Friday, October 30, 2015

Sensory Play: Apple Stamping



 

This week part of Evangeline's occupational therapy involved stamping with apples!  Eva has been working with apples in feeding therapy for the past month so this was the perfect sensory activity.  It was such a fun activity for both kids that I really enjoyed participating in. 


Our occupational therapist Mrs. T showed me how to cut the apple so that it was easy to hold.  What a great idea!  It definitely made it a lot easier for both children to stamp with the apples.  You could also try stabbing the apple with a fork if you didn't want to cut the handle. 


We simply used washable paint on a paper plate and then stamped on plain white paper.  You could also use acrylic paint but it is a little harder to remove from little hands.  I would also recommend an old sheet or tablecloth to protect your table.  We have an old fitted sheet that fits nicely on the table to protect it whenever we decide to enjoy a messy art project. 


Eva was a little hesitant at first but I was so excited to see that she was fairly willing to participate.  (Earlier this summer she couldn't tolerate the messiness of paint on her hands.)  Eli had a great time and was eager to participate in a messy art project. 


This was such a fun activity for both children this week.  I am sure that we will repeat this activity many times (especially this winter).  You could also cut the apple in the opposite direction and to make a star design in the middle which I hope to do next time.

What about you?  Have you ever stamped apples with your children? 

Monday, October 26, 2015

This Week's Goals

We were so blessed last week to attend the local aquarium.  
Happy Monday friends!  It's time to set some goals for a fun, productive week.  This is sure to be a week filled with activity at our home.  

Last Week's Goals

Marriage, Mothering, & Family:
1)  Attend two therapy appointments with Evangeline.  They went well and we even did a fun, sensory craft that I hope to share later this week.  
2)  Take the children to the museum this week.  (Our pass expires at the end of December so I really want to squeeze in a few more trips.)  One of the biggest adjustments we have had in the past few months was the utter lack of free time to go on outings and meet up with friends for playdates.  This week we definitely made up for our lack of playdates and we were able to hang out with three different friends on separate occasions. Hooray!  Let me also encourage you to make friendships a priority in your life even if you are a busy working mom.  I got together with three of my friends this past week and all three of them are busy working women.  Play dates don't have to happen just in the morning.  We enjoyed a playdate one evening and enjoyed a trip to the museum on a Saturday.   Getting together with friends will bless your heart at anytime of the day.  
3)  Have an at-home date night.  - The happy hubby and I spent some good time together but I didn't put as much time into it as I usually do so I guess I don't get to cross this one off.  

Personal:
4)  Exercise three times this week.-  Yes!  
5)  Finish reading The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson.  -I'm 80% of the way through the book  and I hope to finish the rest tomorrow.  

Homemaking:
6)  Finish sewing a baby gift.  Pictures coming just as soon as it is delivered.  
7)  Pack up children's summer clothes and get out ahead boxes.  Write a detailed list of what I need to purchase for each child.  -I started this process and did get out all of Eli's size 6 clothes.  We went through them but I still need to pack up all of his summer clothes.  I also need to start weeding out his size 5's.   

Ministry & Friendships:
8)  Meet up with a friend for a play date this week.    We blew this goal out of the park!  
9)  Accompany my husband on a visit this week.  This was super important and I am so glad that I made this a priority.  

Other:
10)  Work from home four hours this week.  -I only worked two hours.  
11)  Write about Eva's incredible progress in Feeding Therapy over the past few months.  -I wrote out some thoughts but didn't write anything up yet on the blog.  

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This Week's Goals:

Marriage, Mothering, & Family:
1)  Enjoy an out of town date with the happy hubby!  
2)  Attend two therapy appointments with Evangeline and one meeting with a coordinator. 
3)  Take both children on a fun outing one afternoon.  

Personal:
4)  Finish reading The Ministry of Homemaking, Teaching From Rest, and Money Saving Mom.
5)  Schedule yearly checkup.

Homemaking:
6)  Schedule family pictures.
7)  Swap out both children's summer clothes for their winter clothes.  
8)  Sew one Christmas present. 

Ministry & Friendships:
9)  Learn a new song on the piano.
10) Attend Women on Mission and Trunk or Treat.  

Other:
11) Spend a few hours helping my grandparents.
12) Write two blog posts including one post about Eva's feeding therapy.  

Yesterday the happy hubby shared the following quote by John Newton in his sermon which I simply adore.  I hope you find it helpful as you think about your goals in light of what Christ has done for you.  John Newton (author of the famous hymn Amazing Grace) said, 

“I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be, I am not what I hope to be in another world; but still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am.”  

May we all set our hearts on the Gospel as we think of ways to work diligently throughout this week.   

What goals do you have for this week?  Do your goals include any fun October traditions?  

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Our Visit To Monticello



Last month my family and I traveled to Washington D.C.  One of the main reason that we decided to drive included the opportunity to visit Thomas Jefferson's Monticello in Virginia.  


The drive through Virginia was absolutely beautiful.  My favorite part was driving through the Shenandoah Valley.  The happy hubby indulged my whims to stop at many of the gorgeous overlooks pictured above.    


Although the house is fascinating, the grounds at Monticello deserve just as much time as the house.  Eli was absolutely fascinated with the gardens and even spent time speaking with one of the gardeners.  When he found out that the gardener doesn't have trouble with rabbits eating their radishes he decided he wanted to move to Virginia!  Ha, ha!  (I never knew he was that concerned with rabbits eating our vegetables.)

The gardens at Monticello are striking and include a wide variety of crops.  The varieties grown are the same varieties that were grown during the time of Thomas Jefferson.  We also enjoyed learning more about Jefferson's gardening techniques and use of trellises.

Monticello actually overlooks the city of Charlottesville, VA.  The dome of the University of Virginia (which was founded by Thomas Jefferson) can also be seen from Monticello.  


Little Miss enjoyed the tour of the house but was a bit squirmy by the end of the tour.  She kept wanting to climb up into the beds!  They were intriguing since the beds were actually built into small alcoves between the rooms in order to save space.  I absolutely love visiting old homes and houses so I enjoyed every minute of our tour.   



We also enjoyed the small museum and had lunch at the visitor's center.


While at the graveside we were also greeted by a fawn.  



 Strolling around Monticello for a few hours was the perfect stop on our way to DC.  I found the entire visit fascinating and I am so glad we had the opportunity to make a great family memory together.

The last time we visited the home of a former President we visited Andrew Jackson's Hermitage located in Nashville, TN.  You can read more about that trip here.   

Have you ever visited Monticello?  Have you ever visited the home of a former President?

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

This Week's Goals



A picture I snapped while on a family walk last week of the creek near our home.

Hope your week is off to a wonderful beginning.  We have been soaking up this autumn day with time spent outside reading this afternoon.  Here's how I did on my goals for last week.  

Last Week's Goals
Marriage, Mothering, and Family:
1)  Go on a date with my sweet hubby.  We were able to squeeze in two dates last week which was just plain awesome!  We actually worked out together at the gym for one of our dates and enjoyed time out with friends for the second.  Hooray!  So thankful that we were able to do that.  
2)  Attend 3 appointments with Evangeline.  I actually forgot about one appointment so it was actually 4 appointments last week.  So thankful about the progress that she is making right now!  One day I really think I"ll be able to say no more therapy.  
3)  Eli starts Cloverbuds this month.  Cloverbuds is a fun club for children before they are old enough to join 4H.  As a former, long term 4Her myself I am super excited!  Eli had an absolute blast decorating pumpkins and playing with friends.  
4)  Attend a family party at a friend's home.  We had a blast at our friend's fall harvest party!  

Personal:
5)  Visit the chiropractor.  Yeap!  
6)  Exercise 3 times this week.  (I am still working on settling into a new life routine since our life changed so drastically to include numerous appointments each week for Eva.)-  Okay so I didn't actually exercise three times despite my good intentions.  I did get in two great workouts so that's definitely worth half credit right?

Homemaking:
7)  Sew a baby gift.  If time allows I would also like to sew one Christmas gift this week.   I am almost finished with the baby gift but I didn't work on anything else.  
8)  Have a budget meeting with the happy hubby to talk about our Christmas budget and expectations.  Let me just say that sitting down every year to specifically talk about our Christmas expectations has really helped both of us to enjoy Christmas so much more!  It also cuts down a lot of stress and drama that could potentially occur over differing expectations.  ;)  We also set a specific budget for everything Christmas related.  (Let me know if you would like to know more specifics about this as I would be happy to share.)    Yeap this really happened and it wasn't at all terrible.  

Ministry, Hospitality, & Friendships:
9)  Spend time practicing the piano selections I will play for an upcoming wedding this weekend.  I played for the wedding and it went pretty well.  

Other: (I decided to group them together because they are both the items that get shoved to the back burner if my week gets crazy busy.)  
10)  Spend time helping my grandmother one afternoon this week.  We got so much accomplished this week!  
11)  Work 4 hours at home.- I think I only worked 3 hours.  
12)  Write a blog post about Eva's Feeding Therapy.  I have had so many thoughtful friends ask about this that I really want to write about this soon. -This is going to happen this week!  

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This Week's Goals

Marriage, Mothering, & Family:
1)  Attend two therapy appointments with Evangeline.  
2)  Take the children to the museum this week.  (Our pass expires at the end of December so I really want to squeeze in a few more trips.) 
3)  Have an at-home date night.

Personal:
4)  Exercise three times this week.
5)  Finish reading The Ministry of Motherhood by Sally Clarkson

Homemaking:
6)  Finish sewing a baby gift.  
7)  Pack up children's summer clothes and get out ahead boxes.  Write a detailed list of what I need to purchase for each child.  

Ministry & Friendships:
8)  Meet up with a friend for a play date this week.  
9)  Accompany my husband on a visit this week.  

Other:
10)  Work from home four hours this week.  
11)  Write about Eva's incredible progress in Feeding Therapy over the past few months.  

How did you do on last week's goals? What are your goals for this week?  Let's encourage one another.  



Friday, October 16, 2015

Butterick 4910 Review: Evangeline's First Nightgown


For Evangeline's second birthday I knew that I wanted to make something both sweet and feminine.   This nightgown was the perfect combination of both.  I picked up Butterick 4910 and sewed view D in a size 2.  I used a super soft cotton flannel with small roses that I had on hand.  I sewed view D but used the length cutting line for view C.  I love the peasant look to this nightgown and the flow of the sleeves.  I think it could also be used to make an angel costume.

This pattern claims to be very easy and I would definitely agree.  I would add a caution while cutting out the pattern.  I made the mistake of cutting along the wrong line around the neckline.  Next time I plan on attempting to raise the neckline about 2" from where I accidentally cut it too short.  Oops!  I'm thankful it worked out okay in the end.


My daughter measured smaller than the size 2 but I really wanted to make this pattern.  (My daughter is very petite and still wears size 18 months clothing at the age of 2.)  I should have attempted to size this pattern down but I thought since it was just a nightgown that it really wouldn't make a difference if it was a little big.  Well it was really big in the neckline.  In my opinion many of the "Big 3" pattern companies (Butterick, McCall, and Simplicity often run large) so I really should have known.   I had already sewed in the little "made by mom label" and size tag so I just sewed a tuck on each side of the tag.  I think I took the nightgown in 2" on each tuck which you can see in the picture below.  I made the nightgown long so it should fit for at least a year or two.  


I do plan on sewing this pattern again but I will take the time to make some pattern adjustments.  I plan on making the front and back each 2" smaller while at the same time making the elastic about an 1" smaller.  (I might also try to scale down the entire pattern if the mood hits me.)


Evangeline absolutely loves her nightgown and has twirled around in our living room just about every evening while wearing it.  I'm hoping to whip up another one using the same Butterick 4910 pattern before Christmas.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Before Five In A Row: Blueberries For Sal


 This semester we have embarked on a fun new adventure.  It's called Before Five In A Row!  One of my desires has always been to pass onto my children a love of reading.  Before Five In A Row builds a foundation for children to love learning by reading classic children's literature and enjoying activities that go along with the book.  BFIAR is the first book in the Five in A Row Series and is aimed for children ages 2-4.  I am teaching through BFIAR at co-op each Wednesday and we also enjoy "rowing" a book every week at home.  I'm hoping to share some of the activities that we complete to go along with each book.  Eva is 24 months old and Eli is 5.5 years old.  I have also added some additional older activities for Eli since he is already reading.

Blueberries for Sal is the first book that we have "rowed" and I must say it is one of my favorites.  I picked this book to read first in hopes that I could find fresh blueberries to enjoy in the activities which we did.

One of the great things that I am really enjoying right now about BFIAR is the intentional weekly focus on toddler activities and learning.  I'm also including big brother Eli in on the fun.  He loves BFIAR and is always asking about what my kids at co-op did that day because he knows that he will soon get to participate in similar activities.  Since we started "rowing" a few books I can definitely see Eva's interest in lengthier books increasing as well as her vocabulary.  It's so fun to be at a point where Evangeline will willingly sit for long periods of time reading longer books.


Some of the activities that we did last week included:

Dropping blueberries into a pail and listening to the klink, klink sound that they make.  I was surprised at how much Eva and the children at co-op enjoyed this!

We walked around pretending to pick and eat blueberries.

This book was also perfect to row since she is involved in so much feeding and sensory therapy.  (Her therapists had suggested reading books that incorporated food into the story.)  At co-op the students counted blueberries before we ate them together.  (Eva didn't actually eat a blueberry but she did touch one so she is making great progress!)

We utilized the free Fold & Learn Printable from Five-in-A-Row.  I really liked the finger poem.

We talked about the color blue and glued items that began with the letter B onto a sheet.


The additional activities that I included for Eli were the Say It, Build It, Write It mats.  I printed off the cards for Blueberries For Sal and Eli really enjoyed working on these.  Eli would read the word on the card, build it with letter tiles, and then write the word with a dry erase marker.  (The letter tiles were purchased from Rainbow Resources and have provided hours of endless educational entertainment.)

I also made blueberry number cards from home school creations that Eli enjoyed matching.

We enjoyed a number of blueberry food items this week including blueberry pancakes, blueberries, and blueberry yogurt.

Other fun ideas I hope to enjoy the next time we row this book:
  • I had planned on trying to paint with blueberries in Co-Op but I got a little nervous.  This was the first book that we rowed in co-op and I didn't have enough art smocks to go around.  I didn't want to send every kid home with giant blueberry stains on their clothing.  I'm hoping to use the blueberries to paint with Eli & Eva later this week.  
  • Make blueberry jam together.  
  • Spend a morning picking blueberries.  I have the fondest memory of picking blueberries with my mother one morning in Maine while on vacation.  After picking blueberries we made blueberry pancakes outside on a Coleman stove.  

Printables and Resources:
Blueberries For Sal Printables from Homeschool Creations 
Before Five In A Row Fold & Learn Printables-subscription required
Intentional By Grace-great post on how another family rowed this book!
My Before Five In A Row Pinterest Page-I will be adding to this board weekly as we enjoy rowing a number of books.  :)

What about you?  Do you row with any of the five in a row books? 

Monday, October 12, 2015

This Week's Goals


Happy Monday friends!  I just returned from an early morning walk down our country road and I feel so invigorated to tackle this week.  Where we live the leaves are beginning to change colors in such a way that every walk becomes a nature walk even if it doesn't start out that way.  I even found a Lamb's Ear plant this morning.  Does anyone know what the correct term for that plant is?  Anyway here are my goals for this week and a recap from last week.  

Last Week's Goals
Mothering:
1)  Attend two therapy appointments with Eva.  The happy hubby took Eva to one of her appointments so that I could squeeze in a little time for myself last week.  What a sweetheart!  
2)  Take the children to the local aquarium and spend as much time outside as possible.  We had an absolute blast at the aquarium last week with extended family!  I ended up canceling one of Eva's therapy appointments so that we could attend but I think it was well worth it.  I never do that.  (She still had 2 therapy appointments last week.)  
3)  Buy non-toxic pastels for the children and enjoy an art project together.  This was so much fun and I look forward to more pastel art projects!  You can see a few pictures of the pastels in action here.  
4)  Celebrate Eva's birthday!  Kids birthdays really are the best!  

Marriage:
4)  Enjoy a date night with my husband out or at home.  We enjoyed an at home date this week but I wish now that I had put a little more thought into it.  The good news is that there is always this week!  

Homemaking:
5) Make a second gift for Eva's birthday.   I sewed Eva her first nightgown!  
6)  Purchase a new deep freeze.  I'm debating between a chest and an upright and would love to hear your thoughts.-  Okay so this didn't happen but I did go shopping at a Sear's outlet store.  
7)  Sew a baby gift using supplies I have on hand. -This didn't happen.  I decided to sew a few more items for Eva's birthday instead.  

Personal:
8) Spend time writing in my journal twice this week.-  I made time for one nice long journal entry and a good chunk of time spent writing out a prayer.  

Ministry, Hospitality, & Friendships:
9)  Prepare and enjoy a visit from my friend Susie who serves as a missionary to Papua New Guinea.  She will be sharing with our church on Wednesday night.   Not only did I enjoy a visit from my friend Susie who serves as a missionary in Papua New Guinea but my friend Bethany who serves as a missionary in Nepal also stopped by the next day!!!  How awesome!  
10)  Select piano music for an upcoming wedding I will be playing this month. -Still need to hammer down my final selections.  

Blog:
11)  Write two blog posts.- One is better than nothing right?  

Side Business: 
12)  Spend 4 hours working and read 50 pages of Quickbooks For Dummies.  Life was a little crazy last week since Eli ended up with a fever, bad sinus infection, and a handful of migraines.  We even had to miss co-op last week.  Thankfully everyone is feeling better this week!  
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This Week's Goals
Marriage, Mothering, and Family:
1)  Go on a date with my sweet hubby.  
2)  Attend 3 appointments with Evangeline.  
3)  Eli starts Cloverbuds this month.  Cloverbuds is a fun club for children before they are old enough to join 4H.  As a former, long term 4Her myself I am super excited!  
4)  Attend a family party at a friend's home.

Personal:
5)  Visit the chiropractor.
6)  Exercise 3 times this week.  (I am still working on settling into a new life routine since our life changed so drastically to include numerous appointments each week for Eva.)

Homemaking:
7)  Sew a baby gift.  If time allows I would also like to sew one Christmas gift this week. 
8)  Have a budget meeting with the happy hubby to talk about our Christmas budget and expectations.  Let me just say that sitting down every year to specifically talk about our Christmas expectations has really helped both of us to enjoy Christmas so much more!  It also cuts down a lot of stress and drama that could potentially occur over differing expectations.  ;)  We also set a specific budget for everything Christmas related.  (Let me know if you would like to know more specifics about this as I would be happy to share.)  

Ministry, Hospitality, & Friendships:
9)  Spend time practicing the piano selections I will play for an upcoming wedding this weekend.  

Other: (I decided to group them together because they are both the items that get shoved to the back burner if my week gets crazy busy.)  
10)  Spend time helping my grandmother one afternoon this week.
11)  Work 4 hours at home.
12)  Write a blog post about Eva's Feeding Therapy.  I have had so many thoughtful friends ask about this that I really want to write about this soon. 

What are your goals for this week?  


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Exploring Art With Pastels



 Let me start by saying that I am not an artist.  In school it was probably my least favorite subject.  Nothing could send me into a panic faster than being told that I had to draw or paint something.  I was happy to oblige any teacher who wanted me to study for a test but ask me to do an art project and I would rather write a paper.  That being said I plan on never telling my children.  I hope that they will inherit their dad and grandmother's artistic abilities.  For now my plan is to continue purchasing real art supplies and making sure that we carve out time to use them at least once or twice a week.  This was my children's first experience with pastels and they were quite a hit!    


I picked up a nice set of NON-TOXIC pastels at JoAnn Fabrics last week.  (It is my understanding that many pastels are toxic so please be careful when purchasing.)  The kids really enjoyed creating their own masterpieces.  My cousin Anna came over to play one afternoon so she even joined the fun!

This week we studied B is for Butterfly so Eli drew a beautiful butterfly that he chose from one of our books.  Then he enjoyed coloring over the lines with the pastels.  I think he was afraid the lines would show through so he chose to color his butterfly black with yellow and blue dots.


Eva was intrigued with the pastels and ended up drawing a pink frog.  Well that's what she said anyway!

What type of art activity should we try next week? I would LOVE to hear your suggestions.  

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

September Reads






Trim Healthy Mama Plan: The Easy-Does-It Approach to Vibrant Health and a Slim Waistline by Pearl Barrett and Serene Allison:  I ordered the original, self-published Trim Healthy Mama book a couple of years ago before anyone else had really heard about it.  I've dabbled a little with THM and I do think that it is a great lifestyle eating plan.  I was thrilled for the opportunity to review Trim Healthy Mama Plan.  This updated version of the book is simplified and contains less than half the number of pages of the original book.  (I think the original book contains 600+ pages.)  I was a little disappointed in the fact that most of the information was the same as what was in the original book just simplified and edited.  For some reason I had thought that this book would contain more menu plans and tips to making the THM lifestyle actually work for your family.  My only complaint with THM is my happy hubby's sincere dislike for about half of the recipes.  I think most of them taste good but it's really hit or miss with the hubby.  This book does NOT contain any recipes so you will need to buy the companion cookbook in order to actually use the book.  There are thousands of THM recipes on pinterest but I would save yourself the headache and actually buy a cookbook full of recipes unless you plan on spending hours printing and compiling your own cookbook.  Overall I thought this was a great book and look forward to trying the THM lifestyle more consistently this fall.  Please note that I did receive a review copy of this book from Blogging For Books.  All opinions are my own.

Dear Mr. Knightley: A Novel by Katherine Reay: As an Austen fan myself, I really enjoyed reading this book that shares the letters that Samantha Moore writes to her mysterious benefactor Mr. Knightley.  I couldn't believe how well this story drew me in by using only the letters that Samantha writes.  It is a delightful book about one young woman's journey to emerge from her protective shell and blossom into a beautiful woman.  This was my first book by Reay and I look forward to reading more of her books in the future.

Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell: I picked this book up from our library to read since the middle school literature class that I help with at co-op has been reading through it.  I didn't remember reading the book myself but since I enjoyed listening to the discussions in class so much I thought I would attempt to read it.  I really enjoyed reading this intriguing tale of Karena who ended up living alone on an island for years after her entire tribe left the island.  I can see why this book won the Newberry Award.

Counsel from the Cross (text only) 1st (First) edition by E. M. Fitzpatrick,D. E. Johnson I purchased this book a few years ago and started reading it only to stop after the first chapter.  In September I picked it up again and read a good 70 pages but I just can't get into it.  I"m not sure why.  Elyse Fitzpatrick is one of my favorite authors and has helped me to rest in God's grace in a way few authors can do.  I'm not giving up on this book but rather setting it aside for a few months.  I know that there are great things for me to learn in this book but now just isn't the time.  I'm a finisher so it kills me not to finish a book.  How about that for an honest review?

What about you?  What did you read last month?  Do you ever give up on a book?  



Monday, October 5, 2015

Goals For This Week



Happy Monday everyone!  It's time to set some goals for the week to make this week both a productive and fun week.  

Mothering:
1)  Attend two therapy appointments with Eva.
2)  Take the children to the local aquarium and spend as much time outside as possible.
3)  Buy non-toxic pastels for the children and enjoy an art project together.
4)  Celebrate Eva's birthday!

Marriage:
4)  Enjoy a date night with my husband out or at home.

Homemaking:
5) Make a second gift for Eva's birthday.
6)  Purchase a new deep freeze.  I'm debating between a chest and an upright and would love to hear your thoughts.
7)  Sew a baby gift using supplies I have on hand.

Personal:
8) Spend time writing in my journal twice this week.

Ministry, Hospitality, & Friendships:
9)  Prepare and enjoy a visit from my friend Susie who serves as a missionary to Papua New Guinea.  She will be sharing with our church on Wednesday night.
10)  Select piano music for an upcoming wedding I will be playing this month.

Blog:
11)  Write two blog posts.

Side Business: 
12)  Spend 4 hours working and read 50 pages of Quickbooks For Dummies.  

What goals do you have for this week? 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

What The Neurosurgeons Had To Say


 There are many days in a person's life that are so important that the details seem etched in one's mind: graduating from college, a wedding day, having a baby, etc.  For me September 4, 2015 was also a much anticipated potentially life changing day.  It's already been a month but still it feels like yesterday.  It was the day when we would finally learn if our precious Evangeline would undergo decompression surgery on her brain.  Six weeks earlier we had learned that Eva had a chiari one malformation in the back of her brain.

When we learned of Eva's diagnosis I was completely blown away.  Of course I knew when she had her first MRI that her Gastroenterologist was looking to rule out chiari.  I thought that it was more of a routine test and honestly it didn't occur to me that they might actually find what they were looking for.  I thought that perhaps Eva had some serious food allergies or possibly celiac disease which might account for the reason she appeared to dislike eating.

The day Eva was diagnosed we met with our pediatrician but she was unwilling to speculate as to what the future would hold for Eva.  Having to wait six long weeks brought so much more anxiety on my part as we prepared for the appointment.  I tried to rest in God's goodness those six weeks leading up to the appointment but there were times when I just felt like a bundle of nerves waiting to explode.

Walking into the appointment we really didn't know what the neurosurgeons were going to say.  I do think that Brandon and I were fairly realistic in the fact that there was a real chance that they would recommend surgery.  We were so confidant that she might have the surgery that we even moved up the date for Eli to begin Kindergarten so that we could take off two weeks from school following Eva's surgery.

The 24 hours leading up to the appointment I honestly tried not to say much.  I was so scared that I feared I might be short with someone or say things I would later regret.  When the day of the appointment came for a few moments I wondered if I could go through with it.  I almost panicked.  For almost six weeks I had checked each day off my calendar with eager anticipation knowing that I was one day closer to finding out more about Eva's condition.  Now that the day of the appointment dawned near I just didn't know if I could go through with it.  Could I really bear to meet with the neurosurgeons and have them tell me that my little girl needed surgery?  On her brain?



Thankfully I didn't have to!  You see both neurosurgeons decided to take a let's wait and see approach.  Words really can't describe what it feels like to have a 200 pound load lifted from your back.  A big part of me wanted to rip open the window and yell for joy as my heart was filled with incredible thankfulness.  I felt so blessed at the Lord's kindness in giving Eva two wonderful neurosurgeons at one of the finest children's hospitals in America.  They did a phenomenal job answering ALL of our many questions and showed true compassion.

The plan is for Eva to have another sedated MRI and a follow up appointment in six months.  She has also been given some lifetime restrictions from anything where there is a potential of her falling or shaking her head.  These types of things include all contact sports, gymnastics, trampolines, roller coasters, and yes sadly horseback riding.  I don't know if I am more saddened by the last restriction or Eva's Aunt Bekah who lives and breathes horses.  Still our hearts are incredibly thankful.  Thankful that for now Eva won't be having brain surgery.  At the same time we realize that every week a child at the same hospital does undergo the exact surgery we feared so much.

Our feeding therapy (Speech Therapy & Occupational Therapy) continues and we look forward to the day when Eva will eat what is typical for her age.  As for now our hearts can only say,

"O Lord, our Lord how majestic is your name in all the earth." Psalm 8:9


Thursday, October 1, 2015

September Sewing Projects




As the weather turns colder and the leaves begin to change their colors I enjoy spending more time each month sewing.  I love sewing but there is something about the cold weather that drives me to my machine.  It's so relaxing and such a fun outlet for creativity.  I also realize the important role it can play in helping me to find an outlet for the stress and busyness that stems from the more recent demands of Eva's health concerns on top of my other responsibilities.  (Attending so many appointments and therapy sessions on a weekly basis continues to be draining.)  


In September my focus on sewing included two gifts.  The above gift is a colored pencil roll up that I made for my niece Zuzu's birthday.  It was simple to sew and I even have a tutorial on my previous blog that you can visit here.  Eli enjoyed helping me pick out the fabric that he thought Zuzu would enjoy the most which was so sweet.  


The second gift which I made was for one of my children's closest friends named Kayla.  It might appear to be a strange gift if you don't realize what you are looking for.  The flower printed items on the left are bibs for Kayla's baby doll.  The pink items are actually cloth diapers with Velcro that she can put on and off of her dolls while the white items are wipes.  :)  We gave the gift to Kayla last night and she was delighted.  

Sewing Plans For October:

  • Finish sewing Evangeline's bag before her birthday in 2 weeks.
  • Sew a dress, jumper, or nightgown for Evangeline.  Last fall I made her Simplicity 5936 and I think may just sew it again.  
  • Sew a baby gift.  I haven't decided yet if I will be sewing a baby blanket or a dress.  It's always so hard to decide what to sew because sewing for babies is the best!  
  • Begin compiling a Christmas sewing list.  
Do you enjoy sewing or crafting?  What projects do you have planned for this month?