Thursday, May 31, 2012

home makes my heart sing.
many cups, brings joy to my morning.
hills remind me where my help comes from.
planting flowers helps me understand the daily watering my soul needs.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

5 years and 3 years

Three years ago today I got a phone call that I will NEVER forget!

Justin was on a mission trip with these wonderful people .  We knew God may be calling us to adopt but did not know if it was now or in ten years.

God had given us a name tho.  [How have I not written about this?  If I have, I can not find it. :/]

In December of 2006 one of our best friends passed away in a tragic accident.  I was 8 months pregnant with Lily.  We did not know if baby was a she or a he.  We were nailing down names in the midst of Ryan's passing, and as clear as could be, we knew the name of our baby was Isaiah Ryan.  3 weeks later, out popped LILY.  He was a she and not Isaiah.  We both were a little confused [but thrilled because she was just down right perfect].  We really thought baby was a boy because the name was so clear to us.  We joked about it but that was the end of it and we never really talked about it until…..

2 years later Justin was preparing for the mission trip.  He was praying and asking God about the possibility of adoption and God reminded him of that name.  He already had given us a name.

3 years ago today Justin walked into a babies home and asked if there was an "Isaiah" there.  A sweet volunteer said "yes, one."

[this video was taken in 2009 when Justin met Isaiah]

Isaiah was right about Lily's age.

I will never forget sitting in the parking lot of the kids' school (waiting to drive for a field trip) and Justin called.  All I remember him saying was… "Isaiah say HI, say HI" - I started screaming "what do you mean there is an Isaiah there!!!!!"  Yup, his first words he heard from me was but very happy/shocked screaming!  I could not believe there was an Isaiah there.  An Isaiah that was born around the time God gave us that name.  Glory to God that knows all things and holds all things together.

Justin and I did not know if we could adopt him but trusted that this was God's prompting and we would follow His [very clear] lead.

Not long after the trip we were matched!

3 years later, he has been home two and a half years and we can not imagine life without him.

Happy Birthday Buddy!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

deep breathing and loving it

Who knew three weeks can feel like months?

We are all so happy to have a breather from the crazy we stepped into May 1st.

Ashton's and Lily whipped up their traditional Saturday morning breakfast. 

Lil D is busy yelling at everyone because he is the boss and everything is his.

Lily's been riding her pony

Hunter was soaking up some sun and a good book [i love how my kids enjoy reading].

Dawson is just one happy boy.

Isaiah has his birthday on his mind…. 3 more days.

Beauty is all around us!


Saturday, May 26, 2012


Clap your hands all you people!!!!!!  For we have seen the hand of God!!!!!!!!!

What ?

Oh yes.

Neuro. Dr. surprised us with a phone call this a.m.

This is what he said:

After review of the 2 MRI scans - the first being May 2nd and the second being May 18th - there is a SIGNIFICANT and OBVIOUS decrease in the pituitary thickening and pituitary gland itself.

You see, what I have not made public was, that when we went into the Neurosurgeon the first time he said nothing of an adenoma, nothing - he showed and explained to us that the pituitary stalk was "thickened" and there was also a bump on the pituitary gland.  We were down to 3 diagnosis.  1 being cancer-like, another being inflammation acting and another being cancer (really big word that I will spare you with).  The cancer-like was ruled out the next day with the blood Dr. and we were down to the other two.

You can imagine the horror to hear that kind of thing and we have spent much of our time just releasing our burden to God knowing that it is HIM who is faithful no matter what our circumstance.  BUT you better believe we were asking for a miracle - and I do believe about an hour ago our faith was seen.

At this time "with the decrease being obvious in such a short time" he can not recommend us for biopsy.


We are scheduled for an MRI in a month and probably more to come but that is just AOK with me - we can look at his brain (from the outside) all the day long, AMEN?


The world can resume spinning again.

next step

Back to Stanford we go in a week or so.

There was nothing found in the fluid reading, which is really good but also something we were kind of expecting.

Now we go to biopsy. *sigh*

I know this is a step in the right direction but it is surgery.  brain surgery.

What we are looking at/for has to be known for sure.

In one sense we are Praising God for nothing in the fluid and, in another, Trusting Him more with the very unknown.

Dawson is great and spending the night at a friends house as I type.  He feels good and the hormone replacement works wonderfully.  We are ever so thankful.

Keep praying please, I know God hears!

Proverbs 3:5-6

English Standard Version (ESV)
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
    and do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him,
    and he will make straight your paths.

Friday, May 25, 2012

No News Yet

First, thank you to those precious people that have given and loved our family in such a tangible way.  We are humbled and grateful.  Sweet friends and family have dropped off meals, given financially and sent encouraging cards, texts, packages and emails.  Thank you.  May God bless you richly for loving on our family in this crazy time.

No, for sure, news yet.  We talked to the nurse practitioner and have an "idea" of what is next but we wont know until we hear from the Neurosurgeon.

We wait a little longer.  Trusting that God hears our prayers and that none of this is a surprise to Him.

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Sisters Have Busted In!

Shauna has 3 older sisters that she grew up with.  We are all very bossy!!!

We are busting into Shauna's blog.

Many people love our sister and her family so very much.  We know she has amazing support in every area of her life, from her family, her friends, her bloggy friends...the list goes on and on.  One can not help but to love our sis and her family.

As you all know that read this blog.....this family is going through a LOT right now.  They are strong and courageous...only because THE LORD is WITH THEM.  

They are facing some very serious health problems with Dawson. 
There are several posts on this blog giving the details.

Us sisters would like to give people an opportunity to help support this family monetarily.  We know they are being supported with love and prayer and meals and help, but some of us...including her too far away to be able to help in these hands on ways.

We are so thankful to those of you that can give this family "hands on" support and love.

But for those of us that can't be there for the "hands on", we are starting a fund to support this family financially.

If the Lord lays it on your heart to give you have the opportunity to do that.  All you need to click on the donate button above and you can give in any amount.

We would love to see this family BLOWN AWAY by the generosity of people.  We do not want them to have to think about money and bills for one second while they are going through this time.  Their time and energy need to be focused on "Being strong and courageous".

Joshua 1:9

English Standard Version (ESV)
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous.Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lordyour God is with you wherever you go.”

Love ya big Sha and Vaughan Family!!!



Marlece  #1

Jenay #2

Tawnya #3

4 Sisters For Him

Sunday, May 20, 2012


We are home.  

Dawson laid down the whole way and now thinks this is how he should travel everywhere - fat chance buddy. :)

We arrived at our friends house to pick up the other 4 treasures and he jumped out and went off to play.  

He played and played and played.

I was amazed and THRILLED (and said every 30 seconds "be careful!").  I kept waiting for the fall out but he said he feels fine.  Praise the Lord!

Pretty sure good friends, fresh air and dirt are just flat out healing….. I know I feel better. :)

Results from the spinal fluid will be in mid to late week.

Until then, we will focus on the now.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

not home yet

Less than an hour into the drive home Daws started to get sick, then cry, then went weird quiet on us.  We pulled over and he just started bawling.  His back was killing him and he felt sick.  We laid him in the back seat and I ran into get him some ice packs.  We got him comfortable and found the closest hotel.

From what we understand now, is that this is very common for lumbar puncture patients.   

Please pray. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Up and Out

Dawson is up and out of the hospital.  He did great!

His cute little back hurts :(.  He is walking around like an old man but hoping a good nights sleep will help.

Tomorrow we head home.

Thank you for praying, keep it up!
Dawson is in right now.

My biggest battle in this moment is to sit.  I want to run.

I remember when my dad had to jump over a powder river panel [from a really angry mom cow] and landed on his shoulder.  His shoulder was completely dislocated and the vet and I took him to the ER.  My sis was there and we waited in the hall while they tried to put it back in.  He had a heart monitor on and we could "hear" that all was ok… until it went flat.  I ran.  Literally ran out the doors.  Sister ran after me telling me it was fine and they just took the monitor off.  I made my way back and we all had a good chuckle about where I was headed.  Who knows.

But I feel that now.

Justin went back with Dawson today until he was sound to sleep.  I sat with calm Hunter.  Hunter is our calm, cool and collected child.  He feels deep yet has wisdom beyond his years.  I am thankful for his presence.

Our Neuro Nurse Practitioner had a chat with me today.  It was good because I could hear more today than the last time we talked.  She explained that the results from the lumbar puncture could reveal what we need to know to take the next step or it could not.  Either way let's just pray.

One thing we know for certain is that God is doing a work in Dawson.  Did you know he wants to be a pastor?  And a policeman?

We trust that God is doing a work, here in this place…. among the hurting, in our hearts and especially in our boys heart.

Today will I put my "big girl panties" on and sit, stay, trust, wait [and not run].

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

back we go.

Dawson has the MRI and lumbar puncture on Friday.

He will be "under" for both AND they called this morning and said he will go out BEFORE they put the needle in - can you hear us rejoice?

We celebrate the small [not so small when you are pinning your child down] stuff!

These last couple of days have been good.  LOTS of playing in the beautiful sunshine, riding their ponies and my parents stopped by.  Dawson is a little clone of my dad in many ways so it was good to get a little encouraging talk from him.

God is [painfully] teaching me to stay in the moment.  Not to jump ahead - just be present.  This is not easy for me, ever.  I like to plan, know, prepare…. we have lots to do, ya know?  God says he give us what we need for the day.  I need to stay in this day.

So today is great, kids are happy, hubby is busy at work and we have MUCH to be thankful for!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"May God not find complaints in us anymore, but spiritual vitality—a readiness to face anything He brings our way. The only proper goal of life is that we manifest the Son of God; and when this occurs, all of our dictating of our demands to God disappears. Our Lord never dictated demands to His Father, and neither are we to make demands on God. We are here to submit to His will so that He may work through us what He wants. Once we realize this, He will make us broken bread and poured-out wine with which to feed and nourish others."

~Oswald Chambers

Monday, May 14, 2012

joy in the midst

This waiting and wondering is CrAzY!

But there is joy in the midst!

Ashton had a softball tournament this weekend and look at what fun we had:

Ashton pitched 4 games!

 Joy in the midst.

Friday, May 11, 2012

day 3

today was MUCH more bearable.

The blood dr. went over everything very thoroughly.  She explained that because his only symptom is DI, that that nearly rules out one of the three possibilities given yesterday.  We can not completely rule it out but should press on toward the other two.  She kindly placed our case back into the hands of the neurosurgeon and said she will keep an eye on all of the results of future test.

Where does this leave us now?

MRI next week at Stanford and lumbar puncture.  He will be asleep for both.

Once he wakes and feels up to it, we will walk back over to the neurosurgeon to look at the MRI.  It will take a few days to read the results of the lumbar puncture so we will come back home.  From there, we will know what we are looking at next.

How are we?

Tired.  Justin and I are spent.  Dawson has done great, and I mean GREAT, but he was pretty excited to crawl into his bed tonight too.  :)  Hunter was an amazing big brother and loved his brother well - fighting and all [we need to keep things normal, ya know? ;)]

My nerves are on edge.  I really am battling some strange things.  Maybe it's a mom thing, maybe it's a coping mechanism but I just don't want to go back there.  I want to stay home and continue on with life.  Sometimes I find myself thinking this is all just weird because he has a habit.  Yup, still kinda want to think that.  Weird, hu?

Every time his medicine wears off, in a strange way, it helps me re-understand that we have to continue on.

Thankfully my better half can think clearer, and I know we will go back.

Speaking of my better half…. I just need to say out loud what an amazing husband he has been.  Apparently big words, sick children and cities tend to clog my brain.  I can't think.  I stare at people and their lips are moving but in my head I am thinking…. "i can't understand you."  Justin can.  I am so thankful.  He asks intelligent questions, while I try to tell the Dr.'s how healthy Dawson is [hoping they will see things my way and send us home with a big-ol-misunderstanding explanation].  I must have said a million times "he has only been on one round of antibiotics ever."  Husband gets serious and tracks with the Dr.'s.  We would be in a mess with out him.  I am so thankful for him.  He is a godly man that leads his family well.

Our families have been the "Aaron and Hur" we have needed.  Last night I was having trouble sleeping, so I cried … and as I was crying I was thinking "my sisters better be praying right now because I am so tired I can not even pray."  Then today my sis wrote (with having NO clue that happened in my head) "remember when Leanne [one of her BFF's] called and said to me, "I'm too tired to even pray?" This is when your sisters and brothers hold you up in prayer and you don't even have to have any words."

Those were my exact thoughts.  God is so good.  

We are thankful for each person that is praying and loving on our family.  

We know The Healer.  

We know He hears.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Day 2

Today was more information then my little brain can hold, let alone repeat.

Neurosurgeon is well know for his work and has been practicing for 40 years [!].  He walked us through 3 possibilities.

We don't know yet.

More tests have been ordered.


God is able.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

day 1

today was hard.  i wanted: easy, a prescription and sent home [really, that's what I wanted].

The Endocrinologists were wonderful.  Each one.  The attending Endocrinologist explained that the hormone, DDAVP, is a prescription of convenience.  The natural "thirst" mechanism is God's way [my words, not hers] of regulating water within the body.  As long as we have water and a potty, he would be ok.  Of course, sleeping and eating patterns would be interrupted therefore it is best to use the hormone with a child.

That was the good news, and they are working along side of us to find "his" dose.

The problem still lies with the cause of this, diabetes insipidus.

She explained how the pituitary gland worked [can everyone just take a moment and thank God for their healthy pituitary gland.  it is the size of a pea and does much, like BIG stuff.]  There are quite a few reasons why the pituitary gland could be mad.  We still need to figure out why.

I asked her if DI ever just goes away.  She said it has happened once in her practice  :(.  {I think we can and should be #2 :).}

Because the source is not obvious, we need to explore some other possibilities.  I did not like the sound of the new possibilities either.  We are now seeing a Hematologist (Blood Dr.), as well.

All day I battled whether to take my baby and run, fall to my knees grateful for the amazing medical care or bawl because of all of the many other children I saw.

More tests we ordered and 7 and half hours later we left the hospital.

Dawson had to give more blood.  We know one diagnosis for certain, he is insanely fearful of needles.  Like kicking, screaming and biting scared.  Justin and I lost a few years of our life trying to hold him down.  It was not pretty.

Once we left the hospital we needed to shake the day off, way off.

We headed downtown, San Francisco.

 This moment was needed.

They jumped their little hearts out.

They needed to jump, we needed their smiles.

Tomorrow is day 2.  Thank you for praying and please keep it up!



Monday, May 7, 2012

the plan.

Tomorrow we leave for Lucile Packard Children's Hospital at Stanford.

We will see three specialist:  An Endocrinologist, a Pediatric Neurosurgeon and an Eye Dr. [the pituitary gland is near the optic nerve].

How is Dawson?

He is great.  He is 100% when the hormone is working.  Ideally, it works for 24 hours.  Everyday has been a bit different with that.  Yesterday, it lasted 22 hours and when it wears off you can tell almost immediately [that is how it came on too - we can almost nail the day down].  Today it was not working so we have doubled it. :(

Thank you for praying.  The love poured out on us has been humbling and precious to us.  Every fb comment, email, msg, phone call and text means so much. 

Friends are setting alarms to pray through out the day and adding Dawson to prayer chains all around the world.  thank you.

Tuesday, tomorrow, we are setting aside the day to fast and pray specifically.  

We would love to pray for you too.  

There are so many people struggling through different trials along side of us.

How can we pray for you?  

As we drive (6 hours) we will pray. 

If you want to join us, here are our specifics:

*All glory to God as we go.
*that there would be NO adenoma… no macro, mini or any size - any.where!
*healing.  Let's just skip past all of it and just have a whole healing, amen?  Let's ask!
*safe travels.
*that we would love and encourage those we encounter.   [when we adopted lil D, we stayed in a hotel within the famous Mayo Clinic campus.  everyday, all day, there were hurting, sick people in the lobby and restaurant.  you should have seen their faces when we would share our itty bitty treasure.  the old ladies lit up with joy. :)]
*peace.  we know the source… pray we stay tapped in.
*kiddos at home and friends that are caring for them
*Dawson's heart.  he hates needles.  he really does.  he had to give more blood Saturday and he just hates it.  who can blame him?    


Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Super Moon last night was a good reminder of the glory of God.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Lit Up

Yesterday the world lit up with prayers for Daws.

[thank you]

People from all over the world began talking to our Miracle-working, Mountain-moving, Awe-inspiring, Gasp-giving God [a wonderful friends saying but i love it] about Dawson and that darn pituitary gland.  Within 3 hours we got the call the radiologists did not agree about it and appeared large but without an adenoma.

You see, Jesus is into healing.  He is actually quite famous for it.

People came to Jesus, he healed them.

Yesterday as I was reading Matthew 19.  In verse 2 it says "And large crowds followed him, and he healed them there."

He healed them there.  

He can heal Daws here.

I find it no coincidence knees were bent and [possible] good news rolled in.

We are now cheering before The Lord with more of that kind of news.  

Cheer with us.  Praise with us.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


That was fast, right?

No, this day has been like molasses.


The update was encouraging [i think].

The 3 radiologist could not agree for the referral.  They could not agree on the adenoma at all.  


Yesterday was yes with measurements and then today confusion.

I will take the confusion with a possibility that there is another reason for that gland being big and naughty.

I call that HOPE.  

I like hope that they will not touch my baby's brain and that there will be complete healing.

The MRI has been Fed Exed to Stanford and they will read it.  This is what they do, specifically.

Next week we will know.

Will you pray?  Pray for that mysterious screen to be nothing?

I like the idea of an endocrinologist much better than a surgeon.

We will breathe and trust. 


About a month ago we started noticing our 8 year old son, Dawson, had an extreme thirst.  As fast as he drank, it went right through him.  Day and Night.  Every hour on the hour.

About two weeks into this, one morning he woke up and begged for juice.  Justin and I looked at each other and said "diabetes."

I called my girlfriend that has a daughter with diabetes, hubby called a friend with type I diabetes and asked for symptoms.  Our amazing pediatrician was near my friend so she jumped on the phone and said run into office and have his sugars checked [more on our favorite pediatrician ever, later].

His levels were completely normal.  Hmmm…

Must be a weird habit.

I am very real about things and realize we can all go through strange phases and decided it must be a weird mental thing going on for him.

I watched him, made sure relationships were good between him and the other kids… things looked good… it was not adding up.

We asked our friends for a their extra blood sugar monitor because we were, again, convinced he had diabetes.  All weekend his levels were normal.

Monday of this week Justin took him in to our pediatrician.  

Things were not adding up for her either and admitted him into the hospital for observation and testing.  

At this point I was nervous, but pretty sure he had a strange habit and he would just grow out of it.  Justin was not so sure.

Once admitted they restricted his water for 4 hours.  In that 4 hours he lost 2 lbs, of water…. laying in bed, not moving much.  His urine was not concentrating.

Our pediatrician wanted to try a hormone to see if his kidneys would start doing their job.

Worked like a charm.

[can i take a moment and brag on our pediatrician?  this, diabetes inspidus, is rare.  she has never seen it and it can often be misdiagnosed for a length of time.  she nailed it.  fast.  i am ever so grateful and start to tear up just thinking of her, above and beyond care, she has given our baby [and us].  she is more than a Dr. to us, she is a loving friend (and that goes for her husband and nurse too) - we are blessed.]  

What that told us was that the pituitary gland was not doing its job.  We needed to find out why.  She scheduled an MRI for the morning.

Yesterday morning we went in for an MRI.  Daws was amazing.  Seriously.  He rocked the whole lay-still-and-don't-move-inside-a-giant-metal-super-scary-sounding-tube thing.  I was so proud of him.

Then we headed home to wait.  Waiting is um… not my favorite.

I laid the kids down for a nap/reading time, sat down in my favorite chair, picked at my face nervously (awesome habit I have - is there a hormone replacement for that?) and held my cell phone as if it was an infant.  

About an hour into this sitting and picking episode I see my husband walk onto the porch with my pediatrician and nurse behind him.  My heart stopped.

My legs walked me outside and I sat down.

They explained that the MRI revealed an adenoma inside of his pituitary gland.

I could only hear about every third word so my pediatrician grabbed a picture book to explain.

Our son sheepishly walked outside and wanted to know.  Our Dr. explained it to him and asked if there were any questions.  He just squirmed around, nervous from all the attention [i understand the feeling] but handled it like a trooper.

We talked some more.  I retained none of it.  We prayed and they left.

Justin and I gathered up the kids and explained as best we could.  We all sat in a daze for a while.  Prayed, and the kids went outside.

All but Dawson and Lily.

They sat on my lap, which was a killer.  I needed to bawl and a have a moment but had to wait and chat like nothing was wrong.  We offered pony rides, quad rides, special snacks outside… they were not going to budge.  About an hour later I had convinced Dawson to go look up tourist sites of the bay area.

I ran to my room to bawl and call my family.

Later, I walked out to our loving pastors whom had brought dinner [which was good because cooking certainly was not going to happen].

For the next 2 hours the kids were [strangely] filled with joy.  They had pandora high school musical station blasting.  Lily bounced up to me and asked to dance.  I stared at her.  How could I dance when my baby has tumor in his brain?  But there she was.  So in one of the most awkward moments, turned freeing moments, of my life we, "put our hands up…  nodded our head like 'yeah'….. and now I'm gonna be ok.. " We danced.

Now we wait.