Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Mom Time

We had our weekly Mom Time gathering this afternoon. Today was exercise and we did the 2 mile, walk away the pounds video. It's funny to me that they all really enjoy our exercise times. I don't think many are regular exercisers but they really look forward to this. :) But anyway...

We had 6 moms today, one of which was new. It was great and I praise God that all the moms left their children with the babysitters! This is something I've been praying for... for a long time. In HK, there are a lot of things available to children (play-group activities) but very little (if any) for moms. So our purpose for Mom Time is to invest in the moms. But I think because most ladies don't have family to help, they rarely leave their children with anyone else and insist that their children can't handle it. Obviously... when you're trying to discuss something important and there are kids running around, you don't get very far so I've been praying that these moms would let go for an hour and take that time to invest in themselves. Today, one mom in particular left her child for the first time (i think ever... not just with us)... what a huge step!

Some Moms have asked for some parenting discussions so Vivian and I are going to look into some books, that we can also find in Japanese so all moms can read in their native language, and do a book study as well as the activities. We pray that this will give us more opportunity to deepen relationships and introduce Christianity and the love of God.

On a very silly side note.... Isabella is back to her old 'I'm scared' tactics at bedtime and last week when she'd say this, I would say, 'Well lie down and if you're still scared when I bring buddy to bed, you can come sleep in our room.' Well of course she was conked out way before I put buddy to bed. So tonight she starts and I say it again but this time she sits (without my realizing it) on her chair (next to her bed) saying... 'Mommy, I'm waiting.' I told her she had to be in her bed lying down and so she did but it was too late. She had already willed herself to stay up and Buddy was about ready for bed. So tonight... Izzy's in our room and Mike is doing his 'I told you so' dance. :) Oh well.. at least it's quiet now.

She and Buddy seem to be improving, my eyesight seems a bit better (I could at least tell where the numbers were on the clock at school today) and Mike was quite energized to be able to go back to work if only for a bit. Please continue to pray for healing and answers.

May you have a wonderful day!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Buddy's Sunday Outfit

Whoever said you can't buy cute clothes for boys... lied. My mom got this outfit for Isaiah and I just LOVE it. Actually.. I've loved all the outfits he has and toys. It's so fun having a boy!

Health Update

Some of you may not get our family/ministry updates so I decided to post the health update here so you can here what's going on...

I'm sitting here listening to nothing.... it's strange not to hear any cries, any 'Mommy can you put these shoes on her,' no High School Musical singing, etc... Mike has taken Isabella out to get some ice cream and Buddy is asleep. Peace and quiet... so now I can concentrate and write. :)

I just want to Praise God for who He is... He's our comforter, our Peace... and our healer and I'm so thankful that I only have to rely on Him for these things. It's been a trying time in our household... we've been told many times that God does not give you more than you can handle and we do believe that but sometimes it gets us thinking about what He may have instore for us in the future or even questioning His belief in how strong we are. But through it all, we've had God's peace. Well at least I have, maybe I shouldn't speak for Mike, but I'm not worried about Mike, I'm not worried about my vision, I'm not worried that Isabella's asthma is acting up again and that is sounds as though Isaiah is going to suffer the same asthma related issues. I trust that God will work it all out according to His plan and I try to take one day at a time. I know this woudn't be the case if I did not have a personal relationship with God and I'm extremely thankful that He has given me this peace.

I know many of you are concerned and praying for our health issues so I will just update on those things today though we still appreciate all prayers in regards to our ministries.

Mike: The hospital stay calmed things down a little and after spending a week in bed at home resting, he begged for an evening out to a car show (Top Gear) that had been given to him as a Christmas gift. We both knew it probably wasn't the best idea but he it was a gift and he promised to be careful. He had a fabulous time but was a bit tired today. He's discouraged though as all of his meds have greatly been increased but he's only seeing minor improvements. He goes back to Dr Kelly tomorrow and we'll go from there but there's a good chance that he'll have to ask another Dr to re-refer him to have a scope done. I know that he misses being at the office and is nervous about having to take another week off but realistically, we all know that would be best for him. So please pray for wisdom for the Dr's, peace for Mike, and just overall healing.

Melissa: I saw the Dr again this past Tuesday and there was good news and bad. :) The condition of my eyes (the erosion and spots) has not changed yet the vision in my left has returned to what it was before which is great. The vision in my right eye however has not. The Dr seemed a bit concerned about that but he changed my meds a bit and said he'd see me in 10 days. I'll go back this friday and hopefully my eyes will be okay enough to get new glasses. So please pray that my vision will return so I can get the appropriate glasses and please continue to pray that I can adjust to the changes that I may have to face.

Isabella: The weather has gotten the best of her again.... her cough and runny nose has returned. She actually asked to stay home from Awana yesterday so she could 'rest up' (it was so cute) which is so unlike her. And she did, she sat on the couch and in bed and just watched movies. She complained about an earache last night so I'm thankful that Mike needs to go to see Kelly tomorrow as Isabella will go in as well and get all checked out.

Isaiah: The weather has got him as well. He woke up with a fever and runny nose as well. Other than that though, he's doing really well. He's started on solids and throughly enjoys his um..... cereal. :) Well he has enjoyed the bananas.

So that's what we're dealing with at the moment. I'm looking forward, I think we're all looking forward to our visit in April... to be spoiled by time with family and good friends.

Thank you so much for your prayers... we can definitely feel them, usually at our weakest moments too. We hope you all are doing well and feeling as blessed by God as we do.

Serving Him,
Melissa , Mike , Izzy and Isaiah (Buddy)

Mike's Dr appt didn't go as well as we had hoped. Kelly said his stomach will take time and adjusted his meds but she didn't feel that his exhaustion should have anything to do with the stomach issues but she was stumped as to what was causing them. That was not encouraging news to Mike as she threw out some new things.... liver and possible Hepatitis A, a high platelet count, etc... She also insisted on him having a scope done. She did give him permission to work a half-day though which pleased him. :) So please continue to pray for healing and wisdom for the Drs.

The kids have the usual and are on their 300 meds. :)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Thank You

Just wanted to say Thank You to everyone for your prayers. Mike actually got some sleep last night and he feels like the meds are working though one of them make him a little loopy but he's not sure what one. :)

appt yesterday wasn't exactly what I was hoping for but that's okay. The dr said my eyeballs haven't changed in their condition but my vision in my left eye has returned to normal. Not exactly sure how that works but I can see in one eye so that's all that matters. He started to wean me off the steroid drops and I'll go back next friday (the 27th) and hopefully my right eye will improve and I will be able to get new glasses at that point. I did learn that I have a strong astigmatism in both eyes (never heard that before) and could possibly be why my glasses made me sick... wrong prescription. So we'll see.

Just a fun side note... this is how big I have to make the font to be able to see without squinting too much. Though I'd need it bigger to make sure I'm not misspelling words. haha

Man it's been a crazy few weeks and I'm tired... Buddy's not been sleeping well on top of all the other things. I think he's growing so hopefully in a few more days he'll be normal again. :) Tomorrow we have Izzy's sports day and I'm looking forward to hopefully getting to meet some of her friends moms.

But again thank you for all the sweet notes and comm
ents and most importantly prayers. We're blessed to have such great friends and family!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What's going on with Mike?

What's wrong with Mike?

That's the question I've heard a lot lately so I thought I'd answer it here. I asked Mike how he'd like me to explain it and he simply said, 'His childhood stomach issues have returned with a vengeance.' He said that sounded a lot cooler. :)

The week before we left for Thailand, we all headed to the Dr's for different issues. Kelly is always very thorough with each of us but especially Mike due to his past. She checked him over and immediately put him on some stomach meds (of which I can't remember at the moment) because she could hear that something was going on with his stomach.

We all had hoped that a holiday would help him to relax and heal but unfortunately, that wasn't the case so upon returning from Thailand, Mike went to the hospital an another Dr friend diagnosed him with peptic ulcers and put him on some more meds. He also referred him to a specialist but Mike wasn't able to get an appointment until March 2010! Gotta love the public health system. :) Though we did receive a letter last week that his appointment was moved up to this June.

These meds seemed to be helping but then life got a bit crazy. We had our family camp and he had a week of late nights. As the case usually is for Mike... after a crazy week, the day he lets down, his body lets down and that's what seemed to happened on Sat. We don't really know if this is the exact reason but it makes sense to us. :)

We came home from Awana and shortly thereafter Mike was in pain. He thought he'd go to bed and sleep it off but by midnight he knew it was pretty serious. He insisted on trying again to sleep it off but Sunday morning he developed a fever and the pain continued to increase. Another Dr insisted that he come to the hospital and he would admit him that afternoon, so at 3:30 he headed out to Prince of Wales. Stewart admitted him, took some blood tests and gave him an IV. He spent the night and on Monday they took more tests. His potassium was low but the other tests seemed to be okay so they sent him home.

He felt better for a few hours but then he just continued to grow worse. Thankfully he had an appointment with Dr Kelly today and I thank God for her and the care she has shown us. She immediately knew that things were not good, took some more tests and gave him lots of meds and orders to rest. It just so happened that our Sr Pastor was there and she even talked to him about making sure Mike rests and not expecting anything from him.

Mike says that his past issues were severe acid reflux, ulcers, etc... to the point that he had holes in his esophagus and stomach that you could put your finger through. I didn't know Mike at that time so this is all new to me to so I apologize if I can't explain it all clearly. I just know I hear a lot of groaning, that he can't eat/sleep, and he lost any color that he got in Thailand. :)

Dr Kelly did a test for pancreatitis today and really wants him to have a scope done but to have a scope we need to get some other people on board with that decision so we'll wait until next Tues (unless of course things get worse before then) when Mike goes back to see Kelly.

I can't thank all of you enough for your prayers. We both are at peace with what's going on ... we just want him to get better. So I'm playing mean/nagging wife and took away his phone, computer for work purposes.. he's still allowed to watch Chuck, and have him camped out in our room. And I'm begging anyone that needs to talk with him about work things to take it through me first... I'm not Mike but I may be able to help. I really, really don't want him doing anything but resting until at least next Tuesday.

So that's the basics. He seems to be in much better spirits this evening and we even saw a few smiles. Please continue to pray for complete healing.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

7/11 Hopping

I'm very thankful that the kindergarten that I teach at is a small one where all the teachers get along and spend time together outside of work. I've been invited to several outings that I've not been able to attend so when I was invited to reg's birthday party, I did everything I could to go. She's a very fun/outgoing woman and she wanted a unique party so she planned a 7/11, Circle K, restaurant hopping night. There were at least 20 of us (probably more but I didn't count) and we started at one 7/11 for drinks. Then we went to Jaspas' for appetizers. Then another 7/11 for ice cream. We stopped off at another 7/11 for drinks before heading to a park for pizza. At that point it was about 11:30pm (we started at 7) and I decided to head home. As one friend commented... it was definitely unique and only in Hong Kong. :) It was a fun night and I got to know a lot about the other teachers which was fun. It was very fun to get out without kids and I was happy that Mike was able to join us for the pizza after reload. But as I said before, 'only in HK,' here's another 'only in HK' story....

Our bus schedule changes somewhere between 4:30 and 7pm but I can never remember when so I decided to head down to the bus stop around 8:35. After about 15min of waiting I realized that I missed the bus and I began to stress because I knew I'd be late and I didn't want to have to go searching for the group. At about 6:55 a lady pulls up by the bus stop, rolls down her window and yells, 'Sai Kung?' I said yeah and she said, 'Hop in.' I didn't even think twice, I just hopped in (along with another lady) and she gave us a ride to town. Once I got out I began thinking how crazy that sounds and is in most places is but in HK... it's not, especially in Sai Kung. This is actually the second time this has happened an Mike and I talk all the time about doing the same thing, only we usually can't because with car seats, we just don't have the room. I just thank God that HK is a place that we feel safe enough to do something like that... and of course we are careful about it too.

Today we had Awana and while Izzy was there, I walked around Jusco and found some pre-school skill books. I decided to pick one up as she loves playing school now and doing her homework. And since she's learning Chinese, I realized that I need to work with her on those basic English skills a bit more. Plus I thought it would be great for the plane ride in April and something to keep her going since she'll be missing almost a month of school. I'm really excited to do this with her... i just hope she doesn't get tired of it.

Tomorrow we're going ice skating with the youthgroup. I'm hoping that they'll allow Izzy to skate. She's been asking us to do this for awhile now and I can only imagine what she'll be like if she has to watch.

Hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day!!! No matter what there's always one man who loves you... Jesus! Just read the book of John.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

the Verdict

Ughhh.. I'm so tired of blogger not allowing my photos. I'll try again tom with the sitting up pic.

Yes I'm just cutting and pasting this from facebook but my eyes are killing me....

Since many of you have been praying, I thought I would just post the update here. It turns out, I'm abnormal, but I'm sure many of you knew that anyway. :) It's nothing too serious but will be something that I will probably struggle with for some time.

I panicked big time when they first checked my eyes as I could not see a thing with my right eye but the left was not that bad. The lady looked at me like I was crazy and pretending that I couldn't see. Then the Dr did some tests, all were okay but yet I still couldn't see so he dilated my eyes and told Mike that something wasn't right.. Thankfully I didn't hear that.

But alas... due to the viral infection my body built up too many antibodies (I should have mike check this first as it made more sense to him but oh well) and left spots on my eyes causing the blurred vision. He put me on steroid drops and said that it will take about 10 days to see clearly again but that my body would need to learn that the virus is no longer there and that could take a long time. So I will wean myself off the drops but my body may react and vision be blurred again until my body adjusts. Meaning that i may be on and off these drops. He also said there was quite a bit of erosion on my eye due to wearing contacts but that it wasn't anything that drops and no contacts couldn't fix.

But the biggest thing he stressed and the biggest discouragement to me is that I can no longer wear contacts. I figured this might be the case so I will have a positive attitude but my glasses have always made me motion sick so I'm praying the optometrist will help me get the right type of glasses to prevent that. And well... I've got a great pair of oakley sunglsses for sale ! haha

So I go back next Tues to get checked again and see about new glasses.

I just praise God that it's nothing too serious and I praise God for our family Dr who has taken such wonderful care of our family and made this appt possible in more than one way.

Thank you so much for your prayers!

On a much lighter note.... I got the results and pictures from Sunday's race. If I had been able to keep my pace, I would have been able to run about a 1:46 race! My halfway time was 53:29! While my final time was not what I was hoping for... I'm stoked that this was my halfway time because it means that I can do it if I am totally prepared. So I'm anxious to get back into training and plan to go out and smoke the Disney Unicef Half next Dec!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Isaiah firsts

Isaiah's had a big week... he had his first fall off the couch but thankfully he was just fine and today he sat up by himself for the first time!!! I have a really sweet photo of this but I'm too lazy at the moment to upload it. My baby's growing way too fast!!!

Isabella had ballet today and had a blast as usual. We've begun putting her to bed no later than 7:30 and it has made a HUGE difference! I think she has just been overly, overtired. :) She has not fussed all week and last night she fell asleep in the car on our way home from Mom Time at about 5:45 and slept until this morning. She's waking a bit earlier but I can handle that if bed time is not stressful. So I'm very thankful for that.

I head to the Dr tomorrow to hopefully find out some answers as to why I can't see. Praying it's nothing serious!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

I did it!

I survived the half. I was NOT prepared and that definitely showed in my time and the last 5K but I am pleased. I knew that I wouldn't beat my time from Disney but I had hoped to do a bit better than I did. Actually, I started off doing much better than anticipated but the last 6K where up and down and up and down and I haven't run any hills since before Christmas. But I did it and I'm proud of what I've accomplished in just a few months.

I think I'm going to take this week and do some tae bo and focus on my core. I have an incredibly sore back from the race and my scar area is a bit sensitive so I think I need to work on building up those muscles again.

But I'm off to feed buddy and rest my weary body. :)

Saturday, February 07, 2009

It wasn't the glasses

So all week I've been struggling to see. I thought it was my glasses... that the prescription was not accurate so I went to the Dr where they told me it was okay. So I thought it might be just the irritation I was dealing with or possibly the antibiotics but my Dr said to use the drops 2 weeks so that's what I intended to do.

But tomorrow is the big race and I really wanted to wear my contacts so I could see properly. So I put them in today to have a day to adjust and guess what... still can't see. Thank goodness we were at camp and we've got three Dr's in the church. I asked one what might be wrong. Turns out.... he thought it was the antibiotics and said to stop taking them and in a couple days... my vision would be okay.

So turns out.. I'll still be running blindly tomorrow. :( To be honest, I'm quite discouraged as the bad vision is making me nauseous and I'm seeing double. How I'm typing this I don't know but please say a prayer that this is just the drops and that it won't take too long to see normal again.

Aside from the eyes... we had a fabulous family retreat! It was lots of fun but I'll be thankful to lie my head on a soft pillow this evening.

Well... off to rest!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Bangkok Weekend

Day one back at school went well. It was actually quite a fun day... we did yoga and some of the kids really got into it. My eyes are still bothering me but I managed to survive. Izzy was happy when I got home and we played school and read stories. Buddy got a much needed long nap and Mike got to the Drs. Isabella was happy to feed Isaiah this evening and now she's in bed. We moved her into our room for the week as we're trying to let Isaiah cry it out. We think he's stuck at waking up about 4 am so we'll see. So you can pray for us if you'd like... I know this won't be easy.

So that was our hum-drum day... nothing too exciting.

So back to our trip...

We had an exciting beginning as our van driver was about an hour late picking us up and we didn't have any wiggle room since I had to work. We literally made it to our gate just as they were boarding after running through the airport which was not fun but we made it. Isabella was thrilled to be on an 'urplane' at last. She'd been talking about being on one for months now. The flight was great... Izzy was great, Buddy was great... the food on the other hand, not so great.

We landed and took a taxi to the CMA Guest House. It took us forever thanks to lovely Bangkok traffic and it was surreal to arrive and see our Sr Pastor and wife. Pastor Mark was speaking at the field forum the same week we were vacationing. We chatted with them for awhile, ordered some pizza and headed to bed. We had a lot we wanted to cover on Sat so we wanted a good night's rest.

Sat morning we headed out to check out the Grand Palace and the connecting temple, Temple of the Emerald Buddha. It was beautiful... the architecture amazing but very sad a the same time. We went inside to see the buddha and were surprised to see so many worshipping. It's very hard to see so many people putting their hopes in a statue.. when God is so real and personal.

After that we headed down the river on a boat ride which was really fun and relaxing. We got to see so many different sides of Bangkok... from sky-scrapers to village like houses on stilts.

After the boat ride we headed to MBK (a big mall that's somewhat like a market too) to do some shopping. We were stoked to see a DQ and Dunkin Donuts and of course we had both. We all got some really good deals on clothing and Mike finally got his Bangkok starbucks mug.

We headed back to the guest house to have our left overs for dinner and relaxed in the video room watching Madagascar. In the midst of the movie, in walk two of our friends from college! We knew they would be in Thailand but had no idea they would be staying at the guest house as well. It was fun to see them. We headed to bed shortly after that as we were planning to do some more exploring on Sunday morning... but both kids slept until about 9ish so by the time we all got ready, we didn't have much time to explore.

We did take a tuk tuk ride and checked out a store (looking for some snacks for Dolphin Bay) and the store turned out to be like a Super-Walmart. It was awesome to find all the things we needed in one place! We also found freezy pops and fruitloops and A&W rootbeer. Isabella loved the tuk tuk ride and begged to take another.. so after some amazing street food we hopped back into a tuk tuk and headed back to the guest house to wait for our van to Dolphin Bay.

I'd love to come back to Bangkok without kids to explore more. It was a bit hard with Isabella and Isaiah but it was still fun to at least see a little bit.

And that was our journey to Bangkok.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Isaiah Eats Solids

After a bit of a long day traveling... I decided to keep the kids home today. It was a wise decision. They both slept until 9:45 and woke up very happy. In fact, they were happy most of the day which was great even though they both were still quite tired. Isabella actually fell asleep in Mike's arms at about 7:30 which if you know her... that's not normal. I'm thankful that she still has two more days off before school begins again... hopefully she will be rested up from the trip.

Isaiah had his first solids today, rice cereal. He did really well.... much better than Izzy did but shortly after finishing, he spit it all back up. Oh well... it was fun and hopefully it will help him sleep a bit better at night. I can't believe he's old enough to start solids. Where did my baby go? He's 5 months now and as cute as ever. He was quite popular in Thailand. Izzy was too. Many, many photos were taken of them and lots of stares.

I head back to work tomorrow and am a bit nervous about it. My eyes have acted up again and I'm on eye drops and wearing my glasses but I don't know if it's my glasses or the medication but everything 2 feet and further away is extremely blurry. Not exactly sure how helpful I'll be at work but we'll see. The big race is this Sunday and I'm trying not to get to stressed about it but it was too difficult to run in Thailand so I feel very unprepared. I just want to enjoy myself so I'm trying to keep a positive attitude.

Well once again, blogger is not allowing my photos to upload so this one will have to do. We did get a short video and a cute video of him talking that I'll try to post tomorrow.

Hope you have a blessed Sunday!

"You can throw the whole weight of your anxieties upon Him, for you are His personal concern." 1 Peter 5:7