Thursday, September 27, 2007

i missed this little booger

The closer I got to home, the giddier I got. I was gone four days and I missed my girls, Princess Ali and the charming and beautiful Susan.

I made it home from Stanwood, WA, in eleven hours. Not too bad. The most beautiful part of that drive is the stretch of highway 101 between Eureka and Crescent City. Redwoods, lagoons, elk, and the beach are all part of the scenery on that stretch of highway.

Okay. It's closing in on 7:30am. I'm not on the computer between 7:30 and 9:00 am.

Friday, September 21, 2007

While you stayed home...

While you and me and Ali were hangin' out at our respective domiciles, Cheryl, Nancy, and the charming and beautiful Susan were gallivanting all over Eureka, California.

We're so happy to be hosting a visit for Nancy and Cheryl from our home church in Jupiter, Florida. They've been a part of our extended family for over ten years and I'm so glad they got to see the town where I grew up.

Thanks, ya'll, for sending along some goodies with these guys. They had an extremely short shelf-life because I couldn't keep my hands out of the cookie jar :)

Enjoy the slides.

By the way, did you book your tickets yet?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ali: "I'm a Star"

Ali laughs out loud as she listens to her Uncle Aaron's sound effects as the video he made of her opens. Watch here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Ali Mash

My boy helped me drive across country a couple of weeks ago. He brought a video camera and put this clip of Ali together.


Friday, September 14, 2007

Jose & Mary

Tuesday afternoon I got a call on my cell from a South Florida number. Not unusual since I have so many friends from Florida checking in with us. But this caller was calling from Northern California. Jose Ramos, a buddy of mine for many moons, was just a few hours away from Eureka. So Jose and Mary arrived Tuesday night. We hung out for coffee, then on Wednesday, we got together again, and then today, we all had a big bar-b-que lunch from Porterhouse Barbecue here in Eureka.

As you can see, Ali warmed right up to Jose. And Mary couldn't seem to get enough Ali either.

Next week, Cheryl and Nancy from South Florida will be here to visit.

When was the last time you got out to Northern California for a trip out to the great Redwood Forest? Book your trip now.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Sweet Threads

This outfit came from Grandma Yolanda deep down in South Florida.

"Grandma Yolanda gots taste, style, and pizzazz," says Ali. "I hope I inherited some of that."

Sunday, September 09, 2007


Ali's on the floor playing.

Susan is upstairs in the office paying bills.

I'm drinking coffee, watching the news, taking pictures, and posting this on my blog.

That's a lot of balls to keep in the air, don't ya' think? Who says females are better multi-taskers?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Some Stats

We love to give things to our kids. I gave Ali a cold.

Char the Matron Nurse of Humboldt County and Deb the Magician were both here before I had a chance to down a bagel for breakfast. Char weighed, measured and took Ali's temperature. In the past month, Ali's gained a pound and grown half and inch. And she's also running a little fever. She weighs 19.4 pounds and is 28 inches long.

You wouldn't believe the results Deb the Magician has been getting from Ali. Deb is Ali's speech therapist but is also an expert in other kinds of physical therapy. She has loosened Ali up so much. Ali is able to move with much more flexibility. Ali responds and learns so naturally when Deb works on her. Please continue to pray for Ali's results and these ladies as they work their magic on this baby.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Good Morning

Ali's playing on the floor and I'm here watching the news over a cup of coffee. This week, since I've been back from Florida, we've gotten Ali into the routine of sitting in the kitchen in her high chair while the charming and beautiful Susan putters around the kitchen. Ali gets a few bites of baby food then. This is pretty huge, believe it or not.

Before I left Florida, some friends gave us a really nice jogging stroller. We've used it daily since unloading it from the U-haul. Ali loves it and tolerates riding in it for longer than her regular stroller. We've been able to take her all the way downtown (a little over half a mile from our townhouse) and enjoy time together as a family out on a stroll.

Helping Ali sit up is where we'll be concentrating our efforts over the next several months. Ali had a visit with a specialist last Thursday that said it is way to early to put any limits on Ali's recovery. In spite of the blindness diagnosis by an optometrist, this specialist was very encouraging. So please continue to pray with us for Ali. Pray that Ali will cooperate with her therapists Rena, Michelle, and Deb the Magician. Pray that she will continue to develop control of her tongue. Believe it or not, this kind of motor skills develop has a direct effect on other motor skills development. Pray that Ali's hips continue to loosen up as this will help her sit and crawl and, ultimately, walk. Pray for Ali's range of motion in her arms and shoulders to continue to improve. When she sits, she'll need to be able to keep herself from falling over.

When we watch Ali's face while she plays, we can see her thinking. We see her processing what is happening in her environment. She plays with toys that have light and sound (thanks, folks, for sending those) so she understands cause and effect and her control over things in her environment. She laughs and she shouts when she's happy or frustrated. So she is communicating with us. This is behavior no one expected to get from Ali. So we are grateful for the diligent prayers of those that read these posts and take action on their knees.

While you all are praying, can I ask you to pray for one more thing? This move here has become so final since we said goodbye to our home church family in Jupiter, Florida. I've taken a position with Shepherd's Staff Mission Facilitators. Pray for us as we transition into our new life in Eureka, California.

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Tough News

Last week Ali was declared legally blind.

Ali's optometrist says that Ali has mild optic atrophy. The doctor arrived at this conclusion using equipment that revealed that Ali has a pale optic nerve. Like most normal people, I don't really understand what this means so I have to Google things on the Internet to become somewhat knowledgeable about this stuff. Apparently, it's not the end of the world. In fact, the doctor said that most of the time, this isn't picked up on until a kid is eight to ten years old and has some trouble in school. Knowing this early will permit us to begin teaching her early to maximize the vision she has. I take some comfort in knowing that for the past twenty years, I drove among many who were legally blind yet issued a driver's license in South Florida.

Damage from shaken baby syndrome is far reaching. Every single day I think about what happened to Ali and I'm moved with emotion that I have difficulty processing. It's not fair. Ali's just a baby. I feel like I should be more grown up about this, but with Ali being hurt, Susan and I having to move over three thousand miles, leaving my friends in Florida, and watching my family get separated, Ive been reduced to tears and disbelief and often questioning God. I've said it before: I don't have enough of a theological grip on the way things work to answer all the questions that come to mind. This is not the life I picked.

But, then, we don't get to pick, do we? We like to think we're in charge of our destinies, but are we? The bottom line is I've given my life away. When I trusted Christ with my life, future and eternity, I gave it all to Him. So I know He'll strengthen me and give me the wisdom I need to live it honorably before Him.

So many lives around us have been changed by what's happened to Ali. And I don't expect that the impact her little life has had is in vain. Diagnosis or no diagnosis, this is the beginning of an amazing story with Ali as the lead character.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Back Home with My Girls

Again, I'm chastised for my blog-sloth. I'm not posting enough in frequency or content about Ali.

I'm lagging behind in pictures.

Information and prayer requests are spotty.

This will change. I will do better, I promise.