Friday, September 10, 2010

Ups and Downs of Life

Last weekend, we headed to Fayetteville to enjoy some fun time together.

When we arrived on Saturday, Caylie and I dropped the boys off at the U of A campus, where they mingled with the enthusiastic Razorback fans for a little while. Carson was sooo excited about getting to be a part of the Razorback scene! We came back before game started, and picked up Carson so that Corey and Christian could have some good "guy time" while watching the game.

After eating a delicious, gluten-free dinner at Carino's, Caylie, Carson, and I headed to our hotel to relax. Carson went to bed, and then we watched "Legally Blonde", while playing Speed Scrabble during the commercials! It was fun, and laid back...just what we were in the mood for!

We woke up the next morning, and went to a REALLY cool place called "Fast Lanes". It had bowling, go-carts, an arcade, putt-putt, laser tag, and a little restaurant! We chose to do glow in the dark bowling, and had a great time! It was lots of fun to watch Carson get so excited when he, or anyone else, knocked down some pins!

When we left Fast Lanes, the guys gave Caylie and me some "girl time". They dropped us off at a really nice outdoor shopping center, where we chilled out in the book store, ate at PF Chang's, and then did a little bit of shopping. I love hanging out with Caylie!

The guys picked us up after a few hours, and we all went to see, "Ramona and Beezus". It was a really cute movie that we could all enjoy. Carson is still talking about Ramona, and the mischievous adventures that she got into!

Next stop, the park. We found a nice little park, where Carson could run and play. It was pleasant weather, and so we just hung out for a while.

When we got back into the car to head back to the hotel, we started getting word from people at church, that the leader of our preschool ministry at church, had suffered sudden heart failure, and fallen off of a ladder, while painting a room at the church, was not breathing, and was being rushed to the hospital. We stopped and prayed for her right then, but quickly learned that she had passed away.

This was traumatic news for our family. Carson loved Ms. Mary dearly, and always ran to her for a hug when he saw her in the hall at church. We loved her for the wonderful way she reached out to him, and us, when we started attending our church!

Ms. Mary had her hands in so many things! She was also one of the leaders of the homeschool organization that covers Central Arkansas. If you wanted to know anything about homeschooling, you talked to Mary! She was one of the first people that I talked to after we decided to homeschool.

She leaves behind her husband, and 3 children, the youngest is her sweet 16 year old daughter that is in Caylie's grade. Mary has always homeschooled her children.

The news about Mary knocked us off of our feet, and we went back to the hotel to process through the loss of this special friend.

Mary's memorial service was this morning. It was a beautiful celebration of her remarkable life, with more people attending, than could be seated in the sanctuary.

Corey wrote the following poem, as a tribute to Ms. Mary, and her precious ministry to children. The poem was read at the service.

A Tribute to Ms. Mary (By Carson dad...Mr. Corey)

A Voice For The Children

She touched so many, who can't understand,
The ones on her hip, the ones on her hand.

They called her Ms. Mary, but just those who could talk,
They all felt her love, before they could walk.

She led a small army, a commander of love,
hundreds of soldiers, guided from above.

They all felt her care, and knew it was real,
They all knew her love, so warm you could feel.

Many are now older, and mourn on this day,
this love for Ms. Mary, it won't go away.

The ones that are little, the ones in her class,
they can't understand, and the questions they'll ask.

The parents, we grieve, we know what a loss,
we answer their questions, in bed we all toss.

In time we'll all know, why it happened this way,
it's all in His plan, we'll continue to pray.

The children she touched, her legacy alone,
Her passion unmatched, they'll feel when they're grown.

Ms. Mary they cherished, she helped them to see,
God's love for children, for you, and for me.

A woman of mercy, a gift from above,
I speak for the babies, an army of love.

Her time has slipped by, so precious it seems,
The children they sleep, Ms. Mary in their dreams.

But the children in Heaven, they rejoice on this day,
With arms raised to Ms. Mary, "Please hold me, come play!"

Writing the Waves,

Friday, September 3, 2010

Learning To Be Gluten Free

We found out today that Caylie is "gluten sensitive".

For a while now, she has been feeling fatigued, having headaches, and stomach pain. I have several friends that are gluten intolerant, and I wondered if that might be Caylie's problem as well. I started doing some research, and decided that she should be tested. After a three week wait, her test results arrived today.

Caylie's "anti-gliadin" measurement was 406 units. "Normal" is less than 10 units, and the lab usually measures up to 350 units. I called the lab to make sure it was not a mistake, and was told that occasionally someone just has an exceptionally high number, and Caylie is one of those exceptions.

The results require her to follow a "strict and permanent" gluten free diet, which is a big adjustment for most anybody...especially our little bread lover, but we know that she can do it.

A couple of weeks ago, Caylie started trying to adopt this way of eating, just to see if it helped, and she says that she can already tell that she feels better.

I was told by a well-informed friend today that we should also have her tested for the celiac gene, and if that comes back positive, that she should then have an intestinal biopsy to determine if she has celiac disease. To have this genetic test done, she would have got get back ON gluten for a few more weeks.

None of us were happy to hear that.

After experiencing the positive results from changing her diet, she is not looking forward to feeling badly again.

All of this is a lot for us to take in, and wrap our minds around. I am trying to take in as much information as I can, but there is so much out there, and honestly, much of it is conflicting!


I will be doing lots of internet research, reading books, and talking to as many people as I can to learn more about what we are stepping into with this new diagnosis.

What we are thankful for, is that we were able to quickly find the cause of Caylie's problems. Many people go undiagnosed with gluten sensitivity for years, while the damage to their body increases.

Also, we are thankful that her condition requires no medicine, only a change in diet. Yes, a big change, but still...we are thankful for that.

Writing the Waves,

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Caylie's Blog...

As I have mentioned before, Caylie is much more consistent with her blogging than I am. I love to read her frequently updated blog thoughts! She is such an inspiration to me! Here is what she posted today.

Writing the Waves,

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