Wordless Wednesday

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Thank YOU!

Our hearts are so overwhelmed with thankfulness for all of you who made Judah’s BBQ FUNdraiser possible!

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Friday night was so special to our entire family!

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 We feel honored by the number of people that arrived to support our little Judah.   What a wonderful treat to spend an evening chatting and playing with so many friends.

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Planning a fundraiser for my own child is something that 10 years ago I never would have pictured would be in my future.  It’s completely out of my comfort zone and a very humbling experience.  Robin, Tracy, and Judy there is no way I could have planned this fundraiser alone.  I’m in awe of the way you took my small idea of a family bbq picnic and created something big and exciting.  All-Stars 4-H – YOU ARE AWESOME!  They helped prepare ahead of time, helped set-up, helped serve, and helped clean-up.  One of the families sold and delivered “to-go” meals to their neighbors – if I remember correctly it was close to 30 meals they delivered!  

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 And to all of you who volunteered your time, donated raffle items, and donated food and other necessities – THANK YOU!  This was not possible without you!

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Because of the donations that came in we are able to continue needed therapies for Judah.  The money from Judah’s account covers many things for Judah.  Here are a few examples.

* Anat Baniel Method – we are so thankful we found Josie Davenport in Gainesville, FL.  It wasn’t until we began visits with her that Judah began showing much interest in movement.  When we are consistent in our monthly visits we see the most results.  The difficulty has come in being consistent.  The cost is simply too high for us to pay out of pocket.  Our goal is 5 days each month.  That cost is therapy is $600 plus gas, hotel and food.

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* Ophthalmology – The best way to monitor whether Judah’s shunt is working is to check his optic nerves on a yearly basis.  We were referred to a great doctor, but he is not covered by our insurance.

* Optometry – Judah’s vision is checked every 6 months at a wonderful clinic in Tampa.  Their practice is not covered by insurance.  Nor the cost of glasses and replacement lenses.

* Pediatrician – Our favorite pediatrician is also in Tampa and not covered by insurance.  He’s been a tremendous encouragement to us.  First, he explored deeper into what may have caused the brain bleed instead of focusing his attention only on what may have prevented it.  Through genetic testing he did find Judah has a double chromosome linked to bleeds.  He also started Judah on nutritional supplements, b12 shots, and BIGGEST OF ALL -the hyperbaric chamber!!  We LOVE our hyperbaric chamber!

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On a more personal level this doctor’s son also had a brain bleed as an infant.  Because of that he’s able to relate to us differently and is understanding of my emotional moments. 🙂  We’ve only been able to visit him a few times as the cost is over $300 a visit.  But we are excited to see him again soon, hopefully before little Malachi arrives. 🙂

Because of your generosity $2,472 was given Friday evening at the event.  More donations came during the weekend bringing the grand total to $2822!!!  Wow!  We are in awe!!

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Thank you!  From the bottom of our hearts!  THANK YOU!

“Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40

Today is the Day!

What started as a small idea for a family BBQ picnic fundraiser  has turned into so much more, thanks to precious friends who have given or their time and energy to make this event a success!

Addie woke up this morning and asked in excitement, “Is it tomorrow??” YES!!!! Which means TODAY IS THE DAY!

Come join us at 9434 Tom Moore Road, Lakeland, FL 33810!! We’ll be there from 4:00-8:00 (The time has been extended!!!)

LOTS of awesome raffles! Cakes and desserts! Kids bicycles! Family Pass to Skate World! $25 to J. Burn’s Pizza! Thirty-one bags! Photography sessions! Mary Kay! And lots more!

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3 big bounce houses for the big kids plus a smaller one for the “littles.” Hay ride, train ride, face painting, photo booth and fun games.

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oh!! And LOTS of YUMMY FOOD!!!!

All proceeds go to Judah’s therapy fund which covers what can add up to $1000/month in costs for therapies and specialists. If you are unable to attend but desire donating towards Judah’s Journey click “Make a Donation” on the right hand side.  We love you all!  We have been absolutely blown away by your generosity and kindness!!

See you tonight!  

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Sensory Time!

Yesterday, our wonderful vision therapist brought over a bright yellow bucket and bags full of dry beans for Judah to play in. Judah wasn’t too interested yesterday, but this morning he did great. He sat well by himself and enjoyed putting his hands in the beans.

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All Things New

Life is busy.  Life with 6 children is busy.  Life homeschooling those 6 children is busy.  But my goodness, life with a child who has special needs is a new definition of “busy.”

In many ways I feel like my life has been a whirlwind these past 18 months.  There are days I find myself asking, “What did ‘normal’ life ever look like?”  I can’t remember. . .

I recently had one of those crazy mom days. . .Moms, you know what I’m talking about.  It was one of “THOSE” days. . . life was spinning all around me and I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath.

“Mom, can I have snack?”

“Mom, can you help me with math?”

“Mom, I need a spelling test.”

“Mom can I have another snack?”

“Mom, when’s lunch?”

“Mom!!!!!  I went poo poo!!!”

I was trying to answer a million questions, referee fights, help with school work, make meals; but all the while I was also trying to make sure I was taking care of Judah’s needs.  Feed Judah.  Do therapy with Judah.  Spend a couple hours in the chamber with Judah.  Feed Judah again.  More therapy.  More chamber time.  More feeding.  More therapy.

So what did I do?  I wish I could say I grabbed my Bible and a worship cd and went to my prayer closet.  But oh no.  Not this day.  I hid!!   In the bathroom!  I locked my bedroom door.  I locked my bathroom door.  And hid!   And this time it wasn’t my kids that found me.  It was Chad!  I heard our bedroom door open, then watched our bathroom door slowly creep open.  There he was, my handsome husband, discovering me, his bride, the mother of his children, hiding in the bathroom with coffee in one hand and ice cream in the other.  ha!

So yes, my life is busy.  But in some ways it really has slowed down.  No really!  It has!  At the beginning of this year we made a conscious decision to slow down a bit.  At one point last year I was taking Judah to as many as eight appointments each week.  That usually included at least one trip to Tampa.  But you can only run at that pace for so long before something has to give.  We started noticing some symptoms in my health that needed attention.  And we also noticed our children needed their mama home again.

Please pray for us as we seek the Lord as to what therapies we should be doing right now and which doctors we should be seeing.  There are so many opinions out there of what is best for my son.  I want God’s opinion!  He knows what Judah needs and He knows what our family needs.

He is making all things new.  In my heart.  In my home.  In my family.  And in Judah.

Thank you for loving us, encouraging us, and praying for us.  Your prayers are what carry us through!

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And He who sits on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.”

Vision Therapy

We love vision therapy.  And we love our vision therapist.  Not only is she skilled at helping our little Judah learn to see; but she’s a great friend and sister in Christ.  And we go to the same church!  She’s a real blessing.  We look forward to her visits and always anticipate something new.  This week it was playing under the table with black and white images, toys and a flashlight. 🙂  Thank you, Gina, for your love, support, faith and encouragement.  We love you!

“Ears that hear and eyes that see–the LORD has made them both.”

Step by Step – a Miracle in Progress

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I am currently inside the hyperbaric chamber – our 39th “dive.” Judah does so well during his treatments. It’s the grace of God!

Judah continues to surprise us with new abilities. Yesterday I placed him on the floor near some toys and walked away. A few minutes later Chad was walking past Judah and immediately froze when he saw what Judah was doing.

Judah was about 18 inches away from where I had placed him. He rolled from his back to his tummy! He’s rolled that way a couple of times in the past; but every time he did it he immediately rolled back onto his back (his position of preference for sure). If we wanted him to stay on his tummy we’d strap him into an anti-roll device. But yesterday was different. He rolled onto his tummy, propped up on his elbows and happily played with toys in front of him. Chad and I watched him for quite some time and praised God for this victory.

We love seeing Judah intentionally make effort to move! We love seeing him play with baby toys! We love seeing him interact with us! We love hearing him babble! God is working mightily on Judah’s behalf!

“The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).”