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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.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It's hard being a Mom...

Sometimes it is so hard to know what is best for your children. Carly was born 5 years ago with a cleft palate. She has had three sets of tubes in her ears and a palate repair surgery. She has also been in speech therapy since she was two. Fortunately, we haven't had any major concerns for the past two years. There is still one more potential surgery, but her surgeon felt last year like the surgery might cause more harm than good at that time. The purpose of this surgery is to improve speech, but it will cause her to have to relearn to eat and causes extreme snoring. It can also cause severe sleep apnea in some cases.

All this to say that Carly's annual appointment with the surgeon is supposed to be on Monday. However, she has been sick most of the week which really effects her speech. I am considering rescheduling the appointment because I don't want the surgeon to decide that the surgery is necessary because her speech seems to have declined when really she is just a little under the weather.

Please pray for wisdom for Chad and I as parents as we try to decide what is best in this situation. Also please pray for wisdom for Dr. Schuster as he makes decisions that can greatly effect her ability to speak. Most of all please pray that Chad and I will trust God with our daughter's future and remember that she is fearfully and wonderfully made, and that God has a wonderful plan for her life.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Jesus: There's just something about that name...

Do you remember that song? I can remember singing that song at church as a little girl.

Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. There's just something about that name.
Master, Savior , Jesus. Like the fragrance after the rain.
Kings and kingdoms will all pass away, but there's something about that name.
(copyright 1970 by William J. Gaither)
I have been thinking about the truth of that song since Sunday. In the sermon, our pastor asked a question that really stuck with me. I have been really convicted about my witness for Christ. You see, he asked if we ever really say the name Jesus in our homes, at work, at the grocery store, etc. I realized that although we do talk about Jesus a lot in our home, I don't mention his name very often out in public. Oh sure, I talk about my church and I talk about God, but I don't actually mention Jesus very often. I realized today that there really is something about that name. It is the name that divides us. It is when we speak the name of Jesus that controversy arises, and I don't like confrontation so I just stay quiet. I have noticed that in many churches the name Jesus is mentioned less and less because we do not want to offend. I have been terribly troubled my this trend, but I had failed to see it in my own life.
You see, I believe it when the Bible says that Jesus is "The way, The truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Him." (John 14:6) There is only one way. Pointing people to my church is not the answer even though it is a wonderful place where they will be pointed to Jesus. (You can check it out at ) Talking to people about God is not enough because they can and will relate it to whatever god they want. People need to know Jesus. My debt has been paid through the blood of Jesus. My sins are forgiven because of Jesus. Jesus is the way, truth and life - nothing else compares. If we fail to show them Jesus, then we have failed. My prayer is that my passion and love for Jesus will grow to surpass my passion and love for myself. I can't be quiet in order to avoid conflict instead I must ask God to help me love Jesus and love others more than I love myself.
Obviously, I have a long way to go, but I am so thankful that God continues to draw me, teach me and change me. "He must become greater; I must become less." John 3:30.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Welcome to my blog!

I have thought several times about starting a blog, but I haven't ever known what I would write about. The past few nights, however, I haven't slept well which has given me lots of time to think. I finally decided to start a blog that just chronicles the events of my life and my family. It will be a place to document and share with others the wonderful blessings that God has given us. I'm not sure if it will hold the interest of anyone else, but I know it will be good for me to be able to look back and see the goodness of God through all the happenings in our lives here on the farm. Enjoy!