Thursday, December 10, 2009

David takes the runway..

A few months ago, my silly 4 year old was asked to be in a fashion show that benefited the Make a Wish Foundation. He gladly excepted the challenge and joined about a dozen kids from the MB area to strut his stuff...

I have to admit, I was a little nervous. David was one of the youngest kids in the show and he had a long wait "backstage" until his turn to walk. However, he was happy to take his turn in the spotlight! He marched down the runway and took his time at the end... then he struck a pose and walked off. He loved it and the crowd loved him :)!

He was so handsome in the outfit picked for him...

My hot husband also had a turn to show off some clothes!

We had a great night... Aunt Courtney and Uncle Ryan were in town so they babysat Jonathan while the rest of us enjoyed the show! It was fun and we were very proud of David for braving the crowd!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

I love this guy!

He is constantly...




teaching his brother...





and making me feel like the most blessed mommy in the world! David is growing up so quickly and we are amazed to see how God speaks to him already at the age of 4. While we are aware he is not perfect, we are truly humbled to watch such a sweet little boy grow up before our eyes. We love you so much David!!!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Jon's diagnosis...

Well, we seem to have found a solution to all of this little monkey's problems :)! Jonathan has 3 different issues that are causing his diapers to be so horrible and him constantly getting sores in his throat...

1. He has acid reflux! Who knew?!? Actually, I asked our pediatrician about this last spring, but she ruled it out (we have since changed pediatricians, not just for this reason but it certainly supported our decision). We are starting a prescription for this 2x's per day...

2. His body doesn't breakdown/tolerate whey (or any other dairy product, however he doesn't intake any other dairy related enzymes due to his allergy). He now takes an over the counter lactose chewable pill with every meal...

3. His pancreas is inflamed and doesn't make the right amount of enzymes that helps the body breakdown/digest food. He is taking a prescription for this before every meal as well...

We are thrilled to have a diagnosis and are thankful that they are relatively easy to "fix". Jonathan should outgrow these problems and we are looking forward to our break in drives to/from Columbia for a few months. We go back in February to evaluate how things are going unless we don't see more change before then. We truly PRAISE THE LORD for protecting Jonathan as we pushed to find answers, allowing him to thrive even though his body was not absorbing nutrients and essential vitamins. We have seen God's protection and confirmation as we questioned how strongly we needed to push the doctors and not take "he'll be fine" for an answer. We are thankful for the doctors that did push for further testing and the need for an answer... we have seen God work in all of this and to have a diagnosis is certainly a burden lifted from our shoulders. Thank you for praying and being concerned for our little man. We know God has great things planned for his (HEALTHY) life!!!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Endoscopy Success!

Here is our little man, full of life and energy! Jon did great during his endoscopy last week. Thanks for praying! He was peaceful and well behaved during the 2 hour wait before his procedure. He could not eat or drink anything, so that was obviously the most difficult part. Children's Hospital (aka, "Bayler's hospital") in Columbia did an amazing job of keeping Jonathan happy and entertained. In addition to the staff, I was so thankful Dee Dee and Mimi were there to help! We will find out the results of the biopsy (of the small intestine & stomach) on Nov. 4th. However, we are happy to report that the pancreas medicine his on seems to be helping! Here are few more resent pictures of our little guy...

He was happy to pose for me, but when school picture day arrived, he told them all "NO" and refused to even sit in the chair!

Look at those cheeks! He doesn't look like a child who has spent months not absorbing nutrients, does he :)?!?

Monday, October 12, 2009

All things medical...

I guess that is what my blog has turned into... something I update when life lends time to do so, which means I mostly just update on who has what appointment next! First things first is Jon. Our follow up appointment to the GI doctor was actually good. We saw the nurse practictioner this time and I really liked her better than the doctor. The short of it is, Jon doesn't have Celiac Decease or a zinc issue. They have determined that he is losing nutrients faster than his body can absorb them, which they believe may have something to do with the enzymes in his stomach/intestines or pancreas. So, we return for an endoscopy on the 22nd. Sadly, they will have to put him to sleep but the procedure is quick. We hope this is the case as you can simply add enzymes through supplements... meaning we are back to eating anything he wants except what he is allergic to! I never thought I would be so happy to ONLY have to cut out dairy, eggs, and peanuts!!! He is enjoying his couscous again :).

Bayler Bean is about to undergo some serious treatments that his doctors in Columbia and specialists from Sloan Kettering in NYC are working on together to offer him. Please keep him in your prayers! We have hope, but the last week has been difficult for his entire family.

Brittany and baby Oliver are still hanging in there... she will be 36 weeks next week and we hope to have an estimated arrival date sometime soon. She visits both her urologist and ob this week!

The rest of us have had our fair share of the flu/strep/tummy bugs, but hope to all be well soon. Then I can post about something other than doctor's visits and treatments! God is good and giving us strength daily... oh, and Wellspring is rocking!!! We LOVE what God is doing here in Myrtle Beach. Hope to post some of those pictures soon (must get them from Beth).

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pray for Bayler **UPATED**

**Bayler is scheduled to have surgery Tuesday morning at 7:30am. The doctors will go in and remove the tumor and then we will wait 2 days for the results to know if the tumor is Neuroblastoma or something else. Here are some ways you can pray specifically, and of course you can check out his site as well...

*Comfort for Bayler and the rest of his family. He is brave, but we ask that you pray for a peace BEYOND UNDERSTANDING for Bayler! His family could use the same peace :).
*Wisdom for the doctors as they determine the next steps.

Jon-Jon has his follow-up appointment at the GI doctor Tuesday as well. Therefore, I will be in Columbia and hope to see Bayler following surgery. Pray we have answers as well on Tuesday.

Brittany is doing better, though she is still in a lot of pain. We were able to see her some this weekend and I must say, she is just the cutest little pregnant lady ever :)! She is resting a lot and we hope to meet a healthy Baby Oliver in about 4 more weeks!

Thank you for praying for my family. We are in a place in life that physical healing is a heavy burden. Thank you for sharing that burden with us and praising God, even in the storm!

Here we are again... Bayler got some not great reports today after some scans. They found a tumor on his brain. They are unsure if it is alive or not, but a neurosurgeon is being called in and it looks like they will try to remove it as soon as possible. Please pray that the tumor is not alive and that he can be cancer free soon. We are so sad for this little fighter... however, we trust God will be glorified and Bayler will be healed. Thank you for your prayers!

*Since I have proven myself to be a slack blogger, please feel free to visit his caring bridge site (located on my side bar) and leave him a message!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


*Updated* Brittany is home from the hospital. She and Matt opted not to do anything invasive that could possibly hurt Oliver. She will be working from home part time until she reaches a safe enough date to deliver Oliver, braving the pain with minimal meds. Modified bed rest will hopefully help and she can get some much needed rest for the next few weeks. I told her to sleep now... because when Oliver makes his appearance, she will be shocked at how tired she'll be :)! Thanks for your prayers!

And Bayler goes to clinic today... pray for good results!

If you follow me on twitter or facebook, you know I asked for prayer for my family yesterday. I didn't specifically mean just Jon, but we certainly needed prayer as well... here is an update on my little wild man and more prayer requests:

Jon-Jon saw the pediatric GI doctor in Columbia yesterday. I can't say that I was overly assured we are on a way to figuring out what is going on with him, however we ARE taking slow steps in the right direction. He had a complete blood panel taken to check for Celiac Disease, vitamin/mineral deficency, and a few other things. In the mean time (until our visit 2 weeks from now) we are trying probiotics again and this time I am keeping a complete food/stool diary to review on October 6th. He did mention toddler diaherria which sent my blood pressure raging... diapers like Jon's are NOT simply toddler diaherria. Especially when they have been this way for months and months. Anyway, I feel positive about the steps we are taking and hope we can have some answers soon!

Please pray for my sister, Brittany. She is 32 weeks pregnant with little Oliver and it turns out her right kidney is failing. She is having complications with testing and such because she doesn't want to harm the baby. They believe they can put a stint in to buy her some time so Oliver can "cook" a little more... however, she is in a lot of pain and is currently in the hospital so they can manage it and figure out the best options for her and little Ollie. I will keep you updated as I know more. The good news is she lives in Charleston so she has amazing doctors and if Oliver had to come early, his care would be top notch.

And we are always praying for our Bayler. Please continue to pray that the cancer stays away and he thrives as he tries to "get back to normal" soon!

Thank you for praying! We KNOW God is bigger than all of these things and He is in control. Truly comforting... and my life line during times like these!

*These are some pictures from the park yesterday before Jon's appointment. I am tired of seeing my little guy with puffy eyes every time I turn on the computer :).

Friday, August 28, 2009

Changes all around...

Well, we have certainly been undergoing some changes around here. Wellspring changed locations and we are back at the movie theaters at Broadway at the Beach. We are excited about this move and what God is going to do at this location... pictures & stories to come soon.

More diet changes are underway as well. Jon is currently being further tested for a number of things related to his diet and tummy problems. He lives with bumps on his face (after he eats anything processed) and still has horrible diapers. His energy level is fine, however Trey and I are ready to know what is safe for him to eat and not eat. We are looking at the costs of going completely organic and cutting out all gluten, wheat, dairy, eggs, peanuts, and as many preservatives as possible. Our most recent scare happened this week when he seemed to have a reaction to a McDonald's hashbrown (contained milk):

(taken with my cell phone)

This was more than an hour after the reaction, trip to the doctor and medicine had been administered. In other words, he looked much worse when it first happened. Thankfully, his tongue didn't swell and his breathing was fine, but it is apparent he is not outgrowing his milk allergy. I am in full planning mode to figure out a diet he can enjoy and we can all eat. Next on my list of things to try is this...

Mark Engelberg’s Gluten-Free, Vegan Bread

Recipe for 2 loaves—it is okay to halve the recipe if you want to make just one

Note: If you are using a mixer that doesn’t have a great engine, you may want to mix it by hand at the end to ensure it’s all mixed. Since there’s no gluten to get tough from overmixing, you can mix until you’re confident.

In a large mixing bowl combine:

1 1/2 cups millet flour
1/2 cup teff flour
1 cup sorghum flour
1 cup cornstarch (or double the potato starch if you can’t eat corn)
1 cup potato starch
1 cup tapioca flour
4 tsp xanthan gum
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp active dry yeast (not rapid rise)


4 tsp olive oil
3 1/4 cup warm water (not hot)

Mix with electric mixer–using paddle attachment, NOT regular beaters or bread hook–for two minutes. The bread dough will be more like cake batter than traditional bread dough.

Two options for the rising:

For the best rising: While mixing the bread, create a proofing box from your microwave. Microwave a small mug or ramekin with water until the water boils. Leave the water in the microwave. Pour the bread dough into two nonstick or well-greased pans. Tuck the loaves into the microwave with the water—the container of water should not be touching the pans. (I have to remove the turntable in my microwave to do this.) Allow to rise until batter extends a bit over the top of the pans–generally 30-50 minutes.

Standard method: Pour into two nonstick or well-greased loaf pans, place on a warm surface (such as on top of the pre-heated oven), and cover with a towel. Allow to rise until batter extends a bit over the top of the pan–generally 50-70 minutes. (Batter should take up about half the loaf pan before rising.)

Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes. Remove loaf pans from oven and cover with aluminum foil. Return to oven and bake for an additional 35-45 minutes, depending on your oven. (Insert a toothpick or knife into the center to see if it comes out clean or doughy, if you aren’t sure when you pull out the bread.)

As with most breads, it is easiest to slice if you allow it to fully cool. But who can wait that long? I usually let it cool for a little bit, and then remove the loaves from the pans and place them on a rack to cool more while I slice it up. The bread tastes delicious warm, dipped in olive oil and herbs or spread with honey and ghee. It also works well for sandwiches after it has cooled. If you won’t be eating it within 2 days, after it’s cooled, slice it, wrap it in a couple of layers of plastic wrap, and freeze it. Never refrigerate this or other bread—it will get dry and hard if you do. If you leave the bread on the counter (wrapped), it will be good for all purposes for a couple of days. After that, it will be best used for bread pudding, French toast, croutons, etc.

We'll see how it goes... Jon is quickly checking off more allergens he is not tolerating. He also can not wear "normal" diapers anymore. He seems to react to the chemicals and we are now purchasing Seventh Gener@tion brand and "simple" wipes.

We are up for the challenge and pray for Jon to be as healthy as possible very soon!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Cliff Notes

So, here is the Cliff Notes version of our summer... we have been so busy with Wellspring, family, friends, some travel, birthdays, sickness, and surprises that updating the blog just hasn't happened. I know, I know... if anyone actually still checks this blog, it shouldn't come as a shock. The biggest news thus far is that Wellspring Church launches weekly preview services this Sunday and our official launch is September 13th!!! I honestly had no idea getting to this point would be so much work, but we are thrilled and can't wait to see what God is going to do in Myrtle Beach this fall! If you don't read my husbands blog or check our website often... I have to share that our location is absolutely incredible. We are at The Palace Theater in the heart of Myrtle Beach! God has shown us so much favor and we are thrilled to have such an incredible location to have services. I will post pictures of what our set up looks like when I remember to take my camera on a Sunday, ha. Now, for a glimpse of our family's fun summer:

We went to the zoo...

and had lots of beach time...

enjoyed sweet friends visiting from TX...
(Jake and Anne)

(Mary, Will, and Baby Coker on the way!!!)

turned the big FOUR!!!

did lots of swimming...

helped Aunt B and Uncle Matt get ready for baby Oliver...

played lots of baseball...

had sleepovers with cousins...

shared hugs...

our summer gave us lots to smile about!!!

*More birthday, beach, and family pictures to come!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

We're expecting...kind of...

Didn't want to fool you guys again :)! My friend Beth had an awesome idea for gathering some stuff we need for our children's area for Wellspring. We currently have just a few things we unpack for the kids each week, but are excited to step it up soon. She said it better than I could, so I will let you read her post to get the details...

We are opening our doors and launching on September 13th! There are a LOT of things that we will need before the BIG DAY and we need items for our nursery and childrens' ministry! So we thought we would register and that it would be a great way to get the word out and let everyone know of our needs.

We know times are hard for everyone financially so if you have not been able to donate to Wellspring maybe this would be a way that you can. Even if you want to get 4 of your friends to go in together to buy a gift that would be great! Anything you can give will help us provide a fun place to minister to the children that attend Wellspring Church!

Also, please don't feel like you are limited to these lists. If you find something at a discount store or a yard sale that is in good shape please know that would be wonderful too! If you live out of state and need to mail the items, email Beth at for the shipping address.

We desire to have a very child friendly, home-like feel to our childrens' area and want it to the a place babies, toddler, and kids will want to come back to week after week... YOU can make that happen!!

I really hope that you will take a look at our Target or Babies R Us registry and choose and item or two that you can donate to Wellspring Church! Gift cards to Target and Babies R Us would be wonderful too if you don't want to pay for shipping of an item.

**When searching the LAST NAME and FIRST NAME are "Wellspring".**


Tell those close to you about our church and what we are doing and see if they might want to donate as well! I cannot tell you how many times we have received support from people we don't even know BUT someone told them about us and God led them to give. So PLEASE tell those you know!!! You could send them a link to this blog by email, on twitter, post it on Facebook or do a blog post on YOUR BLOG.

We hope to have all items gathered by August 28th if possible.

Thank you for your continued prayers and support!

We are very busy and have been working hard to minister to our community. Thanks again for all of your prayers and I hope to begin blogging again soon... we've had an amazing summer and I can't wait to share pictures!

Monday, June 22, 2009


Thank you all so much for your encouragement and suggestions! I am happy to report that eliminating soy and greatly limiting wheat/gluten has made for some better days around here. I am going to follow up with a new pediatric allergist and push for some blood tests to see exactly what we are dealing with as far as diet is concerned. Also, I plan to start posting some recipes to share on here with all of you fellow allergy mamas. I am getting some great ideas from my new friend, Gwen. For now, we are just happy that these two...

are back together and we are enjoying lots of time with visiting friends and family! Summers in MB are so much fun!!!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Food Allergies

So, as most of you know Jonathan has been tested for and declared allergic to dairy, eggs, and peanuts. This allergy road is not exactly fun and can be lonely at times. After recent email chats with Head Lima Bean and her son's latest symptoms, I thought I'd give a little back ground on how we ended up here and what is next...

How did we know Jon had food allergies?
Jon had eczema from the beginning (or at least after a week or two of age). I knew it was possible that he would have some kind of intolerance to diary due to the degree that his eczema persisted. At the age of 4 months, I tried cereal with a touch of milk based formula mixed in. Jon's entire mouth was covered in red splotches and bumps. I knew then that I had to cut out all dairy from my diet and we switched him over to soy formula if we supplemented. His eczema lessened greatly and we moved forward with eliminating all dairy from his diet. At the age of 10 months he accidently ate egg off the floor (don't ask!) and he was covered in hives within minutes. So we added eggs to the list, but were advised by my pediatrician to wait until one year of age to do any testing. At one, Jon was skin tested and we added peanuts to the list. We are armed with an epi-pen and benadryl at all times. However, Jon does not seem to have a deathly reaction to any of the above items. He does not break out if he touches the products, nor has he ever had an episode where he stopped breathing.

What does he eat?
Jon is basically a vegan. He won't eat meat by choice, he can't eat eggs, dairy, or peanuts, therefore we feed him what we can... his daily diet consists of:
wheatberries & honey
soy milk
any fruit... he loves fruit!
couscous with added veggies
organic spaghetti with added veggies
toast with honey
vegan pancakes
yeah... not a great diet.

So we add supplements:
whole food vitamins (2x's a day)
rice protein to his soy milk
flaxseed to his couscous and spaghetti

Does this help Jon and is he completely "allergy free"?
Well, honestly I thought he was... but skin tests are not conclusive so I am afraid we might be adding more to the list of allergens. Jon has been suffering from chronic diarrhea off and on for many months. Yes, his diet is high in fiber, but I cut out a lot of the fiber for weeks at a time, including limiting his sugar even more so and it doesn't subside. I've been told it is everything from simple toddler diarrhea to needing to see a specialist in Charleston. Also, his eczema is starting to flare again. I've done enough research to know that he doesn't take in any probiotics from his diet. We add those in as well with special "non-diary" probiotic supplements. However, they don't seem to be working. We cloth diaper at home to help with the rashes that accompany the diarrhea but I know it is an internal problem, not an external one.

So what is next?
Soy. We are going to see if switching to almond and/or rice milk and eliminating as much soy as possible from his diet will work. I've been doing a lot of research on soy and you can read one great article here. I've found I have to be careful as the internet is full of "articles" that contradict one another. So, we are trying new things and hoping one will work!

I welcome advice or suggestions if any of my readers have children with allergies. I would love recipes that your allergic children enjoy. The hardest part now is that he is a hungry toddler who is picky... that and I MISS cheese desperately :)!!!

Jonathan 18 months

I know parents say it all the time, but where does the time go?!? Jon-Jon is already 18 months old and is quite the wild man :)! I guess most 18 month olds can be described this way, but Jon certainly has a lot of, ahem, PASSION. Like his brother, he knows what he wants and you can't change his mind easily or distract him either. Only, Jon responds with a full fit if you don't understand or the answer is no... we're working on it and he has already gotten better since he can say a few more words. And, while he is passionate about his thoughts he also loves deeply... he cuddles, hugs, kisses, and laughs with abandonment. He reminds me daily that God sent his Son so that we may have life to the fullest. Jon lives that way already. What a joy! Here are some 18 month stats:

Words: mama, dada, david, most other immediate family, crackers, drink, snack, truck, duck, banana, apple, dog, where is it?, no, trash, spiderman, batman, Jesus, help, stuck, potty... I'm sure there are more but I can't think of it all right now.
Favorite foods: bananas, crackers, couscous, apples, pears, spaghetti, vegan pancakes
Favorite books: any Wiggles (ugh.), Goodnight Moon, Colors, Farm Animals, Baseball ABC/123
Favorite movie: any Wiggles (ugh again.)
Favorite activities: whatever David is doing, block, beach (jumping waves/digging in the sand/chasing birds), slides, jump houses.
Potty Training: Yes... he seems to show signs of being ready. He asks to go and points to his diaper when it is dirty. He wants to be just like David so I'm guessing this plus the fact that we do some cloth diapering has helped. Only problem... I don't know how to teach a kid this young!!! Suggestions are welcomed!

A few more...
He only likes to sit on the stools like a big boy.

He loves to play outside, including wagon rides and watching neighbors walk their dogs. He LOVES dogs!

He sleeps like this... his yellow "night, night", a paci, and his feet tucked under. He loves to bring you his blanket and cuddle any time of day!

This was taken on his last day of school. Due to his birthdate he will be in the 1's class again next year... he is excited to not be the baby of the class, but instead one of the oldest!

*I am preparing an allergy post soon... we are still eliminating dairy, eggs, and peanuts from his diet. However, he still has bad issues with diarrhea and his eczema has been flaring up again so it's back to the drawing board. I have a whole list of this part of Jon's world to share!

Just funny...

(This picture was taken a few weeks ago... Jon is laughing, not choking... promise!)

So, last night I was reading a book to Jon-Jon. David is away with family and Jon is enjoying all of his extra reading time, he truly loves books. The book I was reading was a counting book and at the end it reviews all the numbers in order. Well, I started counting "1, 2..." and Jon goes "DAVID!!!" really loud. I guess the poor baby had never heard me count other than to warn his brother he was about to be in big trouble :)! What a funny guy.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Spring Break Revisited, Part 2

I believe the second leg of our spring break tour was to my parents (aka, Daddy T and Dee Dee) house in Bishopville. We had a blast hugging cousins, trying to take a picture of all 4 boys, having sleepovers...

... dying Easter eggs with Dee Dee (David's first time!), playing with cousins, eating lots of yummy food...

... hunting above Easter eggs, seeing Uncle Rob and Aunt Risha, swinging on the front porch, reading books...

(skip to the next picture, blogger would only let me download 3 pics at a time.)
... we road the "4 wheeler", jumped on the trampoline, blew bubbles, played in the fountain...

... attempted more group pictures with 4 wild boys, played baseball with Daddy T, got really, really dirty...

... and hugged our cousins some more! Thank you Daddy T and Dee Dee for letting us come visit. The boys and I always have fun exploring in the country!

Spring Break Revisited, Part 1

IF I remember correctly, we spent the first part of spring break at Mimi's house. We read books, shared beds (Mimi & David), played ball in the yard...

... had tickle fights with Boo Boo (Trey's aunt), blew bubbles, stayed up late...

... visited EdVenture (one of our favorites!), froze to death at the zoo, saw Amanda, Aaron, and Sarah (but missed a picture with everyone!), and had tears when we left. Thanks, Mimi! We always have fun in Columbia doing special things with you!