Friday, September 26, 2008

Quick update

So, I took Jo to the doc again today. This was the 9th day of her running a temp of over 100. She doesn't all the time, but it keeps coming back and I was starting to get concerned.

Guess what? She has an ear infection. A $&%*$&! ear infection. If you recall, she just had her ear tubes removed in May. Now we're on antibiotics and hopefully that will clear up the ear and take care of the fever. If the fever persists we'll be back at the doc next week. Still, I am just bent that her ears are acting up again! Poor girl.

Marie is still doing fantastic! She got to spend some one on one time with one of our favorite people today while I took Jo to the clinic. It made me so happy to hear that she talked with Andrea and was so interactive. I can just feel God in this...

Anyway, that's where we are. Mama still needs a cocktail... We did start picking up millet today though! We're getting there!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What we've been up to...

Let's see... no more seizure meds (have I mentioned that? I am thrilled!). Josie is still battling the fever, last night it was 101.6 at bedtime... today is going on the 8th day. All her tests came back negative and white cells are down so it's just sort of wait and see... she's acting better today. She even got sassy with me this morning.

Marie is fantastic, she's so busy, and started chewing on her paci again in the last few weeks. Also, yesterday she was chewing on my finger and the little stinker cut a molar! On the left bottom side it just broke skin. No wonder she's been a little fussy the last few days! I have been looking for eye teeth to come through, definitely not a molar. I suppose that Marie just likes to do things her own way silly girl!

Today is our anniversary. We were married by law January 14, 2004, right before Josie was born, but today is the day we had our wedding in church, September 25, 2004. Not at all confusing right? Would you believe that Luke has never forgotten either anniversary, but last year I forgot this one. Oops! He won't let me live it down!

In so few years we have come such a long way, I am so blessed to have him by my side. Things were not easy when we started, young, in college with new baby. When we came back to farm it was during some rough years, and in the last year especially we've come through a lot together. I don't think I'd make it without him.

So, I changed my song just for you. The whole moon and the stars.

Now, what we've been up to, in no particular order!

Chocolate pudding happened... do you think she enjoyed it?

Telling Daddy all about it...

Josie is so pretty, her hair is getting darker all the time.

This is what soccer girls wear before their game. Notice the ponytails complete with ribbons?

She's the green shirt furthest left, once again, look for those pony tails!

Pedicures always make us feel better!

Marie too!

Lovin' on the Bunny Man!

Marie and her Monkey. In the last week this has become one of her favorites, the funny part is, that monkey is nearly as big as she is!

Marie + Monkey= Friends 4 ever!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Doing better (fingers crossed!)

I took Josie for her re-check yesterday, and her white blood cells are lower! That means she's getting better:) Praise God!

We still need to lay low for another day or so I think, but last night she didn't seem to have a fever anymore and today she ate scrambled egg and grapes for breakfast. She has had very little appetite.

I'm hoping we've rounded the bend!

Luke is still in the field, 6 quarters to go, three of which still have millet on them so he'll be busy another week is my guess. Both girls are missing him a little bit. On a normal day he's gone by 6 not home till 8, and when he walks in the door you'd think a rock star just entered the building!

So far Rie is doing great, she's not showing any signs of a bug, and tomorrow will be her very last day on seizure medicine! We are nearly done weaning off that stuff and I could just dance! She is so much more alert, present, talking, just fun! I love spending my days with her.

So, that's where we're at:)

Can you believe its fall already??!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Mitochondrial Disease Awareness Week - September 21-27, 2008

Mitochondrial Disease affects 1 in every 4000 people. Mitochondria are tiny “engines” that live inside our cells and they are responsible for converting food and oxygen into energy. When the mitochondria aren’t working properly the cells don’t get enough energy to live, and they begin to die. Many parts of the body can be affected by deficient Mitochondria including the liver, kidneys, eyes, digestive system, brain, and the heart. Mitochondrial disease is not a simple disease, it can affect any organ, it is progressive, and to date has no cure, but with awareness comes power, and a cure.

For more information please go to MitoAction. Also, please copy and forward this to everyone you know. Our lives have been forever changed by Mitochondrial Disease, and more families struggle to understand the diagnosis everyday, part of the battle is that so many have never even heard of Mitochondrial Disease. Please join me in raising some awareness!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Where to begin?

Yesterday was a long day! Josie is home and doing alright now, but yesterday afternoon was a trip! She woke up from a nap around three and I checked her temp, 103.7. I gave Tylenol and Motrin and waited a half hour, 104.7! The highest fever she has ever had. So, I bundled her up and took her back to the hospital.

Long story short, they did every diagnostic test they could. She was still complaining that her tummy hurt so I think they thought appendicitis but her appendix is fine. In short, they cannot find a reason for the high white blood cell counts and fever. Her fever did break about 6 and they sent us home to watch her closely.

Today she's doing alright, fever of 100.9 at one point but nothing major and it's cooling off with Tylenol and Motrin. I think I'll keep her home from pre-school tomorrow no mater how good she acts like she feels.

The doc thinks maybe her body is just reacting really strongly to a common bug, I'm wondering if because we've been so good about being careful about being sick because of Marie, Josie just got slammed and didn't have the defenses to beat if off and her body over-reacted?

Who knows.

Long story short, Mama needs a cocktail. You can bet as soon as Luke gets that wheat in the ground I will be taking a break! Running between kids is tiring, and my mother in law had to go so I'm on my own again. Actually, it's not that bad, if they both are sleeping ;)

Thanks for the prayers, so far Marie's doing okay. Her temp when I checked earlier was 99.8 but that's actually about normal for her (possible temp regulation issues due to the Leigh's).

I have to take Jo back for a recheck tomorrow afternoon, so hopefully it's all good news (and her white count is lower)!

Saturday, September 20, 2008


Josie is feeling better today. Despite throwing up overnight she got up and asked for a waffle, and then she ate it :)

Luke's Mom is here helping with Marie, and I took Josie to the hospital at 10 for the recheck with the doctor. They did another blood draw and her white blood cell count is still really high. However, she has no temp, no more tummy aches, and is active and alert. He ordered two more blood draws and I asked what they're looking for. One of the nurses told me that they're culturing for bacteria in her blood, they'll have those results on Tuesday for us when I bring Jo back for yet another recheck. The doctor is concerned by the high white blood cell count so they're sort of just covering all their bases, making sure there's nothing to worry about, especially since we are so rural.

So for now, if we see Josie do anything that raises a question we bring her back in to the doc, otherwise we just watch her and bring her back for a recheck Tuesday. The thought is that her body just over-reacted to an infection and that's all this is. Once again, just being careful.

Josie doens't like blood draws. This morning was awesome considering there was a total of three done.

So far, Marie is doing just fine, she's napping right now (woohooo!). So, I've got to get some things done.

Thanks for all the prayers,

Friday, September 19, 2008

What the?!

So, yesterday I was thinking life was in control. The girls were rebounding well from their colds, and then... Josie complained that her tummy was hurting. Then I noticed Josie had a fever, then I decided to keep Josie home from preschool. All day she complained about her tummy, had a fever and didn't want to eat.

Last night she woke up around 1:30 still complaining about her stomach, and still with a fever. This morning she was nearly in tears about it so I took her to the clinic. Marie stayed home with a good friend. At the clinic Josie started throwing up, quite the feat considering she hadn't eaten all day. Her fever was at 101 and her heart rate and breathing were rapid/elevated. The doc sent us for chest x rays and blood work (just guess how much fun that was, really. My girl, she can scream). Apparently her lungs are okay, but her white cell count is really high indicating there's some sort of infection going on.

So.... I have to keep Marie and Josie in separate rooms away from each other. If I touch Josie I have to wash my hands before I can touch Marie. Josie is all set up in her bedroom with the portable DVD player and movies, I moved Marie's diaper stuff into Luke and I's room (she sleeps with us anyway). Until Josie's fever breaks and she's doing better I have to keep them separated. Sigh, there is no rest for the wicked.

To top it off, the cherry on my ice cream sunday of crappy luck, if Josie starts having trouble breathing or spikes a fever around 104 I have to bring her into the ER immediately. The doc mentioned pneumonia, but her lungs are okay, so he's a little confused. I also have to take her in tomorrow for blood work to see if her white cell count is still the same.

Luke is in the field, and will be, needs to be to get the wheat in and the millet out, so I'll be figuring this one out on my own... To add even more fun to the pile, Marie is refusing to nap again today, this is the third day in a row. Arg!

I checked Marie's temp when I gave her noon meds and she's got a low grade fever, around 99 or so. Hopefully tylenol kicks it and she is not getting whatever it is that Josie has. Please pray that Marie stays healthy.

I am so over cold and flu season, and it hasn't even really started yet.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Prayers for Matt

Please pray for little Matt. He's a friend we've made and is diagnosed with Mitochondrial Disease. He is currently in the PICU battling aspiration pneumonia (our biggest fear). His family is amazing, and his mother is so upbeat and a wonderful advocate for her son.

Click here to visit Matt's Caring Bridge Site.

Much love-

Sowing Wheat

I don't have any pictures of us sowing wheat. I have photos of harvests, planting millet, sunsets, tractors, rainbows, but none of us sowing wheat. Maybe this year will be the year I get some... I think I'll wait until they're closer to the farm before I do that. I think the above picture is the field Luke is on today.

Luke started on I think the 5th quarter this morning (don't quote me on that I'm probably wrong), this is 3 days in. They'll be sowing for another week at least. It's crazy to think those tiny berries planted into the ground will sprout quickly, spend the winter under snow and wind, and in the spring we'll have fields of emerald green again.

It amazes me to think of that one seed will produce a plant that will produce so many more seeds, and together they fill semi's and giant grain elevators. The trains take it east and there's enough to feed a country with surplus...

It's long hours, hard work, dusty, hot, cold, worry about weather and storms, but in the end there's something to be terribly proud of. I have watched them work so hard, putting themselves into the crop they grow, and at the end of the day I have to say, I'm fiercely proud that I married a farmer.

Luke 8:8 NIV
Still other seed fell on good soil. It came up and yielded a crop, a hundred times more than was sown." When he said this, he called out, "He who has ears to hear, let him hear."

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

There were moments in the last week that I literally knew God was beside us. In the middle of the night an anxious prayer "God please, put Your hands on her, help her get some rest" was answered by a child going to sleep in moments peacefully (and without nursing!). The ability to say, "Lord, it's in Your hands" and sit back and be awash in peace instantly, these things are so incredibly comforting as we struggled through some of the roughest times in recent months.

But, she is better! Occasionally stuffy, but no cough, bright eyes. Talking more than we've heard in months. We're nearly off the seizure meds now and seeing such a difference in Marie. THANK GOD! He is as work here, if I can be good, and BE STILL, I can feel him. I can see His work. Marie is doing so well again, acting much like any other child. To see her alert, to grin when she does something she knows she shouldn't, to have a "conversation" with her again, there was a time when I honestly never thought these were things she'd be doing. Her smiles are just enormous right now, and I'm eating them up!

If you get a chance visit my friend Mindy's blog, One Day At A Time. Both of her children were very sick, both diagnosed with Mitochondrial Disease. In recent months they have both turned around. She firmly believes a miracle happened, and I think she's right.

While our miracle may not be on so grand a scale, Marie pulled through this cold without slowing down. She's smiling and doing so much better than she was in the spring, she's still sick, still fragile, but, she's doing so well. We're pretty grateful.

Josie, as always, is fantastic. She told me the other day, "Do you know that God lives next door to Cinderella?" Really. "Yes, He and Jesus live right next door to Cinderella's blue house. They live in a white house." How do you know that? "Because I've been there."

Children are totally amazing.

Thank you all for your prayers, and kind wonderful words.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Better today

Last night Marie slept pretty well, and this morning she's much less stuffy. Hopefully we're kicking this. Everyone seems to be doing a little better today even though we're still tired.

Marie is playing on the floor with Josie right now, and she ate all of her applesauce this morning. She seems to be more alert and less grumpy, a good indication I think that she's not feeling so crummy.

Thanks for all your words of support and prayers, I was a little gloomy yesterday when I posted, but today things are definitely looking up!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Good words for today.

Daily Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries
By Pastor Ken Klaus, Speaker of The Lutheran Hour®

Click here to listen to an audio version of today's devotion.

"He Is There"

September 14, 2008

...I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:20b

He that goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing. There never was a good war or a bad peace. Never leave that till to-morrow which you can do to-day. Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.

All of those are expressions made famous by Ben Franklin. Thankfully, the ability to express truth in a simple way did not die with the patriot-printer.

Recently, I heard such a statement. It reads this way: "Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down."

Now, I don't want you to think I ride in a limousine. I don't.

But I still understand what the expression is trying to say. Fair-weather friends surround all of us. When we have money, or are going to a party, or doing something exciting, they're there.
But if we need help, or are sick, they disappear.

Jesus, our Savior, is not that way. No matter what situation or circumstance we find ourselves, He is there. He Who gave His life on the cross so we might be given heaven, has shown us what it means to remain faithful.

When He said, "I am with you always, to the end of the age", He meant it. In good times and bad, happy times and sad, He will be there.

His is an example for us. Like the Lord, Christians need to be friends to those who have no friends; we need to help those who are helpless.

In the limo, on the bus, or walking with shoes that have holes, we have been given the opportunity to reflect the Savior's love and be friends to someone.

From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"

THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, thank You for being an "any-weather" friend! I am comforted by the knowledge that You are there for me in any situation. Help me to be more like You in my friendships, so that others may know Your love. In Your Name. Amen.

In Christ I remain His servant and yours,

Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker of The Lutheran Hour
Lutheran Hour Ministries

Bad night.

I updated the Caring Bridge with last nights details, in short, it was long and crappy. Marie woke coughing at 12:30, and was struggling. She'd choke, gag, retch and had a hard time getting a breath in between. We called hospice who got the doc on call to call us, and we were reassured we were doing the right thing (keeping her upright etc.).

She was up from 12:30 to about 4, then woke again at 4:30. Luke took her then and I know at 7 she was sleeping in our bed. Hopefully I can get her to take a good nap today, and we can keep the coughing under control. At this point it's not chest congestion, just that nasal drip tickle. I know hospice will check in with us sometime today, and Dr B one of my favorite docs is on call.

Thanks for the continued prayers, you're all wonderful!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

More of the same...

Marie is doing about the same today, happy and smiling but with lots of congestion. She napped well, from 2-4:30 or so but woke up and had to cough a lot. It's hard to listen to because she coughs a few times and then just starts choking.

To some it might seem like we're over-reacting, after all, it's just a cold. Unfortunately, there are so many children with mitochondrial disease who have lost their battle all due to a cold. Because Marie is so weak and cannot cough to bring anything up she would need to be suctioned (very unpleasant, and it would become something that would have to be done all the time) or her lungs will "fill up" with fluid (pneumonia like) and, well, you know what the outcome could be.

So, her having to cough at all is hard. But, like I said, we're holding steady. Still doing benedryl, and we did have a BM last night! Thanks again for all the prayers, we are blessed!

In other news, Josie had a great time at her first game! When she got home we hurried to change clothes and then she was off to a Hannah Montana birthday party. Don't worry, I took pictures, they rock ;)

Friday, September 12, 2008


Marie's doing alright. Her lungs were good yesterday when we checked them, and she slept better last night than she has all week (yay!). I'm tentative about saying this, but I think we're on the rebound.

She's still really congested, so we're still on benedryl, and she's have a hard time with BM's but otherwise I see improvement.

We're still going to lay low, it's cold and rainy out today anyway.

I'm really grateful to my wonderful friend Christy, she's going to take Josie to her soccer game tomorrow (her son Aidyn is on the team too). That's a worry lifted.

Thanks for all your continued prayers!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I spoke too soon...

The coughing started last night, I don't know if it was drainage or what but you can hear it in Marie's lungs, she's all rattly. I'm going to try to get our hospice nurse out today, and hopefully some rest. I was up a lot listening to her breath, and I don't think she slept all that well either.

Josie also has a bit of a cough, but for the most part she's over this bug. Thank you God. I don't know what I'd do with myself if I had both kids sick right now. I have a slight feeling of a cold but so far it's not getting any worse... I was praying hard last night.

Marie tries to cough, and she can get one or two good ones out but it doesn't' seem to be enough to bring anything up if she needed to... Please keep praying!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

She's feeling a little better...

Rie Rie's color is better, and there's a bit of a smile there. She was also working really hard to get those fingers in her mouth!

Josie, as always, is just fantastic!

We even made it out back to soak up a little sun this morning, what a big girl she is getting to be!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008


Please pray for Abigail and her family. They just got word today that Ab's is a good candidate for brain surgery to try to control her epilepsy and that's a tough road for her family to walk.

Also, please pray for Marie. Last night she had a rough night and today she woke up with a head cold. Right now it's just lots of congestion, but we're scared that it could make it's way into her chest and that could be very, very scary. Marie isn't strong enough to cough, and, because she's weak every illness hits her harder than it would a healthy person. Our doctor told me that this virus going around results in a nasty cough, so please join us in praying that that isn't what Marie's got, and that this passes quickly without her getting very sick, or regressing.

Much love-


Josie, nearly two weeks, 2004.

Marie, two days old, 2007.

One of my favorite pictures.

I did not
have to ask my heart what it wanted,
because of all the desires I have ever known just one did I cling to
for it was the essence of
all desire:

to hold beauty in
my soul's

~St. John of the Cross

Thursday, September 04, 2008


They will start swathing millet today. It's going to be a busy couple days for us, and as always there's lots going on just when we're busy with the farm. It should only take the guys about three days to swath, then a few to dry, then they'll start picking it up. Hopefully by the end of next week it will all be done.

This is the time last year that we really noticed things were going on with Marie. I remember millet harvest, it was a little earlier by a few weeks last year, and it was hot. I was walking down a field road after bringing dinner out to the field. Josie was in the tractor with Daddy, Marie was in the sling with me and the flies were biting my ankles. I was walking down the road, watching the sky, the wind, the rocks on the gravel, the weeds in the ditch, in my dirty tennis shoes. I was worried about my baby. Something was going on, and while I had no idea what I knew it wasn't good.

Here we are one year later, what a place we find ourselves in now. I look back at myself and I think you silly, naive girl. I had no idea. Still, I can't complain. Marie's here, and despite how she is (I can't even say what she's lost), I'll say how she's changed; I still feel blessed. I look at her and I'm so grateful that God let me have her, even if it's only for just a little while.

So, one year later. I wonder if millet harvest will always make me think of this?

At any rate, I'm grateful for now. Rierie is doing as well as she can be, Josie started pre-K yesterday and loved it! Soccer is going and she's excited to be playing, and you can feel fall in the air. I am looking forward to, and dreading this change of the season.

Marie cut two teeth this week, and I hope we get a break for awhile. She's choking more lately, I hope that's just something minor, not a progression. It's so hard to tell. There's her disease, but then there's all the little things babies do. It's hard to seperate them sometimes.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008


At the fair, it was cold and rainy but empty so it was perfect for us!

Marie's first cotton candy, she loved it!
Josie loved the motorcycles!

Looking at implements with Dad...

Whoa! Josie did not like this, we was glad to get to the bottom!

Cool enough to wear the sling again! Hooray:) (Michaelene, it's a peanut shell)

Patience Tester (too true!)

Just because Marie is not vocal doesn't mean she can't get her point across!

Marie's first pedicure! And Josie modeling the nail polish Paige got her, thanks guys!

As always, thrilled with themselves...

The tent... Marie pulling Josie's hair. Proof that she is not quite as sweet and innocent as she would have you believe!

Chillin'. In case you're trying to read it the onesie says "B is for Bob". Marley that is:) It's one of my favorite onesies!