Photo by Sarah Stucky Photography

Saturday, June 26, 2010


So here is kid picture set number 4. 

This is our William.  He is 6 years old, and will be 7 in October.  He just completed first grade and did an amazing job in all subjects.  We are very proud of our smart, hardworking boy!  He also got glasses this year, which he just has to use for reading, (or building lego models, playing games, etc).  He decided with Wes to work on Baseball skills this summer, and it's so fun to see the two of them play together!

Here's our boy:

Baby health update

I look to Christ, as in Him I find my strength.  Look at these verses:  

2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (New International Version)

8Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. 10That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

I pray this over myself and our family now, and for Matthew for his entire life.  That through every hardship he can turn to God, knowing that God's strength is everything he needs.   Some of the time I've been so sad that God hasn't just healed Matthew.  It would be so easy!  Our creator, the one who works miracles could simply touch him and make Matthew all well.  But I have been so touched in feeling the Word of God speak to me with encouragement, that His strength is all that we need.  I know that when some moments have seemed overwhelming, I would cry out to the Lord and I could literally feel His strength and peace come over me. I pray that Matthew will always find his strength in the Lord's power. 

So how is Matthew doing? He's wonderful.  He is such a sweet baby and is full a hugs and smiles and giggles.  He's also full of silliness and enjoys being a rascal to his siblings by taking their toys or hitting them.  :)  It's actually really funny and if I wasn't his mommy and trying to teach him good habits I would just laugh.  His latest thing is to climb.  He climbs up on the couch, on the chairs, into the sink (!)  He is so fast it's ridiculous, and I feel like we are constantly chasing him :)
From the health perspective... he's still healing from surgery.  He still complains sometimes when he's "going" and has an awful, awful rash.  It's hard because it's not a "normal" rash that babies get, it's actually just raw skin and it will bleed sometimes.  It gets better and then worse at times.  We saw the surgeon today and our amazing "wound, ostomy and continence" nurse.  They gave me some suggestions of things to try, and a prescription for some extra strength powder and cream to help.  He is also going to take a small amount of Immodium AD 3  times a day, in hopes that it will make him "go" less.   I am really watching his diet too, limiting fiber and other things that make you "go" in favor of foods that slow it down and bulk up..  My poor baby.  I'm just praying that we can help him out and find the balance that works for Matthew.

Thank you for your continued prayers.  It means so much to us. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

June 15, and all is well :)

Psalm 25:4-6 

Show me your ways, O LORD, teach me your paths; guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.

 Here is our sweetie today... playing with a dinosaur; 

And his newest silly face.  He makes this while saying "Ohhhhh"  : 

Matthew is doing well.  Thank you for your continued prayers as he heals.  It hasn't been easy for him by any means, but he has been completely taken care of by our God and he is getting better.  He still cries sometimes when he fills his diaper, and he has had a horrible rash on his bottom :( -- for the first week or so he would "go" about 11-15 times a day and it just was miserable for Matthew.   I've tried every trick it the book to help him and lately it seems as though having a chance to air out and a lot of plain corn starch over the diaper creams has helped make it better.   And it helps that the frequency is getting less.  The surgeon says we can expect it to be about 5-7 times a day 

I'm praying for healing!! That God will heal the rash, heal the intestine and help Matthew to gain good control in time.  Matthew really is getting better every day, and I'm thankful that he won't really remember a lot of this pain and surgery and struggle he's had.   It is amazing to me how God has made our body so resilient, to be able to bounce back and adjust to having function without a large intestine.   God truly is so good.

Here are some recent pictures from our trip to a park on Sunday afternoon : 

Monday, June 7, 2010

Home Again on Day 4!

From 1 Samuel 1:27--
I prayed for this child, and the LORD has granted me what I asked of him

Praise our Great God, who has heard our prayers for healing for Matthew.  He is doing so very well.  It absolutely blows me away to think that Matthew is already home.  He just had a major surgery, four days ago, and today he is home and walking around and playing and being his sweet, wonderful self. 

From every step we have seen God's work.  Our surgeon, Dr. Stein... one of the best.  In one of the best hospitals (Children's hospital, Los Angeles).  The surgery taking a little bit longer because our doctor went for perfection and fixed what he thought didn't look quite right.  And although Matthew had some pain, his recovery has been quick so far.  Nurses and doctors who were so kind and helpful, doing their best for our boy. Every time the doctors came around, they put in another good order.  "He looks good, lets take out that tube", "Looks good start giving food."  There were no complications, God's hands were over the doctors, guiding them, and Matthew is recovering perfectly.  Yup.. looks like all of our prayers have been answered. 

James 5:16
Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.

THANK YOU for praying with us!  All glory be to God!  

Wesley and the kids picked us up at the hospital around 11:30 am, and we we home by one to have lunch as a family.  What joy it was to come home! I love being with everyone.  Joshua was saying yesterday, "I think about you every day and every night and I want you to come home and play with me."  I love my kids so much!  Matthew just lit up when he saw his brothers and sister and Daddy, and was so happy to be home.  He seems to be even better already because he's here. 

And Matthew after dinner just being silly and happy

Psalm 145:3
Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.

Matthew still is recovering... so glad that we can just come to God and lay all burdens at his feet.  And that we don't have to worry about anything that tomorrow may bring. 

God's taking care of His boy, Matthew. 

Sunday, June 6, 2010

day #3

I am so blessed and amazed today by God's love and how he has answered our prayers, and filled us with his love and peace.  I am so touched by these verses today:

“so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”  Ephesians 3:17-19

This is something to cling to!  Our Christ dwells in us through our faith.  Something so simple.. just to believe.  Then, that we can be so full of God's love that we can start to understand how amazing it really is!  Right now.. I feel as though God's love is absolutely surrounding us... and it is so very good! 

Today has been a great day.  First, Matthew pooped.  This is such a big deal, I can't even tell you what a relief it was to see it!  I rejoiced as I changed diaper after diaper today :)  You see, our boy has had an ostomy bag and hasn't pooped out his bottom in a year.  He was surprised too when it happened!  Then the doctors came in and said that Matthew could start having pedialyte.  (Again, huge deal!.. He hasn't had anything to eat since last Tuesday the 1st, and hasn't had anything to drink since 9 am the morning of surgery.)

Matthew was happy about it and drank it immediately :

In the afternoon he was able to ride in the wagon with his iv pole along and see William, Joshua and Kathryn.  Daddy and Grandpa and Grandma Lennertz were there too!  It was so cool because up in the room we are only allowed 2 visitors... and since I never leave its just one at a time.  Now we can take Matthew out of the room and see everyone!

Then, in the evening, the doctors said he could eat food (YAY!)  He had some baby food bananas and Apple Juice.  And then he was able to pass gas and relieve pressure in his tummy.  (Again, can you imagine me being so excited about such things? ? Poop and gas and I'm praising!! :)  )  

God is so, so good and so worthy to be praised.  Things just keep getting better and better!
Here is our happy, wonderful boy tonight: 

Praise be to the LORD, for he has heard my cry for mercy. Psalm 28:6

I will praise you forever for what you have done; in your name I will hope, for your name is good. I will praise you in the presence of your saints. Psalm 52:9

Thank you for your continued prayers for our boy.  While he is doing awesome, we still have a ways to go.  Thank you, so much!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Day #2

Things are so much better today!   Praise be to God! 

Matthew has had to have a bit of the pain medicine for his discomfort, but everything is improving dramatically as time goes by and he is losing some of the wires and tubes!  

This morning they took out the catheter.  We spent the day sleeping or hugging and holding each other, or reading stories, or playing with his little toys.  We were also watching some movies on Netflix.  He likes Veggie Tales :) When the doctors came by tonight they said that he didn't have to have the tube in the nose any more, or any of the wires that monitor heart rate, etc.  He is doing well!

So now we just have the iv line and we were even able to go for a little walk outside of the room and get some new books to read. 

Praises for good recovery so far!  Prayers as the intestine starts to work again, that everything will be as it should. 

Your prayers, your support mean so much to us.  Thank you. 

This morning:  

And tonight!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Day after surgery

Thank you, thank you for your prayers and support during this difficult time. 
Matthew is doing well, and right now is resting peacefully.  I picture Jesus, holding Matthew as he rests and recovers.  

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest."  Matthew 11:28

So, a few details:
My mom came with me and Matthew yesterday to the hospital.  We arrived about 9 am and checked in, and did all of the check ups to make sure he was doing well.  Then Matthew played and played in the playroom until he was called.  About 11:00 am they took us into the room where we talked with the doctors and nurses and gave him a little dose of medicine to "relax him". 
At 12:30 pm we kissed him goodbye and they wheeled him into the Operating Room.  The surgery was over by 6:30 pm, and we talked with the surgeon, then finally got to see Matthew again at 7:15 pm.   We spent 3 hours in the recovery room as they wanted him to fully wake up before moving him into another room.  What a day!

The surgery was a great success.  Our surgeon did exactly what he planned on doing... which was to go in laparascopically, remove the large intestine, and then connect the end of the small intestine to his bottom.  (They call it a pull down surgery).  It took an extra hour because he at first wasn't happy with how the intestine was laying, so he  re-did the pull-through and now is very happy with the results.  I praise God for His guidance as he led the doctors, that he wanted to make sure it was perfect. 

Matthew has been okay.  They have been managing his pain as well as they can.  He has tubes and wires everywhere though... poor baby.  The IV on his foot gives him fluids as he can't eat or drink yet... and he had antibiotics as well.  He has a catheter to keep his bladder empty.   He has a tube in his nose that is draining anything in the stomach to keep him from having the discomfort of gas or anything passing through his bottom yet.  And he has the leads attached that monitor his heart rate and oxygen, etc.  And he has mitts on his hand so he doesn't pull out the nose tube..

Last night was a rough night as he was trying to rest, but kept waking up due to discomfort or pain.  He has been getting pain medicine  as needed, and that has helped to make him more comfortable, thankfully.  

Today has been a better day.  Tonight he was playing and smiling and making his sweet noises a little bit.  Matthew has shown such strength, and God has been so present, loving and healing our boy. 

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Surgery June 2nd

The big one... they have been talking about this surgery since we first found out that Matthew had Total Colonic Hirschsprung's disease.  And we are facing it.. tomorrow.  Even now, my baby is preparing for it.  We had  a nice lunch at about 11:30 am and he hasn't been allowed anything else other than water, pedialyte and apple juice.  Poor baby!! He turned one on April 11th--such a little guy. We need to be at Children's Hospital in Los Angeles by 9:30 am, (June 2) and the procedure will start anytime after 11 am.

What joy and peace comes from resting in Jesus' arms.  He is giving strength and He is holding Matthew in His strong arms.  It takes everything in me to just trust.. which is so silly because God is so worthy of this trust!  God is working in Matthew.. He has kept Him strong and healthy.  There is even such peace, knowing that God is the one who directs the surgeon and everyone in the hospital as they do their best to help Matthew.

What is planned? They will take out the large intestine and attach the small intestine to his bottom. This will get rid of the need for the ileostomy and the ostomy bag.  Please join us in praying for this procedure.  1) for God's healing.. complete healing for Matthew 2) for no complications 3) for blessing over Dr. Stein and his staff 4) for a good and quick recovery.

I'm packing and cleaning.. I will be probably staying with him in the hospital for about a week while they watch him and make sure all is as it should be. 

Matthew means gift of God :) He is truly a gift and a blessing.  Thank you for joining with us in prayer for our precious boy.