Friday, October 31, 2008

Prayers...for Arthur

This morning at 7:45AM Arthur is scheduled for a colonoscopy. This month markers 5 years since Arthur was first diagnosed with colon cancer. After surgery on Dec. 1, 2003 to remove part of his colon, followed by 7 months of chemo he has been cancer free. I praise God daily for the "MANY" blessings we have had on this journey. Arthur still battles crazy blood work, and spots on his liver that they remain keeping a close eye on. Today's test is a norm, but it always seems to make my heart beat a little fast. We pray they find nothing. Arthur keeps things upbeat for all of us, that's just his nature but more than anything his FAITH in the LORD!

We still don't know about Arthur's insurance status, it's still up in the air. Will you please be in prayer for Arthur today, and that the insurance company will pick him back up.

Thanks in advance, I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

31 for 21...day 30

This is DR. JONATHAN M. MUNCK



Dr. Jonathan opened his practice on October 21st, the evening of his 10th birthday party. He has treated "ALL" our family, even some of us who didn't want treatment...got it! He examinations are impeccable, yet often times I question his diagnosis....it seems we always end up getting a shot or blood being drawn. He smirks while administering shots, finding pleasure in it, yet he is gentle.

His lovely nurse often times helps him "capture his prey" I mean... assist his patients. The are a real team, running many patients through in minutes. There isn't any waiting in Dr. Jonathan's office, he's on the ball, hopping from one patient to another never taking any breaks. This is from YEARS of experience...truly!


In recent days we have wondered if Dr. Jonathan is growing weary of his practice. I think he may want to go into another field of work....animals (Webkinz). Yes, I believe he may have seen his last human patient, and is moving on to animals with greener pastures...no pun intended...heehee! We are free, free at last...just kidding!
I'm so happy he has a great imagination, and loves to use it...all the time on his family!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I've been tagged...& ..31 for 21...day29

I was tagged "several days ago" by Sunny for Down to Life.



DID YOU KNOW?



5 Things I was doing 10 years ago (OCTOBER 29).......


1 I woke to another day away from home. I was staying at Ronald McDonald House, while Jonathan was in NICU.


2 I spent the morning with Jonathan, holding, feeding, and rocking him.


3 I left at lunch so the doctors could make rounds, I ate in the waiting room alone and called Arthur.


4 After rounds I went back in for more loving, and was told the doctors said Jonathan could go home. I was shocked, to say the least.They had made no indication that it would be today or soon. We didn't have to do the overnight stay in the hospital with him. They said since I had been there everyday(from the day Jonathan was born I stayed with him, I never went back home. We live 40 minutes from the hospital,I wasn't going home until he did), they felt comfortable with us taking him home. I think they were ready to get rid of me. I would walk over to the hospital in the morning and only go back to RMH for dinner. Then I'd go back for the evening, between 11:30 and 12AM they would tell me they could handle it for the night. The nurses would call security(not to throw me out but for safety getting back to RMH, well that was their story) and they would drive me back to RMH. It was torture for me to leave him.

5 The BEST part of October 29, 1998 was being home as a family. With ALL 7 of us together, we were complete. I only saw my other 4 children 2 times while at RMH....so what a sweet homecoming it was!

This was Jonathan the day before he came home from the hospital.

5 things on my to do list today

1 Call Apria Healthcare to order Jonathan a new CPAP mask.

2 Call about Arthur's insurance, they are trying to cancel it...UGH! It took us forever to get him some insurance, because of the cancer. He really needs the insurance he has a endoscopy on Friday the 31st, and more test on Nov. 5th....the insurance game is a vicious cycle.

3 Grind wheat before dinner for sweet potato biscuits...YUM!

4 Make deposits for the store, but first I need to clean out the roll top desk. Love the desk it hides lots until you open it ( Arthur likes it clean) I like to just put the bills in and close it...heehee Good thing he's in control!

5 Call my friend DeeDee back (sorry) I'm pretty sure her and a few of my other friends are about to give up on me. (I never called, so sorry!)

5 favorite snacks

1 Coffee...does that count?

2 Chips and salsa

3 Coffee with cream

4 Cheez its

5 Coffee...is that a sin?

5 jobs I've had

1 Groomer...obviously

2 Vet tech

3 YMCA after school care

4 Wal-Mart cashier (3 months...yuck!)

5 Olan Mills, I sold pictures...6 months. Truly I'm not a sales person, did I ever mention I'm spineless. ( but I can stand up for my kiddos) Not a good quality in a sales person, the customers ran over me. opposites do attract because Arthur is a born salesman...not like car a salesman...ouch.. hope not to offend. Really he could as the saying goes, sale ice to an Eskimo. People just like him, he is a people person and I'm well happy at his side :) That was random, sorry!

5 things I'd do with a million dollars

1 Give to missions.

2 Give to the baby orphanage.

3 Pay off our house.

4 help out our family members.

5 Buy a RV and travel with my family, witnessing along the way. Really in this day and age I'm not sure a million dollars would go that far, but that's the order I'd do it in.

5 things that made me laugh this week.

1 Wesley dancing in the kitchen...to cute!

2 William telling me he wants to be a clown when he grows up, he wants to walk the tight rope. What stuck me so funny is Rebekah also wanted to be a clown when she was little, and their so much alike. She wanted to be a clown to make kids laugh.

3 Rebekah she makes me laugh ALL THE TIME, she really is funny and fun to be around. Rebekah is a clown!

4 Stephen getting into the hot tub, he dove in from the side...it was his first time. He used it as a swimming pool.

5 Watching the girls pile in Arthur's "car" this morning to sit together to stay warm on the way to the store. Then watching Arthur get in, it was a tight squeeze...the "car" is a story for another post...

5 people I tag

1 Christine

2 Kerri

3 Tara

4 Laura

5 Rosalie

Ladies if you like me and can't do the tag, really no big deal. I still have 2 more to do from the past...never enough time in the day.If anyone else wants to join in feel free, let me know if you do.

Like I said never enough time, I'm posting very late just to get this one in. 2 days left on the 31 for 21...I'm worn out but glad we did it! Don't look for me to post this much until next October.

Wordless Wednesday










Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Jonathan & Stephen's Birthday (31 for 21..day 28)


Jonathan and Stephen's birthdays are one week apart, Jonathan's being on the 9th and Stephen's on the 16th. They are 4 years and 7 days apart in age. Since Stephen's second birthday they have had their birthday party together. In the past I would make 2 cakes and we would have 2 themes.



This year was a little different. The boys had a safari theme, one they both could agree on. It was much easier for me too :) My my boys are into Webkinz, so that's were the theme came from. They play zoo, Vet, take safaris, fight the animals (a boy thing) and pair them up in teams for football, baseball, and soccer. Got to love imagination! I bet you thought they liked them because of the website. Well, Madison does he doesn't play with them to much. Truth be known Amanda and Rebekah love the website, they get on it a couple times a week. They like to say the boys want to, but I know differently.

Another reason I think the boys are enjoying the animals is to due to the fact that we are studying about animals in Science this year. We are loving Exploring Creation with Zoology 3 . It's a wonderful in depth study of land animals of the 6th day, written with a Biblical worldview. I have learned as much as my children. Off to do todays lesson :)




Monday, October 27, 2008

31 for 21...day 27 & MEMORIES MONDAY


This is Jonathan the day (night) he came home from the hospital. He was released around 8PM, and my mom kept the kids up to see him. We arrived home around 9PM, they were all so excited. The kids had only seen Jonathan 2 times before this, because of him being in NICU. Madison had a cold and ear infection so he had only seen him 1 time. You can see Madison's hand on the table in the picture, he was very curious about who was in the car seat.

Here Elizabeth is holding Jonathan for the second time. She doesn't look to excited, I think she was tired and maybe a little nervous. My kids don't like this picture they say he looks plastic, or dead. I think he looked precious!

This is Jonathan the next day laying on the floor, so the kids could all lay around him to see him. He was 4.9 lbs. when he came home from the hospital, even the preemie outfits were way to big. The drain tube and clamp were from his stomach and had to left in for 2 more weeks. YES, it was a big pain. The clamp would often times come off causing his to lose what food was in his tummy. This seemed to always happen right after he was feed, so then he was hungry again. The yucky mess wasn't the biggest problem or that he needed to be feed again. The problem was that not only did be lose his food but the bile too. We learned quickly that even if his tummy was hungry we had to wait at least another hour to a hour and a half to feed him. If, we fed him right away he would get painful stomach cramps from not having the bile to help break down the breast milk he had taken in. The crying from hunger was easier to deal with than the crying from the cramping. The good news was he didn't have to wait 2 weeks to have the drain tube remove only 11 days, the bad news was it was removed early because it got a nasty infection around it. Jonathan has VERY sensitive skin. It still amazes me all that Jonathan has gone through, and has endured. I'm so thankful he has always been in God's hands!
For with God nothing shall be impossible.
Luke 1:37 KJV

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Baking Cookies 31 for 21...day 26


Friday night Elizabeth wanted to bake some cookies with William and Jonathan. The cooking started out good with William acting silly, holding on the Jonathan to stay on the stool. Or maybe he wasn't really holding but pulling :)


Elizabeth wanted to cut out the sugar cookies and put icing on them. The only problem was the dough was to wet and sticking to the pin. Here the boys are trying to see how she was going to solve the problem, at this point being still and quite.

This is were Wesley stayed in the doorway behind the baby gate. If, you knew Wesley this was the best place for him to be. Although we are seeing less and less of Mr. Destruction these days, the gate ensures safety for everyone :)

Now at this point Elizabeth is still working toward a dough that can be cut out. William I believe had given up and was on to more fun sliding in the floor. Jonathan remained by her side, but often times distracted....wonder why? Could be a silly brother :)
William makes it back to the stool with Jonathan and stands a few more minutes. Elizabeth is getting frustrated with the dough texture and her inability to be able roll it, she's wanting my help. William seeing she is frustrated and that he is really wanting cookies says "Elizabeth you want me to do it"? To this we all laughed. After the laughter Jonathan saw Elizabeth was getting upset he put his arm around her and said "aw SIS". Jonathan is so sensitive and always there to love and encourage.
I put the camera down and helped. Elizabeth cut the cookies out and they iced them. They turned out great. I don't think I mentioned that Elizabeth is a perfectionist, so that's were the frustration came from. Whatever she does she puts 100% into it, never gives up, and wants to finish what she starts. These are all great qualities, but boy it makes me tired sometimes...I wouldn't change it for the world!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

31 for 21....day 25


Jonathan loved his activity seat, and didn't just sleep in it. In front of him is a mirror, he loved to look in the mirror at himself. He is holding onto a steering wheel, that has a horn in the center. He loved to honk the horn and it would make him laugh. This horn was very high pitch, and annoying to us, yet he loved it. This is about the time that we had found out that Jonathan had a low tone hearing loss. So even if the noise annoyed us, we loved to see him react to it.

You know your a large family when....





Do you remember my last
LARGE FAMILY post. I'm feeling a theme here. I could give you a list of things that come to mind when someone speaks of a large family, and I thought about that. After much thought I'm not going to do that. Instead from time to time I'm going to post stories from our family that remind us we are a large family.
Now for the story.....

Trash pickup is Tuesday in our neighborhood. This means on Monday evening Madison and James are to take all the trash cans out to the road. This past Monday night we finally celebrated Jonathan and Stephen birthday (pictures to come) so the trash didn't make it to the road. Tuesday morning came and we were cleaning up from breakfast when I here squeaking tires....it was the trash men....Ugh!!! The trash runs somewhere between
7AM and 8 AM......we missed them *sigh* This isn't wasn't good :( You see the picture above of the trash can, well think of 5 of those full and 2 partially full....YES, we have 7 trash cans. All I could think was 6 more days before they return. Then it kind of stuck me funny, I bet those trash guys were so HAPPY to pass our house up....here's why.

The week before Elizabeth and I left for Nicaragua I was out on the side deck when the trash men came (this area has a wooden privacy fence). I was cleaning out a storage bin of play shoes, when I heard the truck pull in front of our house. I just keep sorting until I heard some profanity being used VERY loudly. I stood up and looked out toward the road, seeing one trash man yelling at the other one. I thought this is awful, glad my kids had just gone back inside. That's when it hit me they weren't mad at each other but at OUR FAMILY! The man yelling was the guy who collects the trash to put into the truck, the other man was the driver who had to get out and help. They were both very mad that we had sooooo many trash cans (that's putting it nicely).....REALLY! We have always laughed/joked and thought they probably didn't like us because of all the stinky diapers, not because of the 7 cans....who knew?!

Later that morning when Madison and James were out gathering the trash cans, I looked down our street. We live on a very quite street, with very little through traffic. The homes are older and most of our neighbors are newly retired or very elderly. I looked up one side of the street and back down the other, noticing ALL the houses just had 1 trash can, even the few homes with children. Again this was a reminder we are a large family!!!!!

Side note: we are thinking about going back to cloth diapers....won't the trash men be happy :)

Friday, October 24, 2008

31 for 21....day 24


Jonathan sat/slept in his activity seat.

When I came across this picture it reminded me of another picture I posted HERE a few months ago. I guess Wesley is a lot like Jonathan....they like their sleep.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

31 for 21....day 23



October 1999


Jonathan had just learned to sit up and sit up well. As you can see he has his hands on his legs for stability and support. He was so proud of himself.


Being young with our first 4 children we watched as "they" learned and conquered each milestone, taking it at times like a grain of salt. All the time loving the fun of watching them grow and explore. Then Jonathan came and our roles changed "WE" learned about each new milestone, and how to help him achieve and conquer them. Never before had we thought about a baby learning to keep his arms midline and the technique in order to help him do it. Nor did we ever know that this was even a skill that would need to be taught...our others just did it, without praise of recognition. Jonathan again was opening our eyes to the vast world of learning and learning on a whole new playing field, one we had never been on before. Over the past 10 years we are still learning along with Jonathan that what seems to be natural to some isn't to everyone....there are many little steps along the way before some skills are mastered. Here is a list of some of those fisrt skills.....


*head control

*rolling

*sitting

*crawling

*standing

*walking

*walking up & down inclines

*running

*jumping

*riding a bike
The list above are all things Jonathan has mastered (he is still working on the ones in black). These are gross motor skills and this list has over 100 activities to help master them. We never knew all the fine details that went into what most see as natural to everyone. Each time Jonathan would work on a new skill our eyes would open again to all work and effort that goes into the mastery. What a wonderful privilege it has been to see life in a new way......in fine detail!
Jonathan now has many more list he is working on, the top of our list being language/communication....UGH! Some days I see this as the thorn in mine and Jonathan's side :( With much effort, work, and PRAYER I know in time it will come....if it doesn't I know it's not for lack of trying :)
We look at milestones very differently now, not just as a grain of salt.
We "ALL" now cheer and applaud!!!

31 for 21....day 21 & 22 I'm behind


DAY 21
This is Jonathan when he first started to eat Cheerios...see them around him? This is the spring of 2000, he was about 18 months old.


DAY 22
This is Jonathan having some tummy time. It took him a very long time before he liked tummy time, due to all his surgeries. Jonathan was 11 months old in this picture.
You can see I fell behind on posting 31 for 21......posting something daily is hard :)
Not that I don't have lots to say and tell, that crazy thing called time seems to always be a BIG factor!

Monday, October 20, 2008

31 for 21...day 20 & MEMORIES MONDAY


This post serves 2 purposes today!
31 for 21 & Memories Monday

YES, this is JONATHAN!
Poor little guy, he really got the treatment when he was little....at times I'm not sure what kind of treatment. His sisters LOVED to play dress up with him....and they liked it best when he was a baby GIRL! Jonathan stayed small for so long the girls put doll clothes on him for several years :) Jonathan never seemed to mind playing along, as you can see he just used the necklace to teethe on. Jonathan still likes to play dress up thankfully now it's cowboys, Indians, army, and animals.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

31 for 21.....day 19


4 Silly Brothers
July 2008

Saturday, October 18, 2008

31 for 21...day 18... Rebekah's day



Jonathan & I at the Memphis Zoo, Sept. 2008
I have always loved Jonathan, tried to watch out for him. Recently my mom says I baby him to much, maybe I do. I guess that's why if he has gotten into trouble or if he is arguing with one of our brothers he runs to me. Knowing I will yes, baby him...I say it's just loving him up :) Jonathan really likes to watch what all of us older kids are doing and tries to do the same. Sometimes he does it just like us other times he doesn't, and then laughs at himself. We will laugh too, but at times that will hurt his feelings....we have to be careful of what is funny to him. Jonathan is a great brother he is funny, giving, loving, and SPECIAL !
The other picture is of Jonathan and I last Christmas, trying to sing karaoke...kids christian songs.



Friday, October 17, 2008

31 for 21....day 17...Amanda's day


Easter egg hunt at our church this year, as you can see Jonathan didn't like what I had.


Jonathan, Rebekah, and I summer of 2005, he is so silly.

Jonathan has always been my pal. When he was a baby I felt the need to take care of him and watch after him. My mom would tell me to let him do things for himself, but i just wanted to help him. One day it hit me that I was doing things for him all the time, stuff he could do for himself. So I started telling him he would have to do it, he didn't like that and would get made. Now he minds me better and listens to me. I love to play webkinz with him....he's like me and loves animals. From the time I was little I have told my mom and dad that when I get older and move out Jonathan is coming with me. They laugh and say what will your husband say, I told them that if he wants me than Jonathan is also part of the deal. Stubborn and all I love him so much.

Nicaragua...we're heading home


Elizabeth playing with 2 little sweethearts.
Yesterday we spent the morning at the orphange...the baby orphange. They had 32 children (they normally have more) 3months up to 6years old. We played with the walkers, then we helped feed the babies lunch. I can't tell you what a tremedous blessing this was. I feel as though I recevied MUCH more than I gave.....each of these children are precious. It was a honor and priviledge to be able to work in this orphange.


This was the toddler play area. This orphanage is different than the others we have worked in, not because it just has small children. This orphange isn't government funded, it has private funding raised in the USA. It is much nicer than the others, yet when we showed up with a bag full of A&D diaper ointment they were thrilled.....it was an answered prayer. They had just ran out. Pretty much everything that we consider to be a need is VERY costly here in Nicaragua. We have found the only thing that isn't costly is food....well compared to the states. Considering the average annual income for Nicaragus is around $385, everything is costly to the people of Nicaragua. This is why poverty is EVERYWHERE here, and why so many children end up in the orphange.


On a MUCH lighter note, look at this cute little boy.....what a sweet face! Well, see his sweet little hand, he just wanted to see the camera a little bit closser. He did and then the camera didn't work again. All the children loved to see their pictures after they were taken so, I would turn it around to show them. I believe between me and this sweet little boy we did a number on the camera....it no longer works :( I was so very sad thinking I wouldn't get anymore pictures the rest of the trip. Mike has saved the day with his camera and I have uploaded them on Miss Amanda's laptop. Now when I get home I can create a slide show....next week :) I still ahve lots to share about this trip. Each mission trip I have been on God has done a work in me and my heart. Each time I grow in HIM and can say I'm never the same as before.

This trip has been such a blessing. We will be flying out of Nicaragua at 8AM their time, 10AM our time at home. We will arrive in Atlanta at 1:45 pm, then a 2 hour ride home from there. I think we'll make it home by supper...YAY!!!!! Supper with my sweet husband whom I've missed soooo very much and my children who I want to squeeze....all 9 of them together! Even though Elizabeth was with me it's not the same as when we are all home together as a family unit/team.....The Munck Crew!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Happy Birthday Stephen


HAPPY 6th BIRTHDAY !!!!!!


Stephen is a thinker and very serious. He loves to play outside, and enjoys Lego's. I'm sad that I'm not at home today for your birthday buddy :( Now you can count down the days til yours and Jonathan's party on Monday....it just 4 more days!!! Hope you have fun with Daddy, sisters, and brothers going to get ice cream. I'll see you tomorrow!
I LOVE YOU!!!!!!

31 for 21...day 16..Stephen's day


Fall 2005 aren't we little
Johnny always lets me play with his favorite animals even if they are new. I feel sorry for Johnny when he has to wear his feeding tube to sleep in. I like to take care of Johnny at AWANAS. Sometimes my friends leave me out but, Johnny is always there. He is my buddy.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Wordless Wednesday


Nicarauga...the school


This is the school at San Judas, a Panama school. They have 765 students and 24 teachers. This is the school that last years team worked with. Tara, Mike, And Jami were here last year and can see many improvements. The community church that we are also working with has invested much time in the school also.


The director, teachers, and students were very excited to see us visit. We went around to each of the classrooms and spoke with the children. The younger children ask many questions, and enjoyed hearing about winter and snow.....not that we see much more than a flurry in our part of Tennessee.

Here are 2 precious girls in the preschool program, they were very shy.

This year we were able to bring each teacher a backpack filled with school supplies.

This is where the children can get snacks, it's in the center of the school courtyard. The cooking area is very primative.







All the childern must have a uniform to attend school. a lot of children don't start school until they are older and can afford a uniform. They have 16 year olds in 4th grade, life in Nicaragua is very hard. Most of these children haven't ever been outside there community a few miles radius. I can't imagine only knowing life as these children do.....a life of poverty without much hope. I pray these children see "hope" in Jesus.

31 for 21...day 15...James' day


These pictures where from Spring 2006


I like to drive Johnny around, he doesn't drive very well. Johnny loves our dog Cookie and she also like to ride!
Jonathan is so good about sharing his toys and playing with everyone. I really like to play with Johnny. Whenever he leaves to go somewhere he ALWAYS gives me a big (((HUG)))!

It's me Elizabeth......

Well mom and I are in Nicaragua, and we've been without internet for the past 2 days. I was going to write a post about Jonathan to go along with the picture that posted today BUT, without internet it was impossible. We now have internet .....YAY!!!!


To me Jonathan is just like everyone else. All the time I forget he has DS. I love to play with Jonathan, he is so imaginative. Our favorite game to play is outside in the pool. He likes to pretend to be a sneaky shark that's going to come after me. We also enjoy playing UNO with the other siblings. We always laugh because he usually will win without even having help. He always knows when I am upsest and in his language will say "Sissy, OK"?? and is right there for a hug. He won't leave my side until he is confident his Sissy is OK. Jonathan shows love and strength daily. I'm thankful God has placed him in our family.

Monday, October 13, 2008

31 for 21...day 13...William's day


Me and Jonathan Memorial Day 2008



Jonathan and I share a bedroom, we have bunk beds and Wesley sleeps in a crib.

Johnny and I are big buddies. I think he is so funny, he makes me laugh. Johnny calls me Baby, he can't say my name yet. One day he was calling for me and saying Baby, I got upset and told Mom that I'm not a baby. She told me that Johnny calls me that as my name, and has since I was born. My grandmother "Grammy" says she thinks he'll always call me that...I'll look funny at 40 being called baby. Now that I know he's not being mean to be I'm OK with Johnny calling me Baby. He hasn't ever called Wesley baby, he tries to say his name. I think he calls me Baby because I'm one of his best friends.

I love to play with Johnny and he thinks I'm funny when I make silly faces :)