Friday, April 29, 2011



That's right, we have a chicken. We affectionately call her Henny...sometimes Henny Penny.

Thanks to our good ol' neighbor Joe, my children are experiencing a taste of down home farmin'. On Easter morning, as I was coming out of the bathroom after my shower, Eli came running up to me emphatically shouting, "Mom, don'tlookdon'tlookdon'tlook!!!" Naturally my mother instincts went on high alert as my 9 yr. old son insisted I close my eyes while he eagerly led me into our playroom. What do my eyes behold upon opening? A chicken. A chicken! A little baby chicken! My first reaction was not one of enthusiasm or glee as my children's had been. I was...flabbergasted...and a not a little disgusted as I thought of how germy birds are. I think
I covered it up pretty well, though, as I pasted a smile on my face and said, "There's a chicken in our playroom!" What do you do with a chick when you're getting ready for church, and then actually go to church? Grandpa took the screen off my kitchen window so we could put it over her tub. Since she had jumped out of said tub and onto the floor while we were outside taking pictures. When we got home from church, the kids met Henny with fresh excitement, and took turns holding her again. We had planned on giving her to some friends who have a hobby farm in WI; but when we didn't hear back from them before my folks left on Monday morning, we decided we'd just keep her and make the best of it. We thought the experience would be a fun, educational one for the kids who had fallen in love with her instantly. Not gonna lie. 24 hours later, I was in the same boat. Jared wasn't far behind. So...


...Lovely & Lilly!
That's right, we have chickens. Not a chicken. Chickens. And we love them! Each of the kids have their own. Eli claimed Henny right away. Ezra named his Lovely. He started with Lovey; but changed it to Lovely, because she's lovely. That just makes me smile. Lydia is the proud owner of a little fluffy yellow one. She started with the name Lydia. Then Fruity. Then moved on to Juicy. I decided it was time to step in. I just couldn't stomach calling her sweet little chick "Juicy". I gave her several options that started with "L" like Lydia, and she chose Lilly.

We're having a blast with these little chicks! They're cute, they're little, they're low maintenance, and they don't live in our house. They're perfect for us right now. We won't be able to move them with us, but Jared and I decided to get the 2 other chicks anyway, so we could experience this little stint with farm animals to the fullest! One of my life group girls is coming over tomorrow morning to build the small coop with the kids. [Aunt Laura would be so proud;)]

I wonder about Your timing with things sometimes, Lord; but I have to admit that this has been a fun little twist on our journey. And I'm thankful.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Judah's Mess-capades Part II

Thankfully, these are of the less messy variety. Still just as cute, though.

OK, not messy at all. Just classic.

Learning how to splash. A mess of the future.

I caught him early. This could have been disastrous.

He owns this corner of the cupboards. (At least he thinks he does.)

Judah's Mess-capades Part I

Little Mister has been quite busy making messes of all shapes and sizes of late. I get a little frustrated when I have to put the Tupperware lids away again for the 7th time and it's only noon, but I can't help but smile and smother that boy with kisses when I'm done. We've waited a long time to see him get into mischief. Not only does he do it well, but he does it with his own unique flair.
He was supposed to be sleeping. His rail has teeth marks on the other side. Little puppy.

That was my corn meal.

Those used to be chips.

He has a thing for the broom. (I'd like to think that means he's gonna like things clean.)

That was a pile of Daddy's freshly washed & folded clothes.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The New Jude (in a tub, that is)

My New Favorite "Accessory"

Judah got an "Easter basket" this year. A bath seat! Now, that might not seem like anything to write home about to...well, probably every other person on the planet. But it's BIG news in the Stewart household. Especially because of the amazing results! I put Judah in his new seat and he didn't like it. At first. But when he settled down and I showed him how to splash, he became fascinated! He kept splashing with his little hand! Enjoying a bath could totally revolutionize the rest of his childhood! OK, that might be a little over the top. But seriously, I'm excited. Judah's bath experiences until today have been sad and fast. Today he actually lasted in the tub long enough for his teeth to start chattering! As cute as that was, I got him out. So happy:)

Also, the blood work for the Myesthenia Gravis Disease came back negative. Good, yes; however, there are false negatives 30% of the time, so we move on to the more invasive test. He'll be injected with a certain drug at Children's, and then will be observed for a couple hours. If his eyes open up, it's a positive result. If not, then we move on to the next possible cause of the droopiness. The risk involved with this test is that Judah's heart rate could slow down. He's been cleared by his Endocrinologist, and we'll be at Children's, so I'm not super worried about it. I would appreciate your prayers, though. Thanks!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


The appointment this morning went well. Judah has gained 2 lbs. and 2 in. since January! He's still not on the growth chart, but he is well on his way to getting there. 6 months, and he'll nail it! He's also finally over 20 lbs.

On a side note...
Dr. D. always comes into the room all business and totally focused on the medical aspect of the visit. Towards the end, however, he makes this shift and goes into personal mode. It's actually kind of funny, but his professionalism is one of the things I admire about him. And the fact that he can shift from total professionalism to personal professionalism. That was a lot of words. Anyway... When he came over to examine Judah h
e was genuinely amazed at how well he's doing. He said Judah's doing wonderful; he's a normal baby now (something only this dr. could get away with!); and "He's doing so well under your watch". Coming from him, these things mean a great deal, and I always leave feeling so good about how we're doing.

The bloodwork went as I expected. It was unpleasant, but because Judah is bigger he's also easier to draw from, so it went pretty quickly. Oh,
and one more thing about growing: Dr. D. had to increase 2 of Judah's medications because of his weight/height increase. First time he's increased the endo. meds since Judah started them shortly after birth. Grow on, Judah:)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Smells like...

We had an unscheduled visit to the pediatrician today. For the last few weeks, Judah has been tugging on his ear, and it has sounded like there might be fluid in there. Like when you get water in your ear after swimming. Naturally he never acted like anything was bothering him, and of course he won't spike a fever. When his ear started smelling funky - like an infection was brewing - I waited a few more days. I kept thinking...I don't know what I kept thinking. I guess, since he was so fine, I was trying to avoid going to the ped. Especially since we'll be right back out there for the other 3 kiddo's annual check-ups on Thursday. Anyway, when the funk got worse I decided I'd better take him in. He's got a nice pussy infection raging in there, and still acts as if nothing were wrong. He hasn't even been pulling on his ear much. That boy. We got away with ear drops for now, hoping that will be enough to take care of it. Please, Lord, no new medication right now.

Judah gets his endo bloodwork tomorrow, along with the bloodwork that's needed to test for the eye disease. I really hope it goes well tomorrow, because Judah doesn't exactly have a stellar track record when it comes to getting blood drawn.

In other news... Judah has figured out how to get to the toilet paper, into the pantry, and how to open the LEGO drawer. Great for him, not so great for his mama.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Judah's 1st Haircut

Well, he didn't like it, but he survived; and he sure looks cute! Hopefully I won't have to give him another one for a good long while;)

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Let. It. Go.

I couldn't sleep the other night. No surprise there. I usually pray when I can't sleep. Sometimes selfishly - Lord, PLEASE let me sleep! - but that night I was praying about my struggle with fear & discouragement. And finally, the Lord spoke to my heart. "Let it go." I thought I had been handling everything that life has been throwing us pretty well. Trusting God with it, trying to keep my eyes on Christ. But somewhere along the line, without even realizing it, I started failing miserably. He showed me that I need to let it go. All of it. The fear, discouragement, all the "what ifs", the uncertainties, every detail I was contemplating and trying to figure out. Let. It. Go. I was able to get to sleep pretty quickly after that. Since then the days have been a little brighter. A little. My confidence in God's faithfulness and His plan is sure. I need to keep my eyes on Christ for TODAY. He's got it. He really does. His plan, His course, is set. It cannot be changed. I just need to walk in obedience and trust Him. Obviously easier said than done; but the way He keeps whispering these truths to my heart is healing and encouraging, and I know that He will walk me through this season. Or carry me. Whatever I need, He's got it.

Today the sun isn't shining, but that's OK. God is good. He's going to do what He's going to do, and I can trust Him with that. Jesus, I love You. Thank You for Your tenderness.

Forever Reign
by Jason Ingram, Reuben Morgan - Copyright © 2009 SHOUT! Publishing
CCLI #5639997

You are good, You are good
When there's nothing good in me
You are love, You are love
On display for all to see

You are light, You are light
When the darkness closes in
You are hope, You are hope
You have covered all my sin

You are peace, You are peace
When my fear is crippling
You are true, You are true
Even in my wandering

You are joy, You are joy
You're the reason that I sing
You are life, You are life
In You death has lost it's sting

Oh, I'm running to Your arms
I'm running to Your arms
The riches of Your love
Will always be enough
Nothing compares to Your embrace
Light of the world forever reign

You are more, You are more
Than my words will ever say
You are Lord, You are Lord
All creation will proclaim

You are here, You are here
In Your presence I'm made whole
You are God, You are God
Of all else I'm letting go

My heart will sing
No other name
Jesus, Jesus

Tuesday, April 5, 2011



Friday, April 1, 2011

Still More

We got more bad news about Jared's car today. I still feel too sick about it to go into detail, but I had to come here to assert some things. Process. Feel God's pleasure...maybe. Please.

My mentor emailed me last night with the story of Elijah's (read God's) victory against Baal, and subsequent run for his life. What brought me to tears was when she reminded me of the tenderness and intimate care God showed towards Elijah. Lord, I desperately need that. I need Your tenderness. Your gentle, intimate care. I feel so fragile right now. On the verge of breaking. You've been doing incredible amounts of work in my heart, affecting tremendous change - all good - but exhausting at the same time. Then there is the stress of normal life with this beautiful family You've given me; an intense schedule throughout the month of March; a house on the market; strong feelings still not completely dealt with in regards to Judah's next surgery. It's too much. Lord, Your tenderness. Please. Won't You meet me here and hold me in Your lap? Let me be Your scared, vulnerable child while You hold me and gently tend to my heart? Just make it all OK?

I believe that God is good all the time. There is nothing that He does that is not good. There is nothing that comes from Him that is not good...and for our good. He is only good. I believe that God loves me. He delights in me and dances over me. He hurts with me, and holds all my tears in a bottle. He is with me always. His plan is perfect and His ways, though far beyond my comprehension, are perfect. Who am I before God? I am nothing...and yet He chooses to see His radiant, righteous, glorious Son when He looks at me. I am seated in the heavenlies. God's grace is sufficient. He is sufficient. Everything is His. He allows me to have so that I can glorify Him and minister to others. My purpose is to know Him and make Him known. He is faithful. He is just. He is merciful. He is tender. This is what I know to be true.

I don't feel most of these things right now, but I'm gonna be OK with that, because I choose to believe them anyway. I know that my feelings and circumstances have nothing to do with Who God Is. He is Who He is.

I don't know what the answers are to the practical challenges we face right now. I have no idea how God is going to resolve everything. He stacks the odds against Himself, and we have the humbling privilege to watch Him work. To see Him display His awesome power and faithfulness.

God, help my unbelief.

And thanks for the sunshine today. And a wonderful evening with my family.