Monday, September 29, 2008

Update on Noah Estes

Please keep praying for Noah and his family.  Here is Kate's latest update:

This morning the head of the pediatric service came in and told us that Noah's newest blood cultures are continuing to grow out this still-unknown bacteria.  This means that the antibiotics are not succeeding at killing the bug.  He said that we should know what the bacteria is within 24 hours, and that he suspects that it is MRSA (antibiotic resistant superbug).  The antibiotics Noah is taking are big guns and *should* be providing coverage for all gram positive bugs, but for some reason they don't appear to be doing the job.

He also said that Noah is in what is called a catabolic state which means that his body is being broken down instead of built up.  This is basically an acceleration of his mitochondrial disease caused by the severe stress of the infection.  Whether this state can be reversed, and how long it takes to reverse, will be determined by the length and severity of the infection.  

The doctors are exploring the idea of removing Noah's central line, which is a catch-22.  It is *possible* that removing the line will make it easier to clear the infection from his blood (if the line is harboring bacteria).  It's also possible that removing the line won't make any difference.  If they do remove it, they won't want to give him a new line until the infection clears, because putting a fresh line into an infected body will just cause the new line to get infected.  Noah can't get his TPN (nutrition) through an IV - it must go through a central line.  Most of us could get by with IV fluids for a few days, but children with mitochiondrial diseases must absolutely be kept from fasting . . . . 

Noah is still spiking high fevers, and when he is feverish he is either sleeping or very, very out of things.  When the fever goes down lower, he perks up enough to take an interest in his surroundings, watch a DVD, get carried to see the fish tank, etc.  He is even walking a little when he really perks up.

It seems hard to believe that things are going this way.  Noah has had sepsis and line infections and other horrible issues, but he has always responded beautifully.  I guess we've always known that there could come a time when he didn't respond as well, but it still seems hard to believe. 

We should know more tomorrow.  They drew another blood culture a few minutes ago and there is still hope that this one will show that Noah is winning and the bug is retreating.  If any other big event or change happens, or if we receive any new news, I'll update - but I don't expect that until tomorrow.  Again, please pass this on to anyone who might be praying for Noah.

I want to get back to him (you could pray that we can get our in-room internet figured out!), but I want to close with a song that has meant so much lately.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Note to Self - Master Bedroom

The $200 Master Bedroom

(because if I don't post it, I'll forget all about it)

In Large, Friendly Letters...

I make no claim to economic brilliance, so this will likely be the only post I make about the current economic panic. This post says it so much better than I ever could.  Please go read.

(My apologies to those unfamiliar with Douglas Adams who will be baffled by the title of this post and by a tiny portion of the referenced article.  Read it anyway.  Please.)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Please Pray for Noah Estes!

Sweet little Noah is extremely sick.  From his mom:
We are rushing to the Greenville ER.  Noah is vomiting, shaking uncontrollably, and running a fever of 103.5.  He is extremely sick.  Please ask everyone you know to pray.  I'll update when I can.
Please keep Noah and his family in your prayers.  To become familiar with him (if you aren't yet), and for updates, see their blog, Our Quiverfull.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Thoughts on Friendship

I have been blessed repeatedly by Amy Scott's Humble Musings, so this certainly not the first time I've linked to Humble Amy.  I appreciated her thoughts today on friendship, and wanted to share them with you.

My thoughts have been returning often lately to friendship - specifically to real friendship, as in friends with whom you can be real.  I am troubled by the degree to which we ("we" being specifically Christians in modern day U.S.A.) are generally not genuine with one another.  We put on our happy face and do our best to be seen as "together."  I am becoming increasingly convinced that our lack of "realness" is extremely detrimental to the body of Christ, as well as to the world around us.  How are we to "confess (our) sins to one another and pray for one another, that (we) may be healed" (James 5.16) if we constantly keep on our masks?

The last few years have brought a blessing to my life that is rare treasure.  God has given me a bosom friend (as Anne would say), and a friendship in which there is a deep mutual realness.  It is unspeakably encouraging to me, as I seek to laid hold of that for which I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus, to know that my dear friend is struggling along beside me.  The depth to which we can be spiritually naked with each other helps us both to keep seeking after our Saviour.  We don't have it perfected yet... but that's okay, because we both know that we're still "in process" that that He Who promised is faithful.

I'm so thankful for the friendships the Lord has given me.  I am blessed to have a wonderful circle of friends who love and pray for me.  I am seeking to be more genuine with those in my life.  But I'm going to be genuine with you and say that it is stinking hard sometimes.  How many people really want to hear that I yell at my children, have forgiveness issues, have self-destructive tendencies, struggle with disturbing sin, doubt my Saviour's love, and more?  And I'm not proposing that we blurt out our deepest and darkest struggles to everyone we meet.  But my goal is to wear my "got-it-all-together" mask less often... to be genuine... to be approachable... to be a real friend.   

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Thirteen years ago, on a beautiful sunny day, Jonathan and I began our life together.  I am thankful beyond words for Jonathan and our journey together.  And today, I get to spend the whole day with him!

(I really need to get our wedding pictures scanned):

And a song some friends sang for us at our reception:

Happy Anniversary, Babe!

The BBC Nursery Project

Last fall, my dear friend Sue and I started working on re-doing the chapel nursery. I forgot to take an official "Before" picture, but here is one in the midst of stripping the old wall paper:

The plain white walls looked so much better!

In April, the upper portion of the walls were painted:

On Saturday (a year after we started!) we finished painting, and on Sunday, Jonathan put the trim back up for us. We're not totally done, but close enough to show off some pictures:

We love the feel of the room now.  It is a wonderfully warm, comfortable, relaxing room for mamas and babies.  
There are some lovely faux wood blinds behind the beautiful valance Sue made. One of the things we still need to do is make a curtain for the window, for when privacy is needed (for brides using it as a changing room and such). I'm sure I'll post pictures when we're completely done, but, as you can tell, we're giving ourselves (as mothers of 6 and 7 children) lots of grace on the timing of this project!

BBC Work Day

Last Saturday was Work Day at our chapel. I didn't get as many pictures as I would have liked, but here are a few (click for larger versions, of course):

Monday, September 22, 2008

Nature Pictures

We've had several opportunities in the last couple of weeks to get some neat pictures of God's marvelous creation.

Here's a garden spider that Ellie spotted behind the school barn: 

Mushrooms in the front yard:

Two praying mantis at BBC:

A walking stick at BBC:

A walking stick on our back deck:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Nobody's Got It All Together

You can get the album containing this song (lots of great stuff) along with quite a few other albums - for free! - at

What do you think of this song and the thoughts behind it?

Do you find that we as Christians are real with each other, or that we try to act like we do have it all together? If the latter, what can we do to be real with each other so that we truly can encourage one another to love and good deeds?

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Big Haircut

I've been thinking for a while that it's about time to cut Stephen's hair.  It had gotten down to his shoulder (when you pulled it straight), and totally covered his ears.  So tonight was the big night...


And After:

Sunday, September 14, 2008

FoMM Retreat

We just got back from the 3rd Annual Friends of Missouri Midwives Family Retreat.  We had loads of fun and fellowship and accomplished a lot, too!  There were over 80 people in attendance, which is almost doubled from last year.  

Here are the folks still around when we remembered to get a group picture late Sunday morning:
And a pretty scenic view on the way home:


I might have done this before, but my sweet friend Merri tagged me for this, so I thought I'd give it a go.

1. Four places that I go over and over:  the bedroom, the bathroom, the kitchen, the office.  :-)

2. Four people who email me regularly:  Mama, Tracy, Shawna, Georgia

3. Four of my favorite places to eat:  Anywhere.  I.  Don't.  Cook.

4. Four places I would rather be right now:  Nowhere!  I just got home from a weekend away, and I'm even more content than usual.

5. Four TV shows I watch:  We don't have tv reception right now... it's great!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Never Forget...

I don't believe I've written before about my memories of September 11. We lived in South County, St. Louis at the time, in a 3 bedroom townhouse. Both Jonathan and my Mama worked at LCMS, about 15 minutes away from us.

Sometime during the 8.00 hour (central time), I got a call from Mama. She was crying, and I couldn't really understand what she was saying. Something about turning on the tv, they'd hit the towers. I spent a minute or so trying to figure out what had happened, then she urged me to just go turn on the tv; we said our I love you's and hung up.

I ran upstairs to our bedroom, turned on the tv, and watched in horror. Both of the World Trade Center towers were burning. I'm sure many of you relate when I say I was transfixed. It was horrific to watch, yet it was impossible to tear myself away. There I sat, for most of the day, my precious children (3 months, 2, 3, 4, and 5 years old) wandering in and out. I let them watch or leave the room as they wanted, and did my best to give them what information I had in whatever doses I thought they could handle. Few days in my life have seen more tears travel my face.

This moment, when the first tower started to fall, is when I first started to realize that my world had changed forever:

Another moment of the day that is forever burned in my mind took place in the early afternoon. I'd talked to Jonathan and was still hoping that he would be able to come home early. It was a gorgeous sunny day, but not too warm, and our bedroom window was open to the breeze. I heard a car door, and hurried to the window. It was our townhouse neighbor, Jose. His wife Marguerite ran out to meet him. Again transfixed, I watched as they embraced and sobbed together. Two immigrants, from two different countries, mourning this great loss for their country. More tears fell as I wept with them.

A memorable moment from a week or so after the 9/11 attacks...
We were stopping with friends at a fast food place connected to a truck stop. The truck stop is one of those that puts up the biggest possible flag that they can fit on their pole, and like all U.S. flags at the time, it was flying at half mast. As I looked up at the well lit flag in the night sky, I noticed how worn it was. Ripped and torn, yet enduring. I was again overwhelmed by grief, yet also filled with hope that our country, too, tough ripped and torn, would survive.

Here are a couple of my favorite post-9/11 songs:

This one has bits of the footage that some folks would like us to forget.  I pray we never do.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


I realized when I saw this picture that my hair is getting a bit long. I'm in the midst of an experiment to find out how long it will get if I just let it grow and keep the ends trimmed, but it's usually hard to get a perspective on how long it is.

Monday, September 01, 2008

A Bit of Catch Up . . .

Because I've been a lazy camera unloader!

Introducing Ruth and Cocoa, who were given to us on Aug. 21. Thanks Brian and Melissa! They even gave us the neat little chicken run.

Aug. 22 was the previously mentioned Game Night at BBC. Lots of pictures here. Lots of craziness at Game Night - like new photography techniques...

On the 25th, we stopped at the riverfront park in Washington, MO, before heading to our home school support group meeting - quick but fun!

And just the other day, we finally found Stephen a pair of shoes that are wide and tall enough for his feet. They're size 5, which is huge for a 15 month old Smith Blessing.