Friday, July 27, 2012

Another Post with Updates....

Does it seem that all of my posts lately are called "updates"?? I mentioned in my last post that we had a big week coming this week and it was....and in between we had a few unexpected things come up that were scary for our extended family...so blogging has once again taken a back seat!

Where to begin?? Dominic had a 2 week follow up with the surgeon yesterday. Stitches were removed and the foot looks better than it has since this happened. What do you think??


I know it looks a little gross...but trust me the swelling is down quite a bit and the surgeon believes that it should continue to go down and he will be able to wear his old shoes again someday! YAY!  He can't put any weight on it for 6 more weeks but they will be starting some therapy on it in 4 weeks so hopefully he will be able to build up the leg muscles again. It is amazing how much your muscle deteriorates with non use!

Sky VBS was a success and on the last day we had 114 kids attending!!  The decorations were amazing and the kids had fun going to each group session, singing and praising God together...such fun to be a small part of it.

Isaac had his wisdom teeth out this morning. We went to SF to the office where Beth works to get it done - fantastic place by the way. He was a little nervous I think to get it done and I am praying that he has little pain and swelling. And no dry sockets!! Pray for that please!! ** Update since the start of this update....pain is pretty bad and he is having a tough time accepting the pain meds...so prayers that all works out is appreciated!!**

As some of you know my little nephew Gavin was in the hospital last weekend. It was a scary time for everyone especially initially when they brought him in. He was having difficulty breathing and after an x-ray it was discovered that his stomach was up in his left lung space and had collapsed his lung...thus the difficulty breathing.
Turns out that Gavin was born with something called Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia.  He had a very small hole in his diaphragm that was blocked by his spleen for the first months of his life...but something happened and his spleen moved out of the way slightly and when that happened his stomach popped up through that small hole into his lung cavity. 
He had emergency surgery to pull the stomach back into the correct place and stitch up the hole.   Such a scary time for Beth and Jeff and all of us. But he has recovered from the surgery with flying colors....Praise the Lord!!

Beth took this picture and look at him now...he has his smiles back...such a sweetie!

They did learn that he also has something called malrotation of his intestines....which as I understand means that his intestines are not sitting in his abdomen like they do for most of us. (This is typically found with CDH patients but something we had all never heard of before).  There are some complications that can develop as a result....no way to "prevent" them but no guarantee if it will or won't happen...so it is one of those things that they are trying to understand more and determining what/if there is anything that can be done proactively to prevent these complications.

Big stuff....but we are all so thankful that he was so healthy before the incident and is recovering so well now. Please pray for Beth and Jeff as they ask more questions and do more research to determine what is the very best thing for their family. And pray for Beth because as a mommy...with a little "worry" in her jeans like the rest of us Johnson girls :) ....it is hard even leaving his side for a moment after something like this!!

And speaking of babies my brother Mark and his wife Mindi are expecting their first baby and I am SOOOO excited for them!! They are due in early December. Please pray that the pregnancy would continue easy and comfortably for Mindi and healthy for both her and babe. So fun to see the extended family growing!

They found out earlier this week what they are having....which I know (but I am not sure they have shared it with all the extended fam yet so mums the word here) :) But needless to say I have already found a few fun items on clearance for the little one for next summer. This is the best time to get next year's summer clothes when they are discounted cheap. And I had a coupon too so I was able to get way more bang for my buck!

Did I say I love new babies?!?!  Makes me just a little sad that our youngest little miss is already closer to 2 than 1. How is that possible?!?! Sigh....

Do I have anyone still with me...sorry this has gotten long again! :) I am looking forward to a relaxing (yeah right in my dreams with 4 kids!) weekend at home. Taking care of patient Isaac, maybe scrubbing my kitchen/dining room floor because my feet are sticking to it (yuck) and praying we get a little rain! What are your weekend plans?!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Women Of Faith - Will You Join Us?




I am going with a group of lovely ladies to St Paul this October 19th and 20th for Women of Faith.  I have been there several times over the past 15 years - but this year is going to be amazing!!

The conference starts at 7pm on Friday through 10pm. And then 9am to 5pm on Saturday. It is held at the Excel Center in downtown St Paul.

I have access to up to 28 tickets total and would LOVE it if you wanted to join our group! I think they are going to be great seats. There is a new layout for the stage, a live band to lead us in worship, great speakers who this year will focus more on Biblical "training", Selah!!!,  and some other fun surprises as well!

Because I have tickets available for a larger group I can offer the discounted price that isn't available when you buy less than 10 tickets, and this year they have an incredible discount for both teachers and women from military families!

The "final" deadline for me to pay for tickets from my group is August 10th . SO...what do you think? Want to join us?? I have people coming from all directions...and we don't all have to eat/room together - but I am willing to help get that part figured out for you too! This is just a chance to get a great seat, at a discounted price for what WILL be a wonderful weekend of learning, growing and worship.

If you want to be a part of this opportunity please send me an e-mail at kasmith03@gmail.com and we can work out the details!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Updates and More

Recovery is a tough road. We are finding out that there are good days and bad days.  Friday was a bad day and so was Monday...but today Dominic felt much better.  We had a pretty low key weekend. No one did much.  The kids spent some time in the pool outside, we watched several videos and took a couple of naps! :)

Dominic has been getting around on his knee walker pretty well. It helps him keep his foot elevated and it has proven to be a fun little scooter for the kids too! :) Karlena especially enjoys getting "rides" around the kitchen/dinning room.

We have lots coming up in our family soon and it can feel a bit overwhelming. I am trying to remember to take each day one at a time though and not stress about all the things that I can't control.  

Here is just a look into next week alone....

It is VBS all week in the evenings from 6-8:30pm.  I am helping this year with registration and am excited about it. The music is fun and Gabriel is super excited so it should be a good experience. Maybe just what my soul needs!!

We have to take Elijah to see a doctor so he can get the "ok" to attend preschool this fall.  He hasn't had a need really to see the physician we see for Karlena and so before they will sign the medical release form we have to bring him in for an appt. (I get it...but I don't like it!)

Isaac has picture day and schedule pick-up for school....can you believe summer is almost over?

Dominic has his 2 week follow-up visit with his surgeon.  Thankfully this appt will be in Marshall so we won't have to take a full day and drive to and from Sioux Falls.  We are hoping everything looks good and he can get back into his boot...he has some really big things in the near future in regards to his business....so there is pressure to be well enough to handle those things. Hopefully I can share more about that later....but I would appreciate prayers about it.

And finally Isaac gets his wisdom teeth removed next Friday.  We scheduled it almost 6 months ago and for many reasons I just can't/shouldn't reschedule. So for a few days we will have 2 Smiths out of commission.

I have found myself saying over and over again the past year "If we can just get through this week....." then things will be ok...it will settle down. Except each new week would offer another "challenge".  I am not proud of our busyness....in fact I think it can be harmful for a family if it isn't`kept in check. So I am trying to find a balance between what is our life right now...and the overwhelming feeling that things are getting out of control. Just being present in the moment and finding pieces of joy and gratitude in the little things.

And how about you...how do you handle those days/weeks that seem overwhelming?? I'd love to hear what works best for you!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Successful Surgery!

Dominic had his surgery yesterday morning and Praise God it was a success.  We had to be at the hospital in Sioux Falls by 8am and surgery was scheduled for 9:10am.  He was feeling a little nervous that morning, but they brought him  back at about 9:20.  His parents and uncle were there in the waiting room with me and that was nice.  We didn't have to wait too long though and at 10:40am they came back to bring us to talk with the doctor.

He said that everything went just as planned. The heel was broken into bigger pieces which was good because he just had to fit them back together and then use the plate to hold them all in place.  He now has 9 new screws in his foot though.  He didn't have to use any "bone bank" fragments like he thought he might so that means that his bone structure wasn't badly damaged either.  And he said that the cartilage looked healthy and hopefully would continue to heal and remain intact.

He told us that it may be that Dominic might have to have a fusion in the future if the cartilage were to deteriorate but hopefully that wouldn't be for 30+ years or more if ever.  He will loose some of the side to side motion of his foot and said that when walking on uneven surfaces he may turn his foot naturally outward to compensate.  Running will not be in his future (likely) but there is no reason that he can't do the weightlifting he was doing. Unfortunately our Jillian workouts with her jumping jacks and jump training will be out of the question. And if he wanted to...he won't be able to skydive :( Thankfully that wasn't something that he planned on doing anyways!

They put a block behind his knee which runs pain meds down the nerve at the back of his leg and so basically his whole leg/foot are numb. This will last for 40 hours after the surgery and we will take it out when we get home.  He also had a drain put in and yesterday they poured out quite a bit of blood from that....but it is nice that it isn't pooling in his leg and his body would have to reabsorb it later.  They have it all wrapped up in a HUGE Ace wrap that he can't mess with for 2 weeks. Then we will come back and they will look at it and hopefully he will get a boot on for the next few months.

His pain in his leg hasn't been terrible since they got the block - but prior to that he described it as "tremendous discomfort". A little concerning because what will it feel like when the block wears off?? Hopefully the first few days are the worst and with the block...are manageable.

He has had a really bad headache that he can't see to shake though. They think it is probably his lack of normal caffeine and then he didn't eat for well over 12 hours. It has gotten a little better since last night so hopefully that goes away also.

The "plan" I guess is that we are discharged by 11am...haven't heard anything specific yet for sure though...so we will see.  Thank you again for all of your prayers. We can't tell you enough how much it means to have so much support from friends and family and even people that we don't know! We were placed on several prayer chains from different churches and it is just a testament to the power of prayer.

God continues to remind me that He is in all the details. And that we can support each other as a community of believers in the simple act of prayer. What a gift you have all given us!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Surgery is a go!

We had another appointment with Dominic's surgeon on Friday and the surgery for Wednesday is a go!  It seems strange that we would be excited about surgery - but we both know that this will be the first step in his recovery....as he doesn't want to wait much longer.

We were worried that the swelling wasn't coming down fast enough and were worried he would delay the surgery again...but he seemed very pleased with what he saw and said he has no problem going forward.  We both really feel comfortable with this surgeon and are thankful that he is willing to spend the time we needed to answer any questions we had.

The plan is to go in on the outside of his left foot and make an L-shaped incision along the lower part of his foot.  They will move the nerve and tendon over, take out the broken portions of the heel bone to fit them back together and then place a Zimmer plate on the top of the bone that will screw all the pieces in the proper place.

I tried to find a picture of the hardware they will be using...this is the best I could find. Not sure it is specifically made by the Zimmer Co - but it is close to what they will be using.


Apparently it holds everything together while the bone grows back together. It will be a "part" of Dominic for the rest of his life.  All really interesting stuff....but a little scary too.

We thank you for all your prayers up to this point...but I have a few more for you.

**Prayers that the surgery will go as planned (with the plating) and that a fusion will NOT be necessary.  For many reasons we just don't want that....although we trust the surgeon and understand if that is his only option - that is what will happen.

**Prayers for any fear both of us might be feeling up until the surgery time.  When they prep you for surgery you have to sign this big waiver...saying you understand all the risks. It is a full page, and the "worst case scenario" list is intimidating. But we are trying to remember where our faith is...and trust that God will guide this procedure.

**Prayers for understanding. Dominic is trying to see where the "purpose" in this whole thing may be.  From an earthly perspective it is lost wages and time away from his newly growing business, strain on the normal family routine, reliance on others for many things, a surgery and the possibility that he will never fully recover his mobility he once had....He continues to seek out what God might want him...and us to learn from all of this...so that some good could come out of it.

Thank you again for your support and encouragement. I will update on Wednesday as I can and have access to WiFi.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

"MOMumental" Book Review AND a Giveaway!




I was given the opportunity to review a new book on the market and give one away on my blog if I was willing to do a review about it.  I received the books before Mother's Day and had every intention of doing a review around that time. The life happened....time passed...I finished the book and then Dominic had his accident and I never got the review completed.  But I promised I would get it done right away...so I am sharing it with you today!

http://momumental.weebly.com/uploads/7/2/5/4/7254784/momumental-flat.jpg 

"MOMumental"  was written by Jennifer Grant and is a fun and fast read.  Also a mother of four she understands the craziness that we experience as parents/mothers and shares some of the funniest stories of parenting gone right and wrong!

I related with her when she said "Now I can say with confidence that as much as we may long to do as, we cannot create perfect homes and families."  This is an area that I continue to struggle with....the idea that I SHOULD be able to have a perfect family and home life....but when I can't (as none of us can) I feel disappointed in myself.  This isn't how God created us to be and I forget often!

Jennifer shared several moments of "failure"....moments where as a mother you wish you could go back and change what happened, your response etc. And even she thought that she was only parent with these struggles....until one day when she got an e-mail from her sister-in-law sharing one of her parenting failures.  And Jennifer talked to other mothers and asked them to share their failures as well. This way we will know that we are not the only ones...and being a "bad mommy" happens to all mothers at some time or another.

One of the things I will take away from this book is that we need to have friends, real friends that we can share our good and bad parenting moments with, without judgement....so that maybe we can laugh at each other a little and ourselves and not take ourselves so seriously.

This book is a fresh reminder that we are all in the same boat here...we all face struggles and we all celebrate joys in parenting. Let's focus on all of the little and big joys instead of all of the areas where we think we have failed. God created us to be in community with one another....so let's stop trying to pretend we are perfect towards everyone and embrace our imperfect but wonderful families.

If you are interested in winning a copy of this fun book just leave me a comment about one of your good - or bad parenting moments...and remember that you are not alone in this! :)  A winner will be chosen on Monday July 9th!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Summer Fun

It is going to be HOT HOT HOT this week. 90's all week with no rain in sight.  This morning after the Desitin fiasco I told the kids we would get out their little pool and fill it up so they could go swimming later.

It was a perfect way to spend the afternoon.

Gabriel is almost too big for the pool...but he had fun anyways!

Karlena kept climbing in and out...in and out.

Her poor little legs have scrapes on them now from all the climbing! :(

But it didn't phase her one bit!

Mighty Elijah!

Playing with the water tubes we got at the Dollar Tree! These are great toys!!

Gabriel being silly...

Elijah was dancing here!

Our little miss loves the water and was even swimming a bit on her tummy today!

And apparently all that swimming made her thirsty because she started drinking out of a puddle in the pavers.

Such fun! How did you spend your afternoon?!

Desitin - The Gift That Keeps On Giving....




It has already been a morning....I can tell Isaac isn't here to help me run defense with the kids....I knew Karlena had gone up to the playroom to play. Gabriel and Elijah wanted to watch a movie in their room and I was folding laundry in the living room.

At some point Karlena must have come back downstairs...undetected...unheard.

I was going into our bedroom to put away the clean laundry when I heard a sound.  I knew it wasn't good....because I could hear Karlena in her room...but the light was off and I had a sneaking suspicion that I wasn't going to like what I found in there...

I was right.

 I told you she was a climber...and apparently our changing table is no exception.

She not only sprinkled baby powder all over she found a way to open the lid of the Desitin jar (the jumbo size of course) and smeared it all over the table and herself....
 She looks just a little too pleased with herself right now don't you think?

 And because of the product, you can imagine that it doesn't clean off easily.

Oh and did I mention that when I changed her diaper this morning when she woke up I left my cell phone on the top of the changing table...and forgot it there...

Yep EVERY space on the phone that could be filled with butt cream is. Now this is the life isn't it?!

Karlena seems to be enjoying it though doesn't she?  If she wanted to take another bath she could have just asked!! :)

Who knew that I would be spending my Sunday morning blogging from the bathroom while my daughter sits in the tub and tries to soak off the Desitin. Oh how I wish we could have gone to church instead.


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