Saturday, February 26, 2011

Baby Hannah...another miracle!

     As is my custom around the birthdays of my children, I share their story with everyone, whether it be in person, note, or blog. I can't help but go back to the pregnancy days and the anxiety and excitement of having a new child! To be honest, out of the five children that I have, my pregnancy and the birth of  our precious Baby Hannah, will always be the most memorable one of all....because it is also a turning point in my life.  Yep~ God got my attention with this one BIG TIME!

     The end of September 2005 was going to be just any other doctor visit. Everything was going fine and was looking forward to a due date in Feb. 2006.  We went through the normal motions and afterward, my dear doctor who has delivered all of my children, sat Michael and I down to discuss the results of a blood test that we had taken the previous week.  He had never had this talk with me before all I heard was Trisomy 18 and the word "fatal."  I smiled and nodded and smiled some more.  That was that. Nothing more.

    On the way home, I don't remember having any conversation between Michael and I.  I remember calling my mom. However, I don't remember what was said.  I remember going to my mother-in-law's to pick up the other children and telling her what was going on. But, I don't remember much else.  I do remember her having to tell me point blank that fatal meant "death."  I wasn't thinking. I just remember nodding.

   It really didn't hit me until later that night what they doctor was saying. Our baby tested 85% positive for Trisomy 18, and it very well could be fatal.  Geesh, I didn't even know what Trisomy 18 was. So, I Googled it like most normal people would. Then it hit me. My baby would probably not make it out of the womb alive, and if she did, it would be for only a short time. She would have deformed hands and feet. My baby....that I already loved SO much...I would be losing.   And that is how I felt for the entire pregnancy.

    I did so much research on Trisomy 18 to prepare myself for the worst. Even when we had an ultrasound done and it showed that our little baby had a perfect looking heart. Her hands and feet were perfect too. I still didn't believe that our baby would make it. I found parents on the internet who lost their babies to Trisomy 18 who had perfect looking ultrasounds.  I was mad at God. In fact, I even cried out that I hated Him for what He was doing to me. How dare He take away MY baby?

   I just wanted to be excited to have this baby. I really wanted to, but my logical side was telling me that it wouldn't be wise to do so.  Eventually, I did let go of it.  Right before we had her I was able to start buying necessary things for her. The more and more we went to the doctor, the more I could HEAR that heart beat...and it sounded good!

     I remember laying on the operating table and looking to Michael for an answer and the look on his face was the way I felt inside....panicked. But, then she cried. The anesthesiologist patted the top of my head and said, "She sounds like a little lamb."  And finally...I could see, that she was indeed perfect. My perfect Hannah Diane.

     You know, I don't understand God and how He works sometimes. However, I have realized that this was definitely the turning point in my life. Not saying that I have lived a perfect life since the birth of Hannah. What I am saying is that this was the point when I knew that God was trying to get my attention. It was the point when I realized that God wanted me back.  It didn't matter what I didn't do before, or what I did....HE WANTED ME.  He was with me when I yelled at Him. He was with me when I hated Him. He continued to use my child to bring me back to Him...which is where I needed to be.  He showered me with love on February 27, 2006 with a beautiful, 100% healthy baby....God showed me that HE works miracles in people's lives; even mine.  My Hannah IS a miracle from God.  There isn't a day that goes by that I don't thank him for all of the blessings that He has given to me. And my Baby Hannah is just one of them.

Don't know what Trisomy 18 is?  Here is a link:

Today, Hannah is now SEVEN years old!! She is still a sweet little thing, but has grown into quite the sassy pants in the last year! Still has the beautiful long brown hair, and the China baby face. Hannah is excelling at school and is reading at an early 4th grade level. She is really into One Direction right now, especially Liam! How blessed we are to have our sweet, compassionate, often clumsy Hannah Diane!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Ready for Spring

      don't have much to say right now other than that.  I am just ready for Spring. I am ready to see sunshine again. I am ready to see green. I can't wait to see leaves, growing grass, and rainbow blossoms cascading in flower beds! I want to hear the beautiful sounds of birds singing, the bugs chirping, and the big bull frogs bellowing! I want to see daylight until nine at night! I want the kids to run around in the yard and brn off some of this energy.....Oh, please SPRING hurry up and get here!!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Nothing Much to Speak of...

     Just when I though my family was finally 100% completely healthy, Amanda wakes up this past Sunday morning with a fever. Obviously, we stayed home from church that morning. We also missed the youth fundraiser Valentine's Banquet. However, when the rest of the family came home, I was greeted with a dozen beautiful yellow roses (my favorite color), a teddy bear with chocolates, a remarkable "cherry jubilee," a delicious chocolate pie, and a card with two gift cards in it from my secret sister! Can't beat that?

     Certainly not the gift Alena game me overnight in the form of vomit.

     Nor the one Hannah just gave in the same form.

Oh my, yes, Hannah, Manda, and Alena are under the weather. I must say, Alena has acted just fine and has shown no other sign of being sick other than runny stuff out of both ends. Yeah...too graphic. Anyway....

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Day He Turned Twelve...

     Twelve years ago today was a bittersweet day for me. I wasn't exactly thrilled like a new mom should be.  However, I wasn't exactly angry either. I was now a mom. A single mom. A teenage single mom. Alone. With a boy. Oh boy!

     I won't go into all the private details of how I became pregnant at the age of 18. I will say this, I thought I knew everything.  And what I knew is that I wanted to be with my highschool sweetheart forever and that I would follow him anywhere!  Including Southern Illinois.

     When I was young, I really thought that I had the world by the reigns and that I could go anywhere and do anything! Nothing was going to stop me! I graduated high school early and had a passion to go to Yale Law School. Kids would come at some point; but not until I passed the bar exam! When I got pregnant a few months after I graduated, I was like..OK, Southern Illinois University is OK, I guess. I guess. I made plans to move down here to be with my boyfriend. We rented a house in Carbondale for the Summer and were looking at SIU housing for families when the semester would start. That wouldn't be needed....because three weeks after I moved here, he was gone.

     I mean gone, as in haven't seen him, heard from him, etc. since July of 1998.

     Being who I am, I got mad....but, handled things the best way I could. I found a job, I found another house to rent...and I made a life for myself and my soon to be child. However, my life once again changed August 31, 1998.  That is when they found an ovarian tumor on my left side. WOW. Yeah, an 18 year old with an ovarian tumor. Alone. Pregnant.  Cancer. And now surgery.  SO, two days later...I am in the operating room facing a major surgery by myself, terrified that I was going to lose the only thing that I felt I had. Faced with that, plus the idea of not having any more children...ever. At age eighteen.

     That was OK. I dealt with it. My mom was able to meet me for most of my appointments in St. Louis at Barnes Jewish hospital.  It was OK. I would be fine. The baby was fine. A baby boy.

     Time went on, so did life.  I worked my tail off including the night before I delivered him....twelve years ago.  Was I scared? Sure...this wasn't Miss Amy babysitting anymore! This was my boy. I was responsible for another living being.
     When I held MY son in my arms...something happened inside of me; an instant change. I felt my heart soften, my mind focus, and the breath of motherhood. I didn't care about Yale, I didn't care about being a single mom, I didn't care about the stigma that goes along with being a teenage mom.  I just knew that I would succeed in my life, obstacles and would just take me a little longer than planned.
Today, my Dylan is an active guy with a big heart.  He loves to play video games and is infatuated with his Star Wars Lego collection.  He enjoys learning about history, war, military, and guns.  He is a good kid; very sensitive to other people's needs.  He is a fine Christian boy and will be a wonderful Christian man in the future....I am so unbelievable proud of my little guy, my only son~ Dylan Brice.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Incredible critique on home educated students!

College Professor Critiques Homeschoolers

This article may be published on web sites and in publications as long as it's reproduced in its entirety, including the resource box at the end of the article.

I teach sophomore through senior level students - most of them are "pre-professional" students. They are preparing to go to medical school, dental school, physical therapy school, etc.

As a generalization, I've noticed certain characteristics common in my students who were homeschooled. Some of these are desirable, some not.

Desirable characteristics:

1. Homeschooled students are independent learners and do a great job of taking initiative and being responsible for learning. They don't have to be "spoon fed"
as many students do. This gives them an advantage at two specific points in their education; early in college and in graduate education.

2. They handle classroom social situations (interactions with their peers and professors) very well. In general, my homeschooled students are a pleasure to have in class. They greet me when they enter the class, initiate conversations
when appropriate, and they don't hesitate to ask good questions in class. Most of my students do none of these.

3. They are serious about their education and that's very obvious in their attitude, preparedness, and grades.

Areas where homeschooled students can improve:

1. They come to college less prepared in the sciences than their schooled counterparts - sometimes far less prepared. This can be especially troublesome for pre-professional students who need to maintain a high grade point average from the very beginning.

2. They come to college without sufficient test-taking experience, particularly with
timed tests. Many homeschooled students have a high level of anxiety when it comes to taking timed tests.

3. Many homeschooled students have problems meeting deadlines and have to adjust to that in college. That adjustment time in their freshman year can be costly in terms of the way it affects their grades.

My advice to homeschooling parents:

1. If your child is even possibly college bound and interested in the sciences, make
sure that they have a solid foundation of science in the high school years.

2. Begin giving timed tests by 7th or 8th grade. I'm referring to all tests that students take, not just national, standardized tests.

I think it is a disservice to not give students timed tests. Students tend to focus better and score higher on timed tests, and, they are far better prepared for college and graduate education if they've taken timed tests throughout the high
school years.

In the earlier years the timed tests should allow ample time to complete the test as long as the student is working steadily. The objective is for them to know it's timed yet not to feel a time pressure. This helps students to be comfortable taking timed tests and develops confidence in their test-taking abilities.

3. Give your students real deadlines to meet in the high school years. If it's difficult for students to meet these deadlines because they're coming from mom or dad, have them take "outside" classes; online, co-op, or community college.

Build on the strengths that homeschooling offers and send your students to college fully prepared and a step ahead of most other students.

Greg Landry is a 15 year veteran homeschool dad and former college professor. His daughters are now college students. He is founder and director of

Friday, February 4, 2011

Week in Review

Sick, sick, and more sick!

     This week has been nothing more than us sickos sitting around the house! We have now missed a total of ten days of school because at least one of us has been down everyday. So not good!
     Dylan was by far the worst with a low grade fever, chills, aches, and pains. Alena, myself, and Dylan are still congested. I have had a sore throat for going on three weeks. Very frustrating.  We seem to be feeling much better and actually started cleaning this morning! I was a germ killing momma today! Hope I got enough done. I started feeling a bit tired this afternoon and thought it best to rest.  Guess I will get back to it in a little bit.

     My mother in law has been in Tegucigalpa, Honduras for the last week working with a medical team with The Forgotten Children Ministry. This was her second mission in the last year and she loves it so much.  It was fabulous to hear that the boys seemed to remember her and another lady that went from our church.  If you have ever wanted to sponsor a child and not trust the organization...please consider sponsoring through this ministry.  They are real, they are honest, and they are doing a great work in the name of our God down in Honduras! Check out this link:

Here is my mother in law and one of the little people she met while on her mission:

     Before we all got a bug, we were able to go to an AMAZING concert~ Winter Blast 2011! This was a one night thing, with FIVE bands! 
Epic No Less
Kerrie Roberts
Jason Grey
33 Miles
AND...Building 429!

We had an amazing night with our friends the Elliotts and the Barnetts! It is always fun to hang out with friends! Here is a picture of  Building 429 on stage...

Hmmm, wonder why that came in so small. Ugh.

Anyway, we were going to go see Eddie James Minsitries this past Tuesday, however, we were much too ill to go and the weather got a bit ugly. We were not hit with a bunch of snow and ice like most places in the midwest, but we were right on the line and it was hard to tell what actually was going to happen. We have another opportunity to go hear Eddie's message and worship with other believers on February 17. I am so excited! Have you ever heard of Eddie James? Here is a video:

Our power went out that same night too. Never fun to live without power~ in the freezing cold! We stayed with my father in law next door. He had a kerosene heater going to keep us warm! Turns out, there was a car accident a couple towns over that knocked a pole down causing our power outage. hope they were OK!

That pretty much sums up my week...except "A Voice for Jordon." I may work on a post about that this weekend....for now, this is it. Hope you all have a blessed weekend!