Sunday, February 22, 2009

Worth a thousand words

Elijah and his lovely weekend nurse Melody enjoy playing on the stairs (Eli's favorite activity right now).

Head is well

Elijah's head doc says the bump we were concered over is literally, just a bump. Nothing to get excited over. Good news!

We are just a week away from his next surgery.

Love you all,

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Photo Update on Elijah

I wanted to post a photograph of Elijah from Feb. 2007 to Feb. 2009. The difference is amazing! The 2009 photograph is him sitting in a high chair at Cafe USA playing with the condiments.
Great Grammie Edna is doing fine. She remains in ICU for initial recovery then on to a regular room. Keep praying for her.

Elijah is scheduled with Dr. El Amm this Thursday for an initial re-evaluation. Dr. El Amm is great at getting Eli an appointment no matter the short notice. I am thankful for that. It does mean he'll miss a day of school and YES, I am sure he will notice.

Love you all,

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Great Grammie

Great Grammie Edna (my mom's mom) will have open heart surgery tomorrow to replace a valve in her heart. Please say special prayers for her. The surgery will be at Medical City hospital in Dallas by experts in the field.

Elijah continues to amaze us. Now he is working at "standing" up on his knees. He's nearly mastered his scoot on his rear and then he discovered he can pop up on his knees to see further and get higher. I envision Elijah walking around on those knees before too long. I hope to need some great knee pads.

We are gearing up for Elijah's next wrist surgery in Shreveport. His corrected wrist serves him very well. He by far favors using that hand for his activities. Soon, he'll have two hands that function the same way and this will help him further advance.

We are setting an appointment with the great Dr. El Amm in OKC to look at Elijah's head. His surgery to open the suture was 13 months ago and it is time for El Amm to reevaluate. Last week, a knot appeared on Elijah's head near his surgery scar. It is odd. It prompted our latest contact with El Amm and the upcoming appointment. Dr. El Amm will also deal with that crazy bubble in Elijah's head that we discovered a few months ago. Dr. El Amm hasn't indicated if he will need to do anything about it...but if it needs to be done, it will be him and his team. So, we have a lot to find out from Dr. El Amm.

We are also introducing fruits and veggies into Elijah's diet. We're sending them straight into his tummy along with his Neocate formula via g-tube. So far, so good. We're hoping this is what he needs to see 16 and beyond on the scale. We are constantly trying to get him to eat by mouth, but it isn't something that interests him in the least.

Eli's prayer requests:
Great Grammie Edna's successful surgery and speedy recovery
(for Eli)
Desire to eat by mouth
Full health leading up to his wrist surgery with NO post-surgical infection
Dr. El Amm's correct assessment and plan for future surgical interventions
Cancer free (okay, I apologize for springing this one on the blog, but with Elijah's gene mishap comes a higher predisposition to cancer and I've decided it's never too early to start praying for cancer free Eli. Plus someone I met via e-world who has RTS ((one of the syndromes associated with the gene mishap Eli has)) died last week from liver cancer. Pray for Victoria's family as they grieve her passing.)
A leg solution with running ability
Pray for Eli's sister, Sophia. That she will know undoubtedly the love poured upon her and that she will not have feelings of jealousy or resentment toward her attention-requiring sweet baby brother.

I love you all!

With extreme gratitude,

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Hamster's demise

I am sad to report that Sophia's pet hamster died yesterday. And, even though the little gal was DOA (dead on arrival) the veterinarian charged us $55 to tell us it was likely an upper respiratory infection. I'm feeling ripped off. David performed hamster compressions on her as she drifted. It was a sad ordeal. The neighbor kids were all over at the start of it. I sent them all outside and they stood on the back porch crying. We will all survive. I'm not sure how long we'll go before we give it another try...likely not as long as I would like.

Elijah is a gem. He uses his little fingers to manipulate objects with better accuracy these days. Yesterday evening we headed to a favorite restaurant, Cafe USA, for dinner with the Groves. Eli sat at the end of the table in a high chair and played with the little packets of creamer. He enjoyed stacking them into the little container. Getting them out and stacking them again. David would add an occasional new element, like sweet n low, and he would get so excited.

He is so much fun to watch.

This weekend his internal clock woke him at 7:30 a.m. I think it's already used to the school routine.

Love you all,

Thursday, February 5, 2009

First week of school...check

Eli has completed his first four-day school week. He was pooped this evening. He went to spend a few hours playing with Grammie and Grandpa and fell asleep about 20 minutes before we arrived to bring him home for the night.

He had a great first week.

On the first day, another child took Clifford...for about 1 second before the adults in the room rescued Elijah's very best buddy back into his arms. It was so cute. The other child really didn't care one way or the other, but Elijah let us know that he will do a lot of things, but sharing Clifford is NOT one of them. I took a "spare" Clifford to school for his bin, just in case we arrive without the trusty companion. Yes, we found spare Cliffords. Actually Aunt Lesli found them and Granna stocked Eli up.

Today was PJ day. The week's theme of "P" fit in nicely with their PJs and pancakes today. How fun.

Collect your box tops for education for the Little Light House!

Love you all,

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Pray for Todd McDonald, musician

During my time in New England eleven years ago, I became good friends with the most talented singer/songwriter I've ever met in person, and you'd be surprised which ones I've met. His name is Todd McDonald, and the songs he wrote and performed that year are chisled in my mind. More importantly, he is a man after God's own heart in the tradition of the Biblical heroes. He listens more than he talks, except when he plays his guitar and everyone stops to listen.

I found out this week that Todd has stomach cancer. He's in a lot of pain, and the prognosis is somewhat poor. I haven't spoken to Todd since I found out, but I received this e-mail from my mother and felt you needed to see it:

February 2, 2009

There is a voice in the world that is clear and beautiful and speaks of God’s love, compassion, instruction and power. That instrument lives in Todd McDonald, the most unassuming and talented young man we’ve had the pleasure to know. Todd has done many things in his life. He is a graduate of Boston University. He was a campus minister in New England for several years and served as music minister at Grace Baptist Church in Hudson, Mass. He wrote music, led in worship and has already produced several CDs that have ministered to many of us for a long time. The last few years he has been in Nashville, Tennessee where he writes and records music. To support himself he works at a shop framing pictures and is the worship leader at a small church plant.

Recently Todd was diagnosed with stomach cancer, more specifically, Peritoneal Mesothelioma. This form of cancer is very aggressive and painful. In most cases it has been very resistant to treatment. He left Nashville today to go to a hospital near Bethesda, Maryland and hopes to return at some point. The doctors will determine if surgery to remove the cancer would be helpful and following that explore all options and treatments. His brother lives near Bethesda so he will have a place to stay when he’s not in the hospital. His family will join him there today as well.

John went to see Todd on Friday since we just live a few hours away from Nashville. They spent a long time talking as they’ve done many times in the past. Todd had just finished recording the final song for his next CD and in the conversation John learned that it will take about $3500 to produce it.

It would be a significant loss to us all if this CD was not completed. We would like to ask any of you, who have the means, to consider making a contribution to help make this happen. We realize your gift may only be a few dollars and want to assure you that any amount will have great value toward this goal. Of course, any money over and above the amount will go to help Todd with medical and living expenses.

Please send your gift to:
John Ramirez
North American Mission Board
4200 North Point Parkway
Alpharetta, GA 30022

Include your email address so we can let you know we received your gift and send updates about Todd.

We will keep you advised regarding the final amount received and will share updates about Todd’s health as they become available. Please join us as we pray that God will give Todd strength for this journey and will heal him. You can also help us by forwarding this to anyone who knows and loves Todd as we do. We have no way of knowing how many lives his music or his life has touched.

God be with you.
John and Anna Ramirez (Friends who love Todd)

John’s contact information:
Mobile Phone: 508-579-4757
Work: 770-410-8364
214 Addison Lane, Alpharetta, Ga 30005

Anna’s contact information:
Mobile Phone: 508-982-9022

Monday, February 2, 2009

First Day of School...check

Eli had a great first day of school. He played in cool whip, played in the gym, sang lots of songs and learned about the letter P.

Thank you Little Light House staff and supporters.

More to come.