Thursday, September 26, 2013

Coming Full Circle

Not sure where to much time has passed and so many things have happened since the last time I posted.  Let's start with the easy stuff...the kids survived their second year of homeschool and we are slowly starting our third year.  Sami is in 5th grade (unbelievable) and Matthew is in in 2nd.  Both kids have kept me busy with their little social calendars!  Sami is doing gymnastics, 4-H, piano lessons, homeschool choir, church choir, and AWANA.  Matthew is doing 4-H, homeschool choir, church choir, AWANA, and soccer/baseball (depending on the season).  I have loved seeing each of them find their talents and what they love to do...not much better than seeing that joy!  The exciting news of the summer is that we are moving to Exeter.  We should be in the house within 2 weeks and we cannot wait!  It is the perfect house for our family and still accommodates the business.  Pictures will follow once we are in and settled a little!  We have all been preoccupied with working out the details these days.  I will be glad when the move is behind us...I never want to see another box!

But on to the main reason of this post...actually it is the reason I started this blog to begin with over 5 years ago.  In 2008, Matthew had us all a little preoccupied but it wasn't with fun stuff like a new house.  At that time, Matthew had a mass on his back that they thought was sarcoma.  He had surgery up at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and it was found to be a vascular malformation.  He was followed by the neuro team there for a couple of years and eventually discharged from their care.  The next couple of years were pretty uneventful.  He was doing great and it seemed all of his health concerns were behind us.  That is until last summer when Matthew began complaining of headaches. After several months and several doctors, a brain MRI was ordered.  In December 2013, Matthew had a MRI that showed a cavernoma on the right side of his brain.  After much debate, frustration, even switching doctors, we were given a referral back up to Lucile Packard.  By mid January, he was seen by the neurologist and neurosurgeon.  Both doctors believed Matthew had migraines and that the brain cavernoma was not related to his symptoms.  He was put on medication and we tried to figure out what was triggering these headaches.  As time went on, his symptoms got worse and new ones appeared.  The headaches were 4-5 times per week and he was waking up at night vomiting.  Then came the scary ones...he would complain that he couldn't feel his arms or legs, he was having complaints of vision changes where things didn't look right (which we now know are actually focal seizures).  In February 2013, Matthew had another MRI.  This MRI showed a second cavernoma in a different part of the brain.  At that time, this neurologist still wasn't convinced that his symptoms all went together.  She felt he had migraines and possibly a genetic condition that accounted for the cavernomas.  From here, Matthew was seen by a slew of doctors (geneticist, ophthalmologist, gastroenterologist, radiologist, a second name it, we saw it) and a slew of tests (abdominal MRI, fructose testing, lactose testing, EEG, blood work).  Finally, just this month, we found a doctor that listens and has a possible answer.  They believe that Matthew has the genetic/familial form of a condition called Cerebral Cavernous Malformations.  Here is a link that has tons of information:  Angioma Alliance
At this point, we are working on finding a medication that controls his headaches and seizures with minimal side effects, and fighting insurance to approve genetic testing.  His next MRI is October 16th and we will meet with the neurosurgeon the following day.  As of now, there is no true treatment for this disease.  All we can do is control the symptoms with medication.  The next option would be brain surgery if/when his seizures can no longer be controlled or he has a large bleed/stroke.  Sitting back and waiting for a catastrophe is just not how we roll folks!  Cory and I are getting involved with the Angioma Alliance (see above link) to fight for research, clinical trials, and treatment..more about that another time.  But for now, if you could please pray for my lil' man.  Pray for relief of headaches, fewer side effects and ultimately healing!  God is good, all the time-we are holding onto the promises our Lord has made and the knowledge that He is sovereign in ALL things! 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Homeschool, Round 2

On one hand I can't believe the summer has flown by..on the other hand, I'm so excited to be back in our routine!  This summer has been jammed full with play dates, swimming, bowling, family camp, movies and fun.  But the predictability of our school routine has been warmly welcomed by all!  Here are our 2012-2013 Curriculum choices:

SAMI (4th grade):
~ My Father's World  Exploring Countries and Cultures.  This curriculum includes history, geography, science and art.
~Singapore Math
~Bible will be daily devotions and worship, memory verses from AWANA
~Rod & Staff Grammar
~Handwriting by A Reason For Handwriting
~Building Spelling Skills by Christian Libety Press
~Typing Instructor
~Online Spanish by Speekee

MATTHEW (1st grade):
~My Father's World First Grade Curriculum.  This contains phonics, handwriting, history, science and art.
~Singapore Math
~Bible with daily devotions, worship and AWANA
~Online Spanish by Speekee

I'm still working on getting a schedule that allows for enough individual time, but we're getting there.  We are already learning so much...ecosystems, map reading, geometry. ant farms, worm habitat - lions and tigers and bears..oh my!  It's going to be a wild ride people!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

End of the Year Wrap Up

 The horse pictures I tried to upload on the last post...


 Cal Ripken TBall-Go Mudville!
 My sweet niece-Eleanor

 AWANA Awards

 CHEVA Homeschool Convention-Sami won 1st place in her age group for her horse study
 CHEVA Choir
Matthew won 2nd place in his age group for his horse study

These last few months have been crazy busy in every way possible!  Easter, T Ball, AWANA Awards, CHEVA Homeschool Showcase, choir performances, my beautiful niece was born, vacation, on and on.  To top it off we have finished our first year homeschooling!  Whew..we survived!!!  It went better than expected in some ways and worse than expected in others.  My relationship with the kids has grown tremendously...come to find out, I didn't know them as well as I thought I did.  We have all grown closer to the Lord, learning more and more the importance of grace and forgiveness.  I think I have apologized to the kids and God more this year than ever before!  He has really shown me my weaknesses as a mother and I have learned to rely on Him daily for strength and patience!  I am looking forward to next year and all that the Lord has planned for us!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

For the Love of Horses

We have been studying different types of animals for a couple of weeks. I had the kids pick one animal to study more in-depth and horse was the winner! We spent one week learning about body language, body parts, name it, we learned it. We finished it off with a visit to a local horse ranch. The woman who runs the lessons spent 2 hours with the kids going over all the care that is involved with a horse. She finished it off with each of them getting time riding. She had the sweetest horse named Argo, the kids can't wait to go back and see him. That same weekend we were able to visit some friends who own a horse. The kids took turns riding "Baby" and we went to an english horseriding lesson. The kids have loved every minute of this lesson. Now there is only one problem with this, every couple of days I hear, "Mom, why can't we have a horse???" Ugh...
*Pictures to come whenever Blogger decides to let me load them :/

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Something to Chew On...

This was an article shared by the President of our homeschool group CHEVA. It brought tears of relief and frustration all at the same time. I think any mother can relate, homeschooling or not.

Empty Cisterns and Real Refreshment

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

School Days

School has been interesting with the holidays but big progress has been made. Matthew is officially reading! I wasn't really expecting it to click until next year...such a smart boy! We are doing a study on animals and took a trip to the zoo with friends. Now we are specifically studying horses. This weekend the kids get to take a visit to a ranch. They are going to have a 2 hour lesson on the care of horses and how to ride. They are so excited! More pics to come...

Christmas and New Years and Valentine's...Oh My!

Where does the time go?? Christmas came and went with the blink of an eye! The "big" gift for all of us was a 4 day vacation to Disneyland. We went the end of January. The kids ran in Tinkerbell Kid Races and I did the Tinkerbell Half Marathon. Topped it off with 2 days at the park and dinner at Medieval Times. Our best vacation as of yet! Now here we are at Valentine's Day already?? The kids had a great time at our homeschool group's Valentine Celebration. So much fun crammed into such a short amount of time!