Tuesday, December 09, 2008

It's a Miracle!

One of Autumn's favorite songs goes like this: "It's a miracle just to know God is with us wherever we go. It's a miracle as big as can be that He made a miracle of me." She loves to sing this song, and I would say it is very fitting for this little girl.
We had our biannual visit to Ann Arbor last Friday. We started the day with her yearly ultrasound. Then, we visited the NICU staff since we had a few minutes. They couldn't believe how great she looked. Finally, we ended our visit with "Dr. Michelle" and her nutritionist, Katie.
Now, just a little reminder to those of you who have a memory like mine...due to some unexpected and crazy complications at birth Autumn lost 83% of her blood and had to be fully recesitated for 8 minutes. After a few hours, she was rushed to Ann Arbor where they realized her kidneys and liver "took a hit" and shut down from the blood loss. Her liver has regenerated completely. Her kidneys regained 25% of function and that is how the doctors thought they would remain, with eventual loss of that and a transplant someday.
At our last appointment in June, we were told that maybe Autumn's kidneys would just remain at 25% and possibly not get worse. That was great news!
At this appointment, the ultrasound showed that the kidneys have grown and there was fluid flowing through them for the first time!!! They have improved, something that wasn't supposed to happen! Not only that, but the doctors were super impressed with her overall physical growth for the first time ever! Also, her potassium was low (which never happens in kidney patients), so she can now have a small amount of certain foods that she has never had before (potatoes, tomatoes, bananas, oranges, squash, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, etc.)! WOW! PRAISE GOD! IT'S A MIRACLE!
Now, there were a couple of things that were off a bit: her blood pressure has been running a little higher than they would like, her protein was a bit high and her iron was a bit low. These involved small tweeks in her medication, nothing huge. Also, the ultrasound showed what they thought was a kidney stone, but the doctor said that we were not going there until there was a problem.
So, she still does have kidney disease, but God has done some unexplianable healing in this little girl! I love it when He works like this and the credit can only go to Him! Science and medicine are great, but He is the ultimate physician! Glory be to God!
Thanks for all your prayers over these last two years! Please continue to love Him, serve Him and call out to Him. Enjoy this wonderful season! I know we are! (Especially these snow days...that is how I have time to post this great news!) We love you all!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! We are so thankful to our Lord for not only providing for all our needs, but blessing us beyond measure. We have more than we need in every area. Most importantly, we have been forgiven by a mighty God, we have a relationship with Christ, we have peace, we have unconditional love, we have comfort, we have hope, we have acceptance, we have joy and much more! What more could we ever want or need...NOTHING because we have all in Christ Jesus!

We wish your family many blessings this Thanksgiving! Don't forget to take some time in between feasting and resting to thank God for all He has given you. Enjoy your day!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Finally, A New Post

I am so very sorry I haven't posted in such a long time. We have been busy with our everyday lives, and I have been too tired to do posts after the girls are in bed (and the daily chores have been completed of course). I have been finding myself curled up next to Aaron on the couch falling asleep around 9:00-9:30. We do have some things to share and will have more with this special season approaching. For now, enjoy the Halloween pictures:
This is the first time we have carved pumpkins as a family. We have painted them in the past, but Jayna never had a desire to do the actual carving until this year. It was lots of fun! She worked hard at getting all the "guts" out. Then, she played in those "guts" while the carving took place.

Autumn had a harder time with this. This is the one time she stuck her hand into the pumpkin only to gag because of the slimy "guts." (She is so much like her dad!!) It was actually really funny when this all occurred. After this, she walked around telling us all what we should be doing. I suppose someone needed to be the supervisor.

Jayna's friend, Rayna helped us too. She is a sweet girl and made the task that much more fun!

Here they are, the three workers and their pumpkins. Each girl with a unique personality, each pumpkin with a unique face!

Justin and Brenda brought the girls over all dressed up. Autumn and Megan were loving each other!

Taylor and Carly looked exceptionally beautiful!

Tucker and Toby came over too! They also brought Sep's dad and his friend with them. I think it is obvious those boys love their papaw!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A House Divided

Victory for MSU!!! I just couldn't resist posting after our big win!! It has been awhile, and it feels soooo good. I am very sorry to the 5 Michigan fans I watched the game with. Aaron, Brownie, Katie, Jayna and Auti (and all my other Michigan friends/family)-we have switched spots for one year. I love you all even though we can't see eye to eye on this subject! To my fellow Sparties-GO GREEN!

I do have to say that it was really great to have Brownie home and hanging around again! Katie, it was fun to have you over too! We do miss Louie, but we know soon enough you will be home and hopefully over at least a couple of times to hang out. We miss you guys. For now, enjoy the college life.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Ultimate Reason to Rake Leaves

Sunday was such a beautiful day! After our much needed and enjoyed Sunday naps, we went outside as a family and played! This is about the only reason I rake leaves. We had so much fun! Hopefully the pictures will speak for themselves. (Aaron was the man behind the lens, so he did not get in any of the pictures.)

Monday, October 06, 2008

Autumn's 2nd Birthday

Autumn turned two last Tuesday! What an amazing two years it has been. God has done so many wonderful things in this little girl's life! This young lady is often exploring and trying to figure out how things work. She enjoys reading and music/singing/dancing. She is full of energy and seems to love life. Dr. Juarbe said at her 2 year well check that she carries a 'don't feel sorry for me' attitude and is full of joy! I would have to agree. We praise God all the time for the blessing she and her sister are to us! God's plan is always perfect (even on the rough days)! Both of the girls were sick for Autumn's actual birthday, but we did manage to get in the family party the weekend before. I hope you enjoy the pictures. I also encourage you to thank God for your family today and the plan He has for them.
Here is a very HAPPY birthday girl!
She is trying really hard to read this card. Maybe in a couple of more years, Auti.
Tucker and Auti check out the new Mickey toy. This happens to be their very favorite character.
The birthday girl and her sister busy figuring out the new presents.
I am sure she made some sort of deep wish at this point. Grandpa Shutes is glad to help her reach her cake, while Jayna pats her on the back for encouragement.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Time With The Cousins

Sorry about the lack of posts. We are full swing into our fall schedule, so blogging is something I now have to squeeze in. I do have things to share, so be patient and keeping checking in. I thought I would start with these little cuties. We got the pleasure of watching our nephews, Tucker and Toby a couple of times this summer. Here are some photos from the fun that was had on those days.
Autumn and Tucker each drawing on their seperate boards. Right before this there was a little dispute about whose was whose, but they worked it out and even decided to share a couch!
I think this shows Autumn's territorial side a bit. Toby is being his cute little self, and Autumn has all her toys gathered in her hand because she is sure he's about to take one. I wish sharing came more natural.
I had to take this picture to prove that they were all fed...safely and at the same time. I think this was the quietest part of the day. :)
This was such a cute moment. These two were having a sort of counseling session. Okay, maybe it was just a chat.
They ended their time together cuddling on the couch with their babies. They had just woke up from their naps and wanted their blankies and babies. What sweethearts!

Friday, September 12, 2008

First Day of School

Well, we are back to school and have been for two weeks. That is why there hasn't been a post in awhile. Evenings are fast and furious. We try to pack in a whole day of family time into a few hours. After the girls go to bed, chores are done and then it is pretty much bedtime for Dad and Mom. The morning comes and the next day is underway. Be patient with us, we will still share our lives, it just may take a bit to get to it.
Jayna began her 2nd grade adventure this year. So far she loves it. She is working very hard on her homework, her Accelerated Reading, her spelling words and her math facts at home. Many of her friends are in the same classroom, so that makes for a happy girl. Not to mention, she really likes Mrs. Zimmerman. Here are a few pictures that were taken before she left for school that morning. (Thanks Grandma and Aunt Allison!) I wasn't there because I was starting my 1st day of school for the 28th time, so I am adding my own commentary to these pictures. I probably have it all wrong, but let's have some fun...
Riley, Autumn and Jayna are excited about their first day. Wait a minute...Auti you can't go to school yet.
Jayna posing for a beautiful picture in her new clothes and backpack. She is all about posing and always has been! What a beautiful creation of God!
"Look, Sissy, here comes the bus."-Jayna
"Goodbye, Sissy. I love you. Be good and learn a lot."-Autumn
Jayna and Riley boarding the bus.
"What, you're really going to leave us here alone?"-Grandma and Auti
"See ya folks! I'm otta here!"-Jayna
"There's no place like Grandma's after school!"-Jayna

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Our Little Monkey

Our Autumn is a little monkey...a Curious George that is. We have always thought this, but she did some things this summer that proved her identity. She has dug deep in our travel bags; found and opened a bag of medication; then proceded to eat a Zantac. (She thought it was candy.) This required a call to poison control. Just so you all know, Zantac is not harmful to most children. It could have hurt her kidneys, but luckily it did not. (This all happened within a matter of two minutes.) She also got a stool, drank water out of two glasses on the counter, played with the glasses and broke them. She thought she was just playing, as she had four little cuts on her hand. (This all happened within a matter of two minutes.) Another day this summer, she was a bit jealous that her sister was having a bath and she wasn't (she had one the night before). Here is what she did...
Placed her stool under the water jug that we use for her...
Pushed down the handle to let the water flow...(the picture was staged to capture what she had already done)
Emptied the jug half way...
And created her very own bath! What a character! We are going to have our hands full with this one. Dr. Juarbe tells us that she is simply making up for the life that she missed out on in the beginning. I agree with him and add that God has given her extra spunk to remind us of the blessing and miracle that she is. Kids...just gotta love 'em!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Water Play

The girls love running in and out of water (like most kids). Grandma took these pictures as they were playing by a fountain at the Navy Pier in Chicago. They had so much fun! They also had fun the other night playing in the rain. Unfortunately, our camera ran out of batteries as I attempted to take pictures. Then, I decided to just join Aaron and the girls in play, so no pictures. I hope you enjoy these...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Chicago-Day 4 (Last Day)

Day four included a trip to the zoo with the Timbers family before we got on the road. After checking out of the hotel, we headed for a gas station and some breakfast before we even started for the zoo. 'Sassy' (our GPS) couldn't get us to a gas station so I didn't know what to do (we were very near empty). As we were getting a bit desperate we just happened on a gas station with a McDonalds right across the street from it. OK-We didn't just happen upon this, I know God provided as He did many times on this trip!!! Thanks be to God!!! After this excitement we easily found our way to the zoo. Here are a few pictures of our time there. Autumn and Grandma enjoying the animals together. Autumn loves animals, so she enjoyed this event very much.
Here are the four girls in the pouch of a giant kangaroo. (I should have gotten the kanga's head, but I was too focused on getting the girls.)
The four girls piled into the stroller Kay was pulling. She sure had a load to pull here, but they were having a lot of fun. Thank you Kay for pulling them most of the day.
After this, we left the zoo and got on the road. We left at 4:00-4:30 Chicago time and we arrived home at 10:45-11:00 our time. It was a very fun trip with lots of memories made!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Celebrating 10 Years

Ten years ago today, Aaron and I began our life together as husband and wife. We agreed in the beginning that we would be married only if we could serve God better together than apart. I will say that not everyday has been perfect in this mission, but we do strive each day to honor God and each other.

I am so thankful that God has brought us this far. I know we are still fairly early in our marriage and we have a lot more to experience together. However, the past ten years have been full of challenges and new adventures. We have grown in our faith and in our own relationship. We have had our trials in these areas too. We have welcomed two beautiful girls and wait to meet a baby in heaven. We have said goodbye to some very important people in our lives. We have endured many illnesses, some major and some minor. We have had financial hardships and many financial blessings. We have seen some friends come and some friends go. We have served in many different areas in the church. We have gone through good times and hard times at work. The list could go on and on. What matters most is that God has been the head of it all. He is the leader of our home, our marriage, our family and our everyday. On good days and bad, we give Him praise. He is our all in all. We still have so much to learn and so much more growing to do, as does everyone. I encourage you to love God first today and love others second. This is what God desires most in our lives. This is my pledge to my husband today...I will love God first and then love you second only to Him. I will strive to honor Him and you each day, Aaron. I love you!

I included some pictures so you can see how time has been to us. Unfortunately, we didn't get a digital camera until Jayna, so I couldn't post any beginning years pictures with just the two of us. Here are the last 5 years...