Tuesday, December 7, 2010

So thankful...

As many of you know, we had an emergent trip to Children's last week. 
The only thing I can say is that we are SO incredibly thankful for the grace of the Lord and his provision through doctors, specialists and the faithful prayers of his saints. We were blessed beyond words by the quick notes, texts, emails and messages washing us with the Word to encourage our hearts and strengthen our minds during this ordeal.

Ella awoke Thursday morning after 2 days of very high fever.  During the course of the morning (about 30 minutes), she began having what appeared to be a "seizure" with stiffening of both hands, wrists & arms accompanied by headache & neck pain.  It was very scary for her (and us). And we were unsure if the stiffening would continue to the rest of her body!

We were unsure if this had something to do with her shunt or scar tissue on her back (tethered cord) or the Chiari II malformation at the base of her skull...the possibilities seemed endless and scary.
After quick & frantic phone calls to our specialists at Children's, we were on our way...fast.

Upon arrival, we were quickly connected with our specialist, Dr. Walker (an incredible doctor & very caring man...we are so thankful for this guy!) who examined Ella for over an hour.  During that time, we were able to rule out the worst...but were unable to come up with a final & definitive “diagnosis” or explanation for her symptoms.

We were able to return home that evening...a wonderful homecoming! Levi & Amelia had been graciously cared for by Carey & Tarah (on very short notice!)...and Ella was so happy to be back in her own home.
Heading into Children's

Exam by Dr. Walker...
Wish I would've snapped more pictures, but the days events were so hectic that I didn't think of it!
Ella was amazing...through much poking, prodding, question-asking and testing, she remained collected & cooperative. And so sweet. 
What a gift she is to us. And it was in these tense moments that we once again thanked the Lord for her life, her story & the days we get to spend with her.

Thank you again for your prayers...we are truly grateful.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sweet baby girl...9 months old.

Here's some of the latest of Miss Amelia...
Taken by our uber-talented friend Kristin...thanks again Kristin, I am enjoying them so very much!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The boy...

Four years ago today...
my little man was born.
1 month old
Sitting with his best friend
First haircut

Vividly imaginitive.
2 years old...with his hero.

Final days of being 3...

This little man is a joy and I consider it a privilege to be his momma...
Happy Birthday Levi G...
your daddy & I are so thankful for you.
What a gift God gave us in you.
We love you.
(photo credit for the last three pics go to the amazing Kristin!!!)

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Missional Mothering

My husband pointed me towards this article by Jani Ortlund...a favorite pastor's wife of mine. And although short, it's morsels were good reminders of my mission as a mother.

It begins like this...
 Young mother, it seems like everyone wants something from you. And you’re probably already giving way more than you ever thought you could give. But even with all your giving, you might struggle with guilt—lingering, joy-drenching, energy-sapping guilt—that you should be doing more, giving more, accomplishing more...
Read the rest here, my young mother friends, to be encouraged in your high calling today. 

Friday, October 22, 2010

Busy seasons...

Thought you might enjoy this little snippet from "GirlTalk"...a sweet blog by Carolyn Mahaney and her three daughters. All godly women with good things to share.
This one was especially applicable to me today...well, everyday for that matter. :o)

Whew! After devotions, exercise, grocery store run, beds made, dishes done, house straightened, laundry underway, Chad homeschooled, soccer carpool completed, editing project for my husband finished—I can finally attempt to write a post
Life is busy!
And it’s not just me. Whether you are a student, holding down a job, or caring for a family—the fall season unfailingly fills our lives with lots to do.
So what does it look like to glorify God in the midst of a busy season?
The first must-have to survive—and even thrive—during busy seasons: humility.
I still remember the wise and helpful counsel my husband CJ shared with me many years ago when I was having one of those “I just can’t get it all done" breakdown crying sessions. When he finally got the chance to speak, he said: “Carolyn, only God completes His to-do list. We are not God. We are finite creatures with serious limitations. Therefore we need to humble ourselves by accepting our limitations and draw upon God’s strength to simply do what we can.” CJ’s advice not only helped me then, but continues to benefit me to this day.
Here are 3 simple ways we can be mindful of our limitations as we make our to-do lists these days:
1.      Separate the-really-do-matter items from the really-don’t-matter items—of course doing the really-do-matter items first.
2.      Simplify the really-do-matter items where possible. (e.g. pizza for dinner or store-bought cookies for entertaining.)
3.      Trust God for all the things on the list that don’t get done.

Let’s honor God by responding to our “endless” list of to-dos with humility—joyfully accepting our limitations and simply doing what we can.
 Sound familiar?

Praying you are trusting God today with all things while being diligent with the time you do have...and then humbly accepting when you cannot do it all.

That's what I'm working on today...and everyday. :o)

Monday, October 4, 2010


So fall is officially coming.
The leaves are changing...
The weather is changing...

And by God's grace, my heart is changing.
Here's a recent excerpt from "You Can Change"...a great read by Tim Chester.

The gospel is so foolish (according to my natural wisdom), so scandalous (according to my conscience), and so incredible (according to my timid heart), that it is a daily battle to believe the full scope of it as I should.  There is simply no other way to compete with the forebodings of my conscience, the condemning of my heart, and the lies of the world and the Devil than to overwhelm such things with the daily rehearsings of the gospel.
 Blessings in this season of change...

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Of learning and growing...

Alot of this has been happening around our home as of late...learning and growing.

Growing in my understanding of grace...
learning how small I really am and how big God and His story really are...

Growing in my knowledge of the glory of God...
and learning that I am NOTHING without Christ.

Not to mention, children growing like weeds...
And doing school, where they aren't the only ones learning! 

Kids learning their books of the Bible...
Amelia growing to 18 pounds!

Me growing in my love for my husband...
and learning that unconditional is the only way to love...

Alot of learning and growing...and it makes for a busy, but fruitful season of life.
So my updates may be fewer with more time in between, but know that we are busy growing!
And that's a lot of work!

Blessings as you grow & learn...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

And that is Ella Mae...

Just a couple weeks ago, Ella had her annual check-up over at Children's Hospital.  It is a full schedule of tests, questions, evaluations, more tests and it basically adds up to a lot of people asking a lot of questions and a lot of people poking & proding.

And this goes on for 3 days in a row.

Some kids would end up in a heap of tears, either embarrassed or tired or exhausted.
But Ella was incredible. She continues to amaze us with her engaging personality which seems to thrive in these kind of situations.

At the end of day two we were meeting with her main doctor, Dr. Walker (pictured below) to talk about everything from diet to braces, from shunt function to bathroom stuff, and so on. A new resident was sitting in on our session so she could learn from Dr. Walker. As he reviewed Ella's latest appointments and reports on the computer, the resident tried some small talk with Ella.

Resident: "So how old are you?"
Ella: "I just turned 5. And I got to ride a horse for my birthday!"
R: "Wow! What was the horse's name?"
E: "Freed, it was a girl horse and it was Mr. Grette's horse and he only lets really special people ride her."
R: "Free?"
E: "No, Freed. F-R-E-E-D" (with much emphasis on the D).
R: "Oh, I see."
Dr. Walker with a huge smile on his face: "And that, ladies and gentlemen, is Ella Mae McPherson. If you can't get it right, SHE will set you straight."
Dr. Walker and aforementioned resident...

We all got a great chuckle as the resident realized what a sharp little lady she was chatting with! :o)

Ella did a wonderful job of being patient, flexible and sweet...which is just what we thought she'd do. Overall, her reports were encouraging. No big surprises and for that we are thankful.
We will continue to stay the course we are on...with some increases in medication and a few adjustments to diet & schedule.
Dr. Ojeman, Pediatric Neurosurgeon. Because of this man and the surgery he performed on Ella when she was only 14 hours old...she is able to walk. Ella loves him.
Demonstrating her walker skills for the physical therapist...
Hanging with grandma between appointments...

Once again, we were overwhelmed by the grace of the Lord in our lives. We are so thankful for Ella Mae...her life, her joy, her personality, her challenges, her smile and the numerous gifts the Lord has given her. And as we were surrounded by countless other families with similar and often, heartbreaking stories, we were thankful beyond words for the gift of our daughter.

Our beautiful gift of God...our Ella Mae.

Monday, July 26, 2010


There has been much celebrating around our house lately...
-there was the 4th of July picnic (that originally started with a couple families, got canceled, but then was back on with 30+ people in attendance!)...

-then there was Niyah Joy's birthday party (my sweet & adorable niece who turned 1 on July 5th...check out the cute party pics on her mommy's blog)...

-then the celebration of good reports at Ella's annual check-ups at Children's (I'll post more on that later)...

-which was followed by my birthday on July 20th (32!!!)...celebrated with a little family party (and yummy food made by my BFF & SIL), a lunch "date" with my favorite grandma and then a surprise over-nighter with my husband (and little Amelia Claire) on Lake Chelan.

Whew...parties, parties, parties. :o)
Each celebration has been a wonderful time of friends, food and rich fellowship. And each instance has been a tangible reminder of the grace of the Lord in my life and the lives of my family...
...feeling blessed tonight and thankful beyond words.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

a gracious lady has gone Home...

Our hearts are heavy these days for the Harris family at the homegoing of a dear lady, mentor & friend...
Sono Harris.

We were privileged to be in friendship with her and her husband Greg Harris of Portland.  While Josh & I lived in Portland, I was able to join their church for worship on Sundays (while Josh was away). (The Harris' are sometimes best known by their children. Their son Josh Harris is a well-known author as well as the pastor of Covenant Life Church. Their twin sons Alex & Brett are the founders and speakers for The Rebelution conferences and authors of the book, Do Hard Things. These are just 3 of their 7 children.)
She was a woman full of grace. In her speech, her actions, her marriage, her friendships. Although my time to know her was short, she made quite a substantial impact. Each time I was able to speak with her, I came away with a morsel of spiritual wisdom to apply to my life as wife, mother, helpmate to my pastor-husband, friend or follower of Christ.

I had the opportunity to interact with Sono on a few distinct occasions; being in her home, hearing her teach, an email here, a phone call there...
One that truly sticks out was when she spoke at a small monthly women's meeting.  We were gathered in the living room and she shared along with 2 others elders' wives. Her topic: joy. More specifically joy in suffering. She encouraged us to fight for joy and said (paraphrase),
"Choose to focus on God as your source of joy by instructing your mind with the truths of God's eternal kingdom. Learn all you can about Him. Call these truths to mind and have joy.
Call these to mind:
1. your great salvation purchased by Jesus Christ on the cross at immeasureable expense to Himself and freely given to you...
2. the security of your eternal soul...
3. specific blessings God has given...
4. the faithfulness of God to His people throughout human history...
5. your incommensurate future (Rev. 21...seeing Him in all His glory & splendor)...
6. the honor of being counted worthy to serve Him and even to suffer for Him...
7. the incomparable beauty of the ways of His kingdom...
Therefore, have joy...a rock-solid joy that outlasts suffering, has scars and sings happy songs with tears."
 I am confident that in her final days here on earth, she chose joy. 
You can see it in her radiant face. 
You can hear it in the testimony of her children. 
She was a mentor to me even in her dying.
A woman to be praised, emulated and celebrated. 
Thank you Lord for the outpouring of your grace in the life of this woman. She has impacted many for the gospel and suffered well...with much joy. 
And now, her joy is complete...for she is with her Savior. 

You will be missed.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Another first...

Ella Mae is having so many "firsts" lately.

First Apple Sox game.
First time to ride a horse.
First of our children to reach the "whole hand" age (5). 
First lunch out with just her and daddy (Los Camperos!). 
First Bluegrass festival.
First piano lesson (don't worry, I'll post some pics soon).

She is growing up so quickly. And I tell you what...some kids would be overwhelmed by all these new things. Some kids might need to slow down the pace a little because the people and new experiences would be too much. 

But my daughter is not one of them.
She thrives on this stuff. And expresses it as follows:

-After an evening concert with Grandma, Aunt Tami, & Nana..."It was totally packed...I mean totally. There were people everywhere.  It was UN-believable." 
-After returning from the Apple Sox game with Grandpa & Papa..."I had a FABulous time." (much emphasis on the FAB-ulous) 
-Regarding her lunch with daddy..."The salsa was SO good mom, I ate it all. I mean, every last drop."
-After the Cashmere Bluegrass festival..."The music was amazing. I think I'm going to play the violin next."
-Of her recent piano lesson with her talented Great Aunt Tami..."Aunt Tami says I am an excellent student. I love being a student mom."
-After a very enjoyable first horse ride on sweet Freed, Mr. Grette's horse..."I wasn't sure at first, but then I was like, this is SO fun. I mean, I totally enjoyed it."

Today was yet another first. 
First trip to the dentist. 
The big treat about this was that she got to have her teeth checked by her Auntie Tarah (at a fabulous place in Wenatchee.)
And what did she have to say about this?
I overheard her as she told her brother all about it..."You don't need to be afraid Levi. They just check on your teeth with this thing called "Mr.Thirsty" and it doesn't hurt at all. And you get to pick a prize when you're done and it was great. Really."

It was great. And so is she.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I love 'em...

Tonight I have nothing more to say than, I love 'em. 
I am so thankful for my little family (Amelia included, even though she's not pictured...she's still too young to wrestle).

Tonight after daddy got home and we had some yummy dinner (thanks Aunt Tarah), we played outside in the grass. 

The evening was perfect. 
And my children were having so much fun with their daddy that I ran and got the camera.

And this is what I saw...
Thank you Lord for these gifts...
I love them dearly.