Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas with family and friends. We had a very busy few weeks. We had our annual work/family Christmas party on the 21st. It is always nice to get everyone together to eat and play games. We had our family Christmas at my moms house Christmas eve.

We have been lazy the last few days to recover from all of our activities. During all of this Jaden was sick with a temp of 104 degrees Dec. 15-20. I had to take him into the clinic 3 days in a row. It was not fun. Of course I did not sleep at night because I would lay awake listening to make sure he was still breathing. He also would be waking up every hour or so to need something. It was very hard. We had taken him to the kids Christmas program at school two days before he got sick so we are not sure if that is where he got it from.

Now for the last 3 days I have had pink eye and a sore throat. Sal got it yesterday. So I went to the minute clinic yesterday to make sure it was not an ear infection. Hopefully this will pass soon. My throat hurts the worst today.

We are now counting the days down to Kelly's wedding. 5 days not counting today. So I am hoping we can all stay healthy and I can get healthy in time for this special day. We have been busy planning things for all of this as well as juggling Christmas, parties, presents and illness. We need hair cuts for the boys who are ring bearers, dress fittings for me and Ash, getting the boys suits & ties put together and cleaned and much more of course. When the wedding is done I am going to take a short at home vacation and not worry about a thing for a few days.

Have a great new year!

Love, Steph

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Wow, time flew by this last month. I don't even know what happened to the month of November. It seems that every year goes by faster and faster. Also each year it seems like we all say wow Christmas arrived so much faster this year. I guess it is just our busy lives that make it go faster each year.

We went to the Christmas tree farm the weekend of Thanksgiving. I had meant to post the pictures but have not gotten that far yet. It was our sixth year going to Evergreen Christmas tree farm. This year we went with my mom and then brought her tree back to her house to help put it in the stand. She picked a beautiful tree. Our tree is perfect as well. The very tip needed to be cut off a little because it was a hair to tall.

The kids had their Christmas concert at school today. They were so wonderful. They have a second one tonight. They have been working so hard on learning the songs.

Hope you are all enjoying the holiday season and spending much quality time with your family and friends.

Much love to you all this year 2008.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

So Good So Far!

I hope by saying this that it won't change our life, but so far we have stayed healthy. We continue to be very careful and limit Jaden to contact with people. He only gets to go into public places where he does not get close to people but this is very rare that he goes. I have his PCA here during times when I need to pick up the kids or take them places so I don't have to bring Jaden into that contact. For the most part our schedules work out really well.

He is doing wonderfully in horseback riding. He absolutely loves it. He listens very well and does whatever they ask of him. He is improving on his speaking as well. He is actually able to say quite a few words now and seems to learn a new one every couple of days. He is still not eating that well but has improved with his intake since the horseback riding has started.

Ash and Ethan are doing very well in school and seem to be soooooo smart. We are very proud of how well they are doing. We have conferences tomorrow so it will nice to see what their teachers say.

Ash has a gymnastics meet this Saturday. She still loves it very much and is nervous for Saturday. Ethan has been working very hard on his swimming and is getting ready for his first meet in December. He is also in boys tap and hip hop this year and will have his first dance show with Ash at the end of January. He just started learning his moves last night and it was soooooooooooooooooo cute.

Another VERY exciting piece of information I have, Kelly is getting married. That is right you read it correctly. She has been dating Will for almost a year now and they have decided to get married around their one year anniversary which is in January. That has not left a whole lot of time to plan but we all knew we could get it planned by then and it would be so nice. So hip hip hooray for Kelly and Will!!! News to come on the date and such...

That's it for now. Love and health to you all.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Things are going well for our family. Sal's brother and little baby are visiting from California for a week or so. That has been nice for Sal to see his brother and catch up on life.

Today Jaden had food and speech therapy and he did very well (at least at speech). He is going to start his Hippotherapy on Wednesday. We are very excited for this. Jaden loves animals so much and I hope this will help him to thrive more and talk more. It should help in many areas.

He is still not gaining any weight so we really need some prayer that he can start to gain weight. He needs to gain 5 pounds in 5 months. That's a pound a month. He has not done that ever. We really need him to thrive and keep the calories up. If it goes too long without him gaining weight, I know there has been mention of a feeding tube which I am completely against. So prayer, prayer, prayer is what we need.

That's it from here. I hope you are all doing well and enjoying the pretty leaves on the trees and in our yards...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Ash's first gymnastics meet

We are very excited for this weekend. Ashley has her very first gymnastics meet in St. Paul. She is nervous and excited all at the same time. She has been working extremly hard and can't wait to put her work to the test. We don't know what to expect being we have never been to a meet before. Tonight she will get her team leo, back and warm up suit. It will be really fun.

Ethan is working hard in swimming and getting ready for his first meet next month. He loves it so much and gets so excited when ever he is around water. He will also be getting a team suit, swim cap and warm up outfit. How cute will that be?!

Jaden is doing well and we are anxious to start his "theraputic Horsebackriding." He will do that one time a week and we will start that next month sometime. It will be in Monticello in a heated facility. That will interesting to see.

I am off now to make lunch. Probably good old mac n cheese. tata...

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

A new member to the family

So Jose, Sal's dad, had found a Salamander at the shop under his tool box. Of course being that Ethan loves little creatures, Jose gave it to Ethan. We used one of Ethan's bug habitats to keep it in to see what would happen. Ethan found bugs & slugs for it daily in the back yard. So we went to the pet store to see about a cage for it and they highly recommended not keeping the one from the wild and to get one where we know the history. So after much thought, we agreed that we did not want to keep the one from the wild since we knew nothing about it.

Ethan got to pick a new little critter to buy and he picked a Crested Gecko. It is pretty cute and already gets a large amount of attention. Sal is a little scared of it still and I won't touch it yet. But it has been fun to have and learn about Gecko's.

Jaden says he wants to touch it but when we say fine and open the cage top he says no. It is pretty cute. Ashley will hold it today after school.

We are all pretty much better now just some of us have a little cough still. We got through this one ok.

Talk to you all later...

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

First round of sickness

So our family has officially started off the season of sickness. Jaden and Sal both started feeling sick last Friday, then Ash and I started on Monday then Ethan yesterday. Luckily it is only yucky cold stuff.

We have been taking huge amounts of vitamins and Ninja Red, this wonderful supplement we get from my mom. We have all kicked around the yuck and have not gone full blown with it and hopefully won't. I think with all of the supplements and vitamins, it has helped us all kick it away. I hope this is not a sign for a long sick filled winter.

Ethan has hip hop and gymnastics shortly but I thought I would swing in and say hi.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


First off, thank you to all of you who have been asking and praying for us about our insurance. We have been overwhelmed with care and concern and that has felt so good to know people care so much.

We have been canning at our house the past few weeks. Our garden has been very good this year. Ethan is my garden lover and helps all of the time. Jaden helps by stepping on everything in the garden and Ashley does help also but mostly just eats the tomatos before they make it to the house. We have already canned a lot of pickles, salsa, spagetti sauce and today I am going to do a Garden Tomato Relish. We had tried Ketchup and Chutneys last year. I thought I would try a few things new this year.

Jaden will be starting up all of his therapies at the clinic again as soon as we all figure out the schedule availability. I am anxious for that all to start up so he can get back to doing better at eating. We also are looking into Theraputic Horsebackriding. It sounds like a perfect fit for Jaden and his needs. I will let you know what happens with that.

Better go and start canning...

Thursday, September 04, 2008


The world of health insurance is so horrible. We have been having issues with insurance since the end of June. Since we don't have an "employer" who offers insurance, it makes it difficult to get insurance. We were getting insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield through MN Care. You can get this if no one offers you insurance through work. We had a premium like everyone else. Then our premium jumped to an amount that was impossible to pay. Then we all lost coverage to include Jaden.

Since July 31 Jaden has had no coverage and we have been paying for his medication on our own. It has been a huge mess. Well after talking with many people for many hours and getting a ton of paper work together, we finally as of this morning have got Jaden to be certified disabled. This means he can get Tefra (a way for disabled to people to not be denied insurance due to their disability)no matter what. Thank the Lord.

Now we will have to get reimbursed for the hundreds of dollars we have spent on his medications and PCA's that have still been coming. A lady named Kathy at the county went over and above to help us out with this process. She asked the review board of Dr.s to rush on the decision. We had to collect his medical records from everywhere for the last year. Kathy faxed over 170 pages of records in just from the past year. The past year has been slow as far as medical goes for Jaden. I can't imagine what his first year how many pages there would be. I am so thankful that he will finally be covered again. It will be such a relief to not have to worry about if we have enough money for his next medication that runs out. We all know how expensive medication is.

Anyway, a friend of mine, Kristin, told me about this insurance group that looks to be a good alternative for those who don't have insurance or who can't get it. It is It is a Christian organization and it looks to be pretty cool. I thought I would pass it along to all of you so if you or anyone you know are looking for insurance options you could check here.

Now we can breath knowing that Jaden is covered.

Thank you to those who I know have been praying for us specifically on the insurance issues.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Happy School year 2008

I know it has been forever. Of course when you have overloaded with something it becomes hard to get yourself to go back. That would be the computer. I have been trying to avoid the computer for way to long. That includes emails as well as the blog. I am going to try and get back into the grove of life and technology.

We had a wonderful summer and traveled ALOT. We went camping, on long vacations and visiting family this summer. We are planning on keeping up the pace of being out of town as long as our mini home wants to keep moving. Ashley is competing in gymnastics this year so she has 1 competition a month Sept. through Dec. Ethan is joining the swim team this year and will have at least 1 meet a month from Oct. thru Apr. We will be busy which is what we love.

The kids started school last week and loved it. Ethan had a hard time adjusting and said "Mrs. Avery is the toughest teacher in the whole school but I like her." It was so cute. Ashley has Mrs. Oettel and loves her as well.

Jaden is doing very well. He was "home bound" last season which means we were not to take him around other children or large groups of people. We got the all clear in late April. At that time we took him out a lot and he was getting sick every single weekend. He even ended up in short stay for a day to get rehydrated. We have been giving him natural supplements to help make his immune system stronger. We were hoping that we would not have to endure another long season of no outside world but his Dr. and Cardiologist thinks it is critical to keep him healing and strong so they want him in again. They are hoping he will have his next surgery in the spring. He only weighs 25 pounds right now. We have 5 more to go for his surgery. Every time he gets sick he loses 1-3 pounds. So clearly that is why he needs to stay healthy. This is also another reason we are glad to be busy traveling because then we can all go have fun together but also stay away from large groups of people and kids. We do our own little family church service at home and sing praise and read the bible. For now that is "our" church. We could take turns taking the kids but that gets very stressful and we have decided to stay as a family and worship God together. This is better for us then to have one of us lonely and at home with Jaden while the rest is out at church. This works best for our family and will have to do until Jaden is past the hard stage of his life.

The one positive with being home bound is Jaden and the rest of our family only got sick ONE time each last season. That is amazing. It was so wonderful to only be sick one time through the flu season.

Jaden is still having OT, Speech and PT come to the house almost weekly and he is doing Food therapy and speech at the clinic 2x's a week. We now have PCA's to help with my work load. The nurse who evaluates for PCA took all of every thing that Jaden is supposed to have done daily from brushing his body every 2 hours to mouth stimulation multiple times a day to his therapies and she got a total of 63 hours of "stuff" he needs done a week. I did not realize how much time he required until we really broke it done and looked at everything we do for him. Having a PCA helps take the load off of me which is wonderful and it will be easier to blog. YEAH!!!

We will keep in touch now so keep checking back and signing in.

Love to you all and many heart hugs...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Latest Cardiologist appointment

Hello to everyone.

Things have been going very well here. We have been keeping the house pretty healthy by not taking Jaden out to often. That means limiting taking him to the school with the kids, church and everywhere else kids are. He has been having food therapy and they have us go straight to a room to help minimize his contact with kids. I feel overall this has helped us all to keep healthy. Let's hope it stays that way.

Jaden saw Chip his Cardiologist today and that went very well. Chip said his heart function was "beautious." That was good to hear. He is increasing some of Jaden's meds as he grows. Jaden weights 23 pounds. Chip's really only concern is the weight gain. Chip looked on a chart and said if Jaden continues to gain at the rate which he has been, he will be 4 by the time he reaches 30 pounds. That is not good. So we just really need food therapy to work and for Jaden to want to start eating all the time.

He is a loving, and very rascally baby. He has so much spirit I can't believe it. He is the perfect little baby and he gets so much love from his brother and sister.

He is still not talking so speech and us are working on teaching him sign language more drastically. He picks up very well but gets alot of them confused. It has been fun for all of us to learn it though as this has always been something I wanted to go to school to learn. Ash and Ethan thinks it's really cool also.

We are taking a family vacation in a week. We are very excited to get away for a week as we all need it with our crazy schedules. I am burnt out with all of Jaden's appointments and then just regular ones for the kids and myself. I also broke my finger so have had many appointments in regards to that. To not have a doctor appointment or therapy session of some sort for awhile is going to be absolutely wonderful...

My camera got lost and my computer died on me. Luckily I found my old camera and Sal is working on getting the computer fixed. He thinks he has it figured out. I have my pictures on my camera and my computer so I had a melt down thinking I lost them all. Aweful. I guess that is just a sign that I really need to make time to scrapbook to get all caught up. Hopefully I can start doing that soon.

I better run. Thanks to you all for still supporting our family with phone calls of "how are you doing" and emails of "I am thinking of you." It means alot to us.

Love, Steph

Monday, January 14, 2008

Hello all,

Things have been going very good here. Jaden has built such a wonderful personality. He is a little stinker and gets into everything. He is always laughing and enjoying life more then any other baby I have ever seen. He will go in for another Cardiologist appointment in February. We are working on eating and talking with him. He still is not eating much and we start food therapy 2x a week next week. We have also been doing speech for awhile and are teaching him sign language. It is so cute to see him do it. He catches on very fast.

Ash is getting ready for her dance performance which is going to be at the Paramount Theatre in St. Cloud Feb. 2ND. She is very excited for it and has had many extra practises to prepare for it. She has 3 costume changes. She is doing wonderful in school and excels in all areas. She will be starting chess club in a few weeks.

Ethan is having a blast in kindergarten and is working hard so he can start going to all day kindergarten. He is proving that he is almost ready to take that step. He is still loving his karate/gymnastics combo class. He got to bring a friend last week and had so much fun with him there. His friend also liked it and is going to sign up and join the class. That should be a lot of fun for them.

Our business is going well. We are looking to move to a new location for our shop as we have outgrown our current location. We will probably do that next fall. We are also going to be looking into hiring another mechanic soon. Things have been going well at the shop. We are also always looking at the possibility of adding another truck to our fleet. There is always so much potential for growth, we just need to watch the speed of which we grow. Sal and I talk through our options very thoroughly and seem to make the right decisions.

Hope you all have had a wonderful start to your new year. Keep in touch.

Love, Steph