Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I Once Was Blind...

...But Now I SEE!!!!
Wow. Words fail to describe the sheer joy on Camdyn's face when she saw the world for the first time! She had everyone in Lenscrafters captivated by her inexpressible joy... Here's the story. After running the gamut with insurance technicalities, I took Shea, Kinley and Cam to the mall to "help" pick out Cam-O's glasses. They were so excited, and were all trying on glasses. Cam was having loads of fun. (Kind-of, but she was disappointed every time we took a pair off to try on the next ones) We picked out the frames, then browsed the mall waiting for an hour before we could pick them up. When we returned, Cam hit a wall. She was soooo tired, and would have nothing to do with the glasses. Hmmm... my mind raced for a quick mommy idea... Right out the store front windows was the merry-go-round (at $3 a pop, 5 kids- do the math- we never ride it). "Cam, if you put your glasses on and look out the window at the merry-go-round, I will let you ride it!" The smile immediately crept up on her face. (The three of them had already asked me at least 3 times each to ride it) She took the glasses from me, put them on, and this is when her whole world changed...her face lit up like never before as she looked at the merry-go-round through the window. "MOM!! LOOK AT THE LIGHTS!! Look Mom!!! Look at the merry-go-round!! Look at the animals!! Look at the lights! Look at the monkey!!"...on and on she went. It felt as if we all got glasses together in her little mind, and we all jumped on board. The girls chimed in..."Cam! Look at the tigers! Look at that pretty shirt! Look at mommy's face!! Can you see it now?" She was seeing the world for the first time! I knew she would be happy once she tried them on, but I really wasn't prepared for this!! We left the store (and a handful of well-rewarded Lenscrafters employees!) and headed down to the merry-go-round, two girls skipping with glee and Cam's eyes wandering all over the place. I held her so that she could look at everything she wanted to without tripping. It was like a movie- picture a child entering a fantasy world, eyes so wide, looking up at every store front pointing at things she had never seen before, looking up at the lights that now were distinct and crystal clear, seeing the merry-go-round animals for the first time, etc. When we got on the merry-go-round, her electric smile made me lose it! I was so caught up in the moment, realizing how blurry and distorted her little world had been, how clear it now was, and I got carried away in a moment of sheer bliss watching my little girl see the world. It was such a moment of joy and praise to God, my eyes welled up and I couldn't contain the tears! I felt a little silly exiting the merry-go-round past the workers...but oh well! Explaining to Cam how sometimes mommies get so happy that they cry- seemed to not make sense to her, but she was so happy in her new world that she didn't care! I am so thankful to the Lord for all of you who prayed for Cam, and am so thankful for the way He chose to answer those prayers. I want to learn all that I can from this trial, so will hopefully bring you along in the journey of this past week a little bit here and there. Praise the Lord with us!

This was just before Cam tried on the glasses. She was not excited. Can you tell?

This is her right after trying on the glasses. A little different, huh? (Cam's new best friend behind the desk) Everyone all around was smiling!

This was Cam's excitement while Cam's new best friend adjusted the glasses a bit. This is sheer joy.

The glasses immediately correct the eye-crossing, praise the Lord!!

How's that for a big smile! She is the happiest girl in the world tonight! We Love our Cam-O!!

Praise the LORD!!!

God is so good!! We are so thankful. We know that many people have been praying for Cam, and we thank you for those prayers!! Kurt and I are overjoyed right now, and are literally springing around the house as we continue to talk about the news that the opthalmologist gave us this morning. In a nutshell, Cam's vision has been very poor for some time now, and the eye-crossing is simply a result of her tired eyes. You can stop reading here, or continue reading for all of the details, which I am thrilled to give!
As many of you know, we were scared (really) that the sudden eye-crossing was possibly a symptom of a great problem- a tumor (worst case scenario, but quite possible according to some medical web-sites). There was no way to know, and since the pediatrician was all over it, we were concerned. He had done a skull x-ray and had ordered an MRI (which is now unnecessary- Praise the Lord!). This morning we went to UCLA to an eye institute, and met a wonderful crew of people, including Dr. Demer. I was amazed at all of the equipment. We spent all morning there, and had a series of tests. I was so sad when Camdyn couldn't see even the simplist pictures that were relatively large. Neither of her eyes could focus to see across the room. Apparently, she is really far-sighted, and has been over-using those muscles for quite some time. I guess they sort-of gave out, and hence, started crossing. Oh how sad to realize that she has had poor vision for who knows how long?!?!
The Lord also made space for us to get in today to see the doctor. The first available appointment that the receptionist gave me was for October 9! Upon pressing just a little, she gladly gave me an appointment for next day (today). The doctor commended the fact that we got her in so quickly, and said that it was extremely important for her eyes to be corrected quickly.
We will get her glasses today or tomorrow, and Kurt and I can't wait to see the expression on her face when she can SEE!! Thank you so much for your prayers, and we will post pics when she gets her glasses! She is so excited to wear glasses, and she doesn't even recognize how nice it will be to see the world clearly!

Monday, September 29, 2008


Thank you for your prayers! The Lord has answered and we have an apppointment at UCLA tomorrow morning. Our family pediatrician called this morning and told us he is ordering an MRI for her as well, possibly today (I haven't heard yet). We are hoping to have some answers soon, although I need to remind myself what I told Camdyn last night when I was tucking her in- that God is the greatest doctor and knows exactly what is going on with her little eyes... Pray for the strengthening of our faith! Thank you so much for your support and prayers.

Sunday, September 28, 2008


Our sweet Camdyn is doing relatively well, though seems to be having a little more difficulty dealing with the eye "doing funny things". She is demonstrating "the squint", which she seems to be resorting to as of this morning. She's still being a trooper, but tonight she did complain of her head hurting. I would only imagine that the vision problem would cause a headache... Please pray that we will get in tomorrow to see the specialist! Thanks for your prayers and encouragement.

Beauty Contest

Shea was busy trying to "organize" a family event and approached me a minute ago with this idea. "Mom, can we have a beauty contest? You can be the judge." Hmmmm. My well thought out response: "No, we don't do beauty contests. How about we do a 'godly' contest and see who's the most godly?" (I'm the judge, of course) The disappointment on her face was painfully obvious. It was a sort of "hmph" attitude. Then her response, "that's way to hard!!". Wow, (she's only 7) she doesn't even know exactly how true that is!

Nichole Greene

Please pray for Nichole Greene! I have posted an update on her blog- and the link is in my friends list (left column). Her cancer seems to be worse now. Please check her blog and pray for her and her sweet family!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

A Saturday at Home

Water Wars are always a blast for these big kids...

The girls had loads of fun with liquid chalk, including the hair color changes...

Girls just wanna have fun!

They finished the afternoon with dinner on the lawn. I didn't want them tracking their wet, colorful bodies into the house! I'm not sure who ate more of their dinner- the flies or the kids...yuck.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sweet Camdyn

Please pray for Cam! I have been reading a little bit on the internet and it's a bit unsettling to consider the possibilities. I know that our God is in total control, but as a mother, it is difficult to consider those possibilities. Pray that I would rest in the Lord! If anyone is interested in doing a little research (I don't have much free time!), I have found a few articles under "sudden onset of strabismus", or "sudden crossing of the eye", with "children" tagged on. Thanks!

Camdyn Kya

Well, we just returned from a three hour venture to the doctor's office and the lab. After talking to Dr. Sherman yesterday afternoon (being a little startled by Cam's eye issues), he called us in this morning for an x-ray of her skull. They took a couple of pictures, and Cam did a great job! Doctor Sherman reviewed them shortly after, and was pleased to let me know that he didn't see what he was hoping not to see. He had thought possibly that there would be a tumor that was the cause, but thankfully, the x-ray came up totally clear. He did say that the possibility is still there, but would be determined by other tests. Thank you for your prayers! We should hear from the optometrist office on Monday to schedule an appointment with them. Please continue to pray for her. The suddenness of the eye crossing is the greatest concern, because it suggests a sudden change of some sort, causing it. Please pray that the cause is simple and correctible! Pray that our trust in the Lord would be strong, and that we would look to Him and rest in Him. Please also pray that Cam would be sweet and cooperative as the doctor probes and does different tests. Thanks!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Happy Birthday Reilly!

Reilly and Sean- Check out Reilly's new Mets shirt from grandpapa!! He opened it and put it on immediately. Reilly and daddy were celebrating a Mets victory today, another great birthday present! (they went nuts)

Reilly's "brownie cake"- Reilly really doesn't eat cake! It's a little strange, but he loves brownies. We got them all amped up before we took them to Chuck E. Cheese, hoping they would burn off the brownie energy.

Taking Cam on a wild ride at Chuck E. Cheese. I think she enjoyed it! Check out that smile!

Cam playing daddy in air hockey. She loved it! Macy is watching, and Shea is playing her own game there in front.

The birthday boy enjoying a simulated car ride. He'll be driving before I know it... We had a great day together as a family. Reilly and daddy got up early and went out and got Jamba Juice (Reilly's request) and donuts for the kiddos. Daddy brought pizza home early for dinner, so we could head to Chuck E. Cheese. Sean (Reilly's buddy and neighbor) joined us for dinner and fun after. We surprised Reilly with bunk beds (thanks Eric!!) and he'll sleep in them tonight (when Kurt and I finish getting them set up!).
Reilly is such a sweet kid! Here are my favorite things about my boy:
1. He is tender and affectionate.
2. He goes bonkers for the Mets. He knows the batting order, for heaven's sake! He could talk about the Mets with any grown up, and give more stats than most Mets fans. Like father, like son!!
3. He LOVES to read. Last year, he was the second top reader in the whole second grade (according to the Accelerated Reader program that the school is on). Eashawn (last year's winner) is no longer attending Castaic El, so Reilly informed us tonight that he is in for a sure victory, and is taking a lax approach...
4. Reilly has a great attitude. He enjoys life, but works hard. He does many chores around the house, and does them with a great attitude!
5. Reilly is a silly and fun kid. His teacher at the beginning of the year told me he was quiet and reserved. I told her to give it a little while... here's what she said to me at the field trip that I went on with the kids last week: "Remember that conversation at the beginning of the year when you told me Reilly would loosen up and be a little crazy? Well, he certainly has!"
6. Reilly loves his family. He would rather be home than anywhere. I love that! He loves his family (even his sisters...). He snuggles with Macy and takes such good care of her. He gets her out of bed in the mornings sometime, and I can hear him talking to her in the sweetest little voice...
WE LOVE OUR REILLY!!! HAPPY 9TH!!! We couldn't imagine a more wonderful son!
Last summer the count was 2-4-6-8!! Now we're officially 1-3-5-7-9!!! Do you get it? Those are the ages of the kiddos in the munch bunch!

Please Pray for our Sweet Camdyn

Camdyn has suddenly lost control of her right eye. We first noticed around a week ago that something wasn't exactly right. It has become much more pronounced in the last 3 days, and it is apparent that she doesn't have control over it. She has seen the pediatrician (yesterday) and was referred to a UCLA optometrist, who she will hopefully be seeing (pardon the pun) next week. Please pray for her! It is bothersome to her- as you could imagine, she is seeing double. I've talked to her a little about it, and she tells me, "my eye is doing funny things!!" She is so precious, and has been as sweet as ever... Pray that we would receive a quick response for the referral, and that the doctor would quickly and adequately diagnose her! Pray also that she wouldn't become frustrated or burdened by not seeing well. Like I said, she seems to be fine and her happy little self, although occasionally frustrated by it. Thank you so much, and of course we will blog as soon as we find anything out.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

J-E-T-S Jets! Jets! Jets!

Well, last night Kurt and I were at the Jets/Chargers game down in San Diego. We had a great time there, but the game was a little sad. At least it wasn't 49-0, right? Anyway thanks so much to the Foundry for the tickets to the game and the hotel stay. We had a great time, like I said, and were in the 8th row behind the Jets bench, so it was a wild and noisy ride! Those Charger fans get pretty amped up! I was a little nervous after the game, as Kurt was wearing a Jet's jersey, and seems to stand out in the crowd... he was harassed a bit, but nothing too severe. One guy actually faked smacking Kurt's rear end when the Chargers scored, then pretended to cower and pretend it wasn't him. I got a good laugh out of it. All in good humor. I'll try to post a couple game pics tomorrow. Thanks to some faithful girls who came and stayed with the munch bunch!! Aubrey, Joey, Jenny and Erin...you rock!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

California Girls

Shea's reaction when she saw this post

We arrived at night church tonight and were sitting in the parked car for a minute. Shea was in the front seat playing with the buttons (boy I love it when the kids play with buttons in the car). She found the outside temperature gauge, and it said 77 degrees.
"Mom, it is 77 degrees outside. It is SOOOOOO cold!!"
I have to admit, there was a part of me that was concerned that it was getting a little chilly (and might be cold by the end of the night). But in an instant, I snapped out of it and laughed.
"Well, compared to 113 degrees, it's freezing!!" It actually did feel cool in the shade tonight, although all of us were in short sleeved shirts...Sweet Shea- she meant it with all her heart! We are spoiled with the California weather! (Well, not the 113 degree weather we endure occasionally during the summer)
I figured the relatives in New York and Missouri would get a kick out of this!


Macy has been growing up so much in so many ways! I've been telling people that she is likely going to overtake Cam when it comes to blog posts- she is so funny and is doing so many new things. Here's some interesting facts and tidbits of late.
1. Macy is currently 30 pounds; Camdyn is 32. That will soon reverse, I'm quite confident! Macy LOVES food, and Cam couldn't be less interested.
2. Macy had a doctors appointment last week and when the doctor came at her with the stethescope, she buried her head in my chest and cried to me, "I scared! I scared!" It was too precious!
3. Macy LOVES High School Musical. She knows all of the words to all of the songs, and will sing them with me! I need to get video of it and share it- she won't do it for anyone else but me. She also loves to sing Amazing Grace- all verses.
4. Macy is still obsessed with climbing on things. She climbs on tables, chairs, toilets (swishing her feet in the water- yep, this has happened two times), benches, etc.
5. Macy loves to run! I tell her all the time, "Run, Macy, Run!!" (like Forrest), just so I can watch her. She runs with her left fist up in the middle of her chest, and her right fist at her side.
"Macyism"s will likely be coming soon- her vocabulary is expanding, but it is hard to understand what she is trying to say most of the time. More to come!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

J.C. Ryle Rocks My World

J.C. Ryle is an old author that I LOVE reading. He's been dead for over 100 years now. Every paragraph of his books is jolting. He communicates the truths of Scripture with clarity, and with so much pathos. He shakes the ground under me devastatingly violently, but offers so much kindness and mercy as a gentle shepherd. His communication of the Word has impacted my life more than any other author I have read. I think it's time for me to share him with you!
Today I was reading in "Holiness". The chapter was about Moses, an example of faith. We don't think of Moses often, but Ryle brings out Moses' great faith. He gave up becoming Pharoah, after all, and exchanged his life of royalty to be a slave with the Israelites. He had to believe in something to make that exchange, wouldn't you say? Anyway, this paragraph was riveting and I believe displays the earthquake style of Ryle.
"...What are you doing yourself? Are you willing to give up anything which keeps you back from God? or are you clinging to the Egypt of the world, and saying to yourself, 'I must have it, I must have it: I cannot tear myself away'? Is there any cross in your Christianity? Are there any sharp corners in your religion, anything that ever jars and comes in collision with the earthly-mindedness around you? or is all smooth and rounded off, and comfortably fitted into custom and fashion? Do you know anything of the afflictions of the gospel? Is your faith and practice ever a subject of scorn and reproach? Are you thought a fool by anyone because of your soul? Have you left Pharaoh's daughter, and heartily joined the people of God? Are you venturing all on Christ? Search and see. These are hard inquiries and rough questions. I cannot help it. I believe they are founded on Scripture truths. I remember it is written, "There went great multitudes with Jesus, and He turned, and said unto them, 'If any man come to Me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after Me, cannot be My disciple.' (Luke 14:25-27)"
We tend toward light thinking, don't we? We are drawn to things that keep us feeling good and light-hearted. Eternity hangs in the balance, and we must spend time- however much time we need- to think deeply about our souls.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Day Late

Yesterday was "patriot day". I was so caught up in the busyness of the day yesterday, I almost forgot. Yet at the gym my eye caught a glimpse of the TV screen when all those Americans were taking a moment of silence to acknowledge and remember what happened 7 years ago. It was a short moment as I was busy chatting with my friend on the elliptical next to me. I sadly didn't skip a beat. Later in the day as I was attempting to explain the significance of 9-11 to my kids, I was a little shocked. Shocked, that me, a proud American, wasn't taken back a little by the tragic loss of lives, the gloom that should have jaunted me a little, the grave day that it was. There was a blast of people at heaven's gate in an instant, and tragically, most likely, a blast at the gates of hell that day too. Many people died valiantly that day, and many died abruptly without even a moment to call their loved ones. Today I am remembering.
I am also brought to my knees in prayer over many people that are near to me that have other ailments and are suffering with cancer. My cousin Carol has anaplastic cancer that seems to be spreading quickly. My good friend Nichole Greene is suffering with cervical cancer and has four kids six years old and under. Greg, a 30 year old Bible Study leader in our fellowship group, met Jesus Christ in heaven earlier this year. Kiara Tyler, a six year old friend of mine (she invited me to her birthday party- but will be celebrating her birthday in heaven this year- I wish I could be there!) went to heaven late this summer. A new friend Shayna that I've been spending time with lost her husband to cancer 5 years ago, and moved to California with her 6 year old last month. A couple of my good friends from college lost their 6 year old daughter Logan last year to a bone marrow disease. Other friends from college (The Kostjuks- in my friends column) are more than likely going to lose their 11 month old baby girl Reese this week.
I am not a morbid person. I don't dwell on sad things or spend undue amounts of time thinking about death. However death is a reality. The current death rate is the same as it's always been, 100%. I remember a segment of a sermon by Rick Holland years ago, and he was talking about taking a walk through a cemetery now and then to bring some perspective on life and to remember that our lives- each one of us- are just a vapor- here one day and gone the next. Being reminded of this, how could we ever put off getting spiritual matters in order in our lives? I have been struck recently at how I view my life. I usually feel as if I am in control of things. Maybe those Americans working in the tower that day 7 years ago felt in control of their lives too. God divinely intervened. Was that to serve as a jolt to all of us so that we might make things right with Him? I am certainly feeling like God has been reminding me through remembering 9-11 and through the suffering friends around me that I need to walk closely with Him each day so that I will be prepared to meet Him, whenever my life should be called into eternity. I hope that all of you who read this will take a minute to reevaluate your life. Who are you seeking to please? Do you love the Lord? Are you living each day for Him? If you were called into eternity today, would you rush into His arms, or would you cower and "hope" He lets you in? Our days are numbered since before time began. Strive each day to live a life of no regrets! Resolve today to give your all for the Lord! If you aren't sure about your relationship with the Lord, settle the matter now! There is nothing of greater importance to your life on earth and to your soul for eternity. Don't let another day go by.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Yep, if you haven't guessed yet, Camdyn took the scissors to her hair again today for the 4th time (I think). Sorry about the nasty trash can picture, but you can see my dark hair on the bottom (I gave myself a trim today)- wow, I didn't realize my hair was that dark! And that's obviously Cam's hair on the top. Yes, there is a LOT of it. I am in a state of shock right now, but I think I'm getting over it. Here's how it went.

This picture was taken this morning. Notice the long, flowing hair coming out from behind the bow. I was attempting to get some nice shots of her this morning, and I should have tried harder. It will be a long time before I get some shots of her that I like. Wouldn't you know, this morning the nice camera wouldn't work (Memory Card Error kept appearing on the screen, and I couldn't take any). So I pulled out the cheapie camera, and took some really bad snapshots.
Hmmm.... something's missing... oh, I guess that would be HER HAIR. I am in a state of disbelief. If that isn't the guiltiest look you've seen... So I spent 30 minutes this afternoon trimming my hair in the bathroom. Cam was on my bed watching a movie, or so I thought. We went to school to pick up Kinley, and during our ride home, I glanced back and noticed something VERY wrong with Cam's hair.

This is the damage. Looks like she was going for the feathered 80's look. The damage was much more extensive this time. There are sections that you can't see well in the picture that are literally 1/2 inch long. Her bangs now begin in the very MIDDLE of her head. I asked her when she did it. This is what she said. "I was hiding in your closet." Well, there's not much more to say. As I was attempting to trim it a little and expressing my lack of success in making it look any better, the big kids asked me, "are we going to have to shave her whole head?" Well, if she gets to the scissors again, we just might!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


I just battled photobucket to figure out how to do this slideshow...ugh! I'm not good at this kind of stuff! It took almost an hour, but I hope you all enjoy it! We went to Disney last Wednesday (just before our season passes expired) and had a blast! There was NO ONE there. We walked on just about every ride. It was a little hot...you can see the pink cheeks! Kurt and I were both there, even though we have no pictures with us in them!


Tuesday, September 9, 2008


Two days ago, I heard Kinley screaming across the house. She is not typically dramatic, so I knew something was up...

I found her near the back door and was holding her forehead. It took her a while to calm down and explain what happened. We've been teasing her since. She opened the back door, and somehow walked right into the corner of it. (She tends to be a little spacey sometimes...) I've been joking with her that she has to make sure that when she opens the door, she has be sure to walk through the open part of the door. I'm pretty sure she won't be making this painful mistake again any time soon! Two days later she just has a gnarly bruise under her bangs. Let's hope it's covered when she takes her school pictures today!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Camdynism #10

I apologize for not keeping the blog up more regularly, but plan to put some posts up daily for a while. We'll see how that goes.
This afternoon, Cam was playing with her dolly in the kitchen. She had put her in the high chair, and was in her fantasy world feeding her baby, talking to her, and more. She turned to me and said,
"Mommy, my baby is terranated." (such a long word for such a little girl!)
"Oh my, she is? And what does that mean?"
"That means," (hmmmmm, what does that mean...long pause...) "she fell asleep in her chair!"
Well okay then! I love engaging with her in her fantasy world. It is quite amusing and captivating! I just glanced over at her dolly, who still happens to be "terranated" even now. I hope there's no permanent damage.