Tuesday, December 20, 2011

More Pictures-Walleye Weekend

Every June our little town holds a festival called Walleye Weekend. We went and did a ton of stiff with the kids, but the highlight of this for the babies was the bus ride. They still ask for it. Jamie and Linda liked digging for coins and jewels in the sand pile. It was a great time with great friends. Be sure to notice the giant Mercury engine. Yep, you can tell I am proud.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I am sorry blogger friends and family. I have been a bad blogger lately. The trutgh is that I come home from work, spend time with the family, and then spend the rest of my night doing more work on the computer after the kiddos go to be. If I am not doing that, I am usually crashing. I am playing blogger catch-up.

A lot of you know we went home to Kansas over the Thanksgiving break. We had such a wonderful time seeing family and friends. We ate at our favorite restraurants, went to our home church and just saw everyone. Several nights we got together with my cousin, Jake's cousins, and Jake's best bud for board games. We played a newer game called Quelf and just laughed our tails off. I cannot remember the last time I have laughed so hard. I felt so wonderful to be home again and spending time with the ones we love.

After several days in Kansas, we were off to Missourri to spend the actual Thanksgiving with Jake's brother and family. Jake and his brother are really close, but he has been stationed in Hawaii for a few years and we did not get to visit them. In addition to the boys being close, my sister in law is my best friend so I was so excited to stay with them. The kids played so well and it is so close to see cousins who are so close in age getting to be together. After a couple of nights, Jamie and Linda went to stay and be spoiled by Grandma (my mom) and their aunts. The rest of us headed off to Branson. We visited the Ripley's Believe It Or Not museum, did some shopping, and ate at a really neat restraurant called Lamberts.

Jeremiah and Dianne have a beautiful house that is kind of in the middle of the woods, There was plenty of room for everyone so nobody got on each others nerves. They have two huge spare bedrooms, and a seperate play room for the kiddos. Dianne cooked an amazing Thanksgiving dinner and we ate ourselves silly. It was all so0 easy and relaxed. Finally, we made it home for another vacation day to rest and relax.

It was a wonderful vacation and I cannot wait to see everyone again.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

More Picture Pages

Ok, here goes part 2 of the picture sharing. Today, I am continuing the pictures from our local park. In addition to being lakeside and having an awesome lighthouse, the part also boasts a train, carousel, and a small petting zoo. The kiddos (mostly the babies) especially love the train. The older kids like the small amusement park ride. Here are some pics of our visits.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Picture Pages

I am going to be spending several posts trying to catch up posting all of the pictures that I missed while I was studying for the broker's test. Today, I am posting the pictures from when we went to the lighthouse in our town. Our town is centered around a big lake and it has the most beautiful lighthouse. We climbed to the top and enjoyed the view. It was a great family adventure.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall Fun

It does not get much more handsome than this.

"I got it, no I got it!"

Saturday, October 15, 2011

National Infant Loss Memorial Day

Today is national infant loss memorial day. Tonight at 7 p.m. everybody is invited to light a candle in remembrance. Please join me as we light our candles to remember our Mason Landon.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Diagnosis

Anyone who is close to us knows of the troubles we have had with Linda over the years. Her behaviors have just continued to worsen with age. This past year she did so badly in school that the only reason she moved on to the next grade is because of the No Child Left Behind laws. We had been seeing a counselor back home for several years and continued with him by phone when we moved. The goal was to give us new parenting techniques for her. Finally he decided it was time to take her to a psychologist for a psychological evaluation. Traditional techniques were just not working.

It took us several months to get in. We finally had our appointment last month. We had been keeping a diary of her behaviors for several months. The psychologist interviewed us and then Linda separately. It took several hours. We came back several days later for the diagnosis. Linda has been diagnosed as having Childhood Bi-polar disorder(moderate to severe), Reactive Attachment Disorder(mild to moderate)and ADHD (moderate).

This is not what we wanted to hear. Childhood bipolar is very serious. Teenagers who have had bipolar since childhood have an alarmingly high rate of suicide. It is so high that they say a child has a better chance of surviving childhood cancer than childhood bipolar. Add RAD and ADHD to the mix and she is going to be very difficult to treat.

The only good news is that when treated early, the risk of suicide goes down. It was recommended that we see a psychiatrist who can place Linda on medication. At this time, this is the route we are going to pursue.

I know the amount of judgement that comes when parents choose to allow their child to be put on medication. All I can say is that this is not something we have gone into lightly. We have spent six years reading every book, meeting every doctor, seeing every counselor, and saying every prayer trying to help her. It has not worked. At this point, if medication will help, we are ready to try it.

This is a very touchy subject with us. We are more than happy to talk about our situation, but we will not put up with any judgement as to our decision to follow the advice of medical experts. We simply cannot. We are tired. We are tired of the stress, the fear, and the moods that tear our house apart. If medication is what it takes, then so be it. I would ask people who have a negative opinion to think about this, if she was diabetic there would be no judgement if we treated that. This is a disease, just one you cannot see from the outside. I would also ask you to remember that you do not live in our house. You do not see the day to day issues that we deal with. We have had teachers, counselors, and psychologist tell us this is the way to go. We stand by our decision.

As always, we are open to honest discussion and concerns, but we will not put up with maliciousness or rudeness. I know the people that have spent the most time with us realize that we need help. I would ask all of you to be supportive and pray for our family. If you cannot be supportive, I would ask you to refrain from judgement. The last thing our family needs in this time is added stress and drama. Please pray for the doctor to make a wise choice, and please pray for our family as we transition. I hope this is the help that we seek.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Go Brewers!

I have gotten to do some amazing things here. The neat thing about moving to a whole other area of the country is getting to see and try things I never had before. This last weekend I got to go to my first Major League Baseball game. Not only did I get to go, but I got to go in style. Our broker's invited us as a client appreciation get together. The only down side was that it was employees only so I did not get to bring Jake. There was a get together before the game, and then our seats for the game were so amazing. They were in the Airtran Landing Zone. These seats are right on right field. They are so close that you can see the sweat on the right fielder. They also were not stadium seats, they were tables and high back stools because there was a free buffet and bar right in the zone. I am not sure if I have ever felt so important. We had no have not one, but two different neck badges and a bracelet to make it through security to get into the landing zone. There was a security gaurd standing right outside the entrance to our seats just to prevent people from getting in.

Added to the amazing night was the fact that it was a huge game for the Brewers. If they won, and St. Louis lost their game that night, the Brewers would be the District Champions for the first time in 29 years. The Brewers ended up beating the Marlins and the place went crazy. The the most incredible thing happened-nobody went home! They turned on the St. Louis game on the giant screen and everyone waited with baited breath to see the outcome of that game. St. Louis was playing the Chicago Cubs who are the Brewers biggest rivals due to how close they are. It was the first time in most peoples lives they were rooting for the Cubs (only temporarily). After a couple of nervous innings-the Cubs won! This means the Brewers are the district champions!!

The stadium erupted! Confetti, streamers, and fireworks were flying all around the stadium. People were crying and hugging. The team was spraying each other with champagne and the cheering lasted for half an hour. Awesome! Here are a few pictures of my experiance. I am all sweaty and yucky, but I don't care, it is worth it to share the experiance with you guys.

Outside Miller Stadium

Standing right behind the News Team

Picture of the Wisconsin "newbies" enjoying their first Brewer game- check out how close we are...Awesome

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Our Life in Pictures-Gosh Gosh

We went to the park in Oshkosh (Noah calls it Gosh Gosh). The park is lakeside and has rides, an awesome playground designed to look like a castle, a little zoo, and a beach for swimming. It is one of the nicest parks I have ever seen. The kids had a blast and here are some shots of our adventures.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

C-Section Fears

A mother who is pregnant with a TVC (vaginal cerclage) posted a question asking if anyone was afraid of a c-section. This got me thinking about my own experiences and because my thoughts were too long to post a reply on facebook, I am doing it here. In short, no, I was not afraid. That sounds weird, but no.

After losing Mason, I went through an intense period of guilt and self-blaming. I have heard this over and over from mothers who have an incompetent cervix. Although there is no way of knowing you have it until it happens, there is still an immense amount of guilt we mothers carry around.

As a mother our job is too love our children, bring them to God, and protect them. When you lose a child because your cervix gave out and dilated too early, it really messes with your sense of shame and guilt. In my case, Mason was perfect in every way. He had no health issues, he was developing exactly as he should, and the pregnancy seemed great. Had my cervix not dilated at started a whole chain of events, there is no reason to think he would not have been born healthy and perfect.

As I have said before, grief if cruel. Not only that, but I honestly feel like satan was able to use grief to try and drag me even further under. In the Bible there is a verse warning about satan "Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8. I can say that my mind was not alert. I was so lost in grief, anger, sadness, guilt, and shame that it was so hard to remember I had a Savior who loved me enough to die for me and because of that gave me the joy and hope of eternal life with Mason. Because I was already so wretched, I think it was very easy to become devoured in my sorrows.

because of this, I was not always rational in my feeling. Guilt ate at me from the inside out. I felt fully responsible for Mason's death. Logic said I shouldn't, but my feelings said I should. I knew that it was my job to protect him, but yet it was my body that failed him. My perfect son would have been alive if it weren't for the weaknesses in his mother. I was plagued by these thoughts and every time I saw my husband grieve I felt wracked with the thought that I was the one who brought that pain into his life.

This brings me to why I was not afraid of the c-section. In a way I felt betrayed by my own body. I also realized that there was nothing I could do to prevent something bad from happening in certain cases. Not only was I afraid of breaking through the stitch, or premature labor, the thought of a stillbirth terrified me. I had already shown in my mind that I was not good at being pregnant. In my mind, still birth due to some unknown defect in my body was always on mind.

It got to the point where once I reached 32 weeks I began to wonder if they were not safer outside of the womb where they could be monitored 24-7. Now I look back and realize how illogical that sounds, I know they need to stay in the womb as long as possible, but like I said grief is irrational and out of grief comes illogical fears.

I honestly grew to the point where I spent my days in prayer trying to give the fear to God, but then would take it back. I literally had discomfort because fear and anxiety would make my chest feel tight and put a lump in my throat that never went away. Being on strict bed-rest does not help in that area because you have too much time to think.

By the time I got to 35 weeks and went into labor, I was so ready to have the pressure and fear lifted off of my shoulders. I was ready not to feel like my body was a ticking time bomb ready to go off at any minute. Most of all, I was ready to be able to have faith in myself as a mother again. I cannot say that the guilt instantly lifted, it is still there to an extent, but I can say the fear did. Granted then it changed over to natural worry every mother has with their newborns, but it was much, much better.

For those of you that are afraid of the c-section, I offer this advise. Don't worry about the pain, it does not hurt during the procedure and afterwards, you have the greatest gift. Do not worry about you baby being "ripped away" as I have heard it worried, when the doctor places the baby in your arms, that is the last thing you will feel. Most of all, be excited about the relief and joy that comes with it as well. You have already been through things you would have never thought possible, this part....well this part is cake next to that.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Like a Flood

I have met a lot of amazing women and gotten to share a lot of hopes and heartaches. I love how God has used our hurts for good. It is so comforting to find His grace in all of the heartache. A lot of the time I get to rejoice with women as they bring their babies into this world and get to take them home. Today was not so lucky. A women I met through an incompetent cervix support group asked for prayers last week because she was dilated and her water had broken. I admit when I heard this I thought the worse. I expected she would deliver within 24 hours. Fast forward to this week and she was still holding on to her baby with all of her might. But as I have found out from personal experience, you cannot carry a baby to term by sheer will itself. Today she delivered her baby way too soon. Her daughter's heart beat for an hour and a half and then she was gone.

I am still surprised at the rush of anger, grief, hurt, and sorrow that overcome me when this happens to others. It brings back my hurts, but it also makes me feel an almost physical pain when I think back to the day we lost Mason and think of all this woman will have to endure in the coming days.

Unless you have not been there, you cannot imagine the overwhelming pain that comes with having to pick an infant sized casket for one of your babies. The pain of picking music for the funeral when you can't think clearly, but you want so badly to convey everything this child meant to you and the change in your life because of them. The emptiness that comes in the days after the funeral when you wish a person could simply will themselves to pass away so you can be reunited with your child. The hole in your heart that feels so big and raw that you don't understand how everyone is not able to see it. The effort it takes just to go to work, church, family functions and try to put on a normal facade. The anger that comes because you expected to have a normal facade. All of this is something I hope to never have to go through again. I would not wish it on anyone, and yet here is a woman who through no fault of her own will have to endure it. My heart hurts for her and my prayers go out to her. Please ask pray for her as well in your prayers tonight. She is going to feel like she is drowning in a flood of emotions, but I hope in the midst of it she reaches for the only lifeline available. The love and peace of our Savior Jesus.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bacon Racin!

Hmmm, what do you do when you have four bored kids and a very bored husband? How about pot-belly pig races! That's right, the county fair was a few weeks ago and we took the kids to see all of the sight. However, by far the most the exciting part for the kids were the pig races. They laughed so hard at the sight of the pigs racing for the grand prize (a cookie). Here are some pics of the event.

The Announcer (note the overalls)

The Pigs Running for the Cookie