Monday, September 29, 2008

Defacing Dimes.

On Thursday night, September 25th, Cameron was a little bored before bed and decided to drop 6 coins in his mouth! He immediately sat up and started choking. I stuck my fingers down his throat and managed to grab a nickel that was making him choke. He sobbed and sobbed and told me that one went all the way down. After counting the coins, I realized that he indeed swallowed a dime. I wasn't too concerned, since he was breathing at that point! And he wasn't complaining about anything stuck in his throat. He was only upset about the fact it was "daddy's money" and "he's gonna be so mad at me!".

My little brother swallowed a dime when he was little, and he was just fine. So I knew I didn't need to rush Cameron to the hospital or anything. So I just googled my brains out looking for anything about what happens when kids swallow dimes. Most of what I read indicated that I was right on my instinct to just let it take it's course, but there were others that kind of worried "If your kid swallowed something that he shouldn't have, take him to the ER and then drive to Child Protective services and report yourself!" WOW! That would have put a damper on my weekend!!! I decided I'd stay home and just keep an eye on my boy while he slept that night.

I knew right away that no matter how fine things were, I needed to make sure I found that dime. I didn't want it to get stuck anywhere or cause any sort of blockage in the future.

So...the search began.

I'll spare you those details.

After 4 days, I finally located the dime!!! It was such a gross, tedious and slow process digging through CRAP all week. So when I finally found it, I jumped for JOY! Steve came in the bathroom when I started cheering. He immediately thought it was a penny. But it wasn' just changed crazy colors while swimming through Cam's digestive tract.

I cleaned it really well and showed it to Cameron! Pretty amazing how all those Fruit Loops in a little boys body can completely change the color characteristics of a coin!

Check out the color difference in a pre and post digestive tract dime! It turned purplish, bluish green!

So many great lessons learned through this little accident!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Wall of Art!

Cameron asked if he could use the magnets to rearrange things on the refrigerator. "Easy enough", I thought, so I got him a stool and let him go at it! In all of about 15 minutes, Cameron removed everything from the refrigerator, and asked us to come look at his masterpiece!

I can't figure out what I find more funny...the "creative" placement of his artwork (opening the fridge is tricky), or the fact that he had to dig in a box of photos to find a picture of his grandma and grandpa to put in the middle!!

I like to think I have a pretty smart 4 year old! But sometimes I'm convinced that his heart might turn out to be bigger than his brain! Ok by me, I guess!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

No Snoopy's in Cali!

As I get more and more anxious to see friends and family in SD, I can't help but to think about the many things I'm going to miss about North Carolina!
1. Snoopy's (of course, tops the list)
2. Green, lush landscape
3. Friends
4. BBQ
5. A sort of freedom away from people we know!
6. My nice, big house! (that's relative, I know!)
7. Being part of a great new spiritual movement in the community!
8. Having an opportunity to do ministry full time.
9. Riley's therapists
10. AMAZING thunderstorms!

There are so many more that I don't have time to list. There is no doubt in my mind that our plane ride home will be bitter sweet. (Although I'll probably be so busy with the kids that I won't have time to think about ANYTHING!) God blessed us with everything we prayed for here. We are so thankful and humbled to have been a part of the amazing work God is doing at Church at the Triangle. Riley has grown leaps and bounds developmentally. It's no coincidence that God has placed us in all the EXACT right places for Riley's specific needs. Amazing!

As much as we're going to miss all the things listed above, we've officially entered a season where our comfort in a nice house, and GREAT ministry isn't as important as the growth and development of our boys! (I know..."it's about time!") They've always just been along for the ride involving what Steve and I wanted to do with our lives. I'm excited to finally turn the tables and let life be about them! I'm eager for them to grow up knowing and loving their great great grandma's and grandpa's, and valuing people and family over self desires, even goals and accomplishments.

Yesterday, Mrs. Margaret (Riley's speech therapist) talked about how much she was going to miss Riley. We'll still see her through the end of next month, but it was still a sad day yesterday to break the news to her! Upon waving goodbye, Riley decided to stay outside and sit on the steps with his sad face. Cameron of course, had to get in on the pout session!

I'm hoping for a great transition. Because God loves these boys more than I could, I'm hopeful!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Faiai Update.

We have been incredibly blessed to have had the opportunity to serve God in a full time ministry role at The Church at the Triangle. Although our church just barely turned a month old this week, our lead team and core group of volunteers has been at it, getting the word out, and prepping for launch for well over a year. Steve and I have been serving alongside them for almost 9 months.

Since we've been here in Raleigh, we've been able to have a sort of CSI: Miami look into God's heart, and the things that matter most to Him. Topping that list is undoubtedly an intensified passion for the "lost" and making the True Living God REAL to the people who have never experienced Him in that way before. I truly believe there is NOTHING more rewarding than being used by God to show others the grace, hope, love and new life found in Christ.

We've made life long friends in the short time we've been in Raleigh. Steve and I have learned more about each other and our marriage. We've seen Cameron and Riley grow from babies into sweet little boys. We've been able to look at our past from a different perspective, and we're more thankful than EVER for every role in ministry we've had in the past 12 years.

As much as we love Church at the Triangle and our community, Steve and I have decided we're not the right people for the role that this church needs to reach its greatest potential. In recent months we've had an increasing concern about the well being of our boys as we've recklessly thrown ourselves into the HUGE task of church planting. Steve and I both hold a lot of value in having grown up with family always very close by. I know God is honored by the fact that we left home and our comfort to serve Him across the country for this period of time. But, more than anything God has shown us that Cameron and Riley are missing out on such a rich life in San Diego with the people who love and care for them most! Our calling into full time ministry has been absolutely put in check by this realization. With Riley's increasing health needs and Cameron's apparent love for his friends and family, our next season of life will focus less on our calling into church ministry and more on our calling and conviction to the ministry of our family.

We are so thankful to have friends and family in San Diego who will undoubtedly welcome us back with open arms. We are also torn and sad about leaving the amazing friends God has blessed us with here in the past 9 months.

Our current role at Church at the Triangle will be finished at the end of this month (September). The lease on our apartment isn't up until February, but thanks to the complex management, they were able to let us out of our lease early! We plan to be home by the end of October! We had NO IDEA how this would happen, but God has been faithful in each step so far, and we're praying that trend continues, as we continue to seek His will for our lives!

There's so much more to this process than simply finding a way to get ourselves and our stuff home. We'll need to find a place to live right away. We're also asking God to provide Steve with a great full time job in retail sales. He's never been able to give up his love for working with everyday people in a retail environment. So instead of doing it on the side, Steve's excited about finding an opportunity to do it full time. Please pray for us in this way. I'm confident that I'll be able to get the kids acclimated fairly quickly. I'm praying that there won't be a lapse in Riley's medical and therapy needs. These are such BIG needs, but there's not a doubt in our minds that God will provide. He's been so faithful!

We're leaving Raleigh with no regrets! We love it here. We are absolutely honored to have had the privilege to serve here with Lee and Carla and so many others! We're looking forward to hearing about the GREAT things God is going to do in the life of Church at the Triangle! Thanks to everyone who has prayed for CATT and for us this year. Your prayers have been felt throughout the duration of this season. For that we are so grateful!

God has given me so much peace and confidence personally through the psalms in the most recent weeks. I've been carrying this one around in my head wherever I go!

"Trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) in the Lord and do good; so shall you dwell in the land and feed surely on His faithfulness, and truly you shall be fed. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass." - Psalm 37:3-5 (amplified)

What a great promise!!

Please note: Only family and a couple of close friends have heard about our journey back west. Posting the news on The Other Cause was the easiest way to get the word out while I'm still making phone calls to inform the people I want to update personally. We love you and can't WAIT to be home! Thanks!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Cameron's First Bike!

Cameron was completely surprised and jumping up and down when found out the "HUGE" box delivered by UPS was for HIM! My mom sent it, of course!! He wanted to wait until Wednesday (his birthday) to open it, but it might rain on his birthday so we decided to open it today! I put it together while he was taking a nap! Needless to say, he was a VERY happy boy when he woke up and saw his bike put together. Although, he was a little bit sad that he wouldn't get to sleep next to the "huge" package anymore. Oh well!

I don't think he'll be any sort of BMX racer...considering he was more excited about ringing the bell than actually pedaling and going fast. He said his bike was the "best in the world!" And there's no better feeling in the world than seeing my boys happy and loving life!

Tomorrow will be even more special as we celebrate his 4th birthday! (post coming soon!)
Here are some pictures of the boys and their bikes today!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Riley's Journey

Find out results from Riley's ABR testing today - HERE

Monday, September 1, 2008

Mommy's Helpers!

I'm so glad I don't have to fold laundry anymore!
(Another boring video for Grandma and Grandpa!)

Laundry! from Lauren Faiai on Vimeo.

I was thankful to have so much help today. Although we did end up REWASHING a lot of the clothes since most of them were dragged around the house while they were being folded! Oh, another thing I should mention... The Happy Meal Riley was eating was a day old. Somehow it ended up in the fridge, and he decided he would finish eating it today. Ice cold french fries! Yum!! I didn't realize until after I watched the video that Riley thought I told him to tell CAMERON bye at the end, when I actually told him to tell the CAMERA bye!

If you need help doing laundry, I have the perfect team for you!