Thursday, September 30, 2010

15 months

Levi gets more funny every day!  His little personality is really coming out, and he is turning out to be a feisty one!

Still not walking but standing on his own very proudly.  He likes to stand and push a giant ball back and forth with us; Gigai (my mom) taught him this one.  This motivates him to stay standing more than anything.

 He loves balls!  In fact, it's one of the few words he says over and over all day long.  He points to balls, he smiles at them and crawls very fast to get one.  In the store today he giggled and giggled as I tossed him a soft football and he threw it back to me.  He thinks this is the best game ever!

His other favorite thing is eating.  Man, can he put some food away!  He's only 20 lbs and already eats as much as Josiah.

Some of his signs include:  more, up, bed time, ball and milk.  I think he understands many, many more but  just refuses to use them.  Could it possibly be a stubborn streak?  :) 

He says: momma, daddy, Abby and ball.  I'm sure he is saying more than this, but it's unrecognizable at this point... and very cute indeed.

His hair is getting longer and more curly in the back... especially when he smears food in it.  We've started putting shoes on him for the first time in his short life and he's not sure what to think of this.  At first he cried and started shaking his feet, then he stood up and seemed proud of himself.  He looks so adorable in shoes!  We don't make him wear them very often, but I suppose now that the weather is getting cooler he will be learning to like them.

Such a sweet little doll.  He still loves to cuddle!!  

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Last week, Patty and I had a picnic at our farm
Fresh Market treats, (this cost more than dinner!) ps.  Thanks Bill for the knife

I have found a good thing!

Dear Patty,
I appreciate you.  Your compassion for children, tenderness with Abby and roughhousing with the boys are all traits that make you a mommy/wife of great worth.  Thanks for believing in and "helping" me through our journey of following Christ, marriage, parenting, and chasing dreams.  You are my dearest friend and favorite person to be with.  May the Lord bless you and fill you with Himself today.

your husband

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A new chair and a race

Abby's new wheel chair arrived on her birthday!  We were so thrilled.  She looks great in it and will be able to grow 4 times her current weight and still fit.  The frame is hot pink and her name is embroidered on the seat in the same color.  She is fully supported and able to sit properly for maximum use of her hands.

Children with CP need firm support so they feel safe and secure enough to reach out and use their hands to explore their environment.  If they feel insecure and begin using all of their energy to maintain a sitting position, they have nothing left to control their hands.   Add vision and hearing impairment to the mix and the need to feel secure is even more critical.  In Abby's case, she really struggles to maintain head control as well, so she needs the upper body support to keep her head up and for use of her hands.  The chair comes with a tray which I love!  It helps keep her hands close to midline and we can put toys for her to feel while she is sitting for long periods of time.

The only bummer... an extra 40 lbs!  The chair is fairly heavy and awkward to lift, I am not able to do it easily.  Getting the chair into our van has become a major challenge.  But my savvy and intelligent husband has solved the problem and is (as I type) working to install a mechanical lift in the rear of our minivan.  The lift will (hopefully) grab the chair and do all the work of hoisting it into the air... all I have to do is guide it into place.  This solution should work for several more years, until we either need a better one due to Abby's growing size, or until we get a different vehicle.

A few weekends ago Patrick took part in a triathlon (Frantic Frog) with some friends.  It's become a yearly tradition to raise funds and awareness for adoption.  Lots of folks from church came out to race or cheer, all wearing the "I love adoption" t-shirts made for this years' event.

He was on a team of three, and did the swimming part! (one ran and one biked)  He did great and came in 14th out of over 600 people.  Whoo hoo!  His team ranked 3rd in the mixed relay group.  We were all very proud of Daddy!

Josiah is ready to race now.  He wants us to draw numbers on him almost daily to prepare for his 'race'... just like Dad.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Abby turns 7!

Untitled from patty hull on Vimeo.

Dear Abby,

You are 7 years old today!  Looking through all of the pictures of this last year reminded us what a full and heavy one it's been for you.

When you turned 6 last year you were just starting to get used to a new brother!  A new school and therapy schedule kept you very busy during the week, but your teachers have all grown to love your sweet spirit.  

As your mom and dad, we are always looking for ways to help you learn and to become more independent.  So we took you all the way to Boston to meet some new teachers who spent time with you and helped us understand your special learning needs better.  They came to love you too, of course!  You seemed to enjoy being in the preschool class with a personal teacher while she signed the songs with your little hands.  You looked like such a big girl!

We made some fun memories with family too!  You've really grown to love the water.  First in Florida and then this summer at the pool.  We all love watching you in your new neck ring, floating and completely on your own.  It's neat to see you upright in the water and you seem to enjoy this too.

Your brothers have gotten to know you better this year.  Josiah talks to you sometimes and introduces you to strangers in public.  We can tell he is proud of you!  Occasionally he asks us questions about why some things are difficult for you.  He is becoming a compassionate and sensitive boy because he loves you.

Levi smiles when he sees you in the morning.  He likes to try to crawl into your lap when you are in your bumbo seat.  Your hearing aids are always interesting to him and so is your feeding tube!  Some day he will be your strong protector.

You had a hard time this year with seizures and sickness.  We spent a lot of time in prayer for you and finally got an answer when we saw your neurosurgeon.  You were very sick.  But, in typical Abby fashion, you fought to stay with us and recovered from your surgery and big seizure.  It's taken a while for you to gain back your strength. This summer has been great spending time together and seeing you feel so much better!

We are so proud of you sweetheart and love you more than words can describe!  Many scripture verses have come to mind this past week as we think about your precious life.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

"Therefore we do not lose heart.  Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen.  For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."

We are so thankful to have a heavenly Father who daily carries our burdens and who will one day reveal His purposes.

"The eternal God is your refuge,
And underneath are the everlasting arms."

Deuteronomy 33:27

Happy Birthday Abby!

Mommy, Daddy, Josiah and Levi