Well ladies and gentlemen, Malachi lost a tooth. It was there when we put him to bed and nowhere to be found by 3am when he got up, so we are assuming he swallowed it.
When I noticed it was gone I asked Malachi “Did you lose a tooth?” and his face grew very concerned as he processed my question. I explained to him that when baby boys grow up into big boys their teeth get loose and they fall out to make room for “man teeth” like daddy’s. He really liked hearing that and was so proud.
When we went back into the bedroom around 4:30 he was trying his best to wake up Jake with his sweet little hand to tell him about the tooth. I woke Jake up so Malachi could share the news and we made sure to tell all of his church friends about it this morning.
I also explained to Malachi that some kids believe in something called the tooth fairy, but that she is just pretend. I asked him if he wanted to put a note under his pillow tonight and see if there was a surprise in the morning and he signed “yes, yes”. So tonight we wrote a note!
The concentration on his face in this picture makes me smile.
And formally signing his name…
Let me explain a bit here. As you are surely aware by now Jake and I believe in God! We just simply can’t deny God’s existence, power, and love after witnessing all that He has done in our lives, especially over the last 5 years.
Because of that, we are very cautious to present any imaginary characters as “real” to our boys, especially Malachi. We want him to know about pretend vs real, but never have any confusions about the realness of God. So we don’t do the Santa thing, Easter Bunny, or Tooth Fairy. But we do explain that some people like to pretend just to be silly.
Speaking of imaginations we let him listen to Jurassic Park last night, fast forwarding through the scariest parts. Oh my, he was so into it! Especially the t-rex scenes.
A few more Malachi updates: his neurological fever came back again Friday night. He went from a completely normal temp to 101 within an hour. We stripped him down and it started to drop slowly then took him to hypothermic (96 degrees) by midnight. We bundled him back up and put him under the covers with me and his body finally leveled out within 24 hours.
I get so anxious when these random fevers hit, always wondering in the back of my mind if this will be the sickness that takes him to heaven. That may sound dramatic and over the top to you, but it is a possible reality for me. This is the time of year that I see death after death of children like Malachi in my support groups. It always starts out as something simple like a cold and things spiral downwards very fast.
Our local schools closed on Friday due to sickness and several kids and teachers in Malachi’s class at school have the flu. I am so thankful that I haven’t sent him in over a week and a half!
Malachi got a new toy this week as an early birthday gift from his grandpa and grandma. It is a switch adapted toy where three little penguins continuously climb a set of stairs and one by one slide down the slide. It makes lots of fun noises. We have been trying to use it as a teaching tool for Malachi as there are 10 stairs. We will give him a number to stop on, like 5 steps and he is pretty good at controlling it! He knows his numbers/counting much better than we realized!
And then there is Levi. Wild as ever and NEVER STOPS MOVING!!!
Levi has been working hard these last few weeks at eating. I remember talking about the g-tube in the NICU and saying “As soon as I get him home we will teach him how to eat in no time.” We felt confident at the time of that statement that he was not aspirating so I felt confident in pushing him. But then we did the rib graft and popped his airway open a bit more. My confidence level in him protecting his airway has been compromised and we don’t want to do anything that might cause him to aspirate. It just isn’t a battle worth fighting hard for right now.
But we want him to be able to handle food from a sensory standpoint so we are working hard in feeding therapy with both boys. Levi has a major control issue so as long as he is in charge of the food source he will tolerate it for a few seconds. He still needs some major convincing before he will put anything in his mouth, but we are making progress. This jello picture was a rare and wonderful moment of bravery on Levi’s part.
Levi is turning into quite the momma’s boy.
But he sure does love his daddy. This week while Jake was at school Levi called his name over and over again. I thought Jake would enjoy hearing it so I took this short video:
We were pretty non-stop this week taking each day hour by hour. On Tuesday we had a soccer banquet to honor our girl’s achievements this season. It was a wonderful chance to speak some life into these young ladies.
I normally try not to put pictures of others in the blog, but I made an exception tonight for our beautiful MVP for the season…her dad and aunt read the blog each week and I figured they wouldn’t mind 🙂
Jake and I overexert ourselves quite often. But we never do anything that we don’t feel like God is calling us to do. And we truly believe that God won’t call us to something without giving us the strength and ability to do it. Our plates are more full than most, but it also gives us a greater opportunity to practice fully relying on God like the Bible calls us to do. While we love coaching soccer, we also feel that it is something we are called to do. There are so many young teens in our community that don’t get the chance to encounter Jesus, and if we can plant a seed in their hearts then it is worth all the extra stress and energy.
I have my times of doubt, and even had one this week. Anytime you enter a competitive realm you see sides of people that you may not have ever seen. Each season we are cursed at by parents, berated, and gossiped about. Our reputation, motives, and decisions are always called into question. One of our main coaching goals each season is to build the self-esteem and confidence of each of our players…to be accused of tearing them down is hard to listen to.
I ran into a parent this week and the encounter was so tense it made me sick to my stomach. 99% of the time these emotions that we receive are based on false ideas and rumors but being on the receiving end of all the negativity can be stifling. It is always a difficult pill to swallow when people choose to believe things that go against your character.
After I left the presence of this parent I got in my car and prayed. We have always said that the moment our coaching interferes with our ability to witness to others we need to step away. I thought to myself, “Is now the time?” The next night we had our banquet and I felt the presence of God as Jake and I spoke about each of the girls. As I listened to Jake speak I heard the love of Christ- even though he didn’t mention a single word about God.
As Christians, our desire isn’t to push our beliefs on anyone. Our desire is simply to reflect the light of God to the world. It isn’t our job to change, convert, or convict anyone. That is never a command from God. But we are called to “let your light (God’s presence within us) shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
We don’t ever truly know what the effects of that light on these girls may ultimately be but for now we choose to obey God’s calling and coach.
We have been battling lots of spiritual attacks lately in the roles God has placed us in. Truthfully, it is disheartening and frustrating to be fighting such big battles amidst all the personal ones we have going on. As I prepared the children’s lesson this week I read a verse and it was the reminder I needed…
To set the scene, Moses had just led the children of Israel out of Egypt and they were camping by the Red Sea. They looked on the horizon and saw Pharoh’s army barreling down on them, and as you would expect they started to panic. Moses prayed to God then delivered these beautiful words:
“The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14
I can apply this to soooo many areas of our lives right now. We feel that we have been strategically placed by God exactly where we are meant to be (parents to our special boys, coaches, youth pastors…) but we keep looking at the horizon and seeing armies poised to attack. The instinct to panic is strong.
But the truth is that when you are in the will of God there is a confidence in knowing that He will fight FOR you. You need only to be still and listen for directives from Him. There is NOTHING that the enemy can do to overpower you when you are walking in the will of God.
So this week I am going to continue to try to practice the ever-challenging art of being still, even amidst adversity. Being still brings Him more glory that my knee-jerk reactions could ever do. God, please help me to be still in the presence of my enemies.
Final note: This blog really spoke to me this week and addressed a lot of the comments we typically get about us being “super parents”, which is very far from the truth! We are just like every other decent parent, wanting to do everything in our power to give our kids a wonderful life! https://www.patheos.com/blogs/notalonespecialneedsparenting/2019/01/im-not-supermom/?fbclid=IwAR3vQCdPZljoTGEF0mxdEeaqyACJ4r-hVBuNVZZXPyGnYdFj9BnDLVyR75g
May God speak to you this week, and may you be still enough to hear Him!