Other things may change us... but we start and end with FAMILY

Friday, January 29, 2010

Here is Lily opening one of her christmas presents... she was super excited about it as you can see!

Friday, January 15, 2010


I have to admit... I didn't even know about Haiti until the day after the earth quake. I feel horrible about it.. but I don't often get a chance to watch the news, what with 3 little kids. I try not to actually... because I spend all day with my kids and I don't want them to see/hear what is being said/shown on the news. Not that I am trying to shelter them but in my humble opinion my 4 yr. old doesn't need to know about the murder of a young girl in Winnipeg, or the missing mother of 3 from somewhere in the states. I try to catch a bit of the 11 o'clock news before hitting bed but for some reason that night I didn't. I can't remember how I heard about it but when I did I went online to CNN and quickly browsed through some of the articles and pictures that they had posted.

If I am being honest I have to admit that I was heartbroken but then someone needed me to do something and I forgot about what I had read/seen until the kiddies were all in bed.. and then it all came rushing back...
1000's of miles away mothers didn't have any place to tuck their kiddies into bed... and there were children with no mothers now. For some reason that night Caleb got up an extra time to feed ( maybe he knew I needed that time with him) and as I rocked him and his little eyes grew heavy with sleep I prayed for all the mothers and children especially from Haiti. Perhaps it is a mothers heart that makes me feel so much for the mothers and children from there. I realize though that there are many who lost fathers and fathers who lost children as well... but my heart has been especially heavy for the mothers.

I read a comment on someones blog or Facebook that really struck and cord with me but decided against saying anything to them 1. because I didn't know them and 2. because there really was not point in getting all riled up and in a disagreement with someone I didn't know. I figured that I would post about it here though because 1. its my blog and I can write about what I like! and 2. that person probably doesn't read my blog!
But basically they had said that the reason that the quake hit was probably because Haiti had made Voodoo its national religion and God was punishing them. That just broke my heart.. not because I thought it wasn't true but to say that just seemed so harsh and unnecessary. I wondered if that woman's mother had died and I went up to her and said.. "oh.. she is dead cause she sinned" how she would feel.

When God created this world and everything in it, He never meant for it to be the way it is. Sin caused that. We are all well aware of the fact that horrible things happen as a result of sin being in the world and I am not suggesting we sugar coat it and pretend that is not the reason but we don't need to ram it down people's throats and preach it. We need to come alongside the Haitians and show them that God loves them and how He meant the world to be when he created it. I just thought it was an arrogant remark and it made me mad and I needed to get it out!

I have also been struggling with how to help. I wish that I could just jump on a plane and go there and help them with whatever they need.. but I can't. I was in Walmart today and they had a sign up telling people that if they wanted to donate to the RedCross to just tell your cashier and they will add it to your total. I was happy.. a way to help! I told my cashier to add some to my total. She tried unsuccesfully a couple of times and then told me to come back tomorrow and try again. I was crushed. I realize that the money I would have given wouldn't have gone to someone that exact second but I still felt defeated.

As I walked out of Walmart feeling slightly defeated I realized that I have the biggest tool available for helping these people. I have a God who listens to the cries of his people. I will go to Him in prayer as often as He brings them to mind.. that is what I can do 1000's of miles away... I would encourage you to do the same.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lily update....

I keep meaning to sit down and write an update on Lily but time just seems to keep getting away on me! I guess that is what happens when you have 3 kids under 4!!!

When Lily went for her 2yr checkup her Dr. noticed that she was still little ( not really a surprise!) and that she was slightly delayed in a number of areas so she sent us back to our Pediatrician to have that looked at!

We met with another new Pediatrician ( they are mostly locums up here so you never know who you are going to get!) but she had read through our file and I felt that she was up to speed on Lily! She spent about an hour with Lily, assessing her and asking me questions. She said she wanted to send Lily for a speech assessment, an occupational therapy assessment, a hearing test and also for some chromosome blood work.

About a month later we met with the speech therapist who did a number of tests on Lily and determined that her speech is at about a 12-15 mth range. She recommended that we be put on the waiting list for a speech therapist and that Lily would really benefit from that. We had known that Lily was picking up her speech very slowly and that it was really starting to frustrate her that she wasn't always able to communicate her needs. She puts alot of effort into making the words but most of them are unintelligable and I have a lot of trouble decifiring what she is saying. We felt great about that game plan!

We also met with an occupational therapist (OT is a therapy or treatment provided by an occupational therapist that helps individual development of physical skills that will aid in daily living. It focuses on sensory integration; balance and coordination of movement; and fine motor and self-help skills such as dressing, eating with a fork and spoon, etc.) and she had a number of tests that she put Lily through over 2 days. It involved a lot of playing, jumping, running and her overall ability to move/function normally. She determined that Lily was a very smart little girl who excelled in many areas of daily life, but seems to be delayed in other areas. She called it SENSORY PROCESSING DISORDER, which basically means that the way that Lily processes things using her senses isn't the same way that other kids her age do.
For example, some people can handle nails on a chalkboard.... and others can't... how they process it is different from each other.
The issue comes into play because Lily has super high thresholds for some things and super low for others. That is why we find it difficult to break her concentration when she is super absorbed in something, or why she HATES being spun around/thrown up high. She also struggles a bit in knowing where her body is in relation to things around her and her ability to do some normal everyday things such as climbing stairs/sitting down. The OT will work with her to teach her ways to process things in a way that will help her learn better, as well as help to teach her the proper way to do some everyday things. She has been to OT once already and so far loves it and her therapist!

We met with her whole team of therapists yesterday and it was great to all be in one room and to be able to ask questions with everyone there. They each have a 4-5 mth plan in place for Lily that plays off each other and what we already do at home and they all have high hopes for Lily. Lily will probably always have to be in some sort of therapy as she learns new things in each stage of life, but we are excited for her and the new things she will be learning.

One of the main questions we had is if she would ever have a "diagnosis" for what is "wrong" with her. Not that it would ever change anything for us and the therapists also mentioned that even if it was given a "name" their plans would not change. They look at the person, not the diagnosis. The Pediatrician ( who was in on the meeting) mentioned that they still have not received back the test results from the chromosome study or the blood work (she had done over thanksgiving in Edmonton) We are going to meet with her again in Feb. and then most likely they will put her on a waiting list to see a Geneticist in Edmonton. She wanted to make clear to us that we may never have an actual name/diagnosis for why Lily has these delays but that it was a good idea to see if we could determine anything that would be beneficial for us to know as Lily gets older.

As overwhelming as the last couple of months have been and I am sure the next couple of years will be.. we know that when God created Lily He made her how He wanted her and we rest in that.

We will do anything and everything we need to for her and of course Madi and Caleb. If you think of us in the next couple of months, say a little prayer as we get into a routine of 2 or more appts for Lily per week and also for the other 2 as we juggle childcare for them during the appts. We are so thankful for David's schedule which allows for a lot of times him being home for the appts and as well for our dear friends who are willing to help us with babysitting!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Letters to Santa

Here is Lily's letter.... she scribbled at the bottom!

Here is Madi's letter. She drew a christmas tree, Santa and his reindeer! She was so excited!

I took Madi with me when I went to mail these letters. She was so excited. I told her to expect a letter back from Santa in a few weeks. We waited patiently and checked the mail everyday. Well about 2 weeks letter a letter from the North Pole arrived.. but there was only one for Lily... Madison was heart broken. She colored about 12 pictures for Santa that day.. thinking that maybe she hadn't done a good enough job. I was about ready to "place a call to the north pole" but then her letter arrived. And it was hand written and all personel for her. She LOVED IT! ... and Santa was certainly lucky he remembered her!

Our Christmas Tree...

My girls sitting "loving" each other by our tree!

Helping to put the decorations up!

Madi putting up a stocking decoration that my Great Grandma made for me years and years and years ago!

Lily "helping" decorate the tree. She just couldn't figure out how to loop the ends over the branches so she ended up laying her ornaments on the branches instead!

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

olympic torch fever!

WAY back in Oct. the Olympic Torch came through town and I decided to take the girls to see it. David was sick, so he kept Caleb at home! Although by the pics you might think that it was at 8 or 9 at night... it is in fact only around 4pm!!

Not sure who it was carrying the torch but he was energetic and it was cool to see!

Lily wasn't too interested in what was going on. She wanted to be held and since I was all ready carrying 2 flags, 2 tamborines, a camera, car keys, bottle of coke it was a little hard to get her up.... so she revolted and cried and cried!! Someday she will be glad that I took her!

I didn't realize that the camera didn't focus but you get the idea. Lily is looking for a way to escape the madness and Madi is taking it all in. She talked about it for days afterwards. I am so excited for her to watch the opening ceremonies and show her that that is the same torch we saw!

My girls at the torch watch. I had only planned on staying in the car and watching but then they got so excited that I took them out.. that is why they aren't wearing snow pants.. but hey it was only like -20.. summer weather for us!!

Friday, January 01, 2010


I am late in writing this post ( Lily got sick the day before Madi's birthday and it has been going through the house ever since) but wanted to post a little something for Madi on her 4th bday!
Today is the day 4 years ago that we brought our first baby home ( she had to stay in for a while after her birth cause of some little complications) I was thinking about how much has happened and changed since that day. We now have 3 children, have moved house, have had 2 different cars, David has another job, have travelled lots as a family and yet I still can't believe its been 4 years!

Happy 4th Birthday my first born daughter. Like me, you are a first born! I see ALOT of you in me. Your stubborn will, your huge heart and your independence. You have blessed our family since the moment you were born. I remember when the told me that you were a girl... I couldn't believe it ( although I had hoped!) I had gotten a girl! You were perfect.. big and chunky with the darkest blue eyes! Although you gave us a run for our money in those first few months ( but what newborn doesn't to brand new parents!) we prevailed and you survived!!

I have so enjoyed watching you grow up this year. To me, it seems like there was so much more of a "grown up jump" this year than from 2 to 3. It seems like all of a sudden you are little girl.. not a toddler anymore! You have learned so many new things this year... one of my favs is that you can get on the swings at the park and make yourself go all by yourself ( exciting for you.. although now it makes me obsolete!)

You have embraced being a big sister to Caleb beautifully. We are so willing to help when I ask you to get me something and for that I am truly thankful. You are patient with Lily ( sometimes!) as she gets bigger and starts to push your buttons more. And you include her in what you are doing and show her new things everyday ( some how I think the "baby powder incident' was your idea!)

You are learning everyday how to control your stubborness and you will get it.... I promise you! You want Lily to play with you so badly but sometimes forget that she has ideas on what to play too... but I see such a love between you two and for that I am thankful.

You started sharing a room with Lily this summer and although some nights are worse than others... 9 times out of 10 I will hear you seeing to her after I have shut the door. You have a tender heart and want to make people happy!

I love you so much and am so thankful for the 4 years God has blessed you with so far....

Year in Review....

I thought that I would go through my pictures from this year and pick out some of my favs and do a sort of "YEAR IN REVIEW" for you all!! Enjoy!

We started off 2009 in Revelstoke!
It was the first year that Lily was big enough to "play" in the snow! She somewhat enjoyed it! Revelstoke gets so much snow that she had to sort of be placed in one spot to play or else you could lose her!!
Both her and Madi LOVED being pulled around on the sled!

In February we found out that baby #3 was a BOY!!! We were super excited. We brought Madi to the ultrasound and she got to see him on the screen. I don't think she fully understood but it is a neat memory to be able to share with her!

We visited (looked around in the cheap areas!) the SnowKing in March. Madi still asks when the ice castle is coming back! It is neat to be able to drive out on the water and walk around. It was bitterly cold but we made some fun memories!

Madi got to decorate eggs for the first time this April. She had a blast. She assigned each one to someone ie. Uncle Andrew, Nina etc etc. but of course we did not send them!! But she wanted pictures of them all to show to the people she made them for!

We discovered a really great picnic spot about an hour drive south of Yellowknife. We went there a couple times in the summer ( the closer to my due date the closer to home we stayed!). We cooked up hotdogs and marshmallows in this picnic! It was still so bitterly cold, as you can see by Madi's outfit! Picnic in May with a winter hat on... she even shoveled snow that was still laying around!!

David's birthday!! We made the famous Mocha Torte and had a great day celebrating! We also celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary!

Caleb David Richard was born on July 23 2009. He was our third baby and our first son. I figured since the girls had been such short/easy labors that he would be the same.... WRONGO!!! After 11 hours of intense labor he finally arrived.... he was well worth it! Nina and Papa were here when he was born and Grandma came shortly after to help out!

This August we packed up everyone ( and what seemed like the whole apartment!) and headed to Revelstoke to enjoy some of their warm/sunny weather! We stoped alone the way and got someone to take our first family photo... this photo kills me everytime cause although we were all there.. you CANNOT SEE LILY... the lady who was taking it moved just a little and cut out little Bean!! If you look really hard you can see her wispy hair and I think one foot!!

After coming home from Revelstoke we settled into our routine.....I love this photo of my three kiddies!!

October found us headed back to Revelstoke for Thanksgiving. It was also the month that Madi had her first ever haircut in a salon. She LOVED IT!!! ( and who wouldn't.. every woman in their right mind loves having their hair done!)

November was Lily's 2nd birthday and we had a blast celebrating but the most memorable day of November by far was the 'BABY POWDER INCIDENT DAY'... My girls got a hold of the baby powder and in their words "made it snow in their room".... those rascals!! It was a huge mess and took forever to clean up!

I LOVE this pic of Bean... she discovered she had pockets.. For pretty much the whole month of December she wore this Santa Hat around the house. One day I caught her walking around with the hat on and her hands in her pockets!! She is so funny!!

I hope you have enjoyed my "year in review" through pics... it has been a good year but I am excited for what 2010 will hold for our family!!