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Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Rainy Day

So today I had all these plans…of course all outside work.  Now that I’m inside, wishing we could be outside (three kids inside all day is not that fun…stir crazy), we started talking about how much fun we had last weekend.  I put the kids pool under the slide…Waterpark Baby!  What a blast!

Untitled from Chad Clem on Vimeo.

Untitled from Chad Clem on Vimeo.

Untitled from Chad Clem on Vimeo.


07 2009

Our God has Answered…Again!

PhotobucketIts been a year since I found out that the baby that was growing inside of me had life threatening heart complications and most likely had them because of DiGeorge Syndrome.  I’ve had so many doctor appointments that I’ve lost count.  It’s hard to believe, but Eliana was born almost 9 months ago and she had to face my worst fears on day two of her life.  She’s still had obstacles to face, but nothing compares to then.  Through all that pain, I’ve witnessed a miracle.

Many of you remember Eliana getting an initial test for DiGeorge while in the hospital and learning then that the tests came back negative.  Great news! In June, however, we met with a geneticist to discuss the possibility that she may actually have a variant form of DiGeorge.  He told me that nearly all children born with her type of heart defects have DiGeorge Syndrome.  So after a long 6 weeks of waiting and reliving fears, I can’t describe the anticipation and anxiousness that flooded over me when I saw Albany Medical Center on the caller ID yesterday.  The results are in…Eli’s DiGeorge Free!

I can’t describe how happy I am.  Eliana continues to defy statistics.  You would think that I’d gotten over the healing that God has done in her precious body.  But the truth is I haven’t.  Not one day has gone by that I don’t think about some aspect of the journey we are on.  I can’t seem to express my gratefulness to my God, to my family, to my friends, to the medical staff that have changed our lives.  My eyes often fill with tears, my throat tightens and I’m all choked up.  So much so that Emily and Andrew just think it’s normal for mommy to cry on a daily basis.


When Eliana’s genetic counselor explained that there is no genetically known reason for her heart

defects…my eyes filled with tears.  I praise God for how He designed my baby girl.  I sat down to explain my tears to Emily & Drew.  I told them how God has helped us through each step in this process.  The three of us talked about how God brought Emily through hernia surgery, Drew through eye surgery, and Eliana through heart surgery.  Emily’s responded, “Mom, God is our Healer!”

Our God has Answered….Again!


07 2009

Eli Videos


07 2009

Great News!

Just a quick update:

Eli’s tests came back great. For the third straight visit, her numbers didn’t change….AWESOME! The doc said that her aortic repair and VSD repair are holding up great. Her aortic valve is still broke, but with the numbers not going up, we won’t have to go back until October or November.

Thank you for all of your prayers. Leah and I truly appreciate them.dscn1398


06 2009

Give me a Break!

Well, my mom came up and stayed for a week to help out, then took Emily and Andrew to Alabama. It’s just me, Leah and Eli. Holy cow! Having only one kid is so easy. Especially Eli. She’s the best baby ever…always happy!
Leah and I have gone on a date, had a one night getaway and are going to the lake today. Can’t wait for Wednesday night…leaving for Alabama to visit my family. Can’t wait to see everybody…and go fishing of course.



05 2009


My family has been hit hard this season.  We’ve been down and out the past couple of weeks.  The only members of the fam not affected are Leah and Dunkin’.  Eli’s got a wicked cough.  Andrew’s nose is running wild…like him.  Emily’s eyes, nose, and everything else that can be affected is driving her crazy.  Me and Emily are spitting images of one another.  So needless to say, we’ve been at war with the trees, flowers, grass, mold, dust…you get the point.

As a result, we’ve got more drugs in our house than a pharmacy.  I start allergy shots on Monday.  I’m also on Flonase, Optivar, and Allegra (just switched from Claritin).  Emily’s on Rhinocort, Zatidor, and Zyrtec.  Can’t give anything to Eli and Andrew loves the taste of Loratadine, the cheap version of Claritin.

Bottom line is we’ve been pretty much trapped in our own house.  Thank you Jesus for central air…we can’t open the windows on all of these beautiful days.  When the kids do go outside…showers all around, change the pillow cases, change jammies…get the enemy (allergens) out of this house.

I’m happy to say that order is returning to the health of the house…now that the meds are starting to work.  Now that everything’s bloomed out and things are getting back to normal – with the help of meds of course – I feel like the lady in Poltergiest when she says, “this house is clear.”


05 2009

Home Makeover – Northway Style

So this past Saturday I woke up to my kids being way too loud and Leah getting ready to walk out the door.  Normal Saturday at our house.  Then I heard banging on my front door.  At first I thought it was Andrew…he’s always banging on something.  But to my surprise, it was coming from my front door.  There were at least 20 people standing in my front yard.  No, it wasn’t Jehovah’s Witnesses or Christmas carolers, it was people from my church.  I reluctantly opened the door…bed head and all…and they said, “Surprise”  we’re here for a work day.  I first thought that they were picking me up to go work somewhere….but then someone said, “Give us a list!”  I was shocked.  They were there to makeover my house.

They raked my yard in 20 minutes…then my neighbors yard.  They painted the window trim, painted the bay doors to the basement, replaced my broken gate to the back yard, trimmed the bushes and trees, installed much needed gutters and installed a new storm door for my front entrance.  It would have taken me all summer to do all of that work…if I would have ever mustered the motivation to do it.

I can’t say thank you enough.  Not only do I go to the best church on the planet, but our church has the best people on the planet.  Thank you to all of you who blessed me and my family…it means so much to us!



04 2009

Picture time

Some family time with the kids…Andrew insisted he wasn’t tired!



04 2009

Monumental Moment – PS:

Emily wore the clothes we laid out…still the parent.


03 2009

Monumental Moment

Yesterday was a pretty busy day.  Started out like normal…rushing around the morning trying to get the kids ready for school in time.  I’m pretty sure that every parent deals with clothes wars with their kids.  Your kids want to wear one thing, yet you’ve already set something else out for them.  By the time they get around to putting them on and realize that they don’t want what you set out, it’s time to go.  Does anyone feel my pain?

Yesterday was no different.  5 minutes before departure, Emily had a meltdown.  I have to admit, she did well to obey…even though she wanted nothing to do with what Leah set out for her, she put it on…mumbling under her breath the whole time.  We’re firm believers that we’re the parents…not puppets.  Our kids do what we ask…they obey.  Most of the time, our kids will fight it, we hear what they have to say, then stay on mission…”mom and dad said this…that’s what you need to do…please obey.”

So Emily put up her normal fight, we held our ground…”put the clothes on Emily.”  Then she changed everything.  She came into the kitchen reluctantly with the clothes on…finally we thought.  Then she dropped to her knees and started crying.  “What’s wrong Emi?”

I don’t like these clothes…I don’t feel like me!

I didn’t put up my normal parental front…”stop crying, you’re not getting your way.”  We stopped, wrapped our arms around her and just let her get it out.  Lately she’s been asking me if she’s as pretty as girls/women on TV.  Of course I gave the standard answer…”of course you are, you’re beautiful!”  But yesterday was different.  I looked her in the eyes and told her she was beautiful…no matter what she was wearing.  It was a great moment for us.  I sat down…late for school…and took the time to let her talk it out.  It was important to her.  It made my day that she opened up.

Sometimes I get mixed up on what I should be doing as a parent.  “Don’t! Stop! Quit! Do this! Do that!  Obey!” are my normal mantras.  I can’t forget that my real job is to teach.  Yesterday was a teachable moment.  To give her the tools to handle life…that’s my calling.  If I don’t, someone/something else will.

Holy responsibility batman!  That moment was huge because it had nothing to do with clothes…it was all about inner beauty.  That was just one monumental moment…that started with clothes.  What’s the one about God going to start with?  Scares me…I want to get it right!


03 2009