Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Review of Yuletide Ice Cube Fair by Karen Poth

I love Veggie Tales!!  So do my kids.  The second I took this book out of the package, my three year old started squealing.  The characters are always cute and engaging, and I love the message.  

Like other Veggie Tales book we have read, this one had a rhyming pattern that gave the story an easy rhythm.  While most of the story centered around ice sculpture creations, Junior's nativity scene sculpture brought the true meaning of Christmas to light.  This sparked a great conversation about why we celebrate Christmas and why Jesus came to Earth.  We are always trying to refocus the attention back to Jesus instead of presents around the holidays, and this was another great seed to plant.  I think we'll bring it back a few more times between now and Christmas!

I receive books in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.


You know how when you really don't want to face something (like writing a paper, or doing laundry, or having an uncomfortable conversation), you do everything but that to try to avoid it?


I've pretty much only been posting surface-level, reviews of books, etc.  That's because I don't want to blog about what's really on my mind.  Avoiding writing about it helps me pretend it's not happening.

(Truth:  I just totally avoided writing this post for another hour by talking on the phone....)

Ok.  Time to just spill it.

Abby's most likely going to get another g-tube.  We will find out for sure next week when we meet with the feeding team, but our feeding therapist is recommending a g-tube.

There are a couple of reasons for this.  First, the jaw surgery is going to make it next to impossible for her to eat by mouth for a while.  We know she's going to have to have an NG tube (through her nose) for a while no matter what.  Second, Abby lost 2 pounds after the last surgery and has only gained back one...despite working SO hard!  If we keep this trend up, she will lose way too much weight and it will cause problems with her VEPTR surgeries.  Third, whenever Abby gets sick, she stops eating/drinking.  For weeks.  It's the first thing she loses and the last thing she gets back.  This has caused dehydration issues in the past because she often won't even drink water.

Matt and I have talked a lot about this over the last few days, and we've decided that if our GI recommends the g-tube, we will do it.  We will only use it as a safety net.  She'll use it post-op until her jaw feels better, but we'll also attempt foods by mouth, keep a regular "meal" schedule even if she doesn't really eat much, and keep working on the chewy tube.  While we may use it for hydration when she's sick, we're still going to attempt foods by mouth.  Most of the time, it won't be used.  The tube will just sit there, ready to catch Abby if she starts to fall.

While we are obviously disappointed and disheartened by this decision, we also feel a sense of relief in knowing that we will be able to maintain her weight.  That is a huge, constant concern for us because of the VEPTR.

We've started talking to the kids about it.  It was heartbreaking to hear Abby cry when we told her she might have to get another tubie, and Caleb keeps lamenting that it feels like we're going backwards (tell me about it!).

So...we'd appreciate your prayers this next week as we meet with our team.  It's not an easy decision to make.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Review of the NIV Pink Bible

Having never reviewed a Bible before, this was a new experience.  But this Bible was a special one because it was made especially for breast cancer survivors.  Zondervan donated a portion of the proceeds to breast cancer research.

There were 9 pages of reflections written with the survivor in mind, offering practical advice and encouragement.  I was disappointed that there weren't more of these pages, given that there were no other devotional pages.  I really would have liked to see more of a focus on encouraging survivors throughout the entire Bible, rather than just 9 pages.

What drew me first to the Bible was the beautiful Italian leather cover.  It's a two-toned pink cover and has just enough embellishments to make it pretty and feminine.  I also really love cherry blossoms and was pleased to see that they were included on the reflection pages instead of just on the box.

One of my favorite quotes from the reflections was this:  "However you approach living with breast cancer:  You'll have to dig deep within yourself.  You'll have to scour God's Word for insight.  You'll have to talk to God like never before.  You may have to yell at him in your pain and frustration.  You may need to seek the help of a good counselor.  But a positive outlook can be yours.  Whenever you're ready, it will be there for you to experience and joy."  I think that this is something we can all relate to, no matter what our troubles.

Review of Messy, Beautiful Love by Darlene Schacht


Messy Beautiful Love is a marriage book with a biblical perspective.  Darlene Schacht encourages spouses to lift each other up and commit to fixing the problems through discussion and compromise. While that may sound similar to a lot of other marriage books, the difference is that Schacht is constantly pointing the reader back to the Bible and encouraging them to pray for their spouses.

Whatever expectations I had of this book flew right out the window when the first chapter opens with Schacht confessing that she had an affair.  I really didn't expect that and it certainly gave her writing more credibility as she shared what she learned about love from the sin.

I didn't agree with all of what Schacht shared, especially regarding allowing your husband to make all of the decisions for your family--even if you know it's the wrong decision.  Then you are to support him after there becomes a problem.  My feeling is that if I know that a decision would be detrimental to our family, I'm going to speak up!  My husband values my opinions and recognizes that we have different strengths.

The main themes of this book were certainly ones I could get behind.  God should be in the center of your marriage and it needs to be founded on mutual love and respect.  Schacht definitely got that right!

I'm a Book Looks Blogger who receives books in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

Wash Your Hands!!!!

If you haven't heard (because you live under a rock!), Dnterovirus D68 is closing in.  While there haven't been confirmed cases in Maryland yet, I know it's just a matter of time.  This message from the health department confirmed it!

Please, PLEASE wash your hands often! EVD68 is hand sanitizer resistant, which means you HAVE to wash your hands to keep it from spreading. 

And for the love of all things holy, DO NOT send your kid to school sick!! This virus turns bad quickly and it spreads rapidly.  I know that childcare is often an issue and who wants to take a day off, but this is serious here.  Be careful.

Read this too.  Maybe it will help you understand my position.

NO, I'm not overreacting.  What could be s bad cold for your child could be deadly for mine.  It's my reality.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Frederick Friends

Caleb, my super hero!

This is the front of the card a sweet group of Frederick friends sent to Caleb.  This is a group of men and women in the Sunday School class of our wonderful friends, the Reeds.  This group have prayed our family through the last 4 years and send thoughtful cards for birthdays and get well cards to Abby after surgeries.  They are the SWEETEST PEOPLE!  

Recently, they sent Caleb a special card congratulating him on speaking about the Rknald McDonald House in front of a group of 70 high schoolers.  He loved the card!  

Me?  I'm thankful for those who recognize the wisdom and compassion of my little guy.  He's pretty much one of a kind!

Friday, September 19, 2014

Sibling Love


They love each other.  And they even color-coordinated for the occasion.  <3 p="">