Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Another update On Dario...

Saturday was the appointement that we had with the specialist for Dario. I gave you an update on that, but it gets even better... We went to Dario's regular pediatrician on Monday morning to get the referrals we need to do some other check-ups for the baby, and as soon as she saw him she marvelled that since the 15 or so days since she last saw him she found him to have greatly improved with his head tilt. I totally was blessed and told her that God has been working for sure. He has.
Then, on Tuesday morning we went to an ear, nose, and throat specialist that confirmed that he has a "cold" in his ears that stems from congestion in his nose, which I really only thought was a minor and normal cold, but which is causing him much discomfort. Ah-hah!!! And so we are giving him nose drops and other stuff so we can get rid of that so that he can move on to physical therapy for his neck. Until then, I am doing some exercises with him here at home. We are debating if we will keep the appointment with the specialists in Naples or not. We really were content with the first lady specialist's work and diagnosis. She was thorough and was a great help. So, for now we wait to see if we take him on June 10th or not. I lean to "yes" for a second oppinion- just because... but we will see.

Oh, and today marked Dario's third day of eating "solids"- pureed fruit in a jar, anyway. Yay!!! As you can see, his favorite part is getting to chew on the spoon afterwards. :-)

Thank you ALL for your prayers, encouragement, and thoughts. Have a great day!!!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

8th Original Paper Cut "Kids Are A Blessing- Psalm 127:3"...

In honor of kids... Psalm 127:3-5a says, " Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward. Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth. Happy is the man who has a quiver full of them..."

And... to all of you being blessed by pregnancies, I love you and am praying for you and your precious little ones- Nikki, Jen R., Jen L., Julie here in NA, Denise, Kathy, Gina, secret "C", Tina, Linda, (Did I forget anyone? Let me know.)and all of you who may not know just yet (you know who you are...:-) ). Have a blessed and decent-feeling day!!!

Saturday, May 24, 2008

First Update On Dario...

Well, we had the greatest thing happen! Originally we had an appointment to go to a Pediatric Orthopedic specialist in Naples on the 6th of June. We have a friend who is a nurse who got us an earlier appointment with a doctor that used to work at that same hospital in NA but moved to work in the hospital in Avellino (CLOSER TO US!!) to avoid the long commute. That is all to say that we had that appointment in Avellino today. Yes, he has Congenital Muscular Torticollis which she said was caused by his positioning in-utero (and not by his traumatic birth), but right at the moment our main concern can't even be that. Apparently Torticollis does not cause pain, and when the doctor was checking poor baby, he was howling in pain. He has ear infections that need to be dealt with before any form of physical therapy can begin. She said that the pain is enough that it appears to have him leaning over even more than he normally would. Please help us pray for a quick recovery from that, and that we can find a good pediatric physical therapist near us. Our nurse friend is helping in the search, which helps. We are sad that our little man is having to go through so much. He is normally such a happy baby. He is a trooper, for the most part, and sometimes that makes it harder for us to watch him be uncomfortable or know that he will have to go through some discomfort in the near future. I do not know what exactly to expect, but at least I DO know that we do not have to worry about our tomorrow's because Jesus is already there, preparing the way for us. Okay, so maybe I am a little worried, more because "unknowns" make me nervous. But I am always working at "trusting and surrendering" and my Jesus has never let me down...

A Time To Remember Their Sacrifice...

This past Friday was a day to send off a friend of ours who is stationed here in Naples. He will be leaving for Iraq on Monday. Please keep him, our many military personel, and their families in your prayers. Their sacrifice is larger than most of us can comprehend without living it out ourselves, or, in my case, seeing it firsthand for even a few hours. They NEED our prayers. Your care means more than you think. The best support we can give is so simple and requires only a few minutes in a day. In the car, in a doctor's waiting room, in the line at the grocery store, at a t-ball game... anywhere you are is a good time and a good place to remember those in need and have a talk with Jesus concerning them. So, let us join together, even across these miles to do just that. Won't you?

Here is the paper cut that I did for a group card for the going away party. I got the pattern from

Thinking of you "L-b" family!!!... "Strength for today, and Hope for tomorrow."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

7th Original Cut- Romans 15:13...

"Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13

"When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on." Thomas Jefferson

On Wednesday, I received two emails with two bits of inspiration that are the reason I ended up doing this cut. First, I received the included quote by Thomas Jefferson from my husband's cousin, Jonathan F., and then I got the verse from Rose A. I have been "chewing" on both since I heard them, and, so, this is a big ole "Thank You" out to both of you. Family and Friends, all of your prayers and encouragement are very much appreciated. Have a great day!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

6th Paper Cutting- 1 Corinthians 13:7...

Well, this cutting is dedicated to marriage- namely MY marriage. When we found out about Dario last week, Anthony and I dealt with the information in different ways, and, we had a sort of falling out. It was both of our faults and neither of our faults, all at the same time. The day after, I sketched this while thinking about how life is about comings and goings, joys and sorrows, all kinds of changes, challenges, and trials; and through it all, as it says in 1 Corinthians 13:8 "Love never fails."

In some versions of the Bible, verse 7 says, "Love... bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things." Thankfully, we do not need to lean only on each other. What would happen if we were both weak? No, we lean on Jesus. He promised us in Scripture that "when we are weak, He is strong" and that "His joy is our strength". I am grateful that God has provided me with a husband who loves and is dedicated to his family, but, even more, that he loves God with his whole heart. How grateful I am for Jesus' blessings and provisions.

This cutting is also dedicated to family- namely MY family. If you pay attention, you will see a little tyke-ette (supposed to be Miranda) in the back seat looking on. They, our kids, are always watching us, their parents. And learning from us. How I desire that my kids learn only good things from me and my husband, but, as we know, they also pick up some of the not-so-good, too. They may see our faults, but that is okay, as long as they see us being humble and forgiving towards one another, merciful and kind, showing love when sometimes we are being unlovable. Love is action, Love is pure, kind, gentle, and that is what Jesus is. "God is love..." Rather than trying to be "all things to all people", or I should say to all of MY little people, I am trusting God to take who I am and let Him show Himself through me, with all of my mistakes, failings, and everyday silliness.

May you be inspired by Jesus' loving kindness, and may His peace, hope, joy, and faith grow in your hearts and in mine, too.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"Love n Swallowtails"- 5th Paper Cut...

These are the words to a popular song that I used to sing in Sunday School as a kid.. The song is called "His Banner Over Me Is Love"

He invites us into His banquet table

His banner over me is love

He invites us into His banquet table

His banner over me is love

He invites us into His banquet table

His banner over me is love

His banner over me is love

The one way to peace is the power of the cross

His banner over me is love

The one way to peace is the power of the cross

His banner over me is love

The one way to peace is the power of the cross

His banner over me is love

His banner over me is love

Congenital Muscular Torticollis...

So... Where do I begin? Most of you know that we have had some health changes and challenges in our family over the past few months. Anthony has "Universal Alopecia", meaning he has lost most of the hair he used to have, including eyebrows and eyelashes. There are other things that have come up along these months, but the newest is one that is a bit more serious.

We took Dario to a pediatric visit last week. He had two ear infections that I needed to check on. When the doctor saw him, she got alarmed at something that he has had since he was born. You know how newborn babies do not have much head control at first and they kind of sqwunch down wherever they are? Well, I assumed that that is what his problem was over the first few months, but apparently I was wrong. His head still leans left with his chin pointing right. We were told that we needed to have him checked out IMMEDIATELY at an orthopedist at a local hospital who confirmed that he has "Congenital Muscular Torticollis".

According to this website,, "Torticollis, also known as "wryneck," is a condition in which your baby's head is tilted. The chin points to one shoulder, while the head tilts toward the opposite shoulder. Treatment is necessary to prevent your baby's face and skull from growing unevenly and to prevent limited motion of the head and neck...Congenital torticollis occurs when the neck muscle that runs up and toward the back of your baby's neck (sternocleidomastoid muscle) is shortened. This brings your baby's head down and to one side. This is known as congenital muscular torticollis.
Experts don't know what causes the shortened neck muscle. Some experts believe that the muscle may sometimes be stretched or torn during the baby's birth. The tear causes bleeding and swelling, and scar tissue replaces some of the muscle, making it shorter." In the long run, if this is not taken care of, it could effect everything from physical appearance, to eyesight, to spine (scoliosis could set in), and some other things.

Anyhow, Dario's case is not as bad as some I have read about, but it is still not a comfortable time for our family. We have an appointment on June 6th with a specialist at a hospital in Naples. We will find out then how things really are with him and what steps we need to take to help him. He could just need physical therapy, but he could also need a medical intervention. In any case, please help us to pray for peace, wisdom, and healing. We are tired with all the things that have been going on in our lives throughout the early months of this year. This is only a bit of it, but we know that God gives us our joy, our hope, our strength; we know that He promised to "never leave or forsake us", and we know that our family has been dedicated to the Lord and that He loves us far more than anyone ever could. So... we wait, and pray, and praise the One who is able to do far more than we could ever imagine.

Thank you...

Other Early May Pictures I Like...

Anthony was trying to feed an escaping Miranda for me... And, isn't it funny what kinds of things you come up with... I put the chair and car seat there to hold up the foot rest so he would not possibly be able to slip out. Did not want to move him. You know how that goes...

In Appreciation For My "Movers And Shakers"...

Sometimes I get so frusterated doing the same things day in and day out, or rather I should say hour in and hour out. Like, cleaning things up only to have everything look like I did nothing after ten minutes of turning my back. Well, this morning, Miranda, Dario, and I were home, and I was busy accomplishing things (today was a higher energy day, let me tell you). I got upset with Miranda when I realized that she had started moving things all over the living room right after I had just fixed it all, putting it all in place boringly against the wall. Wouldn't you know that her actions actually inspired me to rearrange the little toy area in a more fun and attractive way? Here are some photos of Miranda's new kitchen and sitting area in our living room. My footstool to the glider is her "table". She finally has a little spot of her own... Sort of, since the boys will also want to be in it. What seemed like the usual frusterating tediosity actually turned out to be a good thing... What a relief and surprise!

Luca's Birth-DAY, The 12th...

So, I kept them all "home" so we could spend the day as a family in honor of Luca's birthday. We went to Naples. Anthony and Luca had a recheck at the doctor. After that Anthony had to take care of something for work, then we went to Burger King for lunch. Then on to Ikea for some looking around and buying some little things... Busy, exhausting and fun day.

Expanding Work Space...

Anthony worked last week to expand his work space near the garage. (For those of you wondering... I asked him, and his favorite tool is NOT a pick. :-)) My nephew, Alessandro, helped. While he was doing that over a couple of days, the kids were busy "helping", playing and just enjoying life as kids should...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!!!...

Here is a paper cut I used following a design from Geocities Heartland-Scherenschnitte (Google it for printable download). It is a great one to show as we celebrate motherhood on this day. For those of you who have children (here or in heaven) and those of you who have a mother's heart... May God bless you, keep you, shine His face upon you, and give you peace (Numbers 6: 24-26)... Happy Mother's Day!!!

Luca- A "4 Year Old" In Our Midst...

So, we did a "Fish and Matthew 4:19" Themed party for Luca this year, but... I was not able to do many of the things I planned. It ended up being simpler than I intended, but it was still fun. I made a scherenschnitte fish card for him, we watched movies we could remember that we had with fish in them. (There are lots if you keep your eye out for them, by the way; but we only watched a couple.) Little things here and there, and the party and day were a success. He was overjoyed, and, funny enough, surprised that his guests brought him some really fun gifts. He loved having his friends over to spend time together, to eat Papa's yummy homemade cheesesteaks, and to have cake and ice cream. Here are some shots of our night...