Monday, December 31, 2012

December 2012

We're doing really well. We had a round or two of the stomach bug here. Ben seems to keep getting it repeatedly. But despite that, we've managed to stay on top of our schooling.

Something you could be praying about for us. Two doctors have now diagnosed Ben with neurofibromatosis (NF1). We have a genetics appointment scheduled for mid January in Houston to confirm the diagnosis. If it is neurofibromatosis, then it could be a very serious thing. He doesn't show most of the indicators that he falls on the more harmful end of the spectrum, like seizures, migraines, speech impediments, or learning disabilities.  It seems that as the child gets older though, more problems could arise. Please pray against this for Ben.  NF1 is defined by tumors, called neurofibromas, which grow along nerves in the body, or on, or under the skin. As the tumors increase in size, they can press on vital areas of the body, causing problems in the way the body functions. Ben has lots of brown cafĂ© au lait spots on his skin which have been spreading steadily the last couple years. The first spots are now becoming raised. These distinctive spots don't hurt or bother him in any way, but they are indicators of a problem.  Hopefully they don't turn into anything more serious than spots that can be removed.  We’ll keep you posted.

We had a really good time picking out our Christmas tree this year from a Christmas tree farm.  It was fun watching the boys do the work of cutting down our tree once we all finally agreed on the very best tree of them all.  I liked the bluish hue the tree branches had.  It was really beautiful.  It lasted a really long time, which was awesome.  I’m wondering if we’ll ever do that again though, because decorating it was an immense pain.  It was super sappy, and besides covering us in sap, it also covered our hands and arms with painful and itchy rashes.  But…it was especially beautiful.  Maybe if we wear gloves up to our elbows next year?

Christmas was great!  My parents came up for a visit and we had a really nice time.  The big gift this year was a trampoline for the kids.  They were soooo excited!  We had it still in the box, hidden under a blanket outside.  Just when they thought the Christmas goodness was done, we told them they had one more present.  I love the overwhelming excitement that hit the kids, especially Caleb!  He was so excited that he leapt into his Daddy’s arms!  Awww!  It melts a Mommy’s heart.  Caleb is usually so mellow and calm.  I love that the boys ran outside barefoot and in jammies despite the freezing winter weather.

The other big gift was a banjo fund for Jon.  The boys and I can’t wait to see what he picks out.  The boys even contributed their own money to the secret banjo fund for Daddy.  We’ve been saving for a long time and hunting music stores in case we found a good deal.  I’m really impressed that Ben didn’t spill the beans.

My parent’s Christmas trip got derailed when Mom got injured jumping on the trampoline with the boys.  X-rays showed that she broke her foot in two places.  I felt so bad that happened.  And extra bummer was that Dad caught a bad cold here at the end of their trip.  What a horrible way to have to make the long drive back home from Texas to California!
We love you all tons!  Thanks for being a part of our lives!  Merry Christmas!
The Hartshorns