Sunday, June 29, 2014
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
For those of you that don't have cellular capabilities built into your car stereo system, I highly recommend the Motorola MOTOROKR T505 Bluetooth speakerphone! This cool little gadget clips to your visor, and allows hands-free operation of your cell phone through a bluetooth connection. Even if we weren't getting closer and closer to having laws that require handsfree cellphone operation, this device makes talking on the phone while you drive much, much safer!!
You can use the T505's speaker, which is very clear, OR you can broadcast the audio through your car's speaker system, just like a built in handsfree kit. The T505 allows you to sync up with 5 different FM channels, so you can always find a clear channel for your cell phone. You can also stream music from your cell phone through the T505, so if you've got your favorite songs stored on your phone, you can play them through your car's speaker system. I love my T505 the functionality and safety that it provides while I drive and talk.
Friday, April 09, 2010
Debt consolidation and refinancing have become thriving industries in America these days. American personal debt is at the highest rate we've seen. It's hard to get credit these days, so managing your debt, and your credit score are more inportant that ever.
BusinessWeek says that total household debt in the US was more than 100% of our disposable annual income last year. The average person has more than $8000 in credit card debt.
The bottom line is that our personal debt is growing at an alarming rate. You can now charge your fast food meals at many restaurants, paying interest for years on something you consumed in one sitting. Many people have taken steps to address their debt problems, including consolidating debt to lower interest rate cards, or to home equity loans, or at worst case the dreaded "B" word, Bankruptcy.
5 Principles of Debt Management
1. Create an accurate assessment of your debt situation.
Make a list, chart or whatever you're most comfortable with, of all your debts. Be sure and include the amounts, interest rates, and expiration dates (especially on any no-interest for ## days type loans). Be sure and note any old accounts that you've got "laying around", such as that department store credit account that you opened to get the 15% discount.
You can now get a free credit report online. You should make sure that you've got a credit report and FICO score from each of the 3 national credit bureaus: Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. The FTC advises monitoring your CREDIT REPORT activity ON ALL 3 BUREAUS. Under a new Federal law, you have the right to receive a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies. AnnualCreditReport.com allows you to request a free credit file disclosure (ie. Credit Report) once every 12 months from each of the nationwide consumer credit reporting companies. This free credit report won't include your credit score, but it does give you a consolidated list of your debts, a record of requests for your credit history, and a summary of your rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act.
Once you've gotten your free credit report, you also need to get your Credit Score. You can get your Credit Score, along with daily 3 bureau credit monitoring and other great services from FreeCreditScore.com.
2. Make a budget and stick to it!
Making a budget helps keep from increasing your debt, while you're trying to pay it down. Be specific and detailed in your budgeting. Except for emergencies, you should only be spending what is accounted for in your budget. Some people have found it helpful to keep a 30 day log of their spending. Carry a little notebook, or some index cards with you, and write down everything you spend each day. You'll probably be amazed at how much money you spend on things you want, and don't really need. The smallest things, such as that $3 cup of coffee every day, can slowly eat away at your finances. This will help keep you from getting further in debt. Your budget should define how much money you'll send to each of your creditors monthly and how much you need for bills, and how much is left for discretionary spending. Try limiting your discretionary spending to things you can buy with "pocket cash". This may be hardest thing you've ever done, but you won't get further in debt if you only spend what you have.
3. Pay off the debts one by one.
Maintain minimum payments to the rest of the debts, but pick the debt with the highest interest rate, and send extra payments to pay it off. There is a proven psychological benefit to being able to take a debt off of your list.
You should also consider replacing your credit cards with prepaid debit cards. Prepaid debit cards give you the same functionality as a credit card, but you can only spend as much as you have in the account that backs up the debit card.
4. Consider debt consolidation or debt restructuring and possibly refinancing your home mortgage.
Lower your credit card debt by 70% by consolidating. With interest rates down, it also may be time to refinance your home mortgage loan and cut your monthly payment. You can get free mortgage loan quotes at LowCostLending. When you refinance, make sure closing costs and other fees don't outweigh the savings in your monthly payment. Another option is to get a Home Equity Loan. Home equity loans are good because they allow you to deduct the interest on your income taxes. Remember though, new credit is not a license to incur new or more debts. Once you've transferred a balance by consolidating, or refinancing, don't add more charges to the old account. If you've got a lot of open accounts, you may want to close some of them, but you shouldn't necessarily always cancel the old account. Having a good payment history with a few existing accounts can be better for your credit record than many canceled and new accounts.
5. If necessary, get help.
You may choose a credit counseling service, or debt counseling and debt help service to help with each step of your debt solution. Credit counselors can add accountability to your debt solution, and also serve as a source of encouragement. They are used to dealing with people with bad credit or poor credit, and can help you create a custom debt solution. They can suggest money lenders that might be more willing to make a loan to someone with a lower credit rating. Once you start reducing your debts without incurring new ones, you'll start to see your credit score rise.
By following these simple principles, you should be able to get your debt under control, reduce it, and eventfully eliminate it. If managing your debt doesn't make it go away as fast as you'd like, you could always consider getting a new job or part time job to generate more income with which you could pay down your bills faster.
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Monday, March 01, 2010
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Thursday, January 07, 2010
Saturday, January 02, 2010
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Cher and I decided that we'd buy a camcorder as our present to each other this Christmas. After much research, I decided on the Canon HF100, but quickly found that, with it already being Dec 23rd, I couldn't get that camcorder in time, because it had been discontinued, and I could only get one via TigerDirect (and with shipping it wouldn't arrive in time). I then looked at the HF200, which has replaced the HF100. Canon decreased the resolution some, but added some new features. Amazon offered overnight shipping for just $27 and I had it by Christmas eve.
So far, the HF200 has been a very simple camera to operate and use. I've taken several "test" videos, and it's very simple. Of course, there are tons of features and settings that I've yet to investigate. One thing I really like is that I can connect it to my computer via a standard USB cable, and easily copy the pictures and movies directly to my computer's hard drive. The movies are in AVCHD ( .mts file extensions) format, and the pictures in jpeg format. Also, I can take pictures while in 'movie' mode. It takes 3.3 mb pics in photo mode, and 2 mp pics in 'video/photo' mode. More to come later ......
Friday, December 11, 2009
I thought I'd capture the moment. The room is somewhat dark, as the lights give off too much heat for Cher. For a change, Cher is usually hot when I'm cool/cold now. I'm sure that will change back in about 3 weeks. ;-) Our C-Section will be in Wed, Dec 30th, at 1pm, unless they change the time again. We were happy that they bumped us from the original time of 8:30 am, which would have meant we had to arrive at 6:30 am (otherwise known as oh-dark-thirty).
You may have to turn up the volume a bit to hear it, but you'll hear the heartbeat very softly and the "thumping" noise is Grayson hiccupping.
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Here's a good one of his profile:
and here's one of his face:
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
The appointment went well yesterday and Grayson and Mommy are in great shape. In a couple weeks we start having to go in twice a week, once for an ultrasound, and once for the NST (non-stress test). Can't wait for Grayson to get here!!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Here are the latest pictures of Grayson
There's a stem on that apple!!!
And this is the fist I use on Mommy's belly
You know what they say... big feet...... big shoes
I'm shy today, so I didn't feel like giving a good facial shot.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
Thursday, August 06, 2009
Our son will be named Grayson Thomas Sexton, and will be born in late December. We'll be scheduling a c-section, so I'll eventually have a solid date for everyone.
As of today, Grayson is 18 weeks old, about 5 inches long, and weighs in at roughly 9 ounces.
Thursday, July 09, 2009
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
In the following picture, you're looking at a side profile, while he/she is sucking his/her thumb.
They also took a small blood sample from Cher to check for any other indicators, and we expect to get those results back within a week or so. Please continue to pray for a smooth pregnancy and a healthy delivery. Cher and I feel blessed to finally have a healthy baby, and are anxiously looking forward to meeting him/her in January. We go back for our next visit on the 30th, at which point we should be able to tell the sex of our baby.
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Tomorrow will be 11 weeks.
In a couple weeks, we'll be going for a Nuco-Translucency Ultrasound.
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
So, officially, tomorrow is 8 weeks. Our next appointment is Tues, June 16th.
Here's our baby's first picture.
Our due date is now Jan 7, 2010. We were previously thinking it would be in February.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
More to come soon.........
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
|Hello Tom and Cher,|
I have recently left the memorial for Garrett. I can't tell you how touching the ceremony was.
Cher I don't know if Tom has shared with you but I previously had problems having children. With miscarriages there is no formal ceremony for the child. So listening to the pastor today talk about the conflict of reality and faith, hurt and trust really touched me. It was a message that I needed so long ago. But, I am glad that it finally made it to me and that I was able to be blessed by it today. I have some closure.
I have been amazed at how painful the experiences were and how that pain consumed me. In my lowest moments I did not see any light. But then one day a word from my pastor got through to me, "Sometimes God will allow you to endure something so that you can be a testimony to someone else."
So I want to tell you that I know it can seem that no one understands how badly you hurt and how that hurt is effecting you. But I also know that one day it won't hurt so bad. It will still hurt, but it won't be so consuming.
|Your testimony of faith and strength has been overwhelming to so many. I hear people talk around the office, so consider this a seed planted in honor of Him and your babies. I pray that your message flows through many rivers to those who can/can't relate to your particular situation, but can see through your circumstance about the strength God gives if we totally rely on Him for all our missions in life. |
We're truly blessed to receive and share messages like this, as God obviously does not have to explain himself. We continue to look forward to God's plan for our lives and the wonderful blessings that it will provide. The contributor of the first feedback also told us about a song that helped her through her troubles. The song is 'In the Midst' by Yolanda Adams. Click here to listen to it (MP3 file).
Tom and Cher
Saturday, May 17, 2008
On Wed, May 13th Cher noticed that Garrett wasn't moving around as much as he had been in the past. Garrett has typically had 2 - 3 sessions of rolling, elbowing, kneeing, kicking and otherwise jumping around a day, but on Wed was not as active in his normally rambunctious morning session. We visited the Dr that day for our weekly visit and were able to hear that Garrett's heartbeat was running in the normal range, around 150 beats/minute. The Dr couldn't explain the decrease in activity but indicated that we should pay close attention and look for around 10 movements within 2 hours during Garrett's awake times. He said that it wasn't uncommon for unborn babies to just have one fairly active session and that would be in the evening. So on Thurs we paid close attention, and again didn't observe as much movement as in the past. Friday morning we didn't feel any movement and decided to visit the Dr. At first we used the Doppler, and couldn't hear a heartbeat. Then we used the ultrasound and were not able to see a heartbeat either. At that point Cher and I were both crushed.
Cher had carried Garrett for 38 weeks and we were so sure that God was going to grant our wishes this time and allow us to have our child. Garrett is now with his sister Caitlyn in heaven. Honestly, Cher and I are still struggling with why we've had to endure these challenges, and why we've lost 3 children now. There are no medical explanations as to why we've had 3 different "situations" where we've lost a child. Each situation has its own unique set of circumstances, and while we understand what happened in each case, we are being told that there is no commonality between the 3, and each one is a "fluke". All we know is that we've conceived 3 children now, and that each of them has left us to live with God. Cher and I have said to each other several times "Parents aren't supposed to bury their children. It's supposed to be the other way around."
This last pregnancy has been a real roller coaster of emotions. From the joy of discovering that we were pregnant, to the sorrowful news that he would have Trisomy 18 (Edward's Syndrome), to the glimmer of hope that maybe this time things could work out after carrying Garrett almost full term, we've run the entire gamut. We were told that Trisomy 18 babies typically don't make it to delivery, and those that do don't survive very long afterwards. Contrary to what we read and what the Drs told us, we maintained the faith and belief that God could and would deliver Garrett to us, and allow him to live out his life. Apparently this is not God's will. On that Friday when we discovered that Garrett wouldn't be joining us, we we were very confused and angry with God. Cher had some words with Him, and I couldn't bring myself to talk to God. Later that day I asked a friend if he could pray on our behalf, because I wasn't ready to talk to God yet.
Later that day, we admitted Cher to Northside Hospital. We were blessed to have several friends, my parents, and Cher's Mom and sister with us. Everybody was very supportive and praying on our behalf for a quick and safe resolution to this situation. Around 4pm the Dr. gave Cher petosin to induce labor. The petosin kicked in pretty quickly and pretty soon Cher was experiencing light contractions about once per minute. We were also fortunate enough to get a visit from a wonderful nurse that had helped us through delivering Caitlyn. Her name is Kathy Sanford. It was good to see a familiar face. That evening Cher thought her water had broken, but we discovered that she was bleeding pretty heavily. The Dr indicated that the placenta was too close to the cervix and that the expansion of the cervix was causing the placenta to tear away. The Dr indicated that we needed an emergency c-section and that there was a possibility that Cher could hemorage and bleed out. Also, since she had lost a lot of blood, they could not give her the epidural. I was scared to death at the possibility of losing Cher, but tried to maintain composure in order to deal with the situation. Also, still being angry with God over losing Garrett, it was hard to turn to him regarding Cher's surgery. After losing Garrett, I was now faced with the potential to lose Cher too. At 11:25 Cher was taken into surgery. We were told that the procedure was complicated because of the proximity of the placenta to the cervix and that the procedure would take about an hour. Shortly after taking Cher back to surgery, the nurse returned to ask what should be done with Garrett.
In the midst of facing losing Cher, I was now being asked what I wanted to be done with Garrett. Luckily Kelly was so supportive and reminded me that Cher had not had the chance to experience certain things with Caitlyn and that I needed to wait until Cher was out of surgery and awake before we saw, dressed and measured Garrett. I asked the nurse to hold Garrett until both Cher and I were available to see him.
God was watching over Cher and about 20 minutes after taking Cher back, the nurse returned to indicate that the procedure was finished and they were closing Cher up. The surgery had gone very smoothly and Cher was going to be fine. Unfortunately, though, Cher would be in a good bit of pain for the first few hours after the surgery. That was the understatement of the century. For the next several hours, several of us stood by Cher, fanning her to make her more comfortable, rubbing her feet, and trying to talk to her to encourage her and keep her mind off of the pain. It was brutal to watch Cher laying there moaning from the pain!! We prayed over Cher for healing and for God to remove the pain for the next several hours. Around 2pm that morning Cher was finally to a point where she wasn't in constant pain and could relax and eventually go to sleep. The nurse indicated that if someone not in Cher's situation had even a 10th of the drugs that Cher was being given, they would be knocked out cold. Around that time, the nurse again asked me what should be done with Garrett. She had not yet taken him down to the morgue and wanted to know if I would like to see him. I did want to see him, and also allow everyone that had been through everything along with me to see him, so I asked if he could be brought out. The nurse brought him out to us wrapped in a blanket. He was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen. He had a full head of hair, and only the slightest evidence of the Trisomy 18 syndrome. He was missing both thumbs and his hands were turned inward due to the missing radial bones in both forearms, but he was perfect in my sight. Even thought Cher had just been able to fall asleep after all her pain, I knew she had to see him. I carried Garrett back down to Cher and placed him in her arms. She was literally "glowing" when she saw how beautiful little Garrett was. She immediately noticed that Garrett had her cute little button nose. We also discovered that he had very big feet. After everyone had held him and we took tons of pictures, most everyone left, and Cher and I settled in for a few hours of sleep.
The next morning when we woke, the nurse came in and we weighed, measured and dressed Garrett. He weighed 4 lbs, 12 ounces and measured 17 inches from head to toe. We are guessing that he stopped growing about the 34th week, due to the Trisomy 18 syndrome. My Mom had brought the Christening outfit and shoes that I had worn as a baby, and we put them on Garrett. He was such a handsome little guy.
Cher was still feeling some pain, but the nurse told her that she needed to start moving more and should be sitting up and even standing on her own within 12 hours of the surgery. At about the 16 hour mark, after our "assigned" nurse let us sleep for several hours that day, we got a visit from Kathy who motivated Cher to get up and going. At that point, Cher was a real trooper and rolled from her back to her side, and soon after that was sitting up on the bed. I could tell that Cher was still in considerable pain, but she was working through it. Later that day, Cher took the short walk to a wheelchair, and we moved upstairs to a new room. Our new nurses informed us that within 2-3 days of the surgery, Cher should be ready to check out. As Cher was still in considerable pain, we weren't too sure of the nurse's claims. Just as the nurse had promised, though, after the light activity of moving to the new room, and the first visit to the rest room on her own, Cher was feeling 100% better. After that Cher continued to improve very quickly and is now up and walking the halls. We've had many visits from friends and constant reminders of how many people were praying for us throughout our ordeals. Regardless of the confusion and anger that we've held against God, He has continued to comfort us and provide for us through skills of the doctors, compassion of the nurses, and the love and comfort of our friends. Cher is doing so well that we probably could have checked out today, and had a nurse visit us tomorrow at home to take out the staples. I wanted Cher to stay here in the hospital though, until the staples were removed, so we'll be checking out tomorrow morning.
Today I visited Patterson's Funeral home to arrange for Garrett's cremation. We will be having a memorial service at 11AM on Tues, May 20th at Mount Paran North. Our love and thanks go out to Whitney Till for coordinating and arranging this service for us. We are having an open casket viewing before the service and afterwards, Garrett will be cremated.
Throughout this ordeal, our faith has been extremely challenged by our circumstances, but God has never left our side, even when we didn't want to speak with Him. Although we still don't understand the "why", we know that everything that has happened has been part of His overall plan. We know that He has guided the surgeon's hands to rescue Cher from a dangerous physical condition, He has surrounded us with friends and family to support and comfort us, He has given us the strength and resolution to overcome our challenges, and He has spared Garrett from living a life of challenges and complications caused by Edwards Syndrome. Even though we are extremely sad about losing Garrett, we know that he is now in a better place, and that his time here on earth is somehow part of God's perfect plan for all of us. We plan to continue trying to have a child, and believe that God will one day bless us with a little boy or girl, or both.
Our thanks and love go out to everyone that has supported, loved and prayed for us in our time of trouble. We especially extend our special thanks and love to those folks that stayed by our side during our critical time in the hospital (Cher's sister Kelly, Cher's Mom Darlene, Lynette, Leianne, Sheree, my parents Gene and Jane, and Whitney!!)
Tom and Cher
Sunday, May 11, 2008
I just wanted to give a little praise report from our church service today. This morning Pastor Mark revealed the fact that for the last 3 years, Mt Paran has been working on a 'Memorial Garden' for children that have gone on to see Jesus "before their time". Cher and I were both in tears for much of the service, remembering our little Angel, Caitlyn that left us in Dec, 2006. The Memorial will feature a wall/board where plaques will be posted for these children. After church today, Cher and I went to see the little memorial and agreed that we'd purchase one of the plaques in honor of Caitlyn. We asked how to go about it and were ready to proceed tomorrow when someone was around to take our request.
This afternoon, our choir director called to check on us, and to say that an anonymous church member had requested to pay for a plaque for us to remember Caitlyn by. Again, Cher and I were both in tears. The love and prayers that have been shared with us throughout our ordeals have kept us going and have been ample evidence of God's wonderful presence, but as you can see, He just keeps on giving!! We're so blessed to be part of such a wonderful church, filled with God-filled people that love and care themselves, but also allow God to work through them in ways such as this.
Tom and Cher
Friday, May 09, 2008
Our due date is the 29th, but we're packed and ready should Garrett decide to make an early showing. Keep us in your prayers for a quick and painless delivery.
Tom and Cher
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Monday, April 07, 2008
Here are some more pictures, courtesy of Lynette.
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Garrett is doing great too! He is a very active baby. Actually he is kicking me now as I type. We actually saw him practicing breathing motions in the ultrasound. That was great to see how God is still working on our little gift. Garrett is now weighing 3lbs and 13oz. Dr tells us he is growing normally and gaining the appropriate weight for his gestational age (32 weeks today).
We had also seen fluid in his stomach, which means he is digesting. That is a great sign too that Garrett is well on his way. The VSD is still present, but the cardiologist was unable to detect the coartation due to Garrett not being still :). They will do an echo cardiogram at time of birth to see if that is still an issue. We are praying and expecting God to give us a miracle, so that Garrett will not have a need for the surgery to repair the coartation. We are expecting a perfectly healthy baby boy! Hallelujah!!!!
Our perinatologist has released us to our regular OB/GYN doctor from this point forward. YEAH!!! We now go to the doctor every 2 weeks for check ups until Garrett decides he is ready to make his debut. What a debut it will be!! I think a party is in order to praise our God for his faithfulness, don't you!
Until our next update, thanks for the prayers and God bless you!!!
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
We got good news today. The cardiologist did confirm that Garrett has a VSD (ventricular septal defect) that is, a hole between the left and right ventricle. He also noticed a coarctation, or narrowing of the aorta. This narrowing is bad because the aorta carries oxygenated blood out to the body. The great news is, though, that both of the VSD and the coarctation will very likely heal before birth. If not, then, if necessary, both can be corrected with surgery.
Garrett is continuing to grow and is at his expected size and weight for his 23 weeks and 6 days old age.
On a sad note, my Mom discovered today that she has cancer in her lymph nodes below her arms. She has very recently gone through chemo and been diagnosed as free and clear of her breast cancer. Part of the treatment and preventative measure was a double mastectomy. During the mastectomy, the doctor took samples from her lymph nodes. The biopsy of the samples found some cancer cells. Mom will be getting radiation treatments daily for about the next 30 - 35 days. She has been strong in her faith and belief that God would heal her breast cancer and absolutely believes that God will do the same for her lymph node cancer. She is tired of the treatments and hospital visits though and is just ready to have this all behind her. Please lift Mom up in your prayers for comfort and strength during her treatment and quick and complete healing!!
Friday, January 11, 2008
We went ahead and had the amniocentesis done. The initial results of this test would diagnose problems with chromosomes 13, 18, and 21 (the 3 most common chromosome disorders), and then further DNA testing could possibly also give us some insight into why we keep having "genetic issues". The initial results will be ready in approximately 24 hours, but the further DNA testing will take 8 - 10 days.
Our test results came back late Thurs evening. The amnio indicated that our little Garrett had Trisomy 18, otherwise known as Edward's Syndrome. The survival rate (according to Wiki) is very low. About half die in utero, and of the liveborn, only 50% live to 2 months, and only 5–10% will survive their first year of life.
At this point, we can only pray for a miracle to save Garrett. God has mercifully given both Cher and me peace about this situation. We're still hopeful that God will grant our wish and let us have this baby boy to raise, but we understand that it's not our decision to make. Given all that we've been through, it's only God's compassion and mercy that could keep both Cher and me from being totally wiped out by our circumstances.
Please join us in asking God to deliver our baby to us in May and to let him live out a full, healthy, and complete life.
Tom and Cher
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Cher and I have decided to have an Amniocentesis done to determine if there are any chromosomal abnormalities or non-genetic diseases. Basically the dr will withdraw a small sample of amniotic fluid and send it off for testing. The risk to the baby and to Cher is very minimal and the results should help us understand why we are having these type of issues each time Cher has been pregnant. This will be done in early January.
Please continue to pray for complete healing for our little Garrett. We have faith that God will replace those bones, and heal any sort of disease that Garrett may have.
Thanks again for all your prayers and kind thoughts.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
We had a great time on this last camping trip of the year and there were many friends and family there to share it with. This picture pretty much sums up our camping experience. Everybody was having a great time!!
On another topic, we had a visit with the Dr today, and everything checks out normal. At first we couldn't find the heartbeat with the doppler device, so we walked down the hall to look for it. Cher's placenta is apparently in a position on the front, lower part of the belly, so it tends to muffle the baby's heartbeat. In the ultrasound we were able to see the heart beat, along with the little arms, legs, fingers and toes.
Friday, December 07, 2007
The baby is developing normally, but is missing one of the bones in each forearm. This may cause the hand to curl in a litte, but we'll have to consult with an orthopaedic Dr. about that.
As I said in the title, we were able to confirm that our baby is a boy. His name will be Garrett Thomas Sexton. The due date is May 29th, 2008.
Thanks to all our family and friends that have been praying along with us for a healthy baby. It's been really tough on Cher and me and your support has meant the world to us!!
Here is the first look at our little Garrett.
He was moving around a lot, and made it difficult to get a good look, but we
finally got a picture to confirm the sex.
Tom and Cher
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Last Monday, Cher and I went for a level 2 ultrasound. The ultrasound revealed that our baby had a cystic hygroma. This condition is similiar to the one that we experienced with our baby last year. In this case, there are no hydrops currently present (as with last time) and the Dr indicated that there is a chance that the condition will resolve itself. There are more details about this condition in one of the previous posts.
Today, our Pastor's sermon revolved around the book of James, Chapter 1:2-8. Here are the verses:
2Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. 4Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.
Cher and I agreed that today's message was especially relevant to our situation. We're once again facing pregnancy "trials" and are hurting, confused and bewildered as to why we're having to go through this, again. We believe God has a greater plan for us and for our lives, and we're trying to figure out the positive side of this ordeal, but it's very challenging. Today Cher and I both visited the alter during our alter call, and with many friends and family around us, prayed for strength and understanding for us and for a healthy baby at the end of this pregnancy. Our faith is strong, and as the verses say, we're "persevering" through these times. We couldn't do it without the love and support coming from our family and friends, and ask that you join us in lifting our situation up to God and asking that he resolve it with the birth of our healthy baby in May.
Thanks and Love to All,
Tom and Cher
Saturday, November 17, 2007
We haven't spread the word as quickly or as widely as in the past, but we're expecting again. Our baby is due May 29th, 2008. Things are going well and Cher is doing good. She has occassional nausea, just about daily, but we're viewing that as a good sign. On the past two pregnancies, she wasn't naeseous much at all.
Our last regular checkup was last Wed. We were able to hear the baby's heartbeat. It was doing about 155, which is good.
We go in for a level 2 Ultrasound on Monday, Nov 19th. This will let the Dr check for downs and some other things. Hopefully we'll also be able to see the baby's sex that day.
We're praying for and affirming a healthy baby and smooth delivery in May, and ask that you join us in these prayers. You've all been great and very supportive in the past, and we are truly blessed to have the family and friends that we do.
Tom and Cher
Thursday, June 21, 2007
It was great visiting with Bob and Dolly at the beginning and end of our vacation. The puppies absolutely loved staying on the "Shelor Estate" and having Maki and Mushi to play with. I'm sure I still haven't discovered all the new "tricks" that our puppies learned from them.
We stayed in a condo at the Ram Sea in North Reddington Beach, just outside St. Petersburg, Fl. Except for the dirty carpet, our condo was very nice and had everything we needed. We vacationed with the Mowry's and Winecoff's and had a blast. Except for a couple of unplanned illnesses (not us), the trip went rather well. We grilled out several nights, but also went out for some nice relaxing dinners.
I rented a Harley Davidson V-Rod for 4 days and had a great time riding. Needless to say, I've got the fever once again.
I've posted the pictures on our home website. You can see them by clicking here.
Cher and I stayed covered with sunscreen (her more than me) and managed to return without getting burned. Neither of us have lost our tans to peeling either.
Thursday, May 17, 2007
Well, after a month's worth of work, I've finally completed the new doghouse for Charlie and Bosley. Here are some pictures taken throughout the development.
The roof was a probably the hardest part. Getting the hinges to work out was a pain!Now that I've got it fully assembled though, with shingles I can barely lift it. I'm thinking maybe..... garage door springs from the trees above it. What do y'all think?
The dog house finally makes it from the garage/driveway to the back yard, and look where I end up... already!!!
Our nieces seem to like it too! Maybe it could double as a playhouse. :-)
Monday, May 14, 2007
Friday, April 06, 2007
Cher came home that night to find a pile of poop in the bedroom next to the bathroom area where we sometimes keep the dogs. Both dogs were still in their little area. She looked at the poop, and then at the dogs, who of course looked very "innocent". The only explanation was that somebody had climbed out, pooped on the floor, and then climbed back in.
Yesterday I put the boys in their little bathroom area, and raised the baby gate about 5 inches above the floor before I anchored it to the door frame. They've grown too big to fit under that small of a space. About 5 minutes later, I was able to sneak a peak about the corner and watch Bosley climb up one side of the gate, and jump down to freedom.
Of course I told him what a bad dog he was, but couldn't help but laugh at his new-found "talent".
That's all for now. I'm sure there will be more to come. :-)
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Unfortunately, they've also figured out that they like to dig, and that the dirt is cooler underneath the surface. Here are some of the latest pics. Click any image for a larger picture.
The boys taking a nap
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
THERE ARE STILL SOME LEFT,so let me know if you want some, and I'll pass the message! Kelly is giving them away to good homes.
Kelly's Golden Retriever had been visited by the neighborhood Beagle, and ended up with 12 puppies. As of this Saturday, March 10th, the puppies will be 8 weeks old. Their names are
Saturday, December 23, 2006
As for our little Angel's body, we've decided on a Cremation Service that the hospital offers for still-birth children. The hospital created a small keepsake box, including baby pictures, footprints, and the baby's clothing as a small memorial.
As God did not choose to reveal the sex of our baby during the pregnancy, perhaps he never intended for us to be able to name our baby and get even more emotionally attached than we already were. Our "Little Angel" left us on Wednesday to be with God, and her earthly body will be cremated and given back to the earth with other little angels that were called away from us and other parents. Only God knows what our Little Angel's purpose on earth was, but we know she was part of his plan, and that even though we are saddened by our loss, we realize that this is all part of God's plan for us, and that we and others will be strengthened and somehow blessed by it.
The Dr indicated that the procedures Cher has gone through should not cause any negative effects on future pregnancies. As soon as we are both ready, we will again try to become pregnant.
Through this entire process we feel extremely blessed by the support and prayers that everyone has given us. This has and is still a tough time for us, and we ask that everyone continue to lift us up and pray for strength and peace for us. We were especially blessed by the presence of Kelly, Darlene and Miki at the hospital throughout this ordeal. Kelly arrived with us and never left our sides. She was our Angel of Mercy and Grace. We thank Kelly (aka Sissy) from the bottom of our hearts!! God has blessed us mightily with a strong family and large group of caring friends that have been there for us!! Thank you all for your prayers and the support you've given and continue to give!!
We love you all and wish you and yours a very Blessed and Merry Christmas,
Tom and Cher
Thursday, December 07, 2006
These pictures were taken at 23 weeks, and we're now in our 25th week. In our last visit, the Dr. informed us that we're now able to consider removing the baby if there's any "emergency". That's great news, as our baby could now, conceivably survive on its own, outside of the womb.
We continue to affirm daily that our baby will be born healthy in late March. We greatly appreciate all the prayers chains and kind words that have been offered up on our behalf. Please continue to pray with us for God's will to be done, and for us to receive our healthy little blessing in March!!
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Last Sunday during our worship service, I was speaking to God about our baby. I got the distinct impression that God wants us to have a boy in March, as opposed to the Dr's prediction of a girl. Thinking back, the Dr didn't really predict a girl because of what he saw, but because of what he didn't see. :-). Either way, as long was the baby is healthy, we'll be happy!
Today we went in for Cher's regular OB visit. Cher is doing great! She has gained a total of 12 pounds during the pregnancy, her blood pressure is great, and she's feeling fine. For her next visit, she has to drink a VERY sugary drink (think very potent orange flavored sugar water) before going in so they can do a glucosamine test. I'm not exactly sure what they're testing, as putting all that sugar into her should take her readings off the chart. Our next visit is on Dec, 20.
We didn't do an ultrasound this visit, but we did listen to the baby's heart. According to the Dr's little machine, the heart rate was 155, but my count was 160. (last time I checked, 40 every 15 seconds = 160/min) :-) Cher is measuring 25 cm. That's 3 more than she "should be". She's just ending her 22th week, and for some reason the measurement should be 1 per month. That's what them "they" people say anyway. Our baby continues to move around and is very active.
Thursday, November 16, 2006
Dr. Smeltzer looked at our baby and indicated that there is still a great deal of adema (swelling and buildup of fluid) in the baby's tissues, and a septal abnormality (a hole in a heart chamber). He informed us the septal abnormality wasn't necessarily anything to worry about and that more often than not, it would heal itself by the time the baby was born. He also is of the opinion that the 2 issues are not related. Many times, a septal abnormality accompanied by heavy adema are dual symptoms of severe 'syndrome' problems. In our case, he indicated that there is a chance the the adema will regress, the septal abnormality will heal, and the baby could be born with either a slight case of some syndrome (most likely Downs), or none at all.
We were also able to get a good luck at the "plumbing". :-) Looks like Caitlyn Nicole will be joining us in March instead of Garrett Thomas. Please focus your prayers on God healing and delivering Caitlyn to us, healthy and well in March.
Thanks to everyone for their continued prayers and support!! These are hard times for Cher and me, and hearing from y'all and knowing you are lifting our baby up to God with us gives us strength. We still believe that God has big plans for us and Caitlyn and that He will heal her and deliver her to us in March.
Monday, November 06, 2006
Fortunately, God has answered our prayers, and the house is now sold!! We continue to put our financial situation in God's hands and know that he will always provide for us! While He may not always respond within the time frame that we would prefer, we acknowledge that God knows what is best for us, and if we are faithful, will always see that our needs are met.
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Unfortunately, we couldn't convince our little guy/girl to strike a pose that would allow us to determine their sex. :-( If "Old Wive's Tales" are true though, Cher's "watermellon tummy" is indicative of a girl.
We're scheduled for a visit (2nd opinion) with another Perinatologist on Nov 15th. He will be doing another level 2 ultrasound to look closely at our child. Please pray along with us that the fluid will have regressed, and our baby will appear healthy and normal. We're still standing strong in our faith that God will bring us a happy, healthy baby in March!!
Wednesday, October 18, 2006
That being said, we believe that God has other plans for our baby! We're standing strong in faith that God will deliver us a healthy child in March. We ask you join us in believing that God is in control and has the power to heal our child, and deliver him/her to us. If you'd like to send us a message, please feel free to click on "Comments" at the end of this message. God Bless!
Friday, September 22, 2006
Friday, August 25, 2006
He/she hasn't gotten more photogenic YET, but we now estimate the size to be about that of a walnut (in the shell) :-).
Wednesday, August 09, 2006
The ultrasonagrapher told us that he (notice the positive fore-shadowing) has a strong heartbeat of 141 beats per minute. The ultrasonagrapher agrees with Cher's assessment of the due date of March 27th, 2007. We're 7 weeks and 3 days into our wonderful journey.
Momma is tired these days, and occassionally nauseated, but doing great! Daddy is doing everything he can to make Momma comfy and happy! More to come later ......
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Peachtree Road Race
For the second time, the first being in 2000, Tom has successfully completed the Peachtree Road Race. After training dutifully for 3 months, he finished in 68 minutes on a hot July 4th day. If a very foggy memory is correct, that's about the same amount of time it took last time. A race picture is on the way soon. Tom hopes to have another 10k race under his belt before next year's Peachtree, in order that he might secure a runner's number, and start closer to the front of the 55,000 people that run the race every year.