Saturday, March 30, 2013


This is the way I pronounce it: Leave - oh - thigh - rocks - een.

This is the new medicine Beth is on for thyroid replacement. It's supposed to help raise her metabolism and I'm very grateful. We went to the walk in clinic on Monday for a blood draw, then they test it, send it to her doctor and based on the results, he decides what action to take. He called us on Tuesday. Wow. Her levels are dropping, which is what they expected so they called in a prescription and she began taking it this week.

After her blood draw we went to get some frozen yogurt and it was like she was moving in slow motion. Beth lives at a slow pace anyway but this was even more so. I was a little concerned at how slow she moved the spoon to her mouth, then back to the cup. It was just really strange. I'm hoping it was due to the lack of thyroid hormone and that this medication is going to help. She hasn't gained any weight in the last 3 weeks! She hasn't lost any either, but we're excited that she hasn't gained.

Seattle's having gorgeous weather so we'll probably be outside the next couple of days. The weathermen say we haven't had weather this nice in almost 6 months! Yea Spring!!

I hope you all have blessed Easter. I'm so grateful for my Savior and His death on the cross. He loves us so much...

Monday, March 25, 2013


There's been a lot on my mind lately but I haven't been able to process my thoughts. Too often it seems my mind is just a jumbled mess.

It may just be because of life.

Ryan has been in and out of the hospital I think three times in less than 2 weeks. Sharaya is drained working full time (plus!) and taking care of Allie and the house...

Last week a very close friend of Ryan, Sharaya and Diana's died in his sleep. He was 24. Their pastor had called Sharaya at work and when she said she couldn't talk at work, he told her it was an emergency. She headed straight home, knowing what this would do to Ryan. On the way home she called me, sobbing. One day 'A' was fine and the next... He had spent his final day with his dad, L. L told the kids they had a great conversation the night before, that A was feeling great and was looking forward to his future. The next day A wasn't answering his phone so his dad went to his house. That's when he found him. People are stunned. As you probably expect, Facebook is lit up with old photos and stories as friends and family post their memories. The memorial is this weekend. Our kids are literally in shock.

This is part of what Diana wrote on her blog: Misery creeps its way into the corners of your long days; into the shadows of your tiring weeks until it envelops you. You move around with a blank stare and a heavy heart.

I taught A in Sunday school when he was growing up; he was here a few weeks ago, hanging out with Ryan and Sharaya when they stopped by one afternoon. I didn't really know A but I'm feeling his loss. Feeling it through my kids.

It's hard to watch your kids when they hurt. When they're little you can 'kiss the boo boo' or give them a fun band aid. You can talk to the teacher, meet with the parent. You can take steps to fix the problem. But when they become adults? You can pray. You can hug them. You can tell them you love them, but you can't make it better.   

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

This Is Beth

3/21 is World Down Syndrome Day. Where we bring awareness to the world, about everyone who has 3 copies of that 21st chromosome. I've read stories of kids with Down Syndrome who 'light up a room', 'make friends wherever they go' and 'people are drawn to my child'.

Beth wasn't like that. She still isn't. As a 28 year old, she's shy, she struggles with her speech and she knows people have a hard time understanding her. But once she gets to know you, she can be a goofball.

 Beth is a daughter, granddaughter, sister, niece and cousin


 She's a sister-in-law...

And an Aunt

Beth usually doesn't like to be the center of attention


 She loves to play board games
Uno, Mexican Train, Scrabble...


And she's really good at them too!

She doesn't always like to have her picture taken

But most of the time Beth just likes to have fun. 
She doesn't judge.
She's content with her life.
She's fearfully and wonderfully made.
And God has a plan for her life.

This is Beth




Sunday, March 17, 2013

Slow and Methodical vs Fast and Energetic

I took Beth and Allison shopping a couple weeks ago. Beth is slow and methodical. Allison is not. I was exhausted by the time we got home but we certainly had fun!

 Allison likes to put her fingers into the fountain

 We had to go into the Disney store!




We took Allie to the little play area at the mall
She had a lot of energy to burn!

There is a 'pad' just outside the play area that has different screens
This one begins as all snow and when you jump around on it, it turns into Spring

 On this one, the flowers follow you wherever you step

The screens change automatically every few seconds
This one is her favorite!
The colored squares bounce as she runs around on them!

 Back in the play area
Where does she get this expression from?

Oh yea...

Friday, March 15, 2013

I Love It When A Plan Comes Together!

I gave Diana a big hug as we reached the security line. First the carry-on bag, then the sweater and shoes. I kept watching her. She kept smiling. This is so easy for her, I thought. How does she do it every time? Through the metal detector. Cleared. Sweater back on. Now shoes. She's still smiling! And now she waves. She always waves! I turned, grabbed my bag out of the bin, looked at my boarding pass and nervously headed to the gate.

Yep, this time it was MY turn to get on the plane! I was so glad Diana was willing to come with me into the airport. She's done this so often and kept explaining to me what I needed to do to get through security.

I didn't write before my trip because I didn't want my sister to possibly read the post. I flew to San Diego to surprise Kathy for her 60th birthday! My other sister Deb and I have been planning this for a couple months at least. I can't tell you how many texts and emails we've sent.

I flew out Tuesday morning; Deb picked me up from the airport.We went to the condo (time share) to decorate and drop off luggage. We then headed to the restaurant to wait. I was SO nervous I could barely sit still! We were so afraid that she'd find out somehow. Her husband had been in touch with Deb (they all live in San Diego, I'm in WA State) and had done his best to pack a suitcase for Kathy.

It went off without a hitch!! She was completely surprised! Kathy asked me how long I was in town and where I was staying. I didn't exactly lie to her. After dinner as we're walking to our cars, Deb and I linked arms with her and told her, "The surprise isn't over yet."

Ken pulled out her suitcases, we got into the car and as we hit the exit off the freeway, she yelled, "Are we staying at the condo?!?"

One day, two nights, three sisters. We laughed so hard. Played cards, cried together, watched movies. It was an amazing week.

Flying into San Diego
The Coronado Bay Bridge

 Balboa Park

 Me, our dad and Debbie waiting at the restaurant

 The moment of surprise. I was SO nervous!!


 At the condo

 On the balcony

 We walked around Belmont park at Mission Beach
Our family comes here every time we're in San Diego
My sisters live there and hadn't been there since they were little!

 It was so much fun!!

Sunday, March 10, 2013


I'm sorry. I know this blog has been completely neglected lately. Things have been, well, unusually busy. For us anyway. We're typically not your average busy family with therapy appointments and school plays and soccer practice and IEP meetings... but lately it seems life is just dumping on us. Not necessarily all bad just... full.

We had a change of plans this week due to our son-in-law ending up in the ER. He's back home and doing okay. Not out of the woods yet though.

Our church hosted and we volunteered at a pastors conference on Thursday and Friday where Anne Graham Lotz (Billy Graham's daughter) spoke about the need to wake up the church. Thursday we had over 3000 people attend, a lot more than we were expecting! A good problem to have but we were exhausted by the end of the night. We had to be back very early the next morning and when you factor in the 45 minute drive each way, it didn't leave much time for sleep! A lot of pastors re-dedicated their lives to the work of Christ and many of them spent quite a while in the altar, praying and seeking the Lord. It was truly an amazing two days that changed the lives and hearts of many. God is so good.

The good news: our Sunday school class is going well.
The bad news: our Sunday school class is going well.

We often have 6-8 kids in class each week and as thankful as I am to serve these families, we've been doing it now for more than 3 years without a break. It's getting to the point where I barely pick up my feet when we leave. I'm so, so tired and basically drag myself out to the car. Even today, I'm embarrassed to admit this but I thought I smelled smoke during the first service and my thought was, 'Maybe if we hear the fire alarm, we won't have to teach Sunday school!' Yea, not good. I definitely need a break. There are two other teachers who have stepped forward to volunteer and I'M SO GRATEFUL!! They've been helping in the class for the last few weeks, getting to the know kids and the routine.

This week is just beginning and it's going to be busy as well. I'll really try to post more next week.

I know, I think I said that last week...

Monday, March 4, 2013

One of the Joys of Parenting

Beth has been asking me (for a while now) to call the doctor about her pinky toe. She keeps saying it hurts. So I finally made the appointment for today. It went something like this:

Dr: Does it hurt when I touch here?
Beth: No.
Dr: How about here?
Beth: No.
Dr: Hmm. How about if I squeeze right here?
Beth: No.
Dr: It could be an ingrown toenail. But that would be very painful. It could be 'this' or 'that'. We could have her go down for an xray and rule out 'this' and 'that'. Beth, when did it first start hurting?
Beth: When we were on vacation.
Dr: And when were you on vacation?
Beth: (Stares at floor.)
Me: September.
Beth: When I wore my crocks.
Me: That's right. She complained of her toe hurting then.
Dr: Has it been hurting since then?
Beth: No.
Me: (What?!??!?)
Dr: (Big smile on her face) I won't schedule any tests right now. Mom, why don't you keep an eye on it and call me if it starts hurting again. (Tries to keep from laughing.)

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Thyroid Update

We're back. The week of prayer and fasting is over. It was harder than I expected but the Lord revealed a bit of Himself to me. It truly was a blessed week.

On Monday Beth had a doctor's appointment with her endocrinologist and it went well. Although, as we're driving on the freeway I sort of yelled out, "I forgot the camera!"

Beth responded with, "Of course." She knows me well. :)

It was a short visit because as of right now, her thyroid levels are normal. He said that a few patients that have the radio-iodine treatment 'get lucky' and their thyroid continues to release a small amount of hormones. This usually results in a normal functioning thyroid for the rest of their lives.

We've been to a local clinic a couple of times to have her blood drawn and those results showed a spike in her thyroid levels right after she had the treatment. He said the thyroid sort of shoots out all the remaining hormones just before it dies and would explain her 10 lb weight loss. As her thyroid levels began to drop and reach normal, her weight will stabilize. Which it has. Unfortunately, as the levels drop below normal, she could begin to gain weight again.

We're working very hard to keep that from happening.

She'll have to go back to the clinic in 1, 3 & 5 months for more blood draws, then we meet with the doctor again. The hope is that her thyroid, even though it's 'dead' will still be releasing enough hormones so she won't have to take medication.

If it isn't, she'll have to go on medication, then we play the adjustment game of how much is too much and is this causing side effects... I know many of you have been there and it's not a game I'm looking forward to.

As far as her weight, she's trying to eat better and exercise more. She gained back some of the weight she initially lost but hasn't gained any in the last 2 weeks. It's always been such a battle in our family. We can gain weight just by looking at food from across the room.

This afternoon Chuck and I were sitting at the kitchen table discussing this week's menu and filling out the grocery list. Beth came upstairs and began to fix her lunch. She really made some great choices and I just had to take a picture!