Tuesday, November 13, 2012

"Hey mom, can I show you something?"

That's how a conversation started tonight with my daughter, Shelby.  Everyone else had left the dinner table and it was just us.  She put her hand on my shoulder and said "I want to show you something".  As she went to get the computer, I sat, happily, waiting.  See Shelby is a teenager and to say that we don't always see "eye to eye" these days is an understatement.  We seem to have a lot more confrontational moments.  It's not how I like or would prefer it to be, but it is how things are.  Raising a teenager, for me, has been very emotionally draining for me.  So, when she wants me attention, I give it to her fully and say a prayer of Thanks that she still wants to share with me.

On this night she wanted to show me some YouTube videos.  She is doing speech this year and has been looking up spoken word poetry.  She showed me several videos.  Videos I knew she liked.  To be honest, I liked them too.  I can completely see Shelby doing spoken word.  She is an amazing speaker and can present herself to an audience very well.  She never lacks for words.  The last video she showed me brought me to tears.  It gives me hope and comfort to carry on.  I'm thankful for the moments that happened tonight. 

I'm so thankful for the family God has given me.  Even when it is hard to carry on and not give up..because, BELIEVE ME..there are days that giving up seems to be so much easier.. God gives me moments like I had tonight with Shelby.  Just what I needed.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Do your kids repeat you?

I was outside this morning with the dogs and I heard a bird giving a call out.  Shortly after I heard another bird repeat what the first bird did.  It made me think of the Mockingjay in the book The Hunger Games.  But then it made me think of my kids.

I thought "do my kids repeat what I say?" Do I want them to repeat what I say? Am I setting a good example for them? As I pondered this, I began to realize that, I DO want them to learn from me.  I understand that there are outside influences in their lives.  To be honest, I try to influence and direct those influences when I can.  Some instances I can (youth group) and some instances I can't (school).  But ultimately their foundation is set at home.  I (and my husband) have the responsibility to be do-ers.  I desire they repeat what I do considerably more than what I desire they repeat what they see at school. 

My kids are going to repeat and learn from someone.  I want that someone to be their dad and me.

I'm thankful for this reminder this morning.  I know God was reminding me of this when I took the time to listen.  Listen to the birds and also listen to God.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Update on my niece, Trinity

My sister, her husband, and Trinity are back in the states! They made the trip last weekend along with a full crew of about 10 people to help take care of Trinity on the way over. 

The first leg of the trip was from Japan to Hawaii and took about 9 hours.  Trinity had a rough trip.  They had to sedate her and had tubes in so many places.  One was down her throat and was painful for her.  The noise from the aircraft disrupted her.  She kept coming out of the sedation and trying to take the tubes out.  Her blood pressure was way out of control.  They ended up paralyzing her for her safety and comfort.  Once they got to Hawaii they were able to get her under control.

The second leg was 10 hours from Hawaii to Philadelphia and it went much better for Trinity.  Her oxygen levels were much better.  Once they got to Philly, they took an ambulance to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia.

My sister and her husband were with Trinity for the whole travel.  They sat in jump seats for the whole 19 hour trip.  Not the most comfortable way to travel, but it didn't matter because they were with their baby.

Once Trinity got to Philadelphia she went through a barrage of tests.  The Dr.s found numerous things.  Along with the narrowed artery to her heart, she has a hole in her heart.  The tube from her bladder to kidney is narrow.  Her spinal cord is tethered to her muscles.  She has a narrowing esophagus.  2 days ago she had a colostomy bag put in.  While she was under for the surgery for that, they did a scope to look at everything.  They weren't able to get all of the answers they wanted so they will have to do another scope.  Because of the surgery, she has been limited in eating which means they've kept her sedated a lot. 

As you can imagine, this is extremely hard for Sirrena and Shawn.  They stand by and watch their little girl go through all of this.  It's hard.  They could use prayer for so much.  Prayers for Trinity.  Prayers for them to be able to stay strong and united as a team.

We are so appreciative of all of the support.  Your prayers and thoughts mean a lot to all of us.

Monday, October 1, 2012

I am a new Aunt. Meet Trinity Jewel Airis

This is my new niece, Trinity Jewel Airis
My sister and her husband (who are stationed in Japan with the US Air Force) just blessed all of us with a wonderful new addition.  She is a very tiny little girl.  Weighing in at a whopping 5lbs 8ozs and 17 inches long. 
Though she is tiny, she is a fighter.  Trinity was born with some health issues.  She has a heart mummer and a vein to her heart is a little more narrow than it should be.  Because of these things she will need heart surgery.  They are waiting until she is at least 11lbs for that. 
And that's not all..
Her colon and urethra grew together causing problems with her female parts.  Within an hour of her being born, she was transported to a hospital in Tokyo. She is the first baby for her mommy and daddy.  My sister got to hold her before they transported her.  They have been driving daily to see Trinity.  They have been able to feed her and bath her.  My sister has even been able to nurse her some.  That has meant a lot to her.
The Dr.'s in Japan feel it is best if Trinity gets her care in the States so they are in the process of coming back home.  Trinity is going to need many specialists and care for many years. We don't know where they will be going yet.  Hopefully that will be decided soon. 
  My sister and her husband are very strong people and I admire their courage and care during this time.  With that being said, it is still very hard for them.  I will be happy when they are back in the States and we, their family, can come alongside them.  Until then, I have been praying.  Praying for Trinity to stay strong.  Praying for Sirrena and Shawn to stay strong.  Praying for the dr.'s and nurses and everyone involved in Trinity's care to seek their wisdom from Jesus in how they treat her.  Praying for the trip back to the States (Trinity will be flying with a full set of Dr.s and nurses). Praying for this little girl to make a difference in the lives that she encounters.  I also pray that this situation will bring everyone closer to God, not away from Him. 
I am going to lean into God.  My faith has prepared me for a time such as this.  I don't know why this has happened.  I don't even like that this has happened to Trinity and Sirrena and Shawn.  I do know that God has a reason and it's bigger than I can understand.  
Will you join me in praying for Trinity? I know her parents will appreciate it greatly. 


Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy 18th Anniversary to us!

September 17, 1994 was the day that I became Mrs. Tim Hartzell.  We celebrated our anniversary last weekend with a trip to a Bed and Breakfast..a first for us. We had an amazing time.  I love my man and am happy to be sharing life with him.  We really are opposites, but through the years we've learned how to make our differences work together to mesh us into a good team.  It hasn't been easy, but it definitely has been worth it.

The Kingsley House..the Bed & Breakfast we stayed at.

We stayed in a room in the circle part of the house.

Our quaint and cozy room.

Just so ya know..we never turned the T.V. on!

beautiful flower garden

was so relaxing just to sit in the swing and take everything in.

the front porch

I refer to these steps as the "Stairway to Heaven" because after you climb them you are most certainly that much closer to Heaven.  I counted them as we went up..there were 303 (!!!) of them! We thought that once we got to the top we could see the sun set over Lake Michigan.  We were wrong.  We had to then go through an incredibly looooong path full of sand and hills to get to the beach.

by the time we got to the beach, this is what was left of the sunset.  The only way back to our car was to retrace our steps.  We had to go quickly because there wasn't much light left.  We were EXHAUSTED by the time we reached our truck.  What a memory this is!  Pretty sure we'll make reference to this excursion a lot :)

Another first for us was a visit to a winery.  We tasted 5 different wines.  Some of them tasted good with the first sip, but by the last sip I was ready to gag!

Notice our matching colored shirts? Totally not planned, but totally meant to be!

I love my husband and am so thankful for how he loves on me and for the daddy he is to our kids.  I honestly cannot wait for the next 18 years with him.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Rori's 3 year old interview

I want to assure you that she knew the answers to all of these questions before we turned the camera on.

We love you, Rori!!!!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Don't Try This at Home Kids

Let's just say we did something this summer that we don't get to do everyday...  I apologize in advance for yelling in everyone's ear.