01 February 2016

Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Month

February is Congenital Heart Awareness month. Here are some facts for you: *Nearly 1 out of every 100 babies is born with a CHD. *Heart defects are the most common birth defect. *Estimates suggest that there are more than 3 million people living with a CHD. *There is no cure for a CHD, it requires life-long specialized care. *Approximately 25% of children born with CHD will need life-saving intervention as infants. Much research is needed to help figure out a way to help these precious babies and hopefully someday put a stop to CHD all together. Here is a website to check out to learn more and get involved! www.littlehearts.org

03 March 2015

Mary Poppins!

Every year Ozark Christian College here in Joplin does a spring musical. Damon and I decided to audition and we were both chosen to be part of the ensembles so we've been practicing our singing and dancing every week and will continue to until the performances the beginning of May. The performances are May 1st, 2nd, and 3rd. Tickets are $10 for adults or $7 for children under 12. You can go to www.occ.edu to find out more info and purchase tickets. For a preview from last night's practice, click the picture of Damon on the upper left side of the website. Damon is so cute and we are both excited!

01 December 2014

December 1st Ahhhh! It's come so fast this year; sort of like it snuck up on me. This last week at our church we have been posting three things we are thankful for everyday and I've been really enjoying doing that so my brain hasn't been focused on Christmas much. But the containers of Christmas stuff came of hiding today; I've heard three Christmas songs on the radio; and I'm watching a rehearsal for this year's Living Christmas Tree at Ozark Christian College in Joplin, MO. This year Damon is participating in the show. I'm so proud of him and I shake my head and smile (ok and cry a little) when I think back to that first Christmas of his life. He had just come home from the hospital and was so tiny and fragile and blue. So many times I wondered if we would ever make it this far. God forgive me for ever doubting you. I see him up there and I just love him so much but God it's not even close to how much you love him. So much that you sent your son to earth to die for him. We celebrate his birth this month, but never let us forget to thank him for his death, and celebrate our redemption to our father. My prayer is that God's peace, and joy fills you this Christmas season and His love fills and overflows your heart.

16 November 2014

Happy Birthday D!

It's Damon's birthday today, he is 8 years old. So many times since he was born I've wondered if we would make it this far; God forgive me for not trusting in you as I should. Damon and Myles have been with their dad this weekend so I haven't been able to squeeze on him yet today, but I've been thinking about his life and holding back the tears all day. He's been through so much in his short 8 years; three open heart surgeries, countless dr appointments, tests, procedures, pain and suffering that I wish I could've taken away from him. But there has been so much good that I could never list it all here. I praise God for all the good. I praise Him for the hard times too, He is worthy either way. Today Damon is a happy, funny, very creative, very dramatic, caring, snuggling, smart boy who wins over everyone who is lucky enough to know him. I know my life changed forever when he came into this world at 5:40pm on November 16, 2006. I'm so proud of you, so much in love with you, and so blessed to be your mom! Here are some pictures from the last 8 years.

14 August 2014

First day of School 2014!!!

It seems like the summer just started and here it is over. We had fun I think, and I hope all of you did as well. Here are a few pictures from the first day of school. Myles is starting 6th grade, his last year of elementary school. He didn't want me to drop him off, I guess it's more fun to ride the bus. I was a little disappointed but he's is 11 and too cool for me now.
Damon is starting 2nd grade and is in a new building this year. I drew him a map for how to get to his classroom when I dropped him off. :) And Gunner is just wanting to be like his big brothers with a backpack. I hope everyone's first day of school is wonderful, and we'll talk to you all soon! Sarah

14 July 2014

No Cath Needed!

In my last post I told you that Damon would possibly be going to St Louis to have another heart cath to close up the small opening they left in his heart during his last surgery. I spoke with Dr Tong this morning and he sent Damon's information from his appointment in May to St Louis and heard back from the drs there. Apparently in the last few years/months drs from all over have been postponing the closure of these openings in kids who have had the Fontan surgery (which is the last surgery Damon had) because they do not need it. The arguments for leaving opening verses closing it are about 50/50. He said there is a chance in some kids that later in life they could end up needing another small opening because of building pressure so leaving it open would prevent the need for another cath at that time. He also said that he didn't feel that Damon would get all that much more energy from having it closed and even though his oxygen numbers would go up, that would really be the only difference. Since he is already very well right now, Dr Tong thinks leaving it open is the best option. We are super excited to hear this news, and I know Damon will be too. He's been very concerned about having his blood taken so knowing he doesn't have to worry about that anymore for a long while will make him happy, happy, happy! Praise God for his faithfulness once again! We hope you are well and having a great summer! Sarah

12 May 2014

Dr Appointment

Damon had a regular cardiologist check up today with Dr Tong is Springfield. He did great, everything was normal and working just as it should be. He has only been going to the cardiologist every 6 months and the last two visits (so basically the last year) his oxygen saturations have been lower than they've been running since his last surgery when he was 4. Today they were in the high 80's which isn't bad or dangerous for him, just lower than normal. When Damon had his last surgery the surgeon left a small opening in his heart to relieve pressure. Dr Tong told me that at some point he would need to have it closed and the only way to do that is in the cath lab. Dr Tong said that it's probably time to send his information to St Louis Children's Hospital for them to look at. They will not be able to see the opening on the echo pictures he took today; the only way to see it is in the cath lab. So basically what I'm getting at is that Damon will be having another heart catheterization sometime in the near future. I don't know when, but will keep you all informed as I learn more. A heart cath is the procedure where they put a catheter into the major arteries/blood vessels then they put dye through it and take ex rays of the dye going through the heart and surrounding vessels. It's also called an angioplasty. Please be in prayer for God's timing for this procedure, we know it is always perfect. Thank you for the prayers, talk to you all soon. Sarah

26 March 2014

Junior Songwriter

For those of you who don't know, Damon is a very creative child. He is always dressing up in a costume to play pretend. He is always imagining things happening and telling made up stories like they really happened. He is also a musician. He has been a drummer since the first time he help two stick-like objects in his little hands. Well yesterday he came home with a song that he wrote during writing time at school. I will translate the lyrics for you: Sometimes I need another day Just to say its unbelievable oh oh oh oh oh It feels like a nice day Just trouble, trouble, trouble I feel like magic It's cool all the time oh oh oh oh I like it I like it I like it I love this about him so much and I see great things for him. Talk to you all later. Sarah

17 December 2013

A let down

Last night Damon, Gunner, and I went to Wal-Mart for a few things and Damon brought a dollar with him so he could play a game in the little arcade while I was checking out. He asked several times while we were shopping if we could be done because he was wanting to get to the arcade really badly. When we finally got to the checkout, he went over to the arcade while I was loading items on the conveyer belt. When I looked up to check on him he was on a Lion King ride, you know the kind that moves back and forth really slowly. The look on his face was priceless; he was so excited for the ride to start. And to add to his excitement, the ride was talking and making this big build-up to the moment when it would finally start. I kind of rolled my eyes at him and smiled because I knew what was going to happen. He looked back at me and smiled and shrugged a little and then the ride started, very slowly, moving back and forth. And it was playing the Hakuna Matata song from "The Lion King." Immediately Damon realized what I had known when I saw him sitting on that ride; that he was too big for it and he would think it was boring. His face of excitement fell and he looked embarrassed. He started to get off, but I shook my head at him. So he sat there on the ride while it rocked back and forth. This whole time, the cashier is ringing up my items and she asked me a question about my coupons so I looked away from Damon for a second to talk to her. When I looked back, he was bent over the ride, resting his head in his hands looking more bored than I've ever seen him. As soon as I saw him I busted out laughing and he did too when he looked at me. Two more times I looked away, only to find him looking extremely bored on that silly ride when I looked back. I will always remember that sheepish grin he gave me when he got off the ride after it was finally done. I'm reading a book called "Searching for Sanity: 52 Insights from the Parents of the Bible" by my friend Lindsey Bell. This morning I read about Jochebed, the mother of Moses. She kept him hidden from pharaoh as long as possible and when she could longer protect him she turned his fate over to God. In the book she writes: "Jochebed laid the basket in the reeds along the river and walked away,unable to shake the nagging question in her mind: could she trust God to take care of her little boy?....Part of being a parent is learning to trust God. We can’t be there for our children all the time, nor should we be. But, like Jochebed who trusted God enough to leave her baby in a basket in a river, we can trust Him to watch after our children. I wish this meant He would prevent bad things from happening—no car wrecks, no sicknesses, no pain. I wish it meant they would live long, happy, pain-free lives. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. Sometimes, God allows these things to happen to them. We may never understand why, but we can know this: He will work everything out for good. As Romans 8:28 promises, We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." God had a plan for Moses beyond what his mother knew. He took this little Hebrew baby and turned him into Israel's leader. And he rewarded Jochebed's faith in Him by rescuing her son from certain death. But beyond that, he rewarded her by allowing her to raise her own son and even get paid to do so! Wow! Romans 8:28 is a scripture I've thought about and shared so many times but it is so fitting here. If Jochebed had never put Moses in that basket, if she had tried to continue to hide him, her outcome would certainly been different. If she had chosen not to trust God, but to rely on her own strength to take care of him, he may have never made it to adulthood to redeem Israel. I can totally relate to Jochebed. So many times as parents we can prevent, or control the things that happen to our children, but when a circumstance comes up that is out of our control our only choice is to trust God to care for them. There were many times when Damon was in the hospital that I could do nothing but pray. I had no ability to help him. Even the doctors had done everything they could and in their minds it was a waiting game to see if it was going to work or not. It is so hard to stand back and watch as your child goes through something that you cant fix. God's faithfulness to work all things together for the good of those who love him is apparent in my life in so many ways. We may not ever know why we go through difficult circumstances, but if we choose to trust God and see the good He brings from it, it doesn't really matter why.

16 November 2013

Happy Birthday Damon!

Damon is 7 today! It's hard to believe 7 years have gone by since my little blue baby was born. He is creative, dramatic, funny, challenging, stubborn, kind, sweet, and talented. I am so blessed to be his mom and have him in my life. In the beginning it was a very hard road to travel and who knows what the future holds for him medically but I wouldn't change a thing. God has great plans for this boy and I'm lucky to be along for the adventure. Wednesday he had a an appointment with Dr Tong and everything is looking great! He is as healthy as he should be. We hope you all have a great Thanksgiving! We have so much to be thankful for! Sarah