We are truly living in a joyous season of life. Our children are just so darn fun! The laughs and giggles that fill our house everyday keep my heart so full I think it may burst at times.
We had a wonderful Christmas, and were able to travel back home to visit family for a whirlwind week of squeezing in every minute of family time possible. It's never long enough.
However, I should say it was 75* on Christmas day down here and we spent the day playing out side and walking to our neighborhood park. I say, let's meet here next year, okay? We tend to prefer sand over snow. :)
The boys made a trip to visit Santa this year and you can see fun was had by all...
It seems to bear a striking resemblance to our previous Santa photo....
I suppose Santa was able to forgive Owen's tears- The Daugherty Boys are on the road!
Whoever told me these two would be best friends...I'm looking for you. Best friends is not how I would describe these two...unless they are just constantly practicing for wrestling tryouts!
I give you exhibit A:
What appears to be a very sweet, tender moment in Wal Mart...
WRONG! It's a choke hold...granted Abel is rarely innocent. The precious, brotherly moment was ruined.
This didn't end well for either of them. Abel packs some heat.
Big things are happening at The Daugherty House and we have some big decisions to make.
We are currently seeking The Lord for guidance in choosing the best place to send Owen to school for the upcoming year. He has qualified for a school for language development, which we strongly feel he would benefit attending. He would also receive speech therapy at school. The issue with the school is it is everyday, all day. So, due to his immunosuppresion, medication schedule and cathing schedule it's just not possible. I have a meeting coming up with the school system to set up his IEP (a plan designed specifically to meet each of his needs) and at that time we will be applying for hospital homebound services with co-enrollment. We are praying The Lord will open and close doors, leading us in the direction He sees fit for Owen.
We also have the option of sending Owen to the precious, loving school he has attended this past year. I hate the thought of not sending him there again as we have grown to love his teachers so much and have celebrated each milestone Owen has met with them. However, we feel a specialized school would better serve Owen and the needs that he has. But, we are waiting on The Lord to guide us, should he lead us back to our beloved school, we know their arms are open and waiting for us. I was so blessed as I received an email from the preschool director today saying " I want you to know how much we have loved learning from Owen this year! (And I mean that- he has taught us more about love, patience, compassion and innocence that we ever imagined.)" It just warms my heart to know how loved and accepted Owen is at his school!
Please be in prayer for us and we seek The Lord while making this decision. We have learned from very early on it is our job to advocate for Owen and this is a whole new realm! Pray that we will receive clear answers and that our hearts will be open and willing to follow where The Lord guides us, trusting that He knows where Owen will best succeed in the upcoming year.
I should brag on my littlest man for a bit, too. He is feisty, fierce and full of life! Quite the opposite of his gentle, (somewhat) quiet brother! This little guy goes and goes until he crashes. I realized the other day that my snuggles with him have become very few and far between. Only after sleeping and occasional boo boo, this little just doesn't have time to stop for his mom. He can count to 10 and knows most of his letters (all compliments of his big brother!) and carries his blankie literally everywhere. He accompanies us to each therapy session and typically behaves as well as a busy 18 month old boy can. :) He brings me so much joy, laughter and even a little frustration! But I just couldn't imagine our family without his crazy little antics and silly smiles and giggles!
Aside from choosing Owen's schooling we have a super fun (yet actually stressful!) decision to make very soon!
Last year Owen was selected to be a Make A Wish recipient! We didn't announce anything because we had intended on waiting until Owen could talk and request his very own, special wish. We were contacted in December saying that the time had come, and we had to decide on our wish. So, Owen's wish granters are coming to our house this weekend! We are so, so excited for him! This little guy is so tough, so brave and strong. He's been through so much I would give him the world if I could. So hopefully we will come up with an amazing, super cool Owen wish that will just bless his socks off!
I recently posted on facebook about needing prayers for Owen. Last week Owen's routine monthly labs showed a dramatic jump in his liver enzyme levels. Right now our doctors are not wanting to take any action until the viral studies (part of the labs that were drawn last week) come back. These labs take a little bit of time to see if any growth occurs to see if he is positive for some type of virus that would be causing his levels to rise. Right now those labs are pending. If those labs are all negative we will then look to other reasons for the change in his levels. Most likely, it would be one of his anti-rejection medications. In this case, we would lower the dose of the medication. Which, could comprise his kidney protection.
In all, we hate to see him have to fight off a viral infection because it is difficult on his body to fight infection while on his immunosuppression medications. And, of course lowering his rejection medication just sends shivers down my spine.
However, I have to trust that The Lord is in control. He holds Owen firmly in His hands and loves him infinitely more than I do. I can do nothing more than to lay my son at the feet of Jesus, knowing that it is He who holds his healing. Please continue to pray that Owen's levels will return to their normal level and pray for wisdom for our doctors. Also, pray that Michael and I will have peace in our doctor's decisions. This is the first "glitch" we've encountered down here and it's really making us miss our Cincinnati doctors. While we know The Lord has placed us down here and Owen is in good hands, the care we received in Cincinnati is a standard that few will ever match.
" But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. Turn to me and have mercy on me; grant your strength to your servant and save the son of your maidservant. Give me a sign of your goodness, that my enemies may see it and be put to shame, for you, O Lord have helped me and comforted me."