Thursday, July 25, 2013

Micah's Success

 Many of our friends ask how Micah is doing and so I wanted to write an official update on his progress thus far.  As most of you know, he was hospitalized last October for 4 days because of uncontrollable seizures.  He was still not completely seizure free when released from the hospital.  The meds did help him and we were able to go a week or so with no seizures.  Anyhow, to make a long story much shorter, it took about 3 months to finally get some good control over his seizures but at that point he was pretty medicated.

In Jan. of this year, we scheduled an appt. with a Functional Medical doctor in Colorado.  He ran a series of tests and found Micah had parasites, leaky gut syndrome, heavy metal poisoning and candida. He felt that all of these could contribute to seizures.  He was put on a regimen of supplements and a special diet.  We began to see significant improvements by March.  He began sleeping through the night again, became much more alert and began speaking in full sentences again.  He quit repeating himself over and over and stopped talking about things that weren't there or didn't make sense.  He laughed and started singing like he used to. I can't tell you how wonderful it was to hear him giggle after many months of a stoic countenance!

Now it is July and the Colorado doc says we can start tapering his meds!  This is a praise since we still have many angry, aggressive behavior days.  It is so discouraging to see your child treating others rudely, shoving and sometimes even biting others because they are angry and unhappy. The medication Micah is on causes aggression and suicidal thoughts.  So this is why we want to decrease his medication.  We feel he is way over medicated. The good news is this month he has had many more good days than last month.  He is down to 1100 mg a day instead of 1300.  We are taking it slow, so his improvements in this area has been slow too.

We had an appt. yesterday with a local neurologist to see if she would work with us. We still will be consulting with the doctor in Colorado but we need a neurologist to manage his medication.  She confirmed to us that yes, Keppra (his med) does cause aggression and she does not usually prescribe it to children who already have some behavior issues because it will hone in on that negative behavior and magnify it 10 times larger!  She confirmed to us that his behavior problems are probably due to the meds.  The crazy part is that she actually told us that his dosage of Keppra is maxed out.  He is at the highest dose there is for his age and weight!  We did not know this.  No other neurologist told us this.  She is in favor of decreasing it but not all the way.  She would like to see him at a medium dose which is at 6-700 mg a day if we can keep him seizure free at the same time.  

This is great success.  No one wants to have him seize again and yet we want our little boy to grow up without constant memories of conflict.  
Please, if you think of him, pray that he will stay seizure free while we slowly decrease his medication.

Thank you!

Kristin Lodi

Monday, July 15, 2013

Characteristics You Need to Camp

This picture represents beauty to me.  I love the woods even more than the beach.  The smell of pine, the breeze and sounds of birds singing is peacefulness at it's best.

But spending days here requires work if you are going to camp.  Especially when you are the mom and have 8 people in all to plan for!  Some would just forget it and find their relaxation elsewhere and believe me, I've thought of giving up camping more than once! 

The reason I keep making these memories is for the kids.  Kids love to camp!  At least mine do.  What could be more fun? Getting dirty, playing in water, swimming all day and living outside is just what will entertain them for hours.  And you don't have to worry about them tracking mud in on your carpet!  
You don't even have to wash them up before dinner or dry them off before coming to the table.
It's one big free for all!

So what characteristics do you need to possess to camp?  First, you need to be a no nonsense woman.  Dirt never hurt anyone.  If you run around with baby wipes washing off every speck of yuck, you'll never get around to relaxing.  Don't worry about your hair or your make-up.  What's the point?  I don't bring make-up when I camp and just wear a hat if my hair looks awful.

Make sure the clothes you pack for your kids can be ruined.  We always have a pair of clothes just for camping and really, if they swam in them, ripped them, or rolled in the mud, I wouldn't care.

You also have to be creative.  Washing dishes outside is different than normal, of course.  It takes a bit of thinking.  How will I get these clean with no hot water?  How will I rinse them off and keep them clean with no counter to dry them on? You can't just lay them in the dirt to dry!  This can be frustrating for some moms.  I used to heat up water on our camping stove to sterilize the dishes but after years of doing this, I gave it up (unless I have a greasy pan).  It's so much faster to just wash them at the spigot with cold water.  I'll run them through the dishwasher when we get home and none of us are sick anyway.  Sharing some germs isn't so bad.

Another characteristic is that you need to love nature, bugs and all.  Well, I don't love bugs, exactly but have a tolerance for them.  My boys almost immediately went down to the lake and began catching little frogs and tadpoles with plans to bring them home. Do I want a frog in the house?  Not really, but there is so much learning that takes place when observing God's creation.  Our culture doesn't take enough time to do this anymore.  Kids grow up knowing nothing about insects or animals from first hand experience.
When I was changing in our tent, I noticed a huge insect stuck between the screen and the tent flap.  I called everyone in to see it.  It must have been some sort of grass hopper but it didn't look like anything I'd seen before.

Back to needing to be no-nonsense woman.  You have to be able to sweat and not shower right afterwards.  Or swim in a dirty lake and not shower before bed.  Most campgrounds do have showers you can use but then you'll need to get over the whole public shower thing.  I'm not sure what's worse, not showering or sharing showers with people you don't know!
I have a daughter, who will remain nameless, who will not shower when we camp.  She waits until we get home and really I can't blame her.  I at least like to wash my face, hands and feet before crawling into my sleeping bag.

Spontaneity is also very important.  We woke up after our first night camping and it was so cool and beautiful that we decided to eat breakfast later and go on a hike around the lake.  In Texas it's gets hot quickly and we wanted to hike but not in the heat.  Of course the hike took longer than we expected and we were all famished when we returned to camp but it was worth it.

Micah, who is almost 5, could have slept in the lake.  He loved it and couldn't get enough.  The first night we were there, he wanted to go to bed really early because sleeping in the tent sounded so fun to him.  We let him, but he wouldn't go to sleep for hours.  He was so wound up.  Even after Rich and I went to bed, I could hear him tossing and turning.  When I asked him why he couldn't sleep, he said he was too excited to go swimming in the morning!

You also need to be able to just sit and breath in the fresh air.  Again, not jumping up to pick up the plastic fork that your 2 year old just dropped in the dirt and then put right into his mouth. Inevitably, it's going to happen.  So I guess that would mean, that you need to be easy-going too.  If not, you'll be so uptight about all the dirt, germs and bugs that you'll never enjoy yourself and won't ever want to come back.  And if that happens, your kids will never have memories of camping with their family growing up!

This is my nature girl.  Julia spotted so many birds and tape recorded their calls.  She is not squeamish about bugs and will actually pick them up and hold them.  She hates it if they get squished.  This picture was taken on our hike.  

We are already planning our next camping adventure.  I figure if we do it enough, I'll perfect the art of camping and some day it will be easy with no head aches at all.

Kristin Lodi

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Olivia's Graduation Pictures

This is Olivia at 18 years old.  Who'd a thought she'd grow up?  And on top of that, she'd grow up to become so beautiful inside and out! Of course, I'm just a little partial.

It makes my heart sing to see this picture.  I can honestly say that these two really enjoy each other.  Even though Anthony is 2 1/2 years younger, he is like a big brother in a way.  He is a confident guy and isn't afraid to protect his sister if need be.  I'll never forget when he expressed his concern about her riding her bicycle alone and he decided to go with her.

This table was so much fun for me to help Olivia put together.  We decided to stick with 4 subjects that describe her the best.  Photography on the left, music in the middle, first aid (emergency stuff) on the right and thought provoking quotes throughout.  Olivia loves these 4 things a lot!

Olivia's original cake that we ordered is below.  She loves green and orange and picked chocolate for the cake and frosting.  Then we discovered that over 100 people had RSVP'd!  So I went out the day before the graduation and picked up the white cake above and had them put her name on it.

This picture is of Olivia when she was 3 months old with a stack of her favorite books.

Micah and Will played with these guns during the whole graduation in the front row!  It was a bit tricky keeping them quiet but I'm glad they had fun.

Decorations that we borrowed.  Absolutely loved these things.  They added so much to our 150 year old church dining hall.

 Sisters and the best of friends.  I'm so thankful I have two girls.  They are 4 years apart but have shared a room almost their whole lives.  Julia has a very hard time thinking about Olivia ever living away from her.  It will be interesting to see what the future holds. I have a feeling that they will always be close.

My wonderful hubby who pulled off his speech the morning of.  He never prepares much in advance. I'm so jealous that he can do that and do it well.  

Me, on the other hand, prepared what I wanted to say weeks in advance and kept revising it over and over.  Then I got up there and kind of second guessed my plans and skipped over parts of it thinking our guests weren't that interested.  Funny how a bunch of faces staring at you can influence you.

Pictures of the crowd.

 Olivia and Julia played a duet of Glorify Thy Name and I Love You, Lord.  No one was leading the singing but everyone began singing along.  This brought tears to my eyes.  I was struck with what a beautiful group of friends we have that love Jesus and were showing their love for Olivia.  It was one of those moments I will never forget.

Olivia surprised me and got up in front of everyone and shared her testimony with no notes.  She just shared her story of how God revealed himself to her and how much he has impacted her life.
Proud Mommy moment!

 Olivia wrote a song called You Are My Everything.  Sarah, who is playing piano, put it to music.  I thought it was only fitting that Olivia sing it for the first time publicly at her graduation.

Julia paid a tribute to Olivia and she didn't cry!  She is a very cute 13 year old, I must say.

These 4 sang, O the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus.

 So these two really blew me away.

Anthony wrote a funny skit giving the graduate advice.

Throughout the week leading up to her graduation, he kept running it by me.  I wasn't sure if it would turn out very funny or if the audience would get his jokes or not.

But once they got up there and started in, they were just darling together, acting out their parts and just having fun up there.  

 They really cracked themselves up which was so entertaining to watch!

Lastly, we presented Olivia with her diploma.  

These pictures are so sweet.  Michelle is a friend and co-worker of Rich's.

One of my best friend's daughter is Lydia Schulz.  She has developed a sweet friendship with Olivia.

More pictures of her table.

Olivia is really into this right now and is looking into becoming EMT certified.
She literally lights up whenever an ambulance or fire truck drives by.
You know your child has an interest in something specific when they read EMT textbooks in their spare time!

The food line.  I love the decorations hanging from the ceiling in these pictures.

More friends and guests.  Dear, dear people who have been instrumental in Olivia's life and my own, for that matter.

Little Levi and Esther getting a good look at each other.

Olivia and Faith have a love for the medical world in common not to mention they seem to have similar personalities! It will be fun to see what doors God opens for these two in the future.

I love the way Emily is hanging on her mother's shoulder.

My Mother and Father-in-law serving punch and coffee together.  What a cute pair!

You have to speak up when talking to my Father-in-law.  I can just hear him asking loudly, "Huh?  You want more?  or No?"

Levi was on his own a bit with all these people.  Looks like he was having fun looking at the people outside.

These two girls are sisters.  Hope in the picture above and Faith in the picture below.  Aren't they pretty?  Faith took all these pictures for us and I'm so grateful I have a detailed account of the whole day.

Pictures of the whole family.  It was so wonderful to have both my parents and Rich's parents fly out to be here to see Olivia graduate.  Even one of Rich's sister's was able to come!  We felt very loved and supported.

I can't imagine celebrating this special day and not having my parents attend.  I'm so glad they were able to make it.

This is Olivia's true personality!

I'm so pleased that we chose to make a big deal out of Olivia's high school graduation.  We could have celebrated in a variety of ways but this just seemed fitting.  Olivia and I had a blast planning everything that it really wasn't a big head ache.  It could have been stressful for me since I'm not a big party thrower but it wasn't.  God really showed up for this one.  Olivia will remember this forever and that is what I'd hoped for.

Olivia has begun her own blog and needs some followers.  If you are interested in it go to

Kristin Lodi