Wednesday, June 29, 2011

happy gotcha day!

2 years ago today we met our
baby girl for the first time.   

happy gotcha day
Gracie JiaShu!

we were soooo ready to meet her!

our first glipmse

she was one scared little girl

meeting daddy

her first bath



video


winning her over with sugar?!
video


Psalm 68:6

 "God sets the lonely in families. "

Thank you Father for placing
Gracie in our home!


Saturday, June 25, 2011

bye bye Packing, hello Princess

if the ground shook in your neck of the woods
yesterday morning, it could have been the
aftershocks of  a certain sweet girl's shrieks
as the packing was removed from her nose.

can't say as I blame her really.
it was not fun.
at all.
not one bit.
 which is why on the way home 
this fabulous ensemble
was purchased for our brave little princess.

we were sent home with tubing in her nose
that needs to be there for couple of months
(did I just type that?)
so that the work done inside her nose will 
heal correctly. evidently her septum needed
quite a bit of repair.

last night was the first night in over a week that 
she (& her parents, in turn) slept all night.
our joy quickly faded
*insert drumroll*
as we realized it was because her tubing fell out.

the drama that ensued as we had to clean
her nose & lip & insert the tubing back in &
then tape it back down....
it made yesterday look like a Mr. Rogers episode.
she is a STRONG girl,
and one tough little fighter.

so...now all is well. I spoke with the nurse in hopes
of receiving some advice on how to keep
the tubing in place. after some creative taping,
it seems good.
until Monday.
when it will be time to take it out
to clean it.
and put it back in.
again.
prayer? yes, please!

God is walking through this with us.
He sent us a hug with this beautiful sunset last night!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

sleepless nights and a full glass of whine

our little patient really is getting better every day, but
along with that healing comes a steady dose of
whining & grumpiness...
I really can't blame her.

the facial swelling is almost completely gone,
but the bruising on her sweet face continues
to appear. her lip looks amazing, and she's
letting us clean it with less drama
each time. she's such a trooper!
we'll head to charlotte Friday morning
to have the packing removed from her nose.
no fun
I know that will help her sleep so much better!


 yesterday I managed to get a shower, made Gracie
some popscicles, and thanks to a dear
church friend, our family had a meal that wasn't take-out!


one highlight of our day yesterday 
was receiving our new
Aaron Keys CD in the mail.
he was at our church a few weeks ago,
and one song in particular  has ministered
so much to my heart. 
based on the song of Moses in Exodus 15,
it speaks of God as being a mighty warrior
on behalf of His children.
I remember praying that for all of our children
that evening, & the Father confirmed that word when
those words were prayed over Gracie 
3 days before her surgery.
He IS warring on behalf of our family
this week, and in the midst of tiredness,
pain, grumpiness and healing,
it brings so much peace!

"Praise the Lord, our Mighty Warrior,
Praise the Lord, the Glorious One.
By His hand we stand in victory.
By His name we overcome!"

we saw her first stiff smiles yesterday :)
she loved "playing along"
with the new music!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

happy father's day from our recovering home!

first of all, I am so grateful
for my wonderful, godly father.
he has always been such a prayer warrior,
and is a humble, funny, compassionate man.

we'll also be honoring Brian here at home today.
he is amazing - really.    
I could not have imagined a more
perfect father for my children.
he has always gone above & beyond to help,
no matter the kids' ages. 
his priority has always been family.
he speaks the life of God's word into
their lives and is such an example
of what it means to walk in step with the Spirit.
he loves each one of our children
for who they are, and I'm sure each one
thinks they're his favorite! 
oh, and he just is plain ol' fun -
I love the laughter in our home.

speaking of...we got the first tiny chuckle out 
of our little patient last night. thank you Jesus!
in my sleep-deprived state I've decided that 
the week following
surgical procedures is like childbirth -
your brain, as a way to self preserve,  I suppose,
forgets the really tough parts. when you go
through the process again you say to yourself, 
  "how did I do this before?!"
God's grace - period.

this is just a tougher surgery to bounce back from.
her facial swelling is going down, but the
bruising seems to be more prominent today.
her silly personality is making brief appearances,
and we're grateful for that!
night time is a toughie.
can you imagine not being able to
breathe at all through your nose,
& having a sore throat from work done
in the back of your palate?!
poor baby!

bottom line, the Father is good.
He is walking with us through this
and we will be just fine.
we're getting a better picture of 
Gracie's new lip as swelling goes down.
I'm tearing up as I type-
she's beautiful & I'm so grateful
that God brought Dr. Matthews into our lives.

time to love on the little patient.
she's clingy with a capital "C"!

first attempt at playing!

and for my second act,
I can play it with my toes!


a very bright spot yesterday was being able to 
slip away to my nephew's wedding - it was beautiful!

the bride & groom!

with my oldest brother & my dad's pride & joy
(not us - the restored car)
 
my sister & dad

our small family contingent at the wedding

Friday, June 17, 2011

outta here

we had an up & down (literally!) night.
as more medicines wear off, the fighter in our
little Asian princess comes out more and more.
she can be a mean bear, let me tell ya.
a Starbucks IV would be nice right about now!

her surgeon saw her this morning & was
able to take the tape off her lip.
he said she looks fabulous, which is
good to hear because to us she looks 
as if she's been in a boxing match.
not even kidding.

her left eye is completely swollen shut, & we 
were told today & tomorrow would be the worst. 
she's coping with trying to breathe through her
mouth while sleeping b/c of the nose packing.
she is my hero for sure.
I tell her that over & over.

yesterday as she was in & out of grogginess from meds
she just started praying out loud. I know for sure
she is being ministered to by her heavenly Father
& His ministering angels.

so...we should be discharged after lunch if little miss
fighter will drink for us. please continue to pray for
healing, that the swelling would go down, for peace,
grace & rest. also that the Spirit would prepare Ali,
Erin & Quinn to see their sister looking so rough.

your comments, texts & prayers mean more than you
know. thank you, thank you, thank you.


play dough was fun for...10 minutes


loves having daddy close by

Thursday, June 16, 2011

our sweet girl is resting with
her daddy right now.
her surgery lasted almost 3 hrs.
and went very well.
her new lip looks so different 
even under the tape.
both nostrils are packed 
& will be for one week.
(can you say not much sleep happening?!)
her uvula was brought together
and her surgeon was also able to add some
synthetic bone to her gum line.

brian's mom & dad have been 
here to love on her and us.

we're praying for peace and grace
in this room. she's been
in & out and every time she wakes up,
she's VERY upset.  
she's a brave girl.

thank you for praying!

in surgery



we're trying to catch our breath...
the surgery for little miss Gracie Shu
was scheduled for 10:30 with
an 8:30 arrival this morning
Brian's phone rang @ 6:30...
"Where are you?"

the scheduler @ the office
gave us the wrong time.
needless to say we got ready in record time!

they took her back at around 8:00
after a very speedy check in!

I cannot tell you how well she did.
it was truly the grace of God.
she got a little weepy, but after the
"happy medicine" kicked in
she allowed her favorite nurse to
carry her down the hall.
 even though this is the fourth time for this,
it does not get easier for this mama's heart!

she should be in surgery for around 3 hours.
I know the Father is caring for
and ministering to her as I type.
thank you for your prayers.
they will carry us through the day.






Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Gracie's big day tomorrow!

yesterday was gracie's pre-op appointment
and we got the green light for surgery tomorrow!
We'll be heading down that road to Charlotte
again this afternoon.
I swear, I could make that drive
with my eyes closed!

the goal is to completely close her lip,
and close the cleft uvula in the back of her throat.
the most extensive aspect of her procedure
will be the work being done on the 
inside and outside of her nose.
we're told the recovery from this will 
not be a pleasant process for our sweet girl.

Gracie was prayed over at church
on Monday evening, and it was a beautiful
time of peace and wonderful words
spoken over her.

peace
faith
healing
ministering angels to surround her
God as her Warrior

last night as I was asking the Father 
how I could pray specifically for her,
I sensed Him say
"What is her favorite song?"

she loves "Crash this Place".
it talks about the glory of God
 crashing or invading where you are.
Brian's and my prayer is that the glory of God
would crash and invade 
our home,
the pre-op room,
the waiting room,
the operating room,
the recovery room,
and her hospital room.

Psalm 90:16
"Let us see Your miracles again;
let our children see Your glory at work."


would you please join us in prayer as well?
for peace, for Dr. Matthews, and for
Gracie's healing.

before any of her procedures in 2008.
is she not pure sweetness?!


this may not make sense,
but we're going to miss this smile!
I know this completion of her surgeries is
part of the hope and future God has for her,
and we are so grateful for how the Father
has faithfully walked with us through
every step so far.
He is good.


Sunday, June 12, 2011

oh dear beach, how do I love thee?

let me count the ways...

beautiful beach angels

ice cream at the
odd ice cream/video store

mwuahhh hahaha
ice cream for lunch!

my girls!

little miss sassafrass

pool time

all my babies!



really?

evening bike rides

digging...to China?!

a little sand-to-the-fanny action

putt putt pros


dinner on the porch
(watching the golfers was quite entertaining)

time with my honey

poor (above) honey after
his bike accident :(






watch & learn
video


so grateful for the gift of our time away
before Gracie's surgery!


James 1:17


 "Every good gift, every perfect gift, 
comes from above. 
These gifts come down from the Father, 
the creator of the heavenly lights, 
in whose character there is no change at all."