Sunday, May 25, 2008

A few new pictures

Karter is suffering from a double ear infection (and he is teething yet you will see in the pictures :-)). But in true Karter fashion, he is weathering it like a trooper. He has started to roll fairly frequently to his sides and we are so thrilled with his progress as of late. I keep saying that once he realized what it is like to move, it will be like flood gates! So please continue to pray for a rapid increase in his developmental milestones. Those prayers are not going unheard.

I shared with someone the other day that I have never felt so sure of things as I have this past few weeks. My spirit is so encouraged. That is only possible by the grace of God and by the prayers that surround us each day, each moment. I can never say it enough, thank you!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A Great quote...

My cousin Jamie sent me this in an email today, it really sums up life.

To get something you never had, you have to do something you never did. When God takes something from your grasp, He's not punishing you, but merely opening your hands to receive something better. The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

One year to the day...

Yesterday, marked one year to the day, of Karter's surgery. In many ways, it seems like a lifetime ago and yet, in others, I cannot believe it has been a full year.

I went into the week very aware that the "anniversary date" was coming up. Funny to think that I was a little fearful of what emotions would creep up as the day got closer. Really though, it was a really great day.

Being that it was the long weekend, and we were unable to get away, adding to that the fact that the temperature more than doubled as the sun graced us with its presence, we took full advantage of the weather and got out to do things together as a family.

Friday mid-morning, we took our first family trip of the season to the zoo. Paige took her bike and rode and Karter (between naps...exhausted from the heat) took in the sights from his stroller. We then took the kids to lunch at McDonald's (every kids fav place). That evening we went with the Yackel's to the beach and then out for ice-cream afterwards.

Saturday, the actual anniversary day, was so lovely. We drove out to the Glen (my parents own a place there) and we took the kids "camping" for the day. They both loved it. Paige ran wild all day long and Karter took in everything and really enjoyed himself.

I spent a great deal of the day and really the whole week, reflecting on this past year. I have to admit, that I had figured a year after surgery would look a bit different than it does now, but I am really ok with how things are. I thought maybe I would share with you a few of the changes from this time last year to today... reflecting this way helps me keep perspective and really helps me count my blessings.

Before surgery, Karter was unable to hold his head up or pay attention to what was going on around him. He had no tone in his body, he was floppy and his movements were few and uncontrolled. He really did not move his arms or legs. He had learned to roll from his tummy to his back, but then regressed to not being able to do that. He had horrible reflux and asthma. He was on a nebulizer 20 minutes, three times per day. He had not speech sounds. He would not express his need for food, love or sleep. He never cried. He was having uncontrolled seizures, sometime multiple per day. He was sick constantly (pneumonia twice last year). He was unresponsive, barely smiled. He did not laugh often... I could probably go on, but you get the picture...

Today...Karter is able to hold his head up and look around with full motion in his neck. I can carry him on my hip without having to support his head or trunk. He no longer lets his hands lag when being carried, he puts them on my shoulder or chest. On his back he kicks his legs and reaches to the side to bat at objects. He rolls without fail from his tummy to his back. This week he has started to roll to his side at times. He gets his legs up and kicks them as if trying to get them over his head. He does crunches that we can only dream of. Sometimes he will go for 15 minutes non stop...this kid will have a six pack before I ever will. He crosses one leg over the other knee when lying or playing on his back and is starting to grasp the leg slightly. He is able to sit in the Bumbo seat, walker and jolly jumper without being propped up with blankets. He can sit on our lap without much support. In his highchair, he often reaches or bats at toys. On his tummy he is able to lift his head 90 degrees off the mat (when we can keep him from rolling over). He is able to eat without gagging on food. He is tolerating cold foods without throwing up. He is making lots of sounds. He cries to tell us what he wants and to express his basic needs. He giggles and laughs and smiles at us. He loves songs and anticipatory games, like peek a boo. I often say that he has become an active member of our family, he can communicate with us in various ways now. He recognizes our voices and cries when he is left alone in a room to play. Yesterday, I was able to put him in a swing at the park without supporting his head or propping him up with blankets. (I remember specifically doing that the week before surgery). Karter no longer suffers from reflux or asthma. He has had a couple of colds and one ear infection this year, but what child doesn't in the winter. His seizures are controlled very well with his medication now. The last full seizure he had was Easter Sunday, Praise The Lord!!!

So even though he is not running, talking and playing like other 22 month old's, Karter is doing what Karter is able to do right now. And for that we are so thankful!

I heard a really neat thing this week. "Healing is gradual, Miracles are instantaneous." I believe we are seeing healing right before our eyes each day. And a miracles is what I continue to pray and believe for. There is no doubt in our mind that Karter will be well, our prayers are not unheard. If I have learned anything in this journey, it is not to put God in a box and give Him the expectations. He is the one who is charting the course of this journey we are on. He is in control and He will get us to where we need to be, right on time (His time maybe...).

So continue to pray, we are moving forward, which is one thing I cannot say for last year. An keep believing with us that we will see a miracle in Karter.

I will leave you with one last thing. Over the past 6 weeks, there have been more than three people (not any of which are really connected to each other) who have said that they felt like the word for Karter that the Lord had impressed upon their hearts was this "Karter is of the generation that will see and receive miracles." Each word was so similar to that, it was astounding. When we are weary, and we do get there, God always seems to remind us through many different ways that He is still there. You have read countless times on this blog where we have testified to that. So keep the faith and believe that our faith will be deepened when we are all able to celebrate Karter's miracle.


Sunday, May 11, 2008


The definition of giving is: to present voluntarily and without expecting compensation, to relinquish or sacrifice, to place in someones care.

The synonyms of giving are: bestowal, donation; presentation, accordance; concession; delivery, consignment, dispensation, communication, endowment; investment,award.

This past two weeks has really put us on the other side of giving...the receiving side. I shared with you about the real life "angel". In the past post, I also mentioned how that gift came at a real time of seeking God and asking for Him to bestow good things upon us. I was starting to feel weighed down by the sad things that were coming our way. But in this past few weeks, I have really started to live out and see that our God is a God who gives good things. He wants us to receive good things of and from Him.

I LOVE to give gifts. For me, it is one of my biggest love languages. If you are like me, you know that it is really hard to receive things. It feels great giving to others, but when others reciprocate back, you don't know how to respond.

In the past 18 months I have been offered help on a number of occasions. After Karter's surgery people brought us meals for two weeks, people have offered to care for our kids, to come and help with Karter's physio etc. I am learning that accepting these gifts, as hard as it can be, is really what God expects me to do. The giver has responded to the prompting that the Lord has put on their hearts and they in turn, are responding to the need that deep down I have asked God for. So in not accepting the gift, I am not honoring the giver. Even though I know this in my head, it is still such a struggle for me to just say "Thank you".

Since the last post, we have had two other beautiful gifts come our way. The first from a couple who is close to us. They came by the other night to bring a card and a gift certificate for a night out as well as babysitting for that night. They really felt that Kurt & I needed a night out together. Which was how we were feeling too (I took Kurt away for two nights for that very reason). Upon arriving home for our much needed retreat, in the mail, was a card and another dinner gift certificate from another couple we know. Literally, Kurt and I stared at each other, no words to express, just pure gratitude and awe.

So we are learning to receive. And God, in His infinite wisdom is allowing us to learn this at a time when we need it the most. My encouragement to you is this, take the time to give. But more than that, let the giving be a sacrifice. If giving of your money is not really a sacrifice, then give of your self or of your time. Because know this, in your time of great need, you will have the opportunity to receive. And hard as it is, and as uncomfortable as it is, it sure makes you feel loved, appreciated and well take care of by others and mostly by our Heavenly Father.

To those of you who have given to us in all your various ways, through prayer, through your love and support or by your gifts; simply "Thank you".