Happy 7th Birthday, Matthew!

Today, we celebrated Matthew’s 7th birthday.

IMG_1736 - Version 2I finally made a birthday cake that suited his palate, and he ate it happily.  This was also the first year that he anticipated his birthday weeks in advance, and really looked forward to the big day.

He is such a gift.  He is full of the purest love an joy, and we wouldn’t trade him for the world.

Happy 7th birthday, my sweetheart!

Annual Cardiology Check-Up

 

Matthew had his annual cardiologist today.  He gets to have an electrocardiogram, echocardiogram, and a visit with the specialist once every year.

Remember his mitral regurgitation (leaky valve)?  Last year, it was “moderate,” and they wanted to watch it closely.  This year, it is “trivial.”

And that pin-hole between his ventricles that they were watching?  It is gone!

In fact, his little heart is doing so well, we can now go 2 years between cardiology check-ups.

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Not too bad for “zero percent chance of survival….”

. . .

There is so much going on around here … so much to write about.  New house, new baby, new puppy, new flock of chickens, new routines … I apologize that I don’t keep this blog very well updated.  For now, just taking care of my children and my family takes all of my time and energy.  At the end of the day, I can barely form a complete thought, let alone write one down!  But, we are very, very blessed, and for now, it is enough.  Patient readers, thank you for continuing to care about our precious little boy and our family.  I will update when I can.  

 

Introducing: Nathan Timothy

I’d like you to meet someone!

Nathan Timothy surprised us by arriving three weeks early – just in time to be the first baby of 2014 in Walla Walla!

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7lbs, 2oz

20 inches long

8:16pm, 01/01/14

We are both doing very well.  Image

Nathan is a popular guy, adored by all of his older siblings. 

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In fact, Kaylie is pretty sure that he belongs to her.Image

 

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When we called home to tell the kids that Nathan had been born, Jesse said, “I don’t really care for that name.  May I call him John?”  Now, he says he has gotten used to the name and is o.k. calling him Nathan or Nate.

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The “first baby of the year” gets a lot of attention in our community.  Our local newspaper ran a front-page article about him, which you can read here:

http://union-bulletin.com/news/2014/jan/03/early-arrival-walla-wallas-first-born-2014/

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Enjoy the pictures.  I’m going to get back to some sweet newborn snuggles now …

 

Exciting News!

I know what you’re thinking: “She has already told us that she’s pregnant!”

This is a different kind of exciting news.

Our Summer/Fall adventures have kept me incredibly busy.  I apologize for the lack of writing lately. (But, I have big plans to fill you in, including lots of great, entertaining stories and adorable pictures!)

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However, even though my blog has been quiet, Matthew’s story is getting the biggest press it has ever received.

A couple months ago, an editor from the “What to Expect When You’re Expecting” website asked me to write a post for their blog.  He said they receive over 7 million visitors each month, so I knew this was my chance to have Matthew’s story seen by a very large audience!  The article was published on Wednesday.  Here is the link:

Raising a Boy Who Wasn’t Supposed to Live

After I shared it on facebook, Diane Grover from the International Down Syndrome Coalition told me that this was a very big deal!  She said it was only a few years ago that she wrote to the editors of “What to Expect” to ask that the portion of the book that talked about aborting children with Down syndrome be removed.  She said they did change later editions of the book, but publishing Matthew’s story shows that they have come a long way.

Then, the IDSC shared the article on their facebook page, and within a day it received over 1600 “likes” and was shared more than 120 times from their page alone.  I am overwhelmed and humbled by the response to his story.  I wish the “What to Expect” editors could see all of the facebook comments!

One of Matthew’s prayer warriors, Benedict, prayed that Matthew would live “so that others could see the Glory of God through him.”

As Matthew’s story is read by thousands of new eyes this week, all I can say is “To God be the Glory!”

Works for Me: Raspberry Greek Yogurt Cheesecake Bites

I did it!

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I perfected the Greek-yogurt mini-cheesecake! (at least, for my taste.)

Other recipes I had tried tasted too much like yogurt, and not enough like cheesecake.  These are just right: the taste and texture of real cheesecake, with enough greek yogurt to make them guilt-free.  I served these at a Bunco party I hosted a couple weeks ago, and they were highly complimented!  I wanted them to be neat finger-food, so I hid the raspberry topping inside of the cheesecake.

They are simple, quick, and easy to make.  What more could you want in a dessert?

First, mix up a little cream cheese, some vanilla Greek yogurt, eggs, sugar, and salt:IMG_7394

Then, give the baby  some yogurt to keep her happy while you do the next steps!IMG_7395

Fill your Demarle mini-muffin tray* about 1/3 full of the yogurt mixture:IMG_7398

*If you don’t have a Demarle silicone muffin tray, I suggest using paper or foil liners and placing the cookie on the bottom, or simply baking in a round springform pan with your favorite crust like any other cheesecake.

And top with a dollop of Raspberry pie filling.IMG_7401

Then, fill ‘em up the rest of the way with more yogurt mixture.IMG_7403

Bake, and top them each with a Nilla Wafer cookie as soon as they come out of the oven:

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I wanted mine to be pretty, so I froze them right in the muffin tray so I could pop them out without squishing them.  Then, I sprinkled a little chopped white chocolate on top.  Keep them refrigerated until ready to serve.

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Here is the recipe:

Raspberry Greek Yogurt Cheesecake Bites

  • 8 oz regular cream cheese
  • 2 cups Vanilla Greek Yogurt (not fat-free)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 egg whites (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Raspberry pie filling
  • 1 box Nilla Wafer cookies
  • chopped white chocolate for garnish (optional)

Bring cream cheese to room temperature.  Beat cream cheese in electric mixer until softened.  Add yogurt and mix.  Add eggs, egg whites, sugar, and salt.  Beat until smooth.  Fill mini-muffin trays about 1/3 full with mixture.  Top with a small dollop of pie filling (about 1/2 tsp?), then fill muffin cups with yogurt mixture until full.  Bake at 325 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 minutes, or until set.  Remove from oven and immediately top with Nilla Wafer cookies.  Let cool completely, then refrigerate.  May be frozen for even easier removal from the muffin tray, or for longer storage.  Decorate or garnish with whatever you choose (I used chopped white chocolate.)  Store refrigerated.

It works for me!

My First Birthday

I had my first birthday three weeks ago, and my mom hasn’t posted any pictures yet.  She says she’s been busy, and I even think she blames me for some of her lack of “free time.”

(I have some new teeth coming in, and I do want to be close to my Mommy every minute of the day, and I’m waking up more at night, too.)

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I had a great birthday, and celebrated with my family and all of my grandparents.  Mommy made me a pink butterfly cake.IMG_7211

I especially liked picking off the M&Ms.  mmmmm! IMG_7208

Grandma and Grandpa gave me a baby doll, which I love!  I carry her around, hug her and pat her back, brush her teeth with my toothbrush, and wipe her face with a washcloth.  I’m pretty sure I’m ready to be a Mommy. IMG_7232 IMG_7227

It wasn’t a big party, but it wore our my big brother, Matthew.  I adore him, and think he is so funny!  He makes me laugh all the time.  IMG_7242

I’ve been walking for almost two months now, so I think I can do everything my brothers do.  I love to climb things, especially the things that make my mom come running to grab me.  Even if she doesn’t realize it yet, I know that I am ready to take on the world!IMG_7181

I also love being outside.  There is so much to do and explore!  I love splashing in water (especially the toilet … that also makes Mommy come running!). IMG_7311 I also love to eat dirt.  When I’m near dirt, and Mommy starts running toward me, I shove it in my mouth as fast as I can, so she won’t be able to stop me.  mmmmm!  She says I should wait and taste the things that are going to grow in our garden, but I’d much prefer to just eat the garden right now.  I really don’t understand what the problem is!

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I spend most of my days being happy and adorable, busy finding trouble, trying to keep up with my brothers, playing with them and laughing at their antics.  We hope you and your family are also doing well.

With Love,

Mikayla