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April 7, 2010

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LISTED! (Pending Insurance, That Is…)

March 2, 2010

Today Daddy met with Dr. Thomlison because over the weekend he had some breathing problems and  fluid retention. We were greeted by Dr. Thomlison asking, “So, has anyone told you that we discussed your case this morning in our transplant team meeting?” We assured him we were aware that his case would be discussed but had not heard the plan. Much to our (and especially Daddy’s relief), Dr. Thomlison informed us that the team approved him to be listed. As long as his insurance covers the procedure (and we are sure it will), Daddy will be put on the heart transplant list. Usually, this takes about 3 days so we are hopeful that by the weekend, it will be official.

We feel the news we heard today is the best news we could have heard. At Daddy’s last appointment, the LVAD was discussed as a possible option for a bridge to transplant or even instead of one. We were thrilled to know of another option, but didn’t feel in the long run this was the best one for him because he would still be in heart failure. Also, the LVAD would be a little cumbersome because he’d have to always have the battery pack with him and would always be “connected” with a tube. The LVAD is wonderful for those who have a long wait for transplant or for those who are not good candidates. However, transplantation truly gives Daddy a new lease on life.

I inquired about the high calcium levels, low platelet situation, and parathyroid issue. All of those things were discussed in the meeting this morning but none of them are contraindication for transplant surgery. Daddy was told it is most important that his heart is taken care of. Then those other issues can be tackled. We are prayerful that he will be able to wait for his heart at my house and not in the hospital. That way he can continue to experience the benefits of around the clock entertainment and good meals. Daddy is not a fan of boredom or hospital food.

Being a type A+ blood and a 1B status puts Daddy in an excellent position. There are no others on the list with his blood type which means as soon as a heart in western NC becomes available that is a good fit for Dad, he will be notified to make his way to Charlotte for surgery. The average wait time for this facility is 2 months. However, Dr. Thomlison indicated that most likely for Dad, the wait would be shorter. However, there is, of course, no way of determining this.

We are so thankful for a good appointment today. We’ve put this whole situation in God’s hands and we trust Him. If we were told today that Daddy wasn’t a good heart transplant candidate, we’d still be thankful for the Lord’s guidance. We wouldn’t want him to go through this if it weren’t in his best interest. However, we all admit that “listed” is the word we wanted to hear today. For us a new heart means hope for a longer and better quality life. Daddy went to bed thinking of all the sermons in his head that he wants to write and deliver. He wants to exercise and get stronger. We all thank the Lord that hopefully very soon, he’ll be able to do those things and more.

Frugal Fridays – Goodwill Goodies!

February 27, 2010

I have read Frugal Friday tips forever and have never posted because I am brand new to blogging! I am sure my tip is not a new one to all the frugal bloggers out there, but I suggest occasionally shopping at Goodwill. You really never know what you’ll find. Sometimes it’s a bust. Today, however, I found a brand new GAP sweatshirt for Christina for just $2.00. I also found some cute jeans for Bethany, also for $2.00. The girls are thrilled with their new items!

My favorite deal, however, I found for myself! Now THAT is a rare thing!  I had 30 minutes to browse while Nathan was in physical therapy across the street and I came across an all cotton, stylish Bass cardigan for $3.50. I just LOVE it! So, I spent $7.50 for all three great finds!

True Greatness

February 26, 2010

“If you’re a parent, don’t celebrate anything more than you celebrate godly character in your children. I commend and encourage my son for academic achievement or an athletic award, but we break out into real celebration around my house only when there’s a demonstration of humility, servanthood, or godly character.”

C.J. Mahaney  Humility: True Greatness

Anna is a beautiful dancer. She has a sophisticated sense of style. She’s articulate, witty, and outgoing. I love these things about her. However, I rejoice when I see her articulate what the Lord is teaching her. She recently knitted a sweet baby hat for little Holland. Precious. Lord help me celebrate evidences of true beauty in my daughter – that which is beautiful in your eyes.

Christina is Miss Creativity. She is fun. She can sew, knit, play piano and cook. I love these things about her. However, I celebrate her passion for honoring the Lord. She loves to hear God’s word. I can see the fruit of the Holy Spirit when she sets aside her creative agenda to serve her toddler sister or help me with the laundry. Her compassion for God’s creatures is precious. Lord, help me to encourage her creativity in ministry, heart for people and desire to grow spiritually.

My Bethany can draw and cook and knit and keep the house running in my absence. She pays close attention to detail. She too loves to dance and I enjoy all these gifts the Lord has given her. However, I rejoice that she desires unity in relationships. She loves people and cares deeply about the feelings of others. I am thankful that she would rather spend an hour baking for our 90 year old neighbors than playing Wii. Lord, help me to always encourage her desire to serve you by serving others.

Nathan has been gifted intellectually and musically. He began reading at the age of 4. He is a geography whiz. Musically, he amazes us. I am thankful for his gifts and pray that as his mother, I can show him daily that God has great plans for him. Not long ago, he saw an ad in World Magazine asking for donations for children in 3rd world countries born with cleft palates. “Mom, I want to help children like that when I am grown and I don’t want to charge anything to fix their mouths.” I love to hear Nathan’s music, but comments that reflect the heart of a future missionary doctor are more beautiful than any song that even the greatest musician can play. Lord, I don’t know what your future plans are for my son but help me to point him toward you in all things.

Little Sarah can sing and dance and she smiles a lot. She is spunky. She is smart. She can do anything she wants to do. All her gifts are wonderful but I pray she finds her joy in Jesus. She makes friends so easily. Lord, help her to point her friends towards you.

Esther’s curls are beautiful. She is delightful. She is only 2. She sings “Jesus loves me.” Help me Lord to show her just how much you love her in the years ahead.

Our culture defines greatness as being good at something. My children hear this definition a zillion times a day and they are listening. As a parent, I want to communicate that Biblical greatness is worth striving for. It’s easy to focus on things that are external and have no eternal value. While I am thankful for the way the Lord has uniquely gifted each of my children, I do not desire to celebrate talents more than Godly character. Well written papers, a good piece at a music or dance recital and a song well sung should be encouraged. However, I rejoice when I see my children serving others and honoring God. Lord, help me rejoice and encourage true greatness of character as my children develop – that which comes only from you.

February 24, 2010

26 golden rules for writing well

This entry is for my writing class. Too funny! Text taken from

26 Golden Rules for Writing Well

  1. Don’t abbrev.
  2. Check to see if you any words out.
  3. Be carefully to use adjectives and adverbs correct.
  4. About sentence fragments.
  5. When dangling, don’t use participles.
  6. Don’t use no double negatives.
  7. Each pronoun agrees with their antecedent.
  8. Just between you and I, case is important.
  9. Join clauses good, like a conjunction should.
  10. Don’t use commas, that aren’t necessary.
  11. Its important to use apostrophe’s right.
  12. It’s better not to unnecessarily split an infinitive.
  13. Never leave a transitive verb just lay there without an object.
  14. Only Proper Nouns should be capitalized. also a sentence should begin with a capital letter and end with a full stop
  15. Use hyphens in compound-words, not just in any two-word phrase.
  16. In letters compositions reports and things like that we use commas to keep a string of items apart.
  17. Watch out for irregular verbs that have creeped into our language.
  18. Verbs has to agree with their subjects.
  19. Avoid unnecessary redundancy.
  20. A writer mustn’t shift your point of view.
  21. Don’t write a run-on sentence you’ve got to punctuate it.
  22. A preposition isn’t a good thing to end a sentence with.
  23. Avoid cliches like the plague.
  24. 1 final thing is to never start a sentence with a number.
  25. Always check your work for accuracy and completeness.

~Author Unknown

Very Informative Video On Heartmate 2

February 24, 2010

More News and More Waiting…

February 24, 2010

Daddy had an encouraging yet also sobering appointment today.  The PA Daddy met with presented another possibility outside of transplanting which would be a left ventricular assist system. This device might be a “bridge to transplant” for Dad or it might be beneficial enough to be a long term solution. Hearing that the LVAS could be an option was encouraging because if for some reason Daddy isn’t a good transplant candidate, this may help him to have better quality and longer life. While it is a more complicated surgery than a transplant, it doesn’t carry the rejection or other transplant risks.

The sobering news is that Daddy is really sick. Because his medication (Primecore) is relieving his symptoms, he feels better than he has in a while. He can climb stairs and isn’t as breathless as he was before his January evaluation.  Hearing phrases like “bridge to transplant” and “you may reach 1A status” is hard to hear. He also was informed that his platelets are low and his calcium is high. He’ll need surgery on his parathyroid either before getting a transplant or after. The endocrinologist doesn’t know in what order the cardiologist will want to go about taking care of this.

So now we are back to waiting. This time, however, we have been told that his case will be reviewed this coming Monday. We are very, very thankful for that! We will have waited 7 weeks for his case to be discussed on the heart transplant panel. Shannon, the PA, did tell Dad that while his case will be reviewed, it’s possible he’ll still need more tests (possibly on the platelets?). The team will devise a plan. We don’t know if that will mean parathyroid surgery before being listed, the possibility of LVAD surgery instead of transplanting, or being listed for transplant. We’ll just wait and see…


February 23, 2010

Still waiting….

The heart transplant evaluation team meets every Monday. Daddy started his evaluations on Monday, Jan. 11th and every Monday since then, we’ve been hopeful to hear a decision as to whether he will be listed. As of today another Monday has passed. I’ll admit… I’m feeling a little impatient tonight.

Daddy has great perspective. Waiting on God’s timing is what we are doing. Thus, we have no need to be irritated that His timing wasn’t today.

Daddy has an appointment in Charlotte tomorrow afternoon. Even though we were told we’d be notified on the Monday he’s evaluated, I am hopeful that tomorrow we may have news after his appointment. We’ll see…

If we don’t know if he’s listed yet, at least we’ll know what the next step will be.

If we don’t have anything else that must be done (tests, appointments, etc), next Monday will be here in only 6 more days…

I’ve been told it’s a dangerous thing to pray for patience, but that is what I need right now.

Welcome Holland

February 22, 2010

One of my dearest friends recently welcomed her 5th baby into the world. Words can’t describe this child’s beauty. She is tiny; just 5 lb 2 oz – a full term, petite little girl. She is welcomed and loved by a mommy and daddy and 3 big sisters and one big brother as well as loving grandparents, aunts, uncles and a church family of which I am blessed to be a part. This precious child has perfect little features. She has a beautifully shaped, round little head, the tiniest little hands and feet and gorgeous almond shaped eyes. She has Down’s Syndrome. Her name is Holland. I love her name and the story behind it…


Emily Perl Kingsley.

c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……

When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.

Lord, Thank you for my dear friends and for the gift that you’ve given them. Little Holland Grace is a gift from your hand. She has some special needs. Don’t we all? Thank you for everything about her that makes her unique. She is lovely. I pray that as she grows she will radiate your love and bless others with everything about her that is Holland. You know the plans you have for each of your children… And we trust you completely.

An Opportunity Not Missed

February 20, 2010
Sarah had a unique opportunity today to go out to lunch with Daddy and at the same time visit with another little 6 year old girl.

Once a month, Daniel meets a friend at Chick-Fil-A. Today, this friend was watching his 6 year old, Rachel, while his wife was away with the other children. So… it only made sense that on this Chick-Fil-A day, Sarah should come to keep Rachel company while the dads talked.

We thought Sarah would be ecstatic. “Sarah, guess what… You get to go to Chick-Fil-A with me today! Rachel will be there. You can play while Mr. Mosher and I talk.”

To our surprise, Sarah responded, “No thanks, Dad. I’ll just stay home with Mom.”

Daniel, thinking this might be a good mother/daughter issue handed the problem over to me. Sarah not going would put us in an awkward spot. We didn’t want to disappoint Rachel and we didn’t want Sarah to go against her wishes either. We were also a little surprised at her reaction because Sarah is extremely social and usually loves outings of any type.

So, while Daniel was preparing to get out the door, I had a little talk with Sarah.

“Honey, I think you should go. Rachel will be disappointed if you don’t come.”

Teary eyed, Sarah said, “What if she asks me to be her BEST friend?” She’s not my best friend and I don’t know her that well and I’d have to hurt her feelings even worse and tell her she can’t be my best friend because I have too many best friends already.”

Inwardly, I’m giggling and thinking this is ridiculous, but to Sarah this is a very real problem. She’d rather avoid this child altogether than take the risk of having to answer a hard question. Upon further probing, I realized that Rachel has no history of requesting best friend status… it’s just something Sarah has observed 6 year old girls do and it makes her uncomfortable.

I was able to counsel her to be honest and, if asked, respond, “I think you are a wonderful friend, but I’m not allowed to have best friends because it might hurt other peoples’ feelings.” I explained how Jesus should be her very best friend. Her sisters should be way up on the list and we really just don’t need to rank by favor the relationships the Lord has blessed up with.

Armed with a good answer, just in case she was asked a hard question, Sarah bounced out the door with a smile on her face, excited about her outing and play date.

A couple of hours later, she excitedly came running in the house with a report.

“Mama, I am glad I went! Rachel is so nice and she didn’t even ask me that bad question. And I got a dollar to get an ice cream and a mint and a KIDS meal! (I’m usually one to buy sandwiches and large fries to split several ways and water – so Daddy ordering is extra special). It was fun!

I’ve been thinking about this situation and how her fears really were not ridiculous. I am often afraid of new situations. All the “what ifs” can be paralyzing. I wonder how many opportunities I’ve missed to minister to people… afraid I might be asked a hard question that I am not prepared to answer. Sometimes I am afraid of the vulnerability that new friendships require. I don’t want to tell people what I REALLY think… deep down I have some pretty radical opinions… many (most) not being culturally correct or cool. What if I am asked about those things… What would I say?

Just as Sarah has a Mommy and a Daddy to help her know how to handle those tough social 6 year situations, I have the Holy Spirit. He is always there to instruct me. I just have to ask. How comforting to know that at any time I can ask… “OK, Lord… I don’t know what to say. This is awkward. Speak to me and through me.”

Every time I have prayed that prayer the Lord has faithfully equipped me and I, like my Sarah, have come home thankful for an opportunity not missed.