Posts Tagged ‘Family’

Back From Vacation

Vacations are always too short.

This year, we stayed in Ohio with my wife’s family.  We had a great time fishing, eating, going to the zoo, eating, seeing fireworks, eating, and eating.  We did a lot more, but I won’t bore you with the details.

Brielle was so excited to see the fireworks, so we left her up way past her bedtime.  We arrived an hour and a half early, so we had to keep her occupied, and we did (Thank you DVD player in laptop).  She laid down for awhile, but was still really excited.  Finally it was dark, and they started.  She had on her headphones, and was holding her blankets.  Two seconds later, up goes the blanket over the eyes.  “Too bright!!”.  We thought the noise would bother her, not the brightness, but it did.  Funny thing was, she couldn’t stop talking about them afterwards, she had a great time!

The zoo was fun.  Perfect weather, and both children did great.  Brielle loved fishing, and stood outside with us in the rain for at least thirty minutes.  She was able to touch a fish, hold a minnow, and hold the fishing pole.   That day the fishing was poor, but the other few times we went out, we did well.  Posted is a picture of a 3.3 LB 19″ bass I caught the other day.

Categories: Family, Life Tags: , ,


June 6, 2008 1 comment

No beating around the bush today.

1) Lael is pregnant. No foolin’. Due January 25th. To be honest, it was about 6 months earlier than we had “planned” on, but in the long term, it’ll be great. We wanted to wait until Bryce was healed, so that worked out well…and this news segues into the next.

2) We listed our house yesterday, we are officially moving. We need to find another house. A bigger house. We found a great one, but unfortunately someone else made an offer on it. However, the listing agent isn’t totally convinced it will go through, so we still have a chance. If that one doesn’t work, we don’t have a backup one yet, but I’m sure we’ll find something, hopefully something nice in our price range. The one we found would be perfect for us.  [UPDATE:  We made an offer on the house we liked tonight, please pray that it goes through.  It would be a good deal if it does!  Now we just need to sell ours…]

So in summary, big changes are on the horizon for our family. Please pray for Lael’s pregnancy to go well, our home to sell quickly and at a fair price, and that we will be able to find the house God wants us in, and that everything would go smoothly and in good timing.

Categories: Life Tags: , , , ,

Bryce- Recovery Day Four- 8:15 PM

April 21, 2008 3 comments

8:15 PM: Just returned from dinner. YUM! We at at the canal area in Indy, and got to walk and talk for awhile. It was really nice! Thanks Manbecks!! I added some pics to the gallery below.  Sorry they are sideways, my Iphone did that for some reason.

4:30 PM: We just had a surprise visit from our surgeon, and a visiting heart surgeon. They listened to Bryce’s heart. Both said it sounded normal, far better than his grade four murmur. Dr. Brown just told this guy he didn’t have to work on the aortic valve, and then they were gone. In and out in no time, no chit-chat, all business. It’s a little intimidating to be honest. These are guys at the top of their field. Like the general walking in to the mess hall with all the infantry. We both jumped up and almost saluted the guy. He mentioned that they are just waiting for the chest drainage tubes to dry up a little more, then we’ll start the process of getting out of here. Probably another one to two days. We also got some free toys today! Riley and all the supporting charities are great, we haven’t asked for anything to speak of, things and support staff just show up. We’re going down to the canal area in Indy for dinner. Sounds like fun!

3:30 PM: Lael and I went outside for lunch. We walked around campus. There are three hospitals that we found, and IUPUI. We went to the Barnes and Nobles on campus, that was fun. It’s so nice outside. Once again, we wish Brielle was here to play with, but that’s okay. Bryce had his bandages changed, and has been really happy this afternoon. He’s ready for more sleep though. They are giving him some more calcium because he was a tad under their baseline. Nothing major at all. Still waiting for the chest tubes to come out. I’ve been able to keep up on emails from work, but that’s about it. I’ve watched almost two complete seasons of an older comedy called NewsRadio, and Lael has read a lot. We are seeing some friends of ours tonight, they are bringing a picnic dinner. We’re looking forward to that.

11:15 AM: Bryce is awake and babbling. Still no direction or news on his progress, he’s just healing up. He slept a lot this morning. I think Lael and I are getting a little stir crazy.

9:15 AM: Lael is watching Regis and Kelley. I guess Regis was in South Bend for some IUSB all night dance thing. He was talking about Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, he had a picture with Mishawaka Mayor Jeff Rea, and talked about Notre Dame. Pretty cool to hear about home. And no, we didn’t feel the aftershock earthquake last night.

8:15 AM: He’s laying in bed and talking now, no longer fussy. It’s funny, he knocks his pacifier and a little yellow ring together and makes noise, then looks up at me as if to say “Cool huh? Look what I did!” Then he points the yellow ring at me. What a cute boy. I can’t wait to get home with the whole family. I dreamed about Brielle last night. Here are some older pictures I thought you all might enjoy. They are of Bryce and Brielle in Brielle’s Christmas presents from G’pa and G’ma Hicks.

7:45 AM: Bryce had a good night, although he sounds like he’s losing his voice. He’s a little fussy right now, we’re not sure why. The nurse thinks they probably won’t take the tubes out today, which means the soonest we would be able to leave is Wednesday. Please pray we can leave earlier. I have work that I have to do this week, and they have certain internet applications blocked here, and one of them is the way I can get onto the network up north. I can do emails, but that’s it. Right now it’s just a waiting game. We can’t leave until his chest cavity looks good. Lael just said she thinks he might be cutting a tooth. Hmmmm…could be!

Bryce- Recovery Day Two- 8:00 PM

April 19, 2008 Leave a comment

8:00 PM: Bryce is still doing great.  He isn’t eating much, but then again, he isn’t doing much either.  He seems to be in good spirits.  We can get him to smile and laugh.  Takes more trying than usual, but that’s to be expected.  He is moving a lot more, and was messing with his arterial line, so it started to bleed a bit, so now he is wearing a “No-No” on  his left arm.  It’s a little velcro cover, (think soft cast) that covers his arm from right above the elbow to over his hand, so he can’t grab the lines running into his arm.  He puts his left arm up in the air, looking at us, as if to say “Hey, look at this!  Take it off!  Please??  What’s the deal?”.  Pitiful.  He also is starting to itch at his incision with his thumb, which is great.  Must be healing up well!  Lael and our friend Jenny got to get out for a bit this afternoon and went shopping for kids clothes.  Then Chad (our friend and Jenny’s hubby), me, mom, and dad went out to dinner at Weber Grill.  It was nice to get out.  I wasn’t hungry going into the restaurant.  McDonald’s for breakfast and lunch will do that to a person, but I ate a whole meal at the restaurant.  It was nice to get out for awhile, but I caught myself really wanting to get back to see how Bryce was doing.  I missed all the bleeding and “No-No” stuff.  I also called and talked to Brielle for about 20 seconds at the restaurant.  She wasn’t very interested.  It rained here today, and finally dried up this afternoon, so she was in the process of going outside to play.  It was nice to talk to her, but I miss her a lot.  We didn’t get the Ronald McDonald room tonight.  It’s not a surprise, since Bryce is out of ICU, so we’re sleeping in the room.  His pain medication is down to regular Tylenol, and he doesn’t seem to be in any pain, so he’s off the big painkillers in less than 55 hours since the surgery. WOW.  The way these little kids heal is amazing, and in itself is a testament to our awesome and powerful Creator.  Just looking at the information that is being pulled from these little sensors is cool.  The pressure in the heart, which needs to be just right.  His heartbeat has to be in a certain range.  His blood pressure, breathing rate, all these things must work together for us to live.  How cool is that?

2:30 PM: Not much going on at this point. He’s eaten now, not a lot, but some. A little more poo, he’s been peeing well, so things are going great. The X-ray taken this morning looked great, according to the doctors doing their rounds. They are just watching his stats, making sure he’s stable, and lowering drugs as needed. He was up quite a bit this morning, so he’s been sleeping for awhile now. Dave, Joan and Sheldon left to go back to Ohio, and some friends of ours were here for lunch, it was great to see them. We put in for the McDonald room again tonight. We tried sleeping on the futon together around 7:00 this morning. It worked OK, but could have been MUCH better. We were really cramped. So it’s my watch tonight, and hopefully Lael will be able to sleep on the Sleep Number bed downstairs. 🙂

8:30 AM: Bryce did very well during his last bit of checking up with the new nurse. We have a guy nurse now, and Bryce just stared at him the whole time. I wonder if having a male nurse helped him at all…it was the best checkup so far. He’s just laying in bed right now, looking around, talking now and then, no pacifier, and watching TV off and on. Just hanging out. Such a good boy. Still hasn’t eaten or pooped more, but he isn’t fussy, we’re going to try to feed him again shortly. Never mind, Lael just tried, and he shook his head “no”. He does that now, it’s very cute. We have more friends visiting this morning, so we’re looking forward to that. Dave and Joan, Lael’s parents, and her brother, Sheldon, are leaving this afternoon, so they will be visiting today as well. We hope that Brielle continues to do well in Muncie, even after Dave and Joan leave. We expect she’ll do great. We’re so thankful to Kevin and Sharon (and Clarence and Miriam) for watching her. We miss her very much, but she’s in great hands.

6:45 AM: Bryce pooped early this morning, a little bit, about 2:00. That’s a good thing. He hasn’t eaten since 6 o’clock last night, not a good thing. He isn’t fussy, he’s acting fairly normal. He did throw up his Tylenol this morning, probably because it was on an empty stomach, so we need him to eat. Right now, it’s just laying in bed, moving around a bit, sucking on his pacifier. He had a routine chest x-ray about fifteen minutes ago. The biggest prayer request now would be that he eats well, and continues to poo. He had a great night sleepwise, so thank you Lord for that.

Categories: Life Tags: , , , ,

Bryce- Recovery Day One- 9:20 PM

April 18, 2008 3 comments

9:20 PM: Bryce peed on his own.  Yay!  Still no #2, and his belly is really big.  He’s had a rectal and an oral laxative, so hopefully soon.  Our friends are here to visit, we’re having a good time just showing off our little guy.  He had a BIG smile when they came in, and is acting much more normal now.  The drugs seem to be wearing off.

6:30 PM: I’m going to upload a couple of post-op pictures, but these are of him sitting up, so they don’t look so weird. He just ate, still no poo or pee on his own. Prayer request for that. I think he’s uncomfortable because of that. He’s been a bit whiny since he woke up last, but a bit of morphine has helped. They are stretching that out further, which is good.

5:40 PM: We are in the last room of his stay. It has it’s own bathroom, shower, cupboards, TV, etc. MUCH nicer than the ICU, and we can sleep here if we have to. We have been approved for another night in the Ronald McDonald room, so we can drop down there to sleep if we’d like. He’s sleeping again, and when he wakes up, he doesn’t cry. It’s so much quieter in this room.

5:00 PM: We were just told we got his room! We will hopefully be moving up soon, within half an hour we hope. Bryce just slept for forty-five minutes to an hour, he’s up now, but not cranky. What a difference from yesterday!

3:30 PM: Still no room. Bryce is sitting up and has been awake for the longest period so far. He’s not whining much, and has even cracked a few small smiles. Hopefully he’ll pee soon, or they will have to re-catheterize him. They say sometimes it burns to pee after it’s taken out, so they pee a little, and then hold it. I guess I would too. He hasn’t pooped yet either, which isn’t a surprise, but he hadn’t for a few days before the surgery, so he’s probably ready to let loose. Haha, we don’t have to change the diapers. He still looks puffy and groggy, but is more aware and awake than ever. A little over 24 hours since surgery, and he’s sitting up and not fussing! Awesome.

1:44 PM: Had a good lunch outdoors, it’s absolutely beautiful outside. We bought Bryce a toy, and he just got done swatting and playing with it. That was really encouraging to see. Even on all the drugs, he played!! How cute… Still no word on the room, it’ll be an hour after we hear that the room opened up to get him up there.

11:20 AM: Felt an aftershock here. Weird. Very light movement, it wasn’t just us, the nurses felt it too. Officially an aftershock per the website. Probably somewhere around 4.5 mag. Sounds like they are turning the water off in the outpatient section of the hospital for an hour. We heard a hospital wide page about it.

11:00 AM: Just received an update from our nurse. They are continuing to lower his sedative, so he should be a bit more alert as the day goes on. The morphine will only be administered every three hours. Possibly some tylenol with codeine as needed for pain. He’s not on any fluid restrictions, so feeding him as needed is allowed. They put an order for his transfer, so it’s official. Just waiting for another kid to be discharged.

10:40 AM: Bryce just ate seven ounces of milk. VERY quickly I might add. He’s zonked out right now. He was babbling (in a whiny voice) for awhile. Sounded a bit slurred, no surprise there. It’s very peaceful in our room, the classical music is soothing. Dad and mom are here, Dad and I are in the room on the laptops, and mom and Lael are upstairs, Lael is milkin’ it up. It’s just a waiting game right now. Boring. But boring is good! Praise God for boring.

Psalm 40:5

Many, O LORD my God,
are the wonders you have done.
The things you planned for us
no one can recount to you;
were I to speak and tell of them,
they would be too many to declare.

9:30 AM: Bryce just had his incision dressing off, and his catheter taken out. They took his drainage tubes off the vaccuum, and they are just on a small hand bulb vacuum now. He was given a little morphine during the dressing procedure to keep him calm. He’ll be fed soon, when he starts coming to a bit more. Dr. Brown signed off on him, all of his stats look very good. He will be moving upstairs hopefully this afternoon then! There is a patient in his room, so we have to wait for that child to be discharged. He is still drowsy, but can look around at people. It was great when he first looked into my eyes.

Mom and Dad did feel the earthquake, as did Dr. Brown. It woke them all up.

8:30 AM: Just got back from visiting Bryce. He looks well. He took some pedialyte this morning, so they are going to give him milk at his next feeding. He is off of morphine, and they are lowering some of his meds, hopefully he will be able to transfer to the recovery room this evening. They have some nice classical music playing, he has his pacifier, and looks very peaceful. He didn’t stir at all when we were in there, and the nurse was working on him. They said he would calm right down while eating, so that’s great.

And no, we didn’t feel the earthquake! Slept right through it. Mom and Dad are staying in a high-rise hotel in Indy here, so they may have woken up, but I haven’t talked to them yet. A buddy of mine in Elkhart and his wife woke up from it!

7:30 AM: We just woke up about 30 minutes ago. We slept so well in this room. It was quiet, and dark. We are going up to see Bryce shortly. He has been sedated constantly since the surgery, as soon as he’s up and starts to cry or wiggle, they get him comfortable so that he rests. He’s a really good roller, so a few times while we were with him he tried to roll over, hard to do with all the tubes attached! Plus, that messes up his little oxygen line that goes into his nose. I’m glad they keep him sleeping. It must be very strange to wake up in that room, hooked up to all that machinery, and not know why, or be able to process it like an adult. Our problem is that we can’t do much in the room right now with him, because of noise and light. They keep the room dark. As he’s able to stay awake more, it will be easier to spend time with him. All is going well. We will be seeing new visitors today, we’re looking forward to that. Hopefully tomorrow or Sunday we’ll be able to see Brielle! We miss her.

Thoughts on Growing Old

April 12, 2008 Leave a comment

We moved my grandmother into an assisted living facility today. She has multiple sclerosis and has regressed to the point that it’s not safe for her to live alone. It is a sad day. She’s been living alone for a few years, since my grandfather died from cancer. We hope that she will be able to make friends, and be accepted, and enjoy herself. So for that, we are relieved. No more late night phone calls for her kids, needing to pick her up off the floor. With everything going on with Bryce, it’s been a few days of deep thinking. Which is rare for me.

When we are born, for years we are totally dependent on our caretakers. We would die without their help. When we grow old, eventually, we are totally dependent on our caretakers. We would die without their help as well. Why is that? Why aren’t we born and grow to maturity in a day? Why did God create us this way? Is it because we need to learn to rely on others, like we need to rely on God? Is it so that we grow up to realize that the ones that took care of us, and kept us alive, make mistakes? And because of our closeness with them, these mistakes rock our world and make us realize that we are all sinful, when we’re hurt by the ones we love, and then the idea of God becomes more real to us? A caretaker that makes no mistakes, doesn’t yell at us when He’s mad, doesn’t forget to come to our baseball game, doesn’t forget to call on our birthdays (etc.), and cared enough that he died to save us from death? I don’t know why life is the way it is, other than God willed it that way. Someday, I will be unable to care for myself. I know it’s true, death comes to all men. But when that day comes, I’ll know I’m still loved and taken care of by the creator of the world, and that will help heal the sadness that comes with losing my independence.

Categories: Family, Life, Religion Tags: , , , ,

My Thoughts from Today

April 10, 2008 Leave a comment

I came home late today, and Brielle ran up to me and said “Hi, Daddy!  Miss you!”  Man, that hit me, what a cutie!  I love her so much.  I think she got the saying from me.  When I get home, I make a point to give her a hug and tell her I missed her today, and that it’s good to see her, and that I love her.  I guess it made a difference and something stuck!

I’ve been reading John lately.  To get to know Jesus better, I need to learn about Him, I love reading the New Testament.  Anyway, I searched today on why Jews don’t believe in Jesus because of all I’ve read over the years about how much the Jews hated Jesus.  The one website I saw listed a few spurious reasons why they don’t.  But there are so many prophecies and signs that He is the Messiah, I don’t understand why they don’t believe in Him, other than their blindness.  The arguments the Rabbi put forth were very weak, in my opinion.  The evidence for His divinity far outweigh what I’ve read against it.  I feel very saddened for the Jewish nation.

We watched the newest episode of “The Office”.  Just when I thought they couldn’t make the show more uncomfortable and realistic, BAM, it hit me like a ton of feathers (you think that wouldn’t hurt, but c’mon, a TON is a TON!).  It was really funny.

Here is a humorous picture of a kitten getting a bath.

The Root of All Evil

April 8, 2008 1 comment

You may read the title of this post and say, “Oh boy, this is going to be a really serious discussion on money.  I’m going to skip this post, and go back to whittling that piece of wood I found on the shore of Lake Michigan last summer into a bear holding a fish”.

If you have said this, you are wrong.  And need to find a new hobby.  I’m not talking about money, I’m talking about slow drivers.  In the last 24 hours, I have had the opportunity to learn patience and self-control while driving.  Last night, it was late, and I really wanted to get home, and I was stuck behind someone going 40 in a 55 zone.  Finally, I was to my turn, and guess what…their turn signal started blinking, slowly flashing, pointing in the direction I was going, taunting me with every blink.  I was aware that I was getting upset, so I had to calm myself down.  Today, on my way home from work, it was 40 in a 50, and the truck was about 300 years old, made of rust, and smelled like a burning oil refinery.  Same thing, I had to have self-control.  It’s funny, the more you learn about what is wrong, the more you realize how bad you actually are.  It’s not killing people, or stealing, or watching Jerry Springer, it’s the thoughts about others, the frustrations, and the little things that we do that end up being the “sins of the day”.  Life as a believer is a constant tweaking of who we are as a person, and the continuous “putting to death” of the flesh.  These slow drivers were the root of all evil to me, at those moments.  It was at the forefront of my mind.

On another note, Bryce is sitting on the floor, playing.  He’s so funny.  He’ll look at me, smile, and yell.  He’s such a cute kid.  I can’t believe in little over a week he’ll be on an operating table.  We have peace about it, but I still have a sadness that wells up when I think of my little boy having such an invasive surgery done to his body.  He has such a personality now, he’s not just a sleeping, pooping, eating baby anymore, he’s Bryce, the kid that loves to yell, enjoys his ring toys, smiles all the time, and loves rubbing his gums on his teether…  We trust God fully, and still pray for a miracle!!

Writer’s Block

April 7, 2008 1 comment

It’s difficult to write when I’m exhausted, so here we go.


To summarize:


I hope this makes sense…


Today was a great day, I had a good day at work, very productive. I felt good about how things went, and how I treated people. I left from work to drive straight into South Bend to spend some time with some friends of ours, and my sister, brother-in-law, and nephew for dinner (along with my family of course). We took five kids to the park after having a great dinner. We had three two year olds, a seven month old, and a 2 1/2 month old. It was fun, but not dissimilar to trying to lasso 45 drunken calves with a piece of dental floss four inches long. I may be exaggerating a small bit, but you get the picture. I’m fascinated at how much energy little kids have, and conversely, how little I have the older I get. It’s worth it though. Even though a two year old can be very independent, headstrong, and disobedient; the times that she says “Daddy, dance!”, or “Daddy, play!”, make it all worth it.

Categories: Family, Funny, Humor, Life Tags: , , , , ,

Lael’s Post from Today

April 6, 2008 1 comment

Excuse my laziness, it’s a beautiful day and I don’t want to be indoors. This is an excerpt from Lael’s blog post from today. I let her do the heavy work for me! Also, Happy Anniversary to my parents! 28 years married as of yesterday. I love you guys!

So, this morning, I decided to give Bryce a little juice after I fed him. He was thrilled with the idea of a bottle…but seemed disappointed by its contents. He took a few sips, but his tummy was already full and he was “all done”. I have been showing him the “all done” sign in sign language every time I feed him. When we get to the last bite, we say “all done” and wave both of our hands in the air. Well…when he decided he was done, he waved his littleWhat a little man! arms and did the all done sign—-BY HIMSELF! I was a little skeptical at first, not quite sure if he knew what he did, so I tested it a couple minutes later. I told him we were “all done” changing his diaper, and….the little hands went up and started flapping!!!! What a smart boy!!!! I know G’pa Wes claims to be the genius in the family, but I guess he passed on a little of his smarts to his grandson. Not even 8 months old and Bryce knows sign language! (ok, 1 sign doesn’t really count as a full language, I know)

On a more serious note, I read Psalms 32 today- a great pick me up, and God really spoke to me. I am trying to sort through all my feelings about Bryce’s upcoming surgery on the 17th. It is such a difficult thing to imagine happening, but I know God is giving me peace about the whole situation, and I know his promises will hold true in our lives. I really know God is using (and will continue to use) Bryce to grow our family in a deeper relationship with each other and with our Lord. I look over at my little guy happily bouncing in the exersaucer, and he has no idea how his life is impacting ours. Someday, he will have quite a story to hear about how God used him to strengthen our family.

Categories: Family, Life Tags: , , ,