Pre-Arrival Package

I want our Japanese exchange student, Noriko, to feel as welcome as possible when she comes to the USA. I am in the process of organizing her room so she is comfortable in our home. I am also putting together a Welcome Basket with items that hopefully will make her feel special. (Maybe that will be a future blog post once I finish it!)

We have been communicating with Noriko by email on almost a daily basis but I wanted to also send her a small package in the mail. It isn’t much but hopefully it will help her feel more connected to us and the USA before she comes.

03Noriko’s will celebrate her 17th birthday this month before she arrives to the US. So I included a birthday card with a short message and a couple of family photos.

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I also wrote a letter to Noriko’s parents in an effort to hopefully make them more comfortable with having their daughter spending the year with us.

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I found and printed out several pages and made a little book for her.

1. Welcome (to our) Home.

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2. Map of USA with New Mexico, Iowa, and Delaware outlined.

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3. Map of New Mexico with town where we live circled.

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084. Maps and state information of New Mexico, Iowa, and Delaware. I have included Iowa and Delaware because I am praying that we will have the finances available to go see our families while Noriko is with us. It would be a good experience for her to see other parts of our beautiful country. And if we visit Delaware, we may be able to take road trips to Washington DC and New York City!

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Overall, I hope that this will give Noriko and her family a better idea of where she will be staying and possibly visiting. I truly want her to be happy while she is with our family!

Preparing To Add A New Family Member

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July 5, 2013- Friday

My sister calls me to tell me that she was applying to get a Chinese exchange student for the school year. I have always thought this would be an awesome opportunity especially since I had several friends in high school who were exchange students. I have never actually researched the possibility though and start asking my sister questions about it. Later, I mention it to my husband Shane. He said right away that he thought it was a bad idea.

July 7, 2013- Sunday

During Sunday School, a friend requested prayer for the German exchange student her family was expecting to have for the year. After church, asked her questions and got the contact information to the SHARE office. Later, I again bring up the idea to Shane. I mentioned that he would be deployed for the beginning of the school year and that it would be a positive distraction for the girls if someone was staying with us. A friend was over during that afternoon and he said he thought it was a good idea. His mother had hosted a couple of students at one point and it was a good experience for them. Shane still did not like the idea but he said that I could research and get the information about it.

July 8, 2013- Monday

I called the SHARE office to ask many questions about the whole process of having a student for the year. I mentioned Shane’s concerns about what it would cost financially for us. We would be responsible to have the student integrate into our home and family, provide a bed and a place to study, provide meals, and any transportation (either by us or other arrangements that we approve of). The student would have access to a personal allowance of around $300.00 or more per month to pay for any of the student’s personal items and clothing, activities, school fees, etc. The lady that I talked to asked which gender and which country we would prefer. I would want a female because we have two girls. My first country of choice would be Japan because we lived in Okinawa for four years and both of our girls were born there. I felt that it would be good for the student and for our family if we already have a cultural connection. The lady looked up student profiles and said that there was only one girl from Japan who had not yet been placed. She emailed me several student profiles based on my preferences.

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After I got off the phone, I read all of the profiles. I found that the girl from Japan was from Okinawa! I printed the top four student profiles that I thought would fit best with our family. I also sent Shane a text message letting him know that I wanted to have a serious discussion about bringing the Okinawa girl into our home. When he came home, I started talking to him about the student profiles and the information I had received over the phone. He was still concerned about a few things and although he liked the idea of having a Japanese girl, he was not sold on the whole idea. About 10 minutes after we started talking, I received a phone call from my friend from church who was hosting a student. She said that the Area Coordinator for the program was in town doing her home inspection and wanted to meet us while she was here (she lives 2 hours away from us). We invited her and her husband to come over after they had dinner. That gave me about an hour to quickly straighten and make our house somewhat presentable.

The coordinator came and talked with us, answered our questions, and did a full interview and house inspection. After they left, I told Shane that unless he was fully on board, we would not continue with the process but he felt that his concerns were answered and was ok with it.

July 9, 2013- Tuesday

I spent the day filling out the several pages of online application forms. I took several photos of our home and uploaded them to the forms along with family photos. I described our family, our pets, our home, our religious beliefs, our schedules, our rules, our expectations, etc. and submitted the form by the end of the day. Pending our application, background check, and school approval, we were committing to have a Japanese girl in our home for a whole school year.

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Over the course of five days, we quickly transitioned into the thought of bringing a stranger into our home for an extended period of time. This a great opportunity on many levels. The student gets to travel to a new country to experience a different culture, family, and school environment. She will expand her knowledge of the world while becoming more fluent in English. Our family will have the opportunity to minister and love a stranger who over the course of the year will become family. Shane and I will become her parents away from home and the girls will have an older sister for 10 months. The girls will be exposed to the Japanese culture they were born in and be able to hear and learn the Japanese language that they heard when they were very young.

We have been communicating with our student, Noriko, by e-mail since last week. We do not know her exact arrival date yet, but it will be sometime in August. I have been spending my free time organizing our office which will become her room. We are very excited to meet her in person! My prayer is that God will use our family to bless Noriko as she joins our household!

Okinawa-JapanPhoto found here.

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Have you hosted an exchange student?

Share your experiences in the comments!

Prayer Requests (13)

The Bible says: “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:19-20

If God moves when 2 or 3 agree in prayer, I can only imagine what he can do when 500 or more agree! There are between 500-1,000+ people who visit my blog each month. A lot of them are regular visitors (daily or weekly).

I plan to post prayer requests and updates weekly on Sundays or Mondays. This blog is public; I will not include personal information such as birthdays, last names, etc. If you have a prayer request, update, and/or praise report that you would like added to the weekly post, please e-mail me by Saturdays via facebook or at: hearttreasurescontact@yahoo.com

If you would like to include a picture of the person we are praying for, please include it in your e-mail. I will put a “Heart Treasures” stamp on the picture before posting it.

Feel free to forward a link to this page to people who will join us in prayer.

*****

~~~NEW REQUESTS~~~

Travis: He will be going back in to surgery on today (Monday). The following is the e-mail that I received from Travis’ sister Jennifer: “We went to see several doctors last week and they all say that he is doing very well. The surgery will be to take out the hardware that was put in when the mandibular distraction was done. The ENT will look at his airway while he is under anesthesia to see if it will be a possibility for the trach to come out now that his lower jaw has been moved out some. It seems to be a waiting game. We really won’t know anything until after surgery.”

Previous Requests: Travis was born prematurely and was considered “A Failure to Thrive” with an enlarged liver, a small displaced stomach, and lung disease. He was also diagnosed with Pierre Robin Sequence, which is a birth condition involving a very small or set back lower jaw and cleft palate. The small lower jaw causes the tongue to be displaced back toward the throat, where it can fall back and obstruct the airway. As a result of this condition, Travis had a tracheotomy shortly after birth. The trach was removed at age 5, but the stoma remains open because of the small air way. He has undergone 5 mandibular distractions to lengthen his lower jaw and help open his airway. To this day he still tends to stop breathing when he sleeps and is in need of another mandibular distraction because of this. Pierre Robin and “bad teeth” seem to go hand in hand. Travis has very little enamel on his teeth. It has been a struggle for him to actually keep any of his teeth. No matter how hard we try he seems to continue to get infections and loose teeth. He is scheduled for dental surgery this month. The doctors have to make sure that he is infection free before he is able to go in for the mandibular distraction. The insurance will cover some of the cost for these surgeries, but the part that we will have to pay is pretty high. Travis was also born with a hearing loss. He has been in deaf/hard of hearing classrooms or has had an interpreter most of his school life. He has dreams of being able to hear and now that dream can become a reality! There is a surgery that can make hearing possible for Travis! It is called BAHA (or Bone Anchored Hearing Aid). Travis will never be able to hear without the help of a hearing aid / hearing system, but this will let him hear sound that he has never been able to hear before. The only problem is the insurance company will not cover any of this surgery and it is VERY expensive. Please pray that his family can raise the funds needed for his upcoming surgeries. Also pray that the doctors will have the wisdom they need while performing the surgeries and he will recover quickly from them.

Minot, ND: Our town flooded last week and many people were evacuated from the flood zones. Many people have lost their homes. Please keep the town in prayer as the flood waters receed and people find out what the damages are.

Makenzie (my niece): was born a few weeks ago. She was taken to the NICU due to Respiratory Distress. They could not find a reason for the distress so they just monitored her. During the diagnosic tests, they also found a small hole in her heart. The doctor is not concerned about her heart at this time and believe that it will eventually close on its own. If it doesn’t, surgery may be an option in the future. Now my sister Jenn and Makenzie are home and doing well!

 

 

~~~UPDATED REQUESTS~~~

Emry: Update taken from mom’s blog post (link below): “Latest stats: 3lbs 10.8oz, 14 & 1/4 inches long, Eats 4 PO feeds a day and the other 4 are tube feedings, She loves to have momma hold her after she eats, Still holds her temp great!, 1 brady in the past 60 hours. The Dr. said if she keeps it up then we can go home by the end of next week. Now, that is IF she keeps doing as great as she has been and I have no doubt in my mind she will. 🙂 He also said Emry’s weight was no longer an issue and that all we needed to get down was feeding. She is at 4 PO (bottle or breast) feeds a day right now but she has to take ALL 8 feeds before we can go home. That’s 30MILS (1 ounce) 8 times a day.”

Previous Requests: She was born pre-mature less than 2 weeks ago. She weighed 1 lb 3 ozs and was 11 and 3/4 inches small at birth!! She is still in the hospital getting around the clock medical care. She has frequent bradycardia episodes but has been coming out of them quickly on her own. She is on oxygen and is tube fed. Her mother has been able to hold her “kangaroo care.”  Please pray that this miracle continues to grow & thrive! Pray for the doctor’s wisdom in caring for her and pray for peace for he parents & family as they go through this trying time. You can stay updated on Emry’s progress by going to her family’s blog: http://walkerfam05.blogspot.com/

Cher: Is going back for treatment on June 20th. Expenses to finance the trip and lodging while there are a big concern. Pray that the long term treatment plan works and is effective.

Previous Requests: Was recently diagnosed with Myastenia Gravis (a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease characterized by varying degrees of weakness of the skeletal (voluntary) muscles of the body). Please pray for the doctor’s wisdom in creating a treatment plan. Also, pray that the housing they need would become available when they go for treatment. They have their name on a list for Nazarene Well House. On their already strained budget it would be a Godsend. Pray God will work out all the details!

Shannon: (Sam’s Mommy): Benjamin Nathaniel (Ben) was born in May. He weighed 7lbs10oz, and 20.5 inches long.  He was slightly jaundice but it is now under control!

Previous Requests: she is almost 30 weeks along in her pregnancy. She went to L & D and found out that her placenta is 30% abrupted. Please pray it does not get any worse and that the baby will stay in for as long as possible. She is now home and not having any complications right now. She has been advised to be on modified bed rest. She will be monitored weekly but if it gets worse she will have to get an emergency c-section. Please pray that she will have no further complications and that the doctors will have the wisdom to do what is best for both her and the baby.

Heather: E-mail update from Heather: “Elizabeth Grace  was born in April weighing 7 lbs 12.2 oz and 19.7 inches. The first couple of hours where a bit rough, but nothing major, them just checking her sugar which was a little low…but nothing mom’s milk couldn’t fix 😉   and trying to regulate her temp which was also too low. 2 days later we where home and adjusting to life. At a week old she had her heart checked and we where told her pulmonary stenisous was GONE!! but where also told they needed to re-check her heart b/c she may have a hole in it (with a better Dr and Machine) in a couple of weeks….so at a month old she was re-checked and we where told on the spot HER HEART IS PERFECT!!! and that we no longer needed to have her heart checked. We know that God watched over our baby girl the whole pregnancy and delivery and healed her heart. Now at 2 months old , she is a wonderful baby. She is slowly showing us her beautiful smiles and she loves to snuggle, we have surely been blessed. (and by the way…my sugar has been great also, it was gone back to normal and I’m back to eating a normal diet with no meds!” Praise God!

Previous Requests: After flying to Hawaii, for a specialist appointment, she has returned home to Okinawa, Japan and will be able to deliver there. She is now taking a pill in the morning, and a insulin shot before dinner and a insulin shot before bed. For the most part, sugars are regulated but are just a little too high so they are trying to figure out how much insulin is needed. Baby girl is getting bigger daily and more active! Also, the Fetal Eco determined that the baby has Pulmonary stenosis (narrowing in the artery in the heart). Please pray for both Heather and the baby as well as the rest of her family who will be affected by her traveling. Also, pray for the doctor’s wisdom in caring for them.

 

Japan: The fundraisers that I helped run raised a total of $600.00 that was donated to the Red Cross for Japan Relief efforts! Please continue to pray for the people of Japan who are still recovering from this devestation!

Previous Request: We lived in Okinawa, Japan from 2006-2010. Both our girls were born there and it became our home away from home. We are thankful that Okinawa was not harmed but Our hearts are breaking for the Japanese people that we have come to love. As we watch the devastating footage of Japan’s tragedy we still feel like we are watching home being destroyed. Please pray for the people of Japan who have lost loved ones and have to recover from this.


~~~CONTINUED REQUESTS~~~

Sam: We are singing praises to God that Sam has stopped running a temperature every night, though she still gets one occasionally. The doctors are still uncertain of the cause of these fevers (as high as 105.1), though they will be doing a DMSA renal scan this Wednesday (the 2nd) to see if her kidneys are the culprit. When she was inpatient, her ultrasound, abdominal CT scan and her galium scan all pointed towards her kidneys, but her urine cultures and analysis all came back normal. Her stored iron level is still dangerously low and is actually decreasing rather than getting better, though she is receiving 400% of the daily recommended amount of iron each day. There is a question of whether she has celiac disease which could be contributing to her low iron level. The other main concern at this point is the regression in her gross motor skills. While walking, her legs (especially her left) give out, causing her to fall. She has fallen down our steps twice due to this issue. Please pray for wisdom for the doctors (she now sees six specialists along with the pediatrician), her therapists (she has occupational, physical and speech therapists, along with an early childhood interventionist), and  her parents to know what is best for her. Please pray for Sam’s complete healing!

Previous Requests: Has a new possible diagnosis is Primary CNS Vasculitis, or basically swelling of the blood vessels in her brain. Diagnosis procedures include CT San/MRI (doesn’t always show up), angiogram (catheter goes up starting in leg) or brain biopsy. Treatment consists of immuno-suppressants (form of chemotherapy). Sam’s MRI/MRA came back negative, so now they need to decide their next step… they may try a more natural diet and supplement type lifestyle. This 2 year old’s final diagnosis after being in the hospital for several days was meningoencephalitis (infection that affects the nervous system causing inflammation of the brain & meninges). She regressed about 6 months and has to relearn how to stand and walk. Had a lumbar puncture to check for white blood cells, to help determine if they need to look further into the vasculitis. She also had a bone marrow aspiration to check for leukemia since she is still extremely anemic & running fevers. Please pray for the doctor’s wisdom and for Sam’s complete healing!

Brad: (Sam’s Daddy): After being poked in the eye a few weeks ago, his eye is still healing and his vision may be permanently damaged in that eye. On top of that, he has lost feeling in his left leg and toes again (he has a bulging disk between L5 and S1 that he has been getting steroid shots for) and they are talking the possibility of surgery, though we first need to make sure his disc has not ruptured. Please pray for complete healing!

Greysen: has had some seizures that were not controlled by his medicine. So they have been working on medicine adjustments.

Previous Requests: This 4 year old boy was diagnosed with epilepsy this past spring and was sent to AI Dupont to determine the exact type of epilepsy he had. During a scheduled MRI, an Oncologist found a “mass” in the back left portion of his brain and that it would require surgery. A few days later, his parents met with the neurosurgeon and received better news. He was fairly confident that the tumor was benign, and therefore surgery could be put off for a while. The tumor will be monitored for any sign of change or growth. The tumor is in a place that it can be removed, however, to remove the entire tumor, he most likely will lose coordination and fine motor skills on his left side. This can be regained through physical therapy. For this reason, Greysen’s parents hope that they can wait until he is a bit older before having to do surgery. They returned to AI Dupont last Friday for another MRI scan so that the surgeons can re-evaluate the brain tumor. They saw no significant change in the tumor so the current plan is to wait and re-evaluate in 6 months. Please pray for Greysen’s healing and the doctors wisdom as they monitor and treat his condition.

 

Shane: My husband recently saw a new doctor about his Plantar Fasciitis. He now wears special shoes when he sleeps at night and has started physical therapy.

Previous Requests: My husband has a few career decisions to make in the next few months. He also has Plantar Fasciitis (irritation and swelling of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot) which could effect which direction he chooses. The choice he makes will effect where we live, how much we get paid, and how often he will be deployed. Please pray for wisdom and direction for our family.

Alysa (ME): I have 2 home businesses, Heart Treasures Boutique & Juice Plus+, in order to bring in extra money for our family but I have not made many contacts for either one. It’s expensive to move back to the states! Please pray that God will bring the right people in my path so that we can earn the extra money that we need.

Prayer Requests (12) (URGENT)

The Bible says: “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:19-20

If God moves when 2 or 3 agree in prayer, I can only imagine what he can do when 500 or more agree! There are between 500-1,000+ people who visit my blog each month. A lot of them are regular visitors (daily or weekly).

I plan to post prayer requests and updates weekly on Sundays or Mondays. This blog is public; I will not include personal information such as birthdays, last names, etc. If you have a prayer request, update, and/or praise report that you would like added to the weekly post, please e-mail me by Saturdays via facebook or at: hearttreasurescontact@yahoo.com

If you would like to include a picture of the person we are praying for, please include it in your e-mail. I will put a “Heart Treasures” stamp on the picture before posting it.

Feel free to forward a link to this page to people who will join us in prayer.

*****

~~~NEW REQUESTS~~~

I don’t usually post that certain prayer requests are “urgent” because all requests are important in God’s eyes. That being said, following two, Travis & Emry, really need urgent prayer.


Travis: The following is the e-mail that I received from Travis’ sister Jennifer: “He went back for surgery at about 9:30 yesterday morning and it didn’t go so well.. The anesthesia team tried for 45 mins to an hour to intubate him to no avail. His airway had gotten so small that they could not intubate him at all. The doctors told us that he would need to stay over night because they were afraid to send him home. They were afraid that he would swell and it would cut off his airway. After several hours of deliberating they decided to do a another tracheotomy. He had one when he was smaller and we thought he would never need one again. We were able to see him about 1:30 – 2:00pm for a few minutes. The took him back into surgery to do the tracheotomy about 2:00 – 2:15pm. They called us from the operating room and told us that the trach went well and that they were going to proceed with the dental surgery. He came out of surgery about 5:15- 5:30pm.The Dentist had to remove 13 teeth that were not salvageable. Travis now has 5 teeth left. Because of the tracheotomy the doctors are keeping him asleep and on a ventilator until at least Monday. Today the nurses are putting a tube down his nose to feed him with. He woke up once today. My mom was there and told him that he was ok and he needed to go back to sleep for a couple days. After that he was out. I will keep you updated as I know anything new. Thank you so much! We definitely need the power of prayer!”

Previous Requests: Travis was born prematurely and was considered “A Failure to Thrive” with an enlarged liver, a small displaced stomach, and lung disease. He was also diagnosed with Pierre Robin Sequence, which is a birth condition involving a very small or set back lower jaw and cleft palate. The small lower jaw causes the tongue to be displaced back toward the throat, where it can fall back and obstruct the airway. As a result of this condition, Travis had a tracheotomy shortly after birth. The trach was removed at age 5, but the stoma remains open because of the small air way. He has undergone 5 mandibular distractions to lengthen his lower jaw and help open his airway. To this day he still tends to stop breathing when he sleeps and is in need of another mandibular distraction because of this. Pierre Robin and “bad teeth” seem to go hand in hand. Travis has very little enamel on his teeth. It has been a struggle for him to actually keep any of his teeth. No matter how hard we try he seems to continue to get infections and loose teeth. He is scheduled for dental surgery this month. The doctors have to make sure that he is infection free before he is able to go in for the mandibular distraction. The insurance will cover some of the cost for these surgeries, but the part that we will have to pay is pretty high. Travis was also born with a hearing loss. He has been in deaf/hard of hearing classrooms or has had an interpreter most of his school life. He has dreams of being able to hear and now that dream can become a reality! There is a surgery that can make hearing possible for Travis! It is called BAHA (or Bone Anchored Hearing Aid). Travis will never be able to hear without the help of a hearing aid / hearing system, but this will let him hear sound that he has never been able to hear before. The only problem is the insurance company will not cover any of this surgery and it is VERY expensive. Please pray that his family can raise the funds needed for his 3 upcoming surgeries. Also pray that the doctors will have the wisdom they need while performing the surgeries and he will recover quickly from them.

 

Emry: was born pre-mature less than 2 weeks ago. She weighed 1 lb 3 ozs and was 11 and 3/4 inches small at birth!! She is still in the hospital getting around the clock medical care. She has frequent bradycardia episodes but has been coming out of them quickly on her own. She is on oxygen and is tube fed. Her mother has been able to hold her “kangaroo care.”  Please pray that this miracle continues to grow & thrive! Pray for the doctor’s wisdom in caring for her and pray for peace for he parents & family as they go through this trying time. You can stay updated on Emry’s progress by going to her family’s blog: http://walkerfam05.blogspot.com/

 



~~~UPDATED REQUESTS~~~

Heather: is in the hospital for the birth of her baby! Pray that there is no complications and everything goes smoothly! (I’ll post another update when I hear that the baby has been born)

Previous Requests: After flying to Hawaii, for a specialist appointment, she has returned home to Okinawa, Japan and will be able to deliver there. She is now taking a pill in the morning, and a insulin shot before dinner and a insulin shot before bed. For the most part, sugars are regulated but are just a little too high so they are trying to figure out how much insulin is needed. Baby girl is getting bigger daily and more active! Also, the Fetal Eco determined that the baby has Pulmonary stenosis (narrowing in the artery in the heart). Please pray for both Heather and the baby as well as the rest of her family who will be affected by her traveling. Also, pray for the doctor’s wisdom in caring for them.

Japan: I have helped organize 2 fundraising events. Please pray that they go well!

  • The first is an Online SCENTSY party where all profits will go to Japan Relief. If you are interested in participating, go to the following link and click on the “Red Cross Japan Relief” Party to place your order: https://lisahuebsch.scentsy.us/Home
  • The second is an Online Auction hosted by Minot Artists & Crafters CARE on Facebook. We will be auctioning Gift & Easter Baskets starting on Monday-April 4th (noon) through Thursday-April 7th (noon). The auction will be in the photo album section of our fan page. All profits will go to the Red Cross Japan Relief Fund. “Like” our page to get any of our wall updates in your newsfeed. Auction is open to US & US Military (with overseas US address). All rules/instructions will be posted in the photo album when the auction opens.

Previous Request: We lived in Okinawa, Japan from 2006-2010. Both our girls were born there and it became our home away from home. We are thankful that Okinawa was not harmed but Our hearts are breaking for the Japanese people that we have come to love. As we watch the devastating footage of Japan’s tragedy we still feel like we are watching home being destroyed. Please pray for the people of Japan who have lost loved ones and have to recover from this.


~~~CONTINUED REQUESTS~~~

Sam: We are singing praises to God that Sam has stopped running a temperature every night, though she still gets one occasionally. The doctors are still uncertain of the cause of these fevers (as high as 105.1), though they will be doing a DMSA renal scan this Wednesday (the 2nd) to see if her kidneys are the culprit. When she was inpatient, her ultrasound, abdominal CT scan and her galium scan all pointed towards her kidneys, but her urine cultures and analysis all came back normal. Her stored iron level is still dangerously low and is actually decreasing rather than getting better, though she is receiving 400% of the daily recommended amount of iron each day. There is a question of whether she has celiac disease which could be contributing to her low iron level. The other main concern at this point is the regression in her gross motor skills. While walking, her legs (especially her left) give out, causing her to fall. She has fallen down our steps twice due to this issue. Please pray for wisdom for the doctors (she now sees six specialists along with the pediatrician), her therapists (she has occupational, physical and speech therapists, along with an early childhood interventionist), and  her parents to know what is best for her. Please pray for Sam’s complete healing!

Previous Requests: Has a new possible diagnosis is Primary CNS Vasculitis, or basically swelling of the blood vessels in her brain. Diagnosis procedures include CT San/MRI (doesn’t always show up), angiogram (catheter goes up starting in leg) or brain biopsy. Treatment consists of immuno-suppressants (form of chemotherapy). Sam’s MRI/MRA came back negative, so now they need to decide their next step… they may try a more natural diet and supplement type lifestyle. This 2 year old’s final diagnosis after being in the hospital for several days was meningoencephalitis (infection that affects the nervous system causing inflammation of the brain & meninges). She regressed about 6 months and has to relearn how to stand and walk. Had a lumbar puncture to check for white blood cells, to help determine if they need to look further into the vasculitis. She also had a bone marrow aspiration to check for leukemia since she is still extremely anemic & running fevers. Please pray for the doctor’s wisdom and for Sam’s complete healing!

Shannon: (Sam’s Mommy): is almost 30 weeks along in her pregnancy. She went to L & D and found out that her placenta is 30% abrupted. Please pray it does not get any worse and that the baby will stay in for as long as possible. She is now home and not having any complications right now. She has been advised to be on modified bed rest. She will be monitored weekly but if it gets worse she will have to get an emergency c-section. Please pray that she will have no further complications and that the doctors will have the wisdom to do what is best for both her and the baby.

Brad: (Sam’s Daddy): After being poked in the eye a few weeks ago, his eye is still healing and his vision may be permanently damaged in that eye. On top of that, he has lost feeling in his left leg and toes again (he has a bulging disk between L5 and S1 that he has been getting steroid shots for) and they are talking the possibility of surgery, though we first need to make sure his disc has not ruptured. Please pray for complete healing!


Greysen: has had some seizures that were not controlled by his medicine. So they have been working on medicine adjustments.

Previous Requests: This 4 year old boy was diagnosed with epilepsy this past spring and was sent to AI Dupont to determine the exact type of epilepsy he had. During a scheduled MRI, an Oncologist found a “mass” in the back left portion of his brain and that it would require surgery. A few days later, his parents met with the neurosurgeon and received better news. He was fairly confident that the tumor was benign, and therefore surgery could be put off for a while. The tumor will be monitored for any sign of change or growth. The tumor is in a place that it can be removed, however, to remove the entire tumor, he most likely will lose coordination and fine motor skills on his left side. This can be regained through physical therapy. For this reason, Greysen’s parents hope that they can wait until he is a bit older before having to do surgery. They returned to AI Dupont last Friday for another MRI scan so that the surgeons can re-evaluate the brain tumor. They saw no significant change in the tumor so the current plan is to wait and re-evaluate in 6 months. Please pray for Greysen’s healing and the doctors wisdom as they monitor and treat his condition.

Lesley: (Greysen’s Mommy): she is grieving the loss of her grandmother. Please pray for comfort for her and her family.

Carol: the stress test came back normal! Praise God!

Previous Request: Had chest pain and was told that it may have been a heart attack. She had her initial appointment with a cardiologist. Please pray for her complete healing and wisdom for the doctors who will need to determine a course of treatment for her.

Cher: Was recently diagnosed with Myastenia Gravis (a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease characterized by varying degrees of weakness of the skeletal (voluntary) muscles of the body). Please pray for the doctor’s wisdom in creating a treatment plan. Also, pray that the housing they need would become available when they go for treatment. They have their name on a list for Nazarene Well House. On their already strained budget it would be a Godsend. Pray God will work out all the details!

Jenn: is pregnant with her second baby. She has jaw pain which is probably indicating that she will need her wisdom teeth pulled. The dentist determined that because of how the teeth are positioned, he will have to put her under to do the extractions. Unfortunately, because she is pregnant, they cannot do the surgery until her baby is born. This means waiting until June or later with the pain. Please pray for her healing and comfort.

Shane: My husband recently saw a new doctor about his Plantar Fasciitis. He now wears special shoes when he sleeps at night and has started physical therapy.

Previous Requests: My husband has a few career decisions to make in the next few months. He also has Plantar Fasciitis (irritation and swelling of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot) which could effect which direction he chooses. The choice he makes will effect where we live, how much we get paid, and how often he will be deployed. Please pray for wisdom and direction for our family.

Alysa (ME): I have 2 home businesses, Heart Treasures BoutiqueJuice Plus+, in order to bring in extra money for our family but I have not made many contacts for either one. It’s expensive to move back to the states! Please pray that God will bring the right people in my path so that we can earn the extra money that we need.

JAPAN RELIEF ONLINE SCENTSY FUNDRAISER

Shane & I lived in Japan for 4 years (2006-2010) before the Air Force transfered us back to the US. Both of my girls were born there. Okinawa became our home away from home. Most of our friends are in Okinawa and have not been affected by the tsunami but we do have a few friends in mainland who are in the process of helping with the relief effort or are being evacuated. Reports are saying that all US Military are accounted for but thousands of people have died, are missing, or are now completely without anything. After experiencing a 7.0 earthquake in Okinawa last year not long after the Haiti earthquake, I know that we could have been in this situation at any time during our four year stay in Japan. My heart is breaking and I am brought to tears whenever I see pictures or video of the damage that occurred.

In February, after a tragic event that happened in our town (Minot, ND), a group of military spouses (who had never met in person) got together to support a cause we cared about by hosting an online auction. Because of that auction, we were able to donate $560.00 to the local Child Advocacy Center in memory of a baby boy who suffered long term child abuse and died on Valentine’s Day. Our group is called Minot AFB Artists & Crafters CARE. When I saw the Japan footage on the news, I immediately contacted the other admins of the CARE group to see if they would help me raise money to support the relief effort. They agreed and we will be hosting another online auction the beginning of April where all proceeds will go to the Red Cross towards the Japan Relief Effort!

During the first couple weeks of March, I hosted my Heart Treasures Boutique 1,000 Fan Giveaway on Facebook which we closed on the 17th. I posted the top 6 giveaway items that were fan favorites as a way of honoring the sponsors and the winners of those items. I decided to take that honor one step further for the number one fan favorite, Wickless Wonders, and contacted Lisa about hosting an Online Scentsy Party for my fans! Lisa and her family also happen to be stationed in Minot, ND but we have never met other than online! Lisa participated in our first CARE fundraiser so she has been getting our updates & information about our next auction for Japan. When I talked to Lisa, she told me some great news:

ALL PROFITS FROM MY SCENTSY SHOW WILL GO TO THE RED CROSS JAPAN RELIEF FUND!!!

So, all of you Scentsy Lovers (and I know you are out there!) go to the following link & click on the “Red Cross Japan Relief” Party to place your order and support this great cause!!!

https://lisahuebsch.scentsy.us/Home

Feel free to share this with anyone who may be interested!

***Red Cross Japan Relief Party CLOSES on Friday-April 15th***


Prayer Requests (11)

The Bible says: “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” Matthew 18:19-20

If God moves when 2 or 3 agree in prayer, I can only imagine what he can do when 500 or more agree! There are between 500-1,000+ people who visit my blog each month. A lot of them are regular visitors (daily or weekly).

I plan to post prayer requests and updates weekly on Sundays or Mondays. This blog is public; I will not include personal information such as birthdays, last names, etc. If you have a prayer request, update, and/or praise report that you would like added to the weekly post, please e-mail me by Saturdays via facebook or at:  hearttreasurescontact@yahoo.com

If you would like to include a picture of the person we are praying for, please include it in your e-mail. I will put a “Heart Treasures” stamp on the picture before posting it.

Feel free to forward a link to this page to people who will join us in prayer.

*****

~~~NEW REQUESTS~~~

Shannon: (Sam’s Mommy): is almost 30 weeks along in her pregnancy. She went to L & D and found out that her placenta is 30% abrupted. Please pray it does not get any worse and that the baby will stay in for as long as possible. She is now home and not having any complications right now. She has been advised to be on modified bed rest. She will be monitored weekly but if it gets worse she will have to get an emergency c-section. Please pray that she will have no further complications and that the doctors will have the wisdom to do what is best for both her and the baby.

 

Brad: (Sam’s Daddy): After being poked in the eye a few weeks ago, his eye is still healing and his vision may be permanently damaged in that eye. On top of that, he has lost feeling in his left leg and toes again (he has a bulging disk between L5 and S1 that he has been getting steroid shots for) and they are talking the possibility of surgery, though we first need to make sure his disc has not ruptured. Please pray for complete healing!

 

Lesley: (Greysen’s Mommy): she is grieving the loss of her grandmother. Please pray for comfort for her and her family.

 

Travis: He was born prematurely and was considered “A Failure to Thrive” with an enlarged liver, a small displaced stomach, and lung disease. He was also diagnosed with Pierre Robin Sequence, which is a birth condition involving a very small or set back lower jaw and cleft palate. The small lower jaw causes the tongue to be displaced back toward the throat, where it can fall back and obstruct the airway. As a result of this condition, Travis had a tracheotomy shortly after birth. The trach was removed at age 5, but the stoma remains open because of the small air way. He has undergone 5 mandibular distractions to lengthen his lower jaw and help open his airway. To this day he still tends to stop breathing when he sleeps and is in need of another mandibular distraction because of this. Pierre Robin and “bad teeth” seem to go hand in hand. Travis has very little enamel on his teeth. It has been a struggle for him to actually keep any of his teeth. No matter how hard we try he seems to continue to get infections and loose teeth. He is scheduled for dental surgery this month. The doctors have to make sure that he is infection free before he is able to go in for the mandibular distraction. The insurance will cover some of the cost for these surgeries, but the part that we will have to pay is pretty high. Travis was also born with a hearing loss. He has been in deaf/hard of hearing classrooms or has had an interpreter most of his school life. He has dreams of being able to hear and now that dream can become a reality! There is a surgery that can make hearing possible for Travis! It is called BAHA (or Bone Anchored Hearing Aid). Travis will never be able to hear without the help of a hearing aid / hearing system, but this will let him hear sound that he has never been able to hear before. The only problem is the insurance company will not cover any of this surgery and it is VERY expensive. Please pray that his family can raise the funds needed for his 3 upcoming surgeries. Also pray that the doctors will have the wisdom they need while performing the surgeries and he will recover quickly from them.

 

Japan: We lived in Okinawa, Japan from 2006-2010. Both our girls were born there and it became our home away from home. We are thankful that Okinawa was not harmed but Our hearts are breaking for the Japanese people that we have come to love. As we watch the devastating footage of Japan’s tragedy we still feel like we are watching home being destroyed. Please pray for the people of Japan who have lost loved ones and have to recover from this.

 

~~~UPDATED REQUESTS~~~

Sam: We are singing praises to God that Sam has stopped running a temperature every night, though she still gets one occasionally. The doctors are still uncertain of the cause of these fevers (as high as 105.1), though they will be doing a DMSA renal scan this Wednesday (the 2nd) to see if her kidneys are the culprit. When she was inpatient, her ultrasound, abdominal CT scan and her galium scan all pointed towards her kidneys, but her urine cultures and analysis all came back normal. Her stored iron level is still dangerously low and is actually decreasing rather than getting better, though she is receiving 400% of the daily recommended amount of iron each day. There is a question of whether she has celiac disease which could be contributing to her low iron level. The other main concern at this point is the regression in her gross motor skills. While walking, her legs (especially her left) give out, causing her to fall. She has fallen down our steps twice due to this issue. Please pray for wisdom for the doctors (she now sees six specialists along with the pediatrician), her therapists (she has occupational, physical and speech therapists, along with an early childhood interventionist), and  her parents to know what is best for her. Please pray for Sam’s complete healing!

Previous Requests: Has a new possible diagnosis is Primary CNS Vasculitis, or basically swelling of the blood vessels in her brain. Diagnosis procedures include CT San/MRI (doesn’t always show up), angiogram (catheter goes up starting in leg) or brain biopsy. Treatment consists of immuno-suppressants (form of chemotherapy). Sam’s MRI/MRA came back negative, so now they need to decide their next step… they may try a more natural diet and supplement type lifestyle. This 2 year old’s final diagnosis after being in the hospital for several days was meningoencephalitis (infection that affects the nervous system causing inflammation of the brain & meninges). She regressed about 6 months and has to relearn how to stand and walk. Had a lumbar puncture to check for white blood cells, to help determine if they need to look further into the vasculitis. She also had a bone marrow aspiration to check for leukemia since she is still extremely anemic & running fevers. Please pray for the doctor’s wisdom and for Sam’s complete healing!


Greysen: has had some seizures that were not controlled by his medicine. So they have been working on medicine adjustments.

Previous Requests: This 4 year old boy was diagnosed with epilepsy this past spring and was sent to AI Dupont to determine the exact type of epilepsy he had. During a scheduled MRI, an Oncologist found a “mass” in the back left portion of his brain and that it would require surgery. A few days later, his parents met with the neurosurgeon and received better news. He was fairly confident that the tumor was benign, and therefore surgery could be put off for a while. The tumor will be monitored for any sign of change or growth. The tumor is in a place that it can be removed, however, to remove the entire tumor, he most likely will lose coordination and fine motor skills on his left side. This can be regained through physical therapy. For this reason, Greysen’s parents hope that they can wait until he is a bit older before having to do surgery. They returned to AI Dupont last Friday for another MRI scan so that the surgeons can re-evaluate the brain tumor. They saw no significant change in the tumor so the current plan is to wait and re-evaluate in 6 months. Please pray for Greysen’s healing and the doctors wisdom as they monitor and treat his condition.

 

Heather: After flying to Hawaii, for a specialist appointment, she has returned home to Okinawa, Japan and will be able to deliver there. She is in her 35th week so baby can come anytime!

Previous Requests: She is now taking a pill in the morning, and a insulin shot before dinner and a insulin shot before bed. For the most part, sugars are regulated but are just a little too high so they are trying to figure out how much insulin is needed. Baby girl is getting bigger daily and more active! Also, the Fetal Eco determined that the baby has Pulmonary stenosis (narrowing in the artery in the heart). Please pray for both Heather and the baby as well as the rest of her family who will be affected by her traveling. Also, pray for the doctor’s wisdom in caring for them.

 

Carol: the stress test came back normal! Praise God!

Previous Request: Had chest pain and was told that it may have been a heart attack. She had her initial appointment with a cardiologist. Please pray for her complete healing and wisdom for the doctors who will need to determine a course of treatment for her.


Shane: My husband recently saw a new doctor about his Plantar Fasciitis. He now wears special shoes when he sleeps at night and has started physical therapy.

Previous Requests: My husband has a few career decisions to make in the next few months. He also has Plantar Fasciitis (irritation and swelling of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot) which could effect which direction he chooses. The choice he makes will effect where we live, how much we get paid, and how often he will be deployed. Please pray for wisdom and direction for our family.

 

~~~CONTINUED REQUESTS~~~

Cher: Was recently diagnosed with Myastenia Gravis (a chronic autoimmune neuromuscular disease characterized by varying degrees of weakness of the skeletal (voluntary) muscles of the body). Please pray for the doctor’s wisdom in creating a treatment plan. Also, pray that the housing they need would become available when they go for treatment. They have their name on a list for Nazarene Well House. On their already strained budget it would be a Godsend. Pray God will work out all the details!


Jenn: is pregnant with her second baby. She has jaw pain which is probably indicating that she will need her wisdom teeth pulled. The dentist determined that because of how the teeth are positioned, he will have to put her under to do the extractions. Unfortunately, because she is pregnant, they cannot do the surgery until her baby is born. This means waiting until June or later with the pain. Please pray for her healing and comfort.

 

Alysa (ME): I have 2 home businesses, Heart Treasures BoutiqueJuice Plus+, in order to bring in extra money for our family but I have not made many contacts for either one. It’s expensive to move back to the states! Please pray that God will bring the right people in my path so that we can earn the extra money that we need.

 

First Snow!

Since both of my girls were born on the sub-tropic Okinawa, Japan, they had never seen snow–until this week. They did know what snow was based on their Christmas movies and Kendal was excited to come to North Dakota (AKA: The North Pole) in order to see it. Living in Okinawa for four years was worth not having winters! I was raised in Delaware and I am pretty sure the earliest snow I ever experienced was around Thanksgiving–but even that was rare. North Dakota apparently skips autumn–or at least decides that one month of it is enough. Although I appreciate the beauty of snow and God’s creation of the seasons cycle, I hate being cold. On a cold day, I am perfectly content to stay inside, curled up in a blanket with a good book and a cup of coffee (or hot chocolate). I wish I had a fireplace! Still, I am willing to drag myself outside in order to see the smiles on the girls faces.

The girls watching the snow fall. This reminds me of “The Cat In The Hat”

After a day and night of snowing.

Kendal is super-excited! Audrey is mad that the scarf is covering her face!

Kendal has a blast playing & diving in the drifts!

Audrey doesn’t know what to do!

Keenan doesn’t mind it!

I am glad that Shane likes to play with the girls in the snow so I don’t have to!

Did I mention that I miss Okinawa?!

Traveling To North Dakota

As I mentioned yesterday; God has blessed us several times during our travels and from the moment we arrived in North Dakota.

Seattle:  Before leaving Okinawa, I attempted to re-activate my pre-paid US cell phone. Unfortunately, because there was no US service in Okinawa I was not sure if the activation went through. We had friend who was going to meet us during our short layover in Seattle. I attempted to call her as soon as we landed only to find that the activation did not go through. Immediately after getting off the plane we had to go through customs. The customs officer couldn’t let us go through because a problem with my passport and referred us to another area where we had to explain three times to three different people what was wrong with my passport and why I had two of them (one travel & one military). While we were in the waiting area surrounded by several foreigners who were ahead of us; both very over tired girls started crying uncontrollably. By God’s grace, one of the customs officers called us up in front of everyone else. After canceling one of my passports he let us leave. Then we moved to the next location where we picked up the rest of our luggage (all together we had 1 stroller, 2 car seats, 4 carry-ons, & 4 large suitcases). We had to go through security where they scanned our luggage in the machine all because we were carrying dog food. After that we dropped off our luggage at another security where they scanned and sent our luggage to the baggage claim. When we arrived at baggage claim we picked up the luggage again along with Keenan (our dog) & his crate and headed to the Delta line where we had to get our boarding passes. When we reached the desk (after waiting in line forever), the lady offered to let me use her cell phone when I mentioned that someone was supposed to meet us. Before I had a chance to finish leaving a message on my friend’s phone; I saw her walk by. We almost missed her completely; she was on her way to leave! She had been searching for us and calling our inactive cell phone for over an hour. She helped us with the girls as we got Keenan checked in to his location. Then she walked with us to security so that we could go to our gate. Although we only saw her for short time; it was great to see her since it had been three years since our previous meet. When arriving to our gate; I immediately went to the desk to request a change in seats. The airline had placed us in four different places all over the plane. The guy was completely understanding and adjusted them accordingly. Before we had a chance to sit down; the gate called us for boarding!

Audrey & I at one of the airports.

Minneapolis:  We also had friends meeting us during our short layover in Minneapolis. We did not have to pick up luggage or Keenan at this airport. Because we were still flying Delta; the airline automatically transfered everything to the next plane. This meant that we could go directly to our gate without having to go through security (which is a major ordeal). Shane introduced himself to a few military guys at our gate and asked if he could borrow a cell phone. After making contact with our friends, we decided that Kendal & I would stay at the gate with our carry-ons and Audrey & Shane would go through security to see them. When they returned, Shane was going to the pay phone to attempt to make contact with his sponsor. We were not completely sure that we would have a place to stay or someone to pick us up from the airport in ND. A military spouse sitting near us offered her cell phone. Fortunately, he was able to talk to his sponsor who seemed surprised that we were arriving that night (even though he was told through e-mail a couple of times). The lady who lent us her phone, called her husband and asked him to bring their big van to the airport just in case Shane’s sponsor did not have enough room for all of our stuff.

Minot: Finally, we arrived in North Dakota. Shane’s sponsor did pick us up and took us to the base where we checked in to visitor’s lodging. There were no dog kennels available for Keenan so Shane’s sponsor kept him at his house overnight. In the morning (after pretty much no sleep due to the girls being off schedule), we checked into temporary housing. Shane called around to different kennels and found one that had space available. While making arrangements for Keenan, the owner of the kennel invited us to stay at their house for the afternoon. While we were there we pet horses (Kendal was thrilled because she has never seen them before), played with their cats (which Audrey & I loved), Shane shot guns, then they fed us, took us to their church, and lent us their car for as long as we needed it. Since then, we have moved into our own home, purchased one vehicle (2007 Toyota Camry), and have made several (almost daily) trips to town. We have had a few set backs in the past couple of weeks but for the most part things have been pretty good. God has truly blessed us.

The foal really liked Kendal and kept nuzzling her!