24 September 2013

Always Where?

Turns out "somewhere" can be more than a geographic location, but that's neither here nor there at this point.
Right now I want to share something that my husband wrote: You can read more from my husband on his blog Isaiah's Dad


smilingNo, we’re not headed back to Russia (as fun as that would be). But next Monday, September 30th, we’ll be headed to Isaiah’s “mission field” with him where he’ll spend two days sharing the gospel in his own special way with all of those around him. The destination – Shriner’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon.
Every six months Isaiah must have the metal rods in his back lengthened in order to keep up with his growth. Although this surgery takes only about an hour, it’s still hard on the little guy. He’ll be under general anesthesia, will have incisions made in his back, be in pain, and need to spend one night in the hospital. In short, it’s no picnic. But each time we have gone in for this surgery, we have seen God open doors and impact people’s lives. Isaiah has been blessed with a very sweet, fun and gentle personality, that we’ve seen touch hearts many many times. Even some of the coldest people have warmed after an encounter with the little guy, and it’s through this we’ve seen God work.
Isaiah is probably the only seven-year-old who loves to watch sermons on his iPad. One of his favorites is the John Piper video podcast. He’ll pull them up all by himself and just sit there and watch them over and over again. One day I asked him why he liked to watch sermons so much, and he just smiled and said “happy.” It’s this love of God’s word that the Holy Spirit has mysteriously worked in his heart that has made such an impact on others. While he recovers in the hospital, he consistently asks  us to play sermons for him. He’ll just lay in his bed and listen to them, and all the while nurses, doctors, medical assistants, etc. are all coming in and out, hearing the gospel echo
sermon 2
throughout the room. I’ve watched as nurses took blood samples to the words of “He who has the Son has life. He who does not have the Son does not have life!” Doctor’s have made their rounds to the words “God wants you to know that you do not have to die in your sins.” Sometimes we get strange looks, but we just smile and say “he likes to listen to sermons!” And the Lord never fails to provide us with the opportunity to speak with those around us.
On a side note, we even got a sweet phone call from Dr. Piper once, and I still have the voice message saved on my phone where he tell us he’s praying for Isaiah. This is one of Isaiah’s favorite things for me to play for him when he’s recovering. He just smiles and says “again!”
The Lord has not blessed Isaiah with a tremendous gift of speech. Isaiah cannot clearly, in his own words explain the gospel to you. But he can love the gospel in such a way that his life becomes a conduit  through which the words of God’s messengers can travel to ears that are normally shut to the things of Christ. In the weakness of this thirty-pound, little paraplegic boy with the understanding of a two-and-a-half year old the light of Christ is magnified in a powerful way and God is exalted. In Isaiah’s weakness he is strong (2 Cor 12:10)
We ask that you would pray for Isaiah’s upcoming “mission trip” to Shriners. Pray not only for his safety, but for the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ to be proclaimed to all whom we encounter.
You can read more from my husband on his blog Isaiah's Dad.  We've been humbled by the response to his article. It was even translated into spanish.  Please pray with us that this upcoming surgery would give more opportunity to show Jesus' love.

24 May 2013


Tomorrow my little girls turns three.  Yes.  Three.

And I can't imagine my life without her as she loves life! I love you, Nadezhda Grace.

13 May 2013

Big Happenings Around Here - Part II

So, we finished January with sickness, and we had a few days of feeling better at the beginning of February before RSV came to visit.  It was so sad.  I'll spare you the pictures.

Thankfully on his birthday (I can't believe he's 7!) Isaiah felt a little bit better...

trust me, this was an amazing turn around from Monday to Wednesday!

He wasn't quite well enough to have his party, but he was well enough to enjoy his birthday waffle, complete with ice cream, M&M's and chocolate syrup.

In time for Valentine's Day I discovered a food blog that I really enjoy:  Yammie's Noshery.  I knew her blog was a winner when I found this recipe:  Red Velvet Nutella Rolls.  Yeah.  They are even better than they sound and look!

This is Isaiah's content face because breakfast was soooooooo good!

After weeks inside except for the occasional visit to a doctor's office, the kids and I made it out for a walk!  They seemed as if they hadn't seen cars before!  We were all quite excited.

With all the inside time, I had a chance to do some more sewing and actually share with the world my enjoyment by launching Cristy Makes and Bakes.  The kids helped me test out some of the therapeutic bean bags that I make.

Not long after his 7th birthday, Isaiah lost his first tooth!  It had been loose for a while, so Daddy did the honors and got the job done.

Still as handsome as ever...

When Nadia was a baby, we stayed in a hotel, and along with the pack-n-play came a little bag of goodies that included a small rubber duck.  Since the night she got that duck, she had to have it in bed with her.  That duck got a lot of love and attention, and when teething started, he began to slowly lose parts of his body.  One day the duck tragically disappeared before bedtime (not planned by us), and Thomas and I decided it was probably time for him to retire.

So when we did find the duck, we sneakily wrapped him up and hid him in a drawer to be revealed to her at a later date for a keepsake.  And yes, we tried replacing the duck, but she will not be fooled by imitations!

By the end of February we were all feeling well enough to celebrate Isaiah's birthday with some friends.  I wish that I had more pictures with his wonderful friends, but it was really loud at the bowling alley and hard to keep up with everything!

Everyone seemed to have a blast - including the birthday boy, of course!

We are so thankful for God providing friends for our family so quickly, and seeing Isaiah enjoy his day with his friends was a great reminder of how God takes care of us in so many ways!

We were also thankful that February ended with better health than the beginning!

19 April 2013

Waiting, Waiting

What do you do when waiting for a prescription to be filled at the pharmacy?

My children find a basket of cups and make towers.  What else would you expect?

And Isaiah did his tower all by himself!  You should be impressed, I promise - fitting in a little OT during those random times of the day.

07 April 2013

Big Happenings Around Here - Part I

So I haven't been posting much, but really, how many times can I say:  Well, we're sick again.  I started this post sometime in February, I think.  And now, I think I'm just going to kind of summarize each month.  So here's January:

After barely making it to midnight with The Fellowship of the Ring, Thomas and I had high hopes for a wonderful New Year.  We had a great Christmas with the kids, and we planned a wonderful weekend with The Elisha Foundation at a respite retreat in Cannon Beach.

{On a side note:  The Elisha Foundation has recently had lots of attention as Eli Reimer - the boy who inspired the beginning of the Elisha Foundation - and his dad and a group of hikers trekked to Mt. Everest base camp.  Eli was the first person with Down's Syndrome to do that!  Check out the news!)

Then Nadia threw up.  Several times.  We weren't sure we'd make it to the retreat after all.  Thankfully, as stomach things usually go, it didn't last too long, and our trip was only delayed by a day.

We had a great time!

The retreat was wonderful!  We had a great time with the other families, and Thomas and I even had some time to ourselves.

The kids had a blast as well!  Isaiah was able to have pretty much one on one attention the entire weekend.

We got home just in time to start the next round of sickness.

Thankfully we had a small break in the sickness for Thomas to take me to see Les Miserables around my birthday.  There are no words to describe the emotions that ran through me.  Grace White, you understand.

We had a few good days before RSV came to visit, but that's for the next month...

04 April 2013

Easter 2013

Here's a little look at our Easter this year, which was actually a beautiful weekend in Oregon!

Isaiah was ready for work!  Let's color some eggs!

Seeing Isaiah enjoy his green egg so much made me glad that I boiled all those eggs. 

We found Russian Easter bread at a local Russian bakery!

Not the best picture of Nadia's dress, but I was very pleased with how it came out.

Nadia was quite pleased as well!  She found the dress hanging in my room on Saturday, and she said, "What's this?!  Pre-e-e-tty!"  Yes, I smiled and let her wear it around for a little while!  Trying to get a picture of her in it was a bit challenging, though!

Thanks to a friend, Thomas and I were able to have an impromptu lunch date and actually got things for baskets for the kiddos, not something we've always planned on.  Isaiah was pretty happy with his new Woody toy, and Nadia with her Jessie.

The many faces of Isaiah...

My favorite part of Nadia's dress...She kept touching each matryoshka and saying, "lady, lady, lady".

A picture of them together just wasn't working this year, but I'm glad that they liked their toys!

And I smile when I look at this picture!  Gotta love these two!

Happy Easter! 

Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!

26 March 2013

From the Hill

In Portland the major hospitals sit on this huge hill.  Tonight I write from The Hill, specifically in a room in Shriner's Hospital.  I'm watching my little man watch his beloved Duggars as he begins to doze a little bit, but fights the urge to sleep, because seriously, what 7 year old boy ever wants to sleep, even after surgery. 

(I apologize ahead of time to my grammar-loving friends for that sentence.  Although I guess since the apology came after the sentence, it's not "ahead of time".  I'm a little tired.)

Today wasn't as stressful for us as some surgical days have been in the past.  We had a later check in, so we didn't have to get up at "o dark thirty".  I just realized that I've never written that and I don't know how to write that phrase.  Ok.  So we had a relatively easy morning, a long wait in pre-op, and we prepared for a potentially long surgery.  

An odd thing happened.  I was mentally prepared for a 3+ hour wait for the surgeon to come tell us all was well.  After barely an hour the nurse came to tell us the surgeon was closing Isaiah up.  Now keep in mind that I'm the positive thinking one in our family.  I panicked.  I thought that surely the surgeon had looked in Isaiah's back, realized he couldn't repair the connectors that he had been hoping to prepare.  I "knew" that he would come out disappointed and start talking about the necessity of having to fuse Isaiah's spine a lot earlier than we hoped.

I'm really not familiar with this feeling.  I didn't like it.  I'm thankful that it didn't last long.  The surgeon came out looking quite pleased and showed us on his phone pictures of the x-rays showing his beautiful work.

Why am I even writing this story?  Well, maybe because I never cease to be amazed at the depths of my own heart.  I need to remember these types of moments when I think that I can handle things on my own.  I need to remember that even had the surgeon been disappointed, God wasn't.  I need to remember that no matter what my emotional response to things, I can turn to my great God Who loves me and does all things well.

And I am tired, so I don't know if this will even make any sense to anyone else, but I wanted to record it somewhere to help me remember in the future.  If it helps someone else, too, all the better.