Thursday, May 27, 2010

Summer Fun

On the first day of summer the boys expect to go swimming. So we went to MamaJo's house. MamaJo is my parent's neighbor (two doors down from us). She graciously has offered for us to come over any time and swim. The boys had a big time, even though it was a little too cold for me.

Isaiah is not swimming yet, but is trying to learn.

Ezra and Malachi stayed on the steps.Elijah swims really well.Jonah and Elijah in the deep end.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A new piano

A family in our church offered us a piano and so, although none of us really play or are taking lessons, we jump at the opportunity to get a free piano.

It is a beautiful, very old piano. It is so beautiful that we put it in our living room. We guess it is about 100 years old according to notes we found inside it. A few keys don't work, but perhaps someday we will have it fixed. It took 6 men to get it into the house because it is so heavy and two of the 4 wheels are missing.
Here is a picture of Isaiah at the piano.

The Last Day of School

It is Jon's family's tradition to take pictures on the last day and first day of school holding a sign. Here are our pictures:Jonah's last day of 3rd grade.Elijah's last day of 2nd grade.
Isaiah's last day of Kindergarten. And all the boys on the last day of school.

Yeah for Summer!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Kindergarten Field Day

Kindergarten Field Day always starts with a Spanish Program. The Kindergartners present a 45 minute program for the parents of things they have been learning. In Kindergarten, each class gets a different color shirt. Isaiah's class is wearing the blue shirts.
This is the president of the school introducing the program.
Every child gets to say one thing in Spanish and then translate one thing in Spanish. This is Isaiah translating for his friend.
After the Spanish Program all of the parents and kids met on the playground for prayer and to begin the parade to the field. I didn't get a picture of it, but the whole elementary school sits on the curb and cheers for the Kindergartners as the parade by. It is silly, but it makes me tear up every time(this is my 3rd Kindergarten Field Day). You can't imagine how sweet it is and how proud it makes the Kindergartners to be cheered on by all the older kids.
When they got to the field they were divided into groups of four. There wasn't any team competition or medals, just the fun of competing. Of course, that didn't stop mommy from noticing that Isaiah won almost every time.
Isaiah waiting with his group, for his turn.
The fox tail throw.
The football throw.
The canoe race.The sack race.And the Tug-of-War (which is a super big deal and the last event of Field Day), Isaiah was on the end of the rope. His team actually won, but I got so excited cheering for him, that I forgot to take a picture of him touching the cone.
After the games were over everyone got a Popsicle. This Isaiah with his best friend, Luke.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Out to Dinner

We have been so sick for so long that we have hardly been able to go anywhere or do anything all Spring. A few times we even had to cancel plans due to sickness.
So on the spur of the moment we were able to go to my brother, Philip's house for dinner last night (they live about 40 minutes away). The boys had a great time.

We had hamburgers and hot dogs, and then ice cream and fresh strawberries.

The big boys played Mexican Train while they ate their ice cream.

For the most part they jumped on the trampoline, sometimes all of them, sometimes just the big boys.
The little ones enjoyed the swings more than being bounced around by the big guys.

Friday, May 21, 2010

My Rose Bush

For Valentine's Day this year, Jon and the boys gave me a rose bush. We took a long time trying to decide where to plant it, so when we finally did plant it, it has taken a little while to get established.

This week I had my first flower. I'm so happy it seems to be doing okay.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

More about Elijah's Crohn's Disease

We learned a few things about Crohn's Disease yesterday. First of all, the doctor said that Crohn's in kids is handled totally differently than Crohn's in adults. Development and growth are so important to watch and maintain that they have to use different types of drugs and things to keep him growing. It sounds like he will be on the Iron and multivitamin supplement for a long time.

There are also 3 types of Crohn's (all which are handled differently). Elijah's is the type that hardens and inflames the intestine's lining. The main concern is the small intestines. If it gets into or is in (we weren't able to check the small intestines yet) or if it begins to harden the valve between the large and small intestines, surgery will probably be necessary. Removal of part of the intestines might be necessary. That is the part that scares me the most.

Here is the quote for all who have asked, "IBD is not caused by eating any particular food. However, diet certainly can impact your symptoms." The doctor's instructions are: no raw vegetables, no sodas, no nuts, no popcorn, limit caffeine and sugar. Other than that we need to encourage as much water as possible and cooked vegetables and lots of fruit. Everyone is different so most of it we need to figure out. No matter what, food will not make the disease worse or spread, but it will make the symptoms worse will prevent the inflammation from reducing in a timely matter.

Here is the answer to the other question I have been asked, "We know that Crohn's disease tends to run in families. Although studies have shown that perhaps 15% to 20% of affected individuals may have a close relative with the disease, there does not seem to be any clear-cut pattern to family inheritance."

So the plan is...we are going to start Elijah on a Crohn's medicine called 6-MP. We will slowly start him on it and start taking him off the prednisone. This process will take him around 3 months. This will also mean blood draws every other week for a while. The GI doctor wants to closely monitor how the medicine is affecting his body and what side affects he can detect in other parts of his body. If we choose not to start him on the medicine, he will become more anemic and mal-nutritioned. He will not grow or develop properly and his pain and inflammation will continue to increase until his intestines have all hardened and they will need to remove some of them. I say that to say that, despite the possibility of side effects (which you can pray we don't encounter) we have to put him on something and this is the best one for an 8 year old to start on.
Also, we are to expect him to be lethargic and weak for another month at least. But the doctor said getting him over tired will not affect the disease, just his energy level. So we sent him to school today, with the hope he will make it all day.

Elijah is feeling so much better than he did a week ago. The antibiotics have kicked out the fever and some of the pain that was overwhelming him. They want him to stay on the antibiotic for a month because of the location of the infection and the ease of its return if we stop it too soon.

The prayers of our friends and family have been a blessing to us, because we are not feeling stressed or overwhelmed by this at all and Elijah is handling it as well. He is so confident and glad to be on his way to recovery. The fact that this disease centers around "bathroom" issues hasn't embarrassed him in the least. Keep praying for this to remain the case and that he rests in God's care over him. Elijah's biggest stress is that he will have to have blood drawn every other week for awhile. He does not like this plan at all.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Mimi and Papa's visit

We were so happy to have Jon's parents stop by for the night on their way to our neice's college graduation. This was their first trip to our new house. Unfortunately is was cut short by our trip to the hosptial on Friday morning. Actually, our visit was cut they short, but they were able to be with Ezra and Malachi all morning. They offered to watch them until they needed to hit the road again. So around lunch time they turned them over to my Mom.

Thursday night, I had the privilege of fixing them dinner. We invited my parents and Granny to eat with us too. For some reason, I only took one picture the whole time.

Elijah's finally getting better

Elijah has had fever off and on (19 out of 30 days) for the past month. The reason I let the fever go so long without being checked is because it started when the other boys had Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, so I figured he had a mild case of that with fever but no real ulcers in his mouth. Then his forth time of fever was when Malachi and Ezra were so sick with super high fever and a cough, so I figured that was what they had, but he never coughed. But this past Sunday night it started back again and although it has mostly been in the 101 range over the past 4 weeks, it was 102.3 on Sunday night.
So we went to the pediatrician on Monday and she ran several tests which all came back negative. So she gave us an order to go to Children's Hospital and get more tests run which we did on Tues. Wed morning at 8 am our pediatrician called me and said that the blood work indicated significant GI issues. For those that don't know, Elijah has had "bathroom" problems all his life and we have dealt with them as you would deal with constipation. As he has been dealing with fever, his problem had gotten worse and worse and finally he was crying and hurting all the time. When his fever went up, his symptoms increased.

All that to say, she said she was going to personally call a GI doctor and get us in that day. So we saw the GI doctor at 4:30 on Wed and after looking at Elijah's blood work and examining him he was certain that he had Inflammatory Bowel Disease and an infection in his bowel that was causing the fever. He worked us into his schedule to have GI tests done at the hospital on Friday morning.
At the Children's Hospital they bring in a Nintendo 64 to play while you are waiting for your procedure.

Elijah was looking forward to "being put to sleep" since he has struggled his whole life with falling asleep. He was enjoying it so much that he stayed asleep for a long time after they brought him back from recovery.
Since he was so weak they wheeled him to the car.
The tests at the hospital confirmed what the doctor knew he would find: he has Crohn's Disease. If you are interested, the website that the doctor recommends in After our appointment with the doctor on Wed afternoon, I was using the term IBS to describe what the doctor had said he thought was wrong with Elijah, but I was wrong it is NOT Irritable Bowel Syndrome. It is Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). His large intestines is in such bad shape that he needs to go a 3 to 4 months of steroids just to reduce the swelling. His large intestines are very inflamed and swollen and covered in ulcers. Thankfully, however, his upper GI track looks good. The GI doctor said we will be seeing a lot of him for the next 3 months and that we can expect it to take at least 3 month before he is feeling better.His continuous fever over the past month is due to an infection in his bowels and therefore he is on antibiotic for that.
Back at home.

We are very thankful to God because our pediatrician rushed us into this GI doctor (called him personally on her day off and told him he had to work Elijah in that day) and the GI doctor rushed us into this procedure even though his schedule was full.. We will meet with the doctor on Wed and will know more about what lies ahead of us.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day

We celebrated Mother's Day at Mom and Dad's. Gretchen made the lunch and Philip's family joined us as well. We also had the privilege of having my Aunt Candy and Uncle Gordon here. Granny was able to be with her 2 living children for Mother's Day.
Since Mom's table "only" seats 22, Malachi had to sit in the high chair.
After lunch the kids did various things. Jonah rode his new bike. Elijah and Daegan did some silly bands trading (above).
Ezra and Mac played with Lego men on the deck.

Isaiah, Tavis and Thomas shot baskets and played "HORSE."

It was a nice Mother's Day for me because we just sat around and talked and enjoyed the sunshine. And all the kids played and got along well.

Plus, I have the best Mom is the world! And the best Mother-in-law in the world, so I really, really enjoy celebrating them.

Of course, the day ended with Elijah coming down with fever again. Poor him!

New Windows

I forgot to blog about our new windows, so I am just going to throw it in here so I have documented it.

(old windows on left, new windows on right)
We new windows in the house this Spring. Our old windows were pouring in cold air all winter. Some rooms were worse than others. Like Malachi and Granny's room were always 7 or 8 degrees colder than whatever you had the heat set on. For Granny this was really hard because it was drafty cold. She kept heavy drapes drawn in her room all day and night all Winter.

So our friend Jason, who did all of our remodeling downstairs, came and put in 25 new windows and a new sliding door. The boys were home sick for severl of the days that he was working, so he had an audience.

The boys lined up the kitchen charis and watched for hours as Jason installed the new door.Malachi and Ezra watched him put the window in Malachi's room.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Why am I tired of seeing my Pediatricans?

Why am I tired of seeing my Pediatrican? Because...
...our last 6 months have included: 3 sinus infections, 5 people with bronchitis, 2 cases of pneumonia, 4 with the stomach flu, 1 case of the influenza B, 3 fever viruses, 4 cases of hand foot and mouth disease, 3 cases of strep throat, 2 ear infections, one surgery, three ER visits, weekly allergy shots, one broken hand and a very sick set of little ones with coughs, cold and 104 fever for several days in a row. Still some sniffles and coughs but no more fever.
We love you Doctor Jennie and PAs John and Kevin, but this is too much. (We love nurses Stacy and Renee too)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Field Day

Field Day just happen to fall on the hottest day of the year so far. We all enjoyed burning and sweating and watching Jonah and Elijah participate in their many activities.

The 3rd graders and 2nd graders were on two different fields so we (me and the 3 youngest boys -- kindergarten does their Field Day on another day, but Isaiah wanted to watch his brothers so I took him out of class to watch) trecked back and forth between the two fields.
Jonah is quick so he did well in all of his running events. The one above was a relay and when he got the paton his team was in second but won it in the end. (picture above)Jonah after the "big race".For Malachi, this dog was much more fun than watching his brother's compete.

(Below) The fans watching Jonah's race. (Ezra, Isaiah and Malachi)

Jonah won this race by a lot (below). See the guy in the green shirt, he was the next one to cross the finish line after Jonah.

At one point we found the only spot of shade on the field and took a break from the blazing sun for a few minutes--my kids and Gretchen's kids.

Here are the fans. From left: Daegan, Isaiah, Capps, Mac and Ezra. Elijah is not so into running or doing anything quickly, but he did win all of the throwing competitions.The "canoe" race (where they have to scoot across the field in groups of three with their feet fastened onto a board) proved to be very difficult for Elijah's team. Elijah and his cousin Tavis.Elijah finishing his race.
Elijah in the sack race. Tug of War is the "biggest" event on Field Day for the kids. Each grade has been divided into 4 teams and they compete with a 4-way tug of war rope. You can kind of get an idea from this picture.Here is Jonah's team during the 3rd grade competion.Here is Elijah's team during the 2nd grade competition.