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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Good news!!!

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever!"
 We finally have some direction as to the ministry God has planned for us! Several weeks ago, Chad felt led to present a proposal to the pastor of our church about starting a theological school. Apparently, God is really behind this idea because the pastor stated that another prominent member of the church had made the same recommendation about a month before Chad. They were just waiting for God to provide someone to carry out this vision!
 We are currently in the very beginning stages of starting Green Acres Theological Institute. A fund is being set up to raise money to support the start up of this organization. Hopefully, it will not be too long before there will be enough funds for Chad to begin receiving a paycheck. For now, Chad is looking for temporary work and  preparing the classes. The goal is to begin enrolling students soon, and for Chad to begin teaching this fall! We are amazed at the opportunity that God is providing.  
 Please pray with us that God will provide the necessary funding to get this school up and running. Also, please pray that God will continue to provide for our needs in the meantime. Finally, pray for God to send students!
Rejoice with us, spread the word, and let us know if you have any questions or would like more information!

For more information, you can check out Chad blog at

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Easter!

I don't think I could say it any better than this...


I pray that we will all take some time this Easter to remember and take in just how great He truly is!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Times of transition...

In case you didn't notice, I have changed the name of my blog. The main reason for this change is that we no longer live on a farm. We are currently in a time of transition. About 6 weeks ago, we left Happy Hill Farm Academy after 9 years of service there. This meant leaving both of our jobs, our home, and the school our children have been attending since kindergarten. Why did we leave? We just know in our hearts that God is calling us to a new ministry. The hard part is that we still don't know where that will be.

Currently, we are back in the town where I grew up. We have joined the church in which I grew up. It is a real homecoming for me. It has been so much fun for me to see so many people from my past. We also love being close to family!!! This transition time has been a real blessing to me.

I thought I would start out this new blog by catching you up on the family. Clayton is now in the 9th grade. Now that we are back in my hometown, he is going to my Alma mater! I think that is pretty cool, but he doesn't quite see it that way yet. He has had a BIG adjustment going from a 1A private Christian school to a 5A public high school, but he is doing great! I am so proud of him of how hard he has been working and the great attitude he has had during the past 6 weeks.

Jackson is in the 5th grade. He likes his new school (most of the time), and has made several new friends. He especially likes to hang out with the boy next door. He is in 6th grade, and they both like to skateboard and ride bikes. Most afternoons they spend together outside.

Carly is in the 1st grade and she LOVES everything! She is so happy here! She has made so much progress in reading in the new school. We are also enjoying all the opportunities a new city provides. We have attended American Girl events at the library and a play of Cinderella since we have been here.

Chad is still looking for his next ministry position. He is working on his Ph.D dissertation while he has some extra time. For Spring Break, Chad had to go to Princeton University to meet with his Ph.D supervisor from Amsterdam. I got to go with him, and we had a wonderful trip. We even got to make one of my dreams come true - I'll add pictures and tell you all about that very soon!

For now we are just enjoying have more family time, making new friends, and catching up with old friends. I hope you will continue to follow our journey as we seek God's direction for our family.

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, November 22, 2010

The View From the Other Side

It has been a very long time since I have updated my blog, but if you were a follower before you probably know about my daughter, Carly, who was born with a cleft palate. I have written before about the possibility of another surgery. That surgery actually occurred last Wednesday. I am writing today from the other side - post surgery. This is the day I have been awaiting for a very long time. Here is a quick update of the last week.
Last Tuesday, we went for our pre-op appointment at Cook Children's Hospital. Carly was so brave the entire time. After the appointment, we went to McDonalds to eat lunch and play. We knew that she would not be able to eat regular food for quite a while so she got to pick what we ate that day. Then, we went shopping and played on the indoor playground at the mall. Finally, we had a delicious dinner at Red Lobster. She ate her entire meal plus some of Chad's and some of mine.
After dinner we went to the seminary hotel to spend the night to make it easier to get to the hospital by 6:30 the next morning. Granddad and Grammy met us there to spend the night as well. We stayed up late visiting and playing. Carly ate all of the leftover shrimp from Red Lobster while we visited. She was determined not to be hungry the next day! We also let Carly open all of her gifts that her friends from school had given her to enjoy during her recovery. She actually said after opening her gifts that ..."this surgery stuff isn't so bad!"

The next morning we arrived at the hospital early to get everything started. Once again, she was very brave. After drinking her "giggle juice" she sat in my lap and talked and laughed until they took her back to surgery. She was in surgery for just under 3 hours when the doctor came out to tell us that everything went great. In fact, he was very optimistic and felt like this would really make a difference in her speech. He also said they would probably call us to meet her in recovery in about 30 minutes. About 30 minutes later we did get a call saying that she was still sound asleep so we had to wait about 30 more minutes. When we hadn't heard back in about an hour, we called for an update. They finally let us go back to see her in recovery, and we found out that the recovery was not going as smoothly as we had hoped. One of the major concerns with this surgery is breathing after surgery because it causes swelling in the nasal passages and throat. Carly was in fact having this problem. They had given her a breathing treatment to decrease the swelling, but we had to stay under observation for two more hours. During this time, Carly also started to throw up.

After the two hours of observation, we were finally moved to her room. It seemed like things were calming down, but we actually had several more difficult hours. In fact, she was unable to keep anything down all day.

The next day, Carly had a great day. Around noon she was taken off of her IV, and she stared to drink on her own and even ate some soup. By the afternoon, she was wanting to do some things so we went to the hospital library and playroom. Later that evening, she was discharged and we got to go home.

We had a good evening at home. It was so nice to be all back together as a family. We went to bed around 10: 30. We had to wake her up for medecine at 12:30 and then we went back to sleep. At 2:30 I woke up hearing her struggling to breathe. I repositioned her in bed and she went back into peaceful sleep. At 3:30 she woke up vomitting. This continued for the next 5 hours. Finally, the doctor called in anti-nausea meds for her. By that evening she seemed to be feeling well again and was once again keeping in fluids on her own.
Saturday was another good day. She played a lot and had more of an appetite. She is still on mostly a liquid diet, but she is very willing now to take in anything she is allowed to have. By Saturday night I was so exhausted that I was feeling sick. I really thought I was just overly tired, but realized it was more than that when I got sick to my stomach and started having chills. Chad took over in Carly's room, and I went to bed. I spent all day Sunday in bed with fever, headache, and upset stomach.
Finally, we have made it to Monday. Carly is doing great! She hasn't had any pain medecine in two days. She is hungry and active. I can already tell a difference in her speech even though she is still dealing with a lot of swelling. The doctor said it would take several weeks for the swelling to completely go away so we still have to sleep in her room to reposition her multiple times a night. Whenever she slips down in her bed or turns her head too far, she closes off her airway because of the swelling. We can tell a slight improvement in this, but I do feel like we will be up with her fairly regularly for a few more weeks.

Although this week has been long, exhausting, and stressful, I am so happy to be almost a week past surgery. I have carried the weight of impending surgery for several years now, and it feels amazing to have it behind us. I am so thankful for all of our family and friends who have prayed with us about this for years.
And most of all I am so thankful for the many truths I have learned about God and his goodness through both the good days and the difficult days of my daughters first 6 years...
"I will praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret,
and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed.
And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me,
When as yet there were none of them.
How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!
If I should count them, they would be more in number than the sand;
When I awake, I am still with you."
Psalm 139: 13-18

We have finally made it to the other side and the view from here is great!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Happy Memorial Day!

I thought it would be appropriate today to share with you a paper that Clayton wrote this year for a writing contest at school. The contest was sponsored by the VFW. Students were supposed to explain why veterans should be honored, but they were not allowed to write about personal experience or family members. As a proud mother, I also want to share that Clayton won 1st place for this paper. I am including the paper in this post as a means of saying "Thank You" to all of the people who have sacrificed so much to protect our freedoms. I especially want to thank my family members who have and are still serving in the military. I am so proud to be apart of a family that loves this country and is willing to fight to protect it. So, here it is...

They Deserve to be Honored
By: Clayton Mauldin

I think we should honor our veterans because they risked their lives for us. They fought for what they knew was right. It started with the Revolutionary War, when we won our independence from Britain. Most of our army was made up of volunteers. Then we fought the Civil War where America split, and we fought against ourselves. Then in the world wars, we aided the Allies, the defenders of the weak. Since we won our independence, America has been a role model for the rest of the world, and we would not be here if it were not for our veterans.

In the Revolutionary War, we won our independence from Britain. The soldiers gave their lives so we could be free. Most of our army was made up of townspeople. Those people were very brave and very patriotic. We would not be here today if it were not for these people. They deserve to be honored.

In the Civil War, America split, the North against the South. Both sides fought for what they believed was right. The United States has always been fighting for what it believes is right. In this case the North and the South disagreed. In the end, the North won the war, reuniting our nation. Consequently, these soldiers deserve to be honored.

World War II was a hard time for our country. At first, our country tried to stay out of the conflict. Unfortunately, the war came to us at Pearl Harbor. The Japanese caught us off guard and killed thousands of U.S. troops. We had to fight back, so we began to aid the Allies. We sent soldiers and supplies into Europe. Our soldiers went into foreign countries and battled the Nazis. These troops helped save the world from being over run by the Nazis. They deserve to be honored.

Today, we have troops overseas in Afghanistan and Iraq. We are still fighting for freedom. All of our veterans from 1775 until 2008 have been fighting so that we could be free. The founding fathers had a dream of freedom, and they worked until it became a reality. We are still fighting today to keep that dream alive. All our veterans have risked their lives so that we could enjoy the same freedom as they have. They deserve to be honored.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

It has been a tough week...

I'm so thankful that we had an opportunity to get away as a family last night. I needed a chance to come to grips with this week and process. Now, I feel relaxed again and ready to handle all that this summer holds in store for us. It will most likely not be an easy summer for our family.

On Thursday, we took Carly for her annual check up with her surgeon. I realize now that I had really been clinging to the news from last year that we MIGHT be able to avoid another palate surgery. I had turned that MIGHT into a sure thing. Now I know that I had gotten my hopes us way too high. It is just hard as a Mom. I have seen this girl through 4 surgeries already. Two of the surgeries were ear tubes which just seems like nothing to us now, but the other two surgeries were more extensive. She has only been 5 for two months and now we are facing surgery #5. I can't wait until her age far surpasses the number of surgeries she has had to endure. I am so tired of Dr. appointments! I am tired of wondering what is next! I am just plain tired!

In the appointment, Dr. Schuster said that he doesn't feel like her speech has made much progress this year. I agree. It isn't hard to understand her, but her speech definitely has the sound of someone with a cleft palate. We used to have private speech therapy as well as school therapy, but that all fell apart this year. His main concern is that as she continues to grow her speech will actually decline because her palate can barely close off the air flow needed for speech, and as she grows the area she will have to close off will grow, too. So, we are going to Cook's on June 29th for another speech evaluation. Unless, the speech therapist thinks that this problem can be corrected by more speech, we will be scheduling surgery for this summer. ( Our former speech therapist has already said that she doesn't believe that speech can help Carly with this problem.)

This surgery will be similar in severity to the first palate repair surgery Carly had when she was 10 months old. It will last for several hours and will include a hospital stay and a three week recovery. After the other surgery, Carly was silent for several months. We started speech when she was just 15 months old just to get her to make sounds again. She also freaked out if she was out of the room from me for about three months. Dr. Schuster told us last year that she will have to relearn some things with eating and talking because we will be changing the way things work in her mouth. Thankfully, this time she will not have to learn how to breath through her nose! Last time it was terrifying watching her trying to learn to breath while eating and hearing the oxygen monitor go off everytime we put liquid in her mouth or when she cried. I really didn't want to go through this again, but I know that in a few months we will be on the other side again and everything will be O.K.

Carly, on the other hand, is fine with it all. I asked her if she heard what the doctor said. She said, "Yes, of course, that is why God gave me ears!" I asked her if she understood. She said, "Yes. He said I will have another surgery. Not for sure, but probably." I asked what she thought about it, and she said, "It will all be O.K." Oh, to have the faith of a child...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Prayer reminders...

I just wanted to take this opportunity to remind everyone to pray for Annie and the Ford family this week. Annie is the three year old daughter of my friend from high school. Annie has a tumor in her brain. She is scheduled to go have another MRI on Thursday. Then they will see the neurosurgeon again to talk about surgery. Please pray for peace and strength as they make hard decisions for their family and their little girl. Also, pray for their older daughter who will be staying with friends.

Also, I would like to ask you to pray for my family as take Carly to see her surgeon again. This appointment is also scheduled for Thursday. Carly was born with a cleft palate. She is five years old, and has already undergone 4 surgeries in her life. ( One major surgery which included a three week recovery period, one medium surgery that included a cancer scare, and two minor surgeries). Now, we go once a year to see the surgeon to check on the progress of her speech and discuss the possibility of another surgery to improve speech. Last year, the decision was to wait because the surgery could possibly cause more problem than it would fix. Now, we have to evaluate again to see where the balance lies. Please pray for wisdom for us and for the doctor. It is hard to make decisions that involve so many unknowns. I am so thankful for the peace that comes from knowing that God has a plan, and He knows what is best for Carly. Help us to trust in that.