Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter 2013 in Pictures

Happy Easter
Probably my absolute favorite picture of her, I can almost see her wings!

Easter Egg Hunt

She is such a goof ball!

  Really I wasn't playing photo favorites with my littlest butterflies....they were just they only egg hunters that I could catch up to.

What a wonderful blessing it was when my oldest butterfly requested that we do family foot washing.  Then she proceeded to serve us all once again by fixing everyone's plates for dinner, she has such a heart for service... I know the Lord is proud of her. 
 If you aren't familiar with foot washing see John 13:1-7 where Jesus teaches his disciples the importance of serving one another.  Foot washing is a humbling way to remind ourselves that we are to care for the needs of others the way Jesus did.
And the always fun....Easter Egg coloring!

Look what the Easter Bunny brought us!
 Happy First Easter little bullfrog!
 All lined up and ready to go.... is it just me or is that a lot of

Where's Cohen?
Someone wanted to make sure that Cohen had plenty of things to play with at church.
There were even more toys hiding under his cover!

I pray that everyone has a blessed Easter remembering that the true celebration is about our freedom from death.

Living, He loved me

Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He's coming
Oh glorious day

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Friday, March 29, 2013

Another Chance to Experience a God'cident!

Adjective  1. The real definition of coincident
                 2. An act that takes place so that God can remind us that He is the one in control.

God is so amazing and it shouldn't be surprising to find out that the world He created is smaller then it seems.  You just never know where your mouse click is going to take you!
Today I was randomly searching the internet for a "Good Friday" Family Devotional and I did what I always do, typed my desired information into the address bar in my Google search engine.  A long list of places popped up and I chose one to investigate...not the first one , not even the second.  I don't know what made this particular one stand out.  I read the devotional and decided that it would work nicely for our morning devotion time.  After a few minutes of reading over everything I glanced over to the right side of the page and noticed a list of blog links. Normally, I don't have time to check them out but for some reason I clicked on one (like before it wasn't even the first one on their list).  I quickly realized that the couple I was reading about  were missionaries in Africa and I started to read a few of the entries, to be honest I was really more a scanning then reading, at first.  My eyes caught a few sentences that told a familiar story and I suddenly found myself once again hearing little Hannah Kelley's story from a very unexpected source.  Here is the link to the entry I God'cindently came across.

This is a beautifully written tribute to those that know God's comfort first-hand, one of which I had come to know fairly well after a close friend's simple prayer request for their friends sick child.

What a small world we live in.  I believe that God brings us comfort when it is needed and there is no greater comfort then to see lives being touched for Christ by those that we have lost.  

Hannah Kelley was only 13 months old when she completed her life's work here on earth.  Here life and her parents commitment should be an example to us all and proof that God is BIGGER!  Please continue to follow the Kelley's missionary journey here and see how Baby Hannah is still impacting the world from God's side of the rainbow.
Aaron In Kenya

So once again God teaches me more then I ever expected.   I thought that I was just looking for a way to teach my children about the ultimate sacrifice that was made for ALL of us and I ended up getting to see God's amazing power... once again.  God continues to lay this family on my heart and I pray that everyone who hears Hannah and her families story will draw nearer to Him.  Although I don't know either of these families personally I am related to them through our "family connection" because we share a love for the one that conquered the grave.   I will continue to pray for them because that is what I was called to do.  Please join me in pray for the Kelley family, specifically for their comfort though this extremely difficult time and their continued work in Africa, as well as the missionary work of the Myhre Family.  

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

Thank you for these little reminders that you give us Lord.  Showing us that you are truly bigger than this world we live in and anything that we may face while we visit this little place called Earth! 

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Monday, March 25, 2013

How I Do What I Do

Probably the most frequently offered statement that I receive is, "I don't know how you do it!"

Well the truth is I just do what everyone else does.  I do the same thing that those who have only one or two children do.... I just do it five times over!

I think that all good parents do the same thing.... We do the best we can.  My bucket list may look a little different than yours but in the end our goal is the same, to love the little blessing that we have been given the best way we can.  The rewards are plentiful and they far out way the sacrifices.

I admit at the end of everyday I lay my head on my pillow as soon as I possibly can, and most nights it doesn't stay there very long....but I honestly wouldn't have it any other way.  We aren't all called to have large families but that's okay.  Isn't it wonderful to live in a world that offers us room to be different from each other in that way.   Our families may not look the same but we all as parents have the same job.... we must do our very best for our little ones.   So regardless of how many little ones we have, the responsibilities are still the same.  And against popular belief... you really don't have to have a proportional arm to child ratio to give them what they need, since what they need most comes from your heart.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

Cohen 6 Months Old

Cohen Isaac Bramlee

Well little man it has been a rough start to the new year but things are starting to improve.
You have had quite the 6 months, full of growing and learning new tricks.  We are so happy that you are part of this family.  We love you so much little bullfrog.

You turned 6 moths old on March 14, 2013.  
Things you have learned to do so far:

~Laugh at everyone
~Roll from your back to front and front to back                                                                  
~ Sit up on your own
~Out grow the mow-hawk you were born with...I miss it already

~Eat oatmeal (but we had to stop because it was giving you tummy problems)

~Jump in your jumpy chair (probably one of your favorite things to also puts you to sleep)!

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~Your starting to get the hang of cruising around in your GT

 You have have already been diagnosed with Laryngomalacia and Asthma and have been in the hospital twice.  Unfortunately, by this age you have already had a few medications.... Zantac, Steroids, Albuterol, Antibiotics, and two maintenance drugs (Prevacid and Pulmicort).   We have deemed you our "Little Volcano"  because you spit up all the time.....and everywhere! 

From your 6 month check-up (you were finally well enough to get your vaccinations) :
Weight: 17 lbs. 9 oz.   50%          
Height: 26 in.              25%
Head: 18 in.               90%

The first 6 months with you have brought so much joy to our family.  It is exciting to see your little personality starting to emerge.  You are a patient and easy going little boy and you love to sit back and watch all of the commotion in our house.  It isn't very often that you are left to yourself, you are constantly being showered with love and attention.  I look forward to watching you find your place this crazy but wonderfully happy family that God has given us. 
 I love you with all of my heart littlest bullfrog.....  Happy 6 Months!

James 1:17a "Every good and perfect gift is from above, 
coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights"
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Friday, March 15, 2013

Letter to Kayla

December 2011

Dear Sweet Kayla,
     Ever since I carried you in my womb I have prayed for this day. Your daddy and I anxiously awaited your birth but that excitement does not even compare to the joy that feel today on your new birth. On September 23, 2004 God gave you to this world and on December 18, 2011 you gave yourself back to Him. You have learned more about the power of prayer in your short seven years than many adults have in a lifetime. You constantly remind us that we need to go to God with every need whether it is as great as an illness or as small as a missing object. Although it may be hard for you to find words to speak when all eyes are on you, you can always live your life as a demonstration of the love of God. Daddy and I are so proud of you sweet little one and we pray that the light that shines from you will always be a reflection of the savior that lives within you.

Love you always,
Mama & Daddy

 John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

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Hospital Tour #1

Unfortunately, since Cohen's birth our house has been filled with illnesses.  It has been since September since we have not had someone on any type of medication, Asthma is mostly to blame but viruses have also taken their toll.  Everyone but my big bullfrog have been through the trenches of sickness....especially our newbie! 

Cohen became sick sometime after New Years and spent 7 days on breathing treatments.  I thought he had RSV and took him to the doctor.  I was shocked to find out that it was just a random cold, because of how sick he was and how hard it was for him to get over it.  When we went in for his well visit a few days later....he wasn't so well.  He had x-rays and was swabbed for Pertussis.  During this visit our pediatrician called in "our" pulmonologist to have a look at our sweet little guy.  After listening to Cohen the pulmonologist diagnosed him with two separate health concern; the first was Layrngomalasia (loose tissue in his larynx which can cause noisy breathing and other issues).   He informed us that it was important to get his reflux under control because it causes more inflammation in the esophagus making the LM worse. Then he paused and took a deep breath and said the "A" word, which made chills run down my spine.  He is very familiar with our family history (they call us their family of wheezers).   He knew how hard it would be for me to hear that our newest addition didn't get left out of our gene pool.  I didn't want to believe that he could have Asthma too....and so early!!!

A week later Cohen started getting sick again, in fact all three girls were sick as well.  I had four children on breathing treatments every four hours, which makes for very little sleep if any.  It didn't take long for Kayla's Asthma to completely spin out of control and by now the little ones were pretty sick too.  After taking the girls and Cohen back to the doctor we learned that the two littles had indeed come down with RSV. 

Little did I know this was just going to be the beginning of a difficult two weeks.  Since daddy had to be in Charleston for a convention we decided to pack up the sickies and stay in a hotel so that mama wasn't on all night rotating nebulizer duty by herself.  So, I loaded up the gang and began what turned out to be a very long stressful drive.

Not long after we were on the road Kayla started into a very scary Asthma attack.  I had Todd on the phone preparing to meet me at the ER in Charleston.  After two attempts with the inhaler I decided to break out the nebulizer,  which finally gave her some relief.  It is so hard to watch your child struggle, knowing that there is nothing you can do to help them.

We decided that she was out of danger and I proceeded to check into the, and five little ones.  Yes, it was quite comical to say the least.  After I had everyone settled in I noticed that my littlest was breathing extremely heavy and realized that for the first time in my life I was watching one of my children experience retracting (when the abdomen pulls away from the ribs in attempt to breath in more air).
I sent a video to Todd (who thought I had just sent him a YouTube video of retracting).  When I assured him that it was his son he sent me straight to the ER (apparently we were destined for that place).

We soon learned that Cohen's RSV had progressed into pneumonia.  My poor baby had to endure 5 grueling iv attempts, one of which ended with blood all over me.  It was so hard to watch my poor sweet little man go through so much.  I had been in that same ER so many times when I was pregnant with him, I never would have imagined that I would wish that suffering back on myself, but I would have gladly traded places with him in an instant!

Spending time with all my bullfrogs and butterflies!
So technology isn't all that!
Cohen was admitted into Women & Children's Hospital on Saturday.  His treatment consisted of  iv antibiotics and breathing treatments, as well as oxygen.  He stopped eating entirely for a few days and then could only tolerate a few ounces from a bottle (he only had a bottle once before this), nursing and breathing was still to hard for him.

It didn't take me long to figure out just how severely understaffed the hospital was for the immediate need of caring for all of these sick little ones.  I will save you the agony of hearing a frustrated mother rant, but needless to say it was far from a positive experience...much to my surprise!  Not being able to be treated by our regular physicians only compounded the matter for us because of Cohen's other health issues.  I had a difficult time having my concerns addressed during our stay and despite his dropping oxygen levels the decided to discharge us from the hospital.
Going home... or so we thought!

So on  Tuesday afternoon we headed for home...

Psalms 34:19 Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.

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