Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Feeding Clinic

Today the boys attended feeding clinic. Their diet consist mostly of soft, finely cut foods. We are trying to figure out how to get them to eat more age appropriately. I brought a variety, 10 different foods, for them to eat. A speech therapist, occupational therapist, dietician, nurse and social worker all facilitated the clinic. They watched the boys eat and fed them. Nathan likes to feed himself so he did a lot of his feeding. After watching Nathan they realized that Nathan does not chew. He swallows everything whole. This is why he chokes so often. They gave us a special nubby brush and taught us some oral exercises to do with Nathan to teach him to chew. We are not going to try and increase his textures until he learns to chew. Owen places his tongue to the roof is his mouth every time he opens his mouth. We are going to starting feeding him on the sides, so his food is not placed under his tongue. He too has a nubby brush and we have some exercises for him to do as well. This too should help to increase his textures. It was a great appointment. We have a much better understanding of the mechanics of how they eat and knowing what we can do to help them improve.

Monday, February 25, 2013

The auction is closed

Earlier today Preston posted this on Facebook.  I know many of you are not on Facebook so I wanted to repost it on the blog for you to see.

We knew that God had very clearly called us to participate in this project with our whole family. With that calling, their certainly came an expense to us, but we have seen Him provide in the face of such simple challenges before, and we trusted that He would do the same again.

We have never hesitated to ask people to support our mission efforts monetarily in the past, and we did so for this project as well. In so doing, we give people an opportunity to become part of the work. Honestly, we believe that it is a mistake to participate in mission work without giving people the opportunity to support it.

But, with the auction, we foresaw a different kind of partnership in the work. We feel that by participating in a real-life sale-type exercise that directly benefits the Lebanon project, there is an opportunity for people to see how their giving not only supports God's work in the world, but God also takes their giving and multiplies it in such a way that it directly benefits the giver. The purpose in giving is to know the joy of sacrificing for His sake. The blessing He gives in return is His way of helping us to trust Him in sacrifice.

Beyond this, the auction has created an opportunity for some friends who could not participate in direct monetary support to participate instead by giving a good or service.

We hope you are all blessed by this fun little opportunity to join us in this exciting project!

....back to Janelle

Our auction was a success!!  We raised $1573.50!  We really appreciate everyone's participation in the auction.  It was a lot of fun.  If there was an item on there that you were outbid on, please contact me. I can give you the information of the seller if you would like to contact them directly for additional items.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Does God need the mighty American?

Several years ago, as I was sitting with a group of ladies, I heard the following story.  One lady was sharing about her recent trip to an impoverished Third-world country.  In the country, they were delivering food and water.  These materials were scarce to those who were receiving them... and the people were grateful.  The point she was driving home in her story many times was that the Americans came to save the day of the poor, helpless people, and without the help of the Americans, who knows where those poor people would be today.

Did God need the Americans?  Did God need her to bring those poor people food and water?  Did God need me to build cabins or give eye glasses in Ecuador?  Did God need me to make mission videos in the Dominican Republic, Germany, Honduras or Asia?  Did God need me to assist in dental cleaning in Asia?  Did God need me to participate in games, crafts and Bible stories with children who are at risk or already being sold into sex slavery in Cambodia?  Does God need me to be a part of a team in Lebanon that will provide a school for kids with special needs?

No, God does NOT NEED me.  I am humbled and honored that He has chosen me.  He is allowing us to be a small part of a great work He is accomplishing in Lebanon. In Acts 20:35 Christ said, "it is more blessed to give than receive."  When we take the time to look past our own wants, desires and perceived needs, and focus on others, we can more clearly see Christ.  On every mission trip I have been a part of, God has blessed me beyond words and given me another glimpse into his love and redemptive plan for the world.

My Pastor often says with every gift comes great responsibility.  With the gifts of my family, education, health, means for travel, and support of family and friends comes the responsibility to share all the blessings God has given us.  In this particular instance, with the gifts of special needs (Nathan and Owen) and typically developed (Logan) kids, an architect to design a school (Preston's education), an in-depth knowledge of equipment, daily life with our children, different therapy instructions, etc., we have the responsibility to share all we have with the world.

God does not need to use the mighty American.  Certainly, God has used many Americans to accomplish His work in the world.  But, God is no respecter of nationality.  God chooses to use people who are humbled before him for his service.

Friday, February 22, 2013

It's the little ones that matter

Our family is so excited to be just two weeks away from our trip to Lebanon. Little did we know 3 1/2 years ago God would impress a love for children with special needs on our hearts so deep that it would change our entire lives. On November 14, 2009, our hearts were captivated by three tiny (1lb 9oz, 1lb 6oz and 1lb 6oz) bundles of joy. The next 4 1/2 months in the hospital for Nathan and Owen, along with the death of Mia, changed our lives. During this time God walked so closely with us, He carried us. We truly learned to lean on Him, trust Him, praise Him and watched countless miracles. (At the time we left the hospital in March 2010, one of the neonatologists told us Nathan was the sickest baby he had ever seen survive.) Things seem even more precious when you are there everyday watching them fight to survive. We originally thought once they hit their due date they will be "normal" and we will go home. Their due date passed, we were still in the hospital with oxygen, tons of wires and monitors, etc. Once we did leave Owen's oxygen tanks followed us home (even on a trip to the Grand Canyon). We then started seeing every specialist and just about every therapist in Birmingham. Today the boys have a combined 10-14 therapy appointments a week (1/2 of it they receive at the special needs preschool program). They are getting so strong and growing up so fast. When I look at them I don't see what is wrong with them. What I do see is amazing little boys that God perfectly made to bring Himself glory. They are exactly as God wants them to be to fulfill their purpose on earth for Him. They are loving, full of personality, funny and bring a huge level of joy to our family. I would not want it any other way. They also have a big brother, Logan, who is incredible always making them laugh and smile, always wanting to beat them at games but also always there to be a helping hand when needed. We desire to share this love, the love that Christ has given us for each other with the families who have kids with special needs in Lebanon. Culturally, these children are not seen to be of much value...we want to show them the value God made in our kids and teach them that same value is in their kids. Preston will also be designing a school for kids with special needs. It is so important to have facilities that can meet the unique needs of kids with special needs. We are so honored and humbled that God has chosen to allow us to be a part of His work there...and He is working!!! If you would like to be a part of our work please pray for us. I will update the blog regularly while we are gone. We currently have an online auction, with some great items, running now through Feb 25t,h to help us raise funds for our trip. Please check it out.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

So much going on.....

So, lots is happening around here. So much so that I have not gotten around to blogging much.

Let's start with the medical update. Nathan had an audiogram last week. His hearing in his left ear is in normal range. This is so exciting. He is beginning to say many sounds and will go back and forth with everyone. He is also really hearing lots of environment sounds now too. We are so thrilled that Nathan can hear "normally". Owen will be getting his tonsils out on April 2nd. He has obstructive sleep apnea. Taking out his tonsils should give him much better sleep.

We had the chance to play with lots of friends on Thursday. In the morning Owen and Nathan played with their good friend, John Whitten, and his older sister Lillian. I enjoyed visiting with their mom, Melissa. They boys love John Whitten- they are in Sunday School class together. Later in the day, Logan received a great surprise when his friend, Gracie, was in our car when I picked him up from school. They had a great time making fun things for Sarah's birthday- a big banner and cupcakes.

The boys spent the weekend with Oma and PaPa. All three had a wonderful time. Logan spent most of his time drawing and coloring transformers out of every big piece if cardboard that PaPa could find...which was a lot.

Preston and I had a great time cheering for our awesome friend, Sarah. She ran the Mercedes 1/2 Marathon in honor of Nathan and Owen. With my foot still not completely healed I was not able to run with her. Preston and I made it to 8 different points along the route to cheer for her.

President's Day Fun: Logan was out if school today so after dropping Nathan and Owen off at school we headed to Dawson's Rec Center for 2 hours of games including basketball, racing laps, air hockey, car racing, etc. We had a super fun time!!! Since today was so beautiful we also made it to the park this afternoon.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Auction coming soon

We would love for you to join us this Thursday night and runs through Sunday night at the online auction. The auction provides support for our family's work with kids with special needs in Lebanon.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Online auction to support the Hite family helping children with special needs in Lebanon

As you know the entire Hite family is traveling to Lebanon for two weeks beginning March 9th. Preston is lead architect designing a school for children with special needs. Serving children with special needs and their families is the heart beat of our family. God blessed our family greatly with all our boys. Nathan and Owen have cerebral palsy and Nathan also has bilateral cochlear implants. Our family is holding an online auction to raise money for our trip. The auction is Feb 21 - 25. We have lots of incredible items. Please check it out.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Augmentative Communication Device

This morning Owen and Nathan had the opportunity to use the Tobii C15. This is an eye gaze communication system. I was blown away by how high tech the system is. Owen did an incredible job, in fact he far exceeded everyone's expectations. Nathan did okay but really did better when we turned the eye gaze into a touch screen system. Because he is behind on his communication, he also does not follow directions as well as Owen. This is a system they are considering for the boys, mainly Owen. There are several steps before Owen will have a system like this. Since it cost the price if a car (but hey what piece of handicap equipment doesn't) lots of observing, evaluating and paperwork need to be completed.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Logan's last basketball game

Today was Logan's last Upward basketball game of the season. They had a great season and Logan loved playing. Preston coached the team and really enjoyed it. Everyone of the children and parents were so much fun to be with each week. All of us are going to miss this fun Saturday morning activity.