Monday, January 24, 2011

A New Thing

The Girl With Many Shoes...
(she is almost always wearing a shoe on her right foot)
Brother's shoes...
Mommy's shoes (which she is saying now!!!!!)...





Daddy's shoes...


And every now and then a double up...


**********
We have been having a lot of random conversations lately about how Ansley is going to be our mischevious one. Zachary was always so cautious and never got "into" stuff. He was never the "I turned my back and there was powdered sugar all over the kitchen" type of toddler. Girlfriend on the other hand.... oh yes she is! She is a climber (praise the Lord!) and Zachary just became a climber like a year ago!

I was emptying the dishwasher and looked over to find her like this...


This her absolute favorite spot to be. Which was all fine and dandy until I ran upstairs to grab socks (30 seconds tops) and heard a weird banging noise coming from the bathroom. I walked in to find her throwing a ball in (laughing hysterically) the potty and then dunking her arms in and splashing. Oh my. Gross! I have to say though... Zachary and I were laughing so hard. It was mind boggling to him that she would splash in the potty and me, well, I just thought it was funny.



Rob made spaghetti on my birthday and it was seriously the messiest child/food experience I have ever seen. She does not kid with spaghetti.



A wrestling match:
Buzz vs. Buzz




Down for the count!


Scooter sharin'


Isaiah 43:19
"See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland."

Friday, January 14, 2011

Consider Him... So that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart." (Heb. 12:1-3)

The last few weeks have been really hard with Ansley. As we have said so many times on our blog, we feel like we are running a race that makes a marathon look like a sprint. We often are spurred on and encouraged and pray hard for Ansley, but growing weary and losing steam as we try to persevere is difficult. There are times that we just feel overwhelmed by how much is stacked against her. We have seen mountains crumble and fall into the sea (feeding tube, curved tibia, high tone...), but each bend in the trail seems to reveal new obstacles and new mountains to attack with prayer. We still believe and trust, but just feel weary. Here is what we are up against:

- Ansley's eyes are getting better (praise God), but we will have to get glasses. She has peripheral blind spots, an underdeveloped section of her eyeball, drifting gaze, and has astigmatism. Her follow up evaluation next month will reveal more information.

- Ansley has been recommended to add weekly physical therapy sessions because she is having trouble with overall body balance and is showing stiffness in her hips.

- Ansley is still in weekly occupational therapy sessions to work on fine motor skills. She is doing well here, but is still a little behind.

- Ansley has just started weekly speech therapy sessions to work on her language. We are seeing her vocabulary increase but she still has not jumped the gap from "approximations" to "articulation" (going from "mamamamama" to "Mommie") with any consistency. We have yet to see her language explode and take off the ground. This is the most important cognitive development for her right now.

- Ansley also meets with her developmental specialist weekly. She is doing well, but still is showing delays in several areas.

As you can see, we often feel as if we are surrounded by obstacles (and therapy sessions! Now 4x weekly). It is hard to stay focused day in and day out--session after session--appointment after appointment. We haven't given up, we haven't lost hope, we are just so incredibly tired (physically, emotionally, and spiritually.) We still trust God, and we still feel called to pray boldly and pray God's word over her. We know that this is the "race marked out for us." But we are weary of this constant fight. Especially Jordan. She goes through all the therapy sessions while I am at work. We ask that you pray for each of these items--that God would answer "quickly" (Luke 18:7-8). And pray for us to "fix our eyes on Jesus...so that we will not grow weary and lose heart." (Heb.12:1-3) Also pray for us to have the wisdom and time to escape from the world of developmental therapy and just have some fun with our beautiful little girl.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Jericho

These pictures are going to be all over the place. It's just a lot of lately...

A few Christmas outtakes that capture the true essence of Zachary and Ansley's relationship:




Do you see the JOY that ooooozes from my girl?







LOVE!



****

Christmas was a sad day for spatulas.
I introduce you to her new love...



Very excited about Buzz Lightyear wings! (You can see Ansley's got her own "comfy chair" from Grammy and Pappy--just like Zachary at his second Christmas.)






Girlfriend preferred sitting on her presents as she opened them (phone).




She did put the phone down, however, to take her new baby for a stroll.







A typical wrestling match (phone).




And a little hide-and-seek (phone).




Zachary playing "shootin' guns" with Uncle Kevin and Uncle Scott
on Christmas Day.



IFSP Goal #7 (Individualized Family Service Plan-
through our area Early Intervention Program)

To climb in and turn to sit in chairs (both adult and child.)


Check!!!
(Classic big brother choke hold pose)


Check!!

********

JERICHO


We sat in the car, the day after Ansley's eye appointment, silent... fighting for hope...fighting for courage... hoping for the LORD to gift us with the faith to keep believing and stir up His leading to pray boldly once again. My mom had called that morning saying why don't we bring the kids over to hang out with her and my Aunt Paula for awhile so Rob and I could go be alone and process.

Since Ansley's diagnosis and the Lord's leading to claim His word over her, we have been going to 'this place'-sitting in the car- to pray. To pray His words of truth, promise and hope over her. To pray for her brain to burst into bloom. To pray for the doors of 'this place' to be opened for her. To pray for 'this place' to be a place where the glory of the LORD is revealed. A place for the power of the mighty hand of God to be shown strong and limitless. A place where our girl will SPEAK the name of Jesus and make His gospel known.


(Quick filler info... if you've been following us for awhile, you will have seen many references to the journey of the Israelites. We find much similarity in their journey and ours. A few examples being the LORD calling the people to recount and remember His hand of deliverance.. to remember His miracles.. to press on being "VERY strong and courageous" in the belief that the LORD had called and led them to "walk by faith, not by sight" holding onto the hope of the promised land. It also serves as a lot of conviction in the moments when we gripe and complain about our circumstances or feel tempted to the "woe is me" mentality.)

Whenever we drive by 'this place' we are always commenting that we need to walk around the building instead of just praying in the parking lot. We are always saying we want to claim it as holy ground. Another resemblance (documented in the book of Joshua) in the journey of the Israelites trudging through the wilderness to the promised land is the city of Jericho. Joshua had been told the land would be given to them in spite of it being heavily armed and guarded by an impenetrable wall surrounding it. 'This place' is our Jericho.

(eventual phone pic here once we can figure it out)

It is the elementary school we will be zoned for (once we move that is... another post- haha). And don't worry... we most certainly pray for our boy when we are there, too. We have seen incredible changes in Zachary over the last year through the praying of specific scriptures over him. (again... another post : ))

So, on that particular day, we got out of the car. We had not taken five steps onto the grounds when the Holy Spirit began stirring up great depths of hope and courage again. Every step brought more boldness and confidence in praying that this "Jericho" would be flattened by the mighty hand of Jesus Christ for our girl. We believe that He is the SAME yesterday and today and forever (Heb 13:8). It is about believing the word of God is true, in its WHOLE... all yes or all no. You are for Him or you are against Him. There is no in between. We praise God for His sovereignty and say out loud that we trust His will and plan for our lives. We submit wholeheartedly to who He says He is and the irony is.. it gives us MORE courage to believe in who He says He is and to pray His word with boldness. So, like the Israelites, we spent the next six days (which fell over Christmas break for Rob and the school!) walking around the building and praying over it once each day. We walked through snow and rain and left many tears, laughter and scripture (written in the snow- it was beautiful and amazing) at that place. On the seventh day, our familes (that were in town) joined us to walk around the building seven times and pray over it. We then gathered at the doors to all pray together at the end. It was absolutely overwhelming how present and physically tangible the presence of the Holy Spirit was. His power was there. And it was strong and mighty.

And... are you ready for this? Ansley's eyes changed during that week. The drifting is still present, but noticeably different. She made eye contact from across the room with me and from lengths away. That has NEVER happened. That would typically be too great a distance to not have her eyes drift. Her pretend play (HUGE cognitive ability and goal) increased dramatically, her words increased and her overall awareness just seemed more "there". All in the power of the name of Jesus Christ, who is living and dwelling among us. He is alive and His word is living and active. He has shown His power once again in our girl. He is knocking down walls.

I never actually took my camera, but I took some pictures as best I could on my phone and once we can figure out how to upload them- I'll put them up!