learned about how sin entered all our hearts because Adam and Eve chose to disobey God. We are all born with nature and need to be redeemed by Jesus! 


Preschool
My little Hayven will be going through Preschool officially this year. As of this moment, I feel she will be doing it again next year, but we will see how she turns out at the end of the year. 


We have a daily Fingerplay which is a poem that ties the week's stories and letter together in a fun, active way with hand motions and rhythm.

We will be reading through the entire Bible this year! We will be hearing the whole Bible through song also!

We will focus on one Letter a week with a review week every month learning the sounds of the letter and exploring the letter through art, with blocks, writing and in other hands on ways.

We will have some basic Math and Science things we will do on a weekly basis as well to get Hayven to explore how things float, fly, feel different, and how numbers have values to them. 

We will also be having weekly Memory Verses to hide in our hearts that are also put to music. 

We have decided to supplement Hayven with the same CKC programs, some French exposure through films and games, as well as music jam sessions.



My Baby Elias
Elias is just a baby, but he has some things he's working on too. He will be having quiet time on a blanket with different toys/objects every day. This will teach him self-control, obedience, and open his mind to new things (blocks, trucks, pot and pans, cooking utensils, a bin or water ect.)

He also has some French and music exposure through films, music ect.


So how does it all work together?
Well, I am all for planning. Without plans, people perish... that's in the Bible. So we aim for a certain pattern to our days. The times can change depending on what we did the night before, if the baby was up crying all night, or if everyone wakes up really early, but here's the basic plan:

6am-7am Mom and Dad spend time. Coffee. Devotions. 
7am-8am Mom prays and/or prepares day.
8am-9am Morning chores (teeth, hair, dress, beds). Breakfast.
9am-10:30am Kindergarten and some French. Quiet play for Babies.
10:30am-11am Snack 
11am-12pm Park. Outside. Play.
12pm-1pm Lunch. Clean-up. Daily Chore.
1pm-3pm Kids: Nap. Mom: Devotions. Clean. Practice Worship. 
3pm-3:30pm Snack
3:30pm-4pm Preschool. Twins & Elias Free Play in room
4pm-5pm Make Dinner & Eat
5pm-??? Whatever dad wants to do.


It's simple, flexible, yet everything gets done :) Daily we have different chores that MUST get done. Extra time allows for more to get done if needed. And all the kids partake in cleaning (Even Elias!) and hard work. 

I love home-educating mostly because of how flexible it is. We started early because I know we will be traveling a lot this month. I also love that my twins can be in Kindergarten since their ready, and my Hayven can be in preschool as many times as I want her to. I can help my children apply what we learned in school and we can walk through things they are dealing with in their personal lives. I can show them how I pray when I'm angry like Cain should have done when we was dealing with anger toward Abel. I can show them how to persevere when things get hard that I'm working on just like how they can when they have a really tough worksheet, or a chore they don't like doing.



Home-educating is NOT simply textbooks. 
It's how to live life.



Monday, August 11, 2014

Summertime.

Oh, what a summer it's been!
Our summers are typically very busy (hence my lack of posting).
It's our outreach season in our church, PLUS the kids have DGP (Discovering God's Path) which they technically aren't even a part of this year because they are too young, but my husband substitute teaches so we get to go on all the events. There's zoo trips, water park trips, camping trips (which I don't do....), and more water park trips. Also we like to do family things Saturday! Ministry together as well as going out for ice cream or to lakes or to parks. 

And I know it's not over, since it's only the second week in August, but once the twins birthday rolls around (which will probably be the next time I post something), our school year begins and summer is over. 


My son turned one!!! Here's some pics:

Aunty Riah got some "boy toys" for Elias. He is in LOVE with wheels, cars, and balls.
Since I do Secret Shopping, I scored a shop at Pizza Ranch. I get reimbursed for this putting, plus iI get paid $12 extra dollars. Elias LOVED all the carbs! At the end of eating, he was just laughing and shaking his head back and forth. He has WAY too much energy!
My girls being silly and feeding Hayven Ice Cream. Hayven loved it of course.

We went to Masha's (Grandma's) on Elias' birthday to open gifts, play in the yard and grill.
 I made Reeces Peanut butter Cup Cupcakes. My mom killed them!! And Elias appreciated them as well.
We have been going to the Farmer's Market almost every week:

My nerdy kids all holding hands. 


 We've been hanging out with friends and people at least once a week. We have been having people over for dinner, or going to other people's homes for meals and good fellowship :)


Sandbox with Best Friend of Hayven

Does anyone else feel that irritable urge to smooch this three toothed, handsome, little man?!?

AND!!! My husband gave me $40 and told me to paint the house (I LOVE HIM!!). With this $40, I checked Walmarts, Menards, Sherwin Williams, and Craigs List and painted the entire house!!! WOOO HOO!!!


The twins' room is now a beautiful lavender. I still have a gallon of this left that I'm going to hand onto for when my PICA kids chew on the wall... or I get a new piece of furniture that I want to match something.

My living room has one dark blue wall and the rest are a greenish, blueish, grey. My dining room is green. My kitchen is obnoxious yellow (which I have grown to like actually).

I still have to paint my bedroom a grey that I got and a baby green for my babies room. I borrowed painting supplies from my mom who just painted her whole house. And I got painter's tape for a couple bucks a roll. All in all I never paid more then $7 for a gallon of paint from what I remember. 

Yesterday we remembered there was an Irish fest on Harriot Island. It was free! So we went and spent $20 on food tickets. Then two families that were leaving gave us almost $40 is extra tickets!! We ate SO MUCH I still feel sick. We found another family with a large number of children and passed on $15 worth of left over tickets we just couldn't finish. 


Hayven doing and Irish Jig... in her... pink viking jersey...
We didn't plan ahead to go to this, we just up and went right after church. Otherwise we may have been more festive.

Ahavah getting ready to eat Corned Beef and Cabbage Rolls. SO GOOD!
She actually preferred the Fish and Chips.

My twins dancing away!

So cute! I am going to miss this age!

Not sure how to rotate this picture, but you can turn your head I suppose. We piled all the kids into a double jogging stroller I got for my dad and step mom... somehow this beast has to make it out to Detroit....


Oh it's been a great summer. 
Hospital ... I mean... Luxurious, Expensive Hotel Stays
Pools.
Lakes.
Friends.
Food.
Music.
Fairs.
Zoos.
Painting.
Birthdays. 

September lies ahead and we will be starting Kindergarten with the twins and Preschool with Hayven as well as traveling a lot this month. We are going to Omaha, Nebraska and then I am trying to make it out to Detroit, MI for the birth of my little brother Aaron, Matthew. I am REALLY bummed I am missing a wedding in Myrtle Beach this month :(. REALLY, really bummed. But, I am blessed. SO, so blessed!