February Fun

We said goodbye to our Dodge Caravan last week and welcomed a new-to-us Toyota Sienna into the family…after multiple repairs and a few thousand dollars, it was clear the caravan was on it’s last leg and we were forced to face the inevitable purchase of another medical van.  We are blessed to have safe, reliable transportation again…something I don’t take for granted for sure!!

We gave the caravan one last look at the ocean before it went to the auction block…for parts most likely!
Farewell notes!
“Mommy’s COOL car!”

I have been struck lately by how truly evident God’s grace is in the lives of the big sibs…they are investing their time in good things and they manage it all well.  I am in awe of them and grateful for the many ways they inspire me daily.

Maxo is busy juggling the end of his hockey season while starting up LaCrosse practice at the high school…he was asked to speak at the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) club at school this past week and was recognized for his leadership potential recently with a nomination to participate in the GLOBAL LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE…open to selected juniors from all the area high schools each year.  It’s fun to watch him grow as a young leader…

Max speaking at FCA…(thanks for the pic Aaron Caluza)

We got a fun glimpse into Wilson’s world through pics from his first military ball this weekend.  He is thriving at APU and loves his ROTC experience so far.  He’s getting closer to fulfilling his childhood dreams…makes me proud and scared all at the same time.

Fun with friend Kyla.
I LOVE laughing pictures!!! ;D

Olivia’s volleyball season started today and her team grabbed second place overall in the tournament!  It’s thrilling to watch our girl play hard and enjoy herself…she is disciplined and elegant on and off the court.

Rudy the happy spectator!…
…except when the whistle is too loud.

And then there is Rudy who embraces is all with GREAT enthusiasm…whether it is school, church, playing with cars on his bedroom floor or watching his big sibs sporting events…Rudy’s joy in all things is contagious (and a little humbling)!  😉


Life has it’s daily challenges but it’s moments like these that bring meaning to the tough stuff!  ‘Grateful for it all today.

CHD Awareness Week

Rudy came home early from school on Friday with a bug…a thick cough, congestion and low energy.  Thankfully he hasn’t registered a fever but the congestion kept him home from school yesterday and today as well.  Although we’ve laid low at home mostly, we did stop by Rudy’s class on Monday briefly to share a little bit about CHDs for National Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week…so grateful for the opportunity to share with Rudy’s classmates!  😉  We’re hoping Rudy can lick this bug quick and head back to school by Thursday to share in his classroom’s Valentine exchange.


Thinking of and celebrating Rudy, his fellow heart warriors and our heart heroes who have passed away…all of whom personify one of my favorite quotes: “In the end it won’t matter if you have a few scars, but it will matter if you didn’t live.” -Rich Mullins.


‘Grateful for the lessons we’re learning from Rudy about what it means to really live.

Big Boy Skills

Rudy’s class got another “behind the scenes” look at a local hamburger joint during a field trip to In ‘n Out yesterday.  It was a fun time to hang out with friends and it also turned out to be a very helpful exercise in how to order food at a restaurant…turns out Rudy is a fast learner!

An In ‘n Out selfie with Miss A and Nurse Sara.
After the tour, we gave Rudy some time off the oxygen and he immediately made the rounds to visit his friends sitting at other tables…
…Chillin’ with the big boys!
Rudy’s turn to order…
“Ummmm, hamburger and french fries…please.”
Although Rudy doesn’t take bites of anything solid yet, it sure is encouraging to see him “go through the motions” and take an interest in food.
So proud!!!

It just so happened that we stopped at Carl’s Jr later in the day for a quick dinner between activities and Rudy insisted on ordering for himself!!!  Ha Ha  He confused the workers a little bit by ordering things they don’t offer on their menu but he was very proud to show off his new big boy skill…now if we can just get him to eat all this food he is so motivated to order.  😉


Mountain View Move-a-thon

Today was the annual Move-a-thon at Rudy’s school and Rudy did a GREAT job.  He conducted a FB “dollar donation” campaign and raised $100.00 (doubling his goal of raising $50) for his school!!!  More importantly, he participated in each of the four events and had a good time with his classmates.  😉

As you know, he doesn’t like all the fanfare that comes with events like these, but he was able to focus and complete the activities…he’s maturing and it shows.

Our first stop was the running event and the goal was to walk around the track once. Nurse Sara and I were there to help steady Rudy on the uneven ground but he walked it on his own. He stopped a couple of times to catch his breath but he didn’t sit down once. 😉
The next event was an epic obstacle course…he stayed to the side so his classmates could run the course at their own pace…
…but occasionally he’d snag a workout partner. 🙂
Although you can’t tell from the pictures, this morning started out quite cold and Rudy needed a little extra oxygen and time to warm up between events…thanks to nurse Karen and an extra blanket Rudy was snug as a bug.
The last event involved learning some karate kicks. Rudy got to try it twice and when we headed back to his wheelchair, he turned to Sara and said “I like that”!!! The karate station was definitely his favorite! 😉
Aaaaaand, the boy wonder fell asleep on the way home!!! The sign of energy well spent! GREAT JOB Rudy! The next big athletic event for Rudy will be the Special Olympics track meet later this spring…stay tuned!

January 2016 Highlights

So January was a bit of a wash (no pun intended) in terms of our flood project as we waited for the various bids to come in and the insurance details to be processed but the asbestos and contaminated  material removal began last week and is moving pretty quickly now!  We’re hoping to start the rebuild in the next week or so.

January was pretty full anyway so I suppose the timing of everything is as it should be.  Wilson headed back to school just in time to miss all the demolition fun…we miss him but he’s happy to back into the swing of things on campus.

12494967_10153582556704213_1908990250093909308_n (1)
Rudy was introduced to Ping Pong in Wilson’s dorm and is HOOKED…he can’t stop talking about “paying ping pong in Wilthun’s room”.


Rudy’s first dr. appointment of 2016 was with his cardiologist and, once again, the echo revealed no change in Rudy’s heart function.   As a result, Dr. Harake recommends we NOT schedule a heart cath any time soon and we welcome a procedure free winter for sure.  Some doctors recommend a routine annual cath for kids like Rudy whether the echo shows any change or not.  We appreciate Dr. Harake’s more conservative approach and will take full advantage of this next season in school and therapy without interruption.

Speaking of therapy, Rudy has been working on “self-care” in occupational therapy and actually goes to OT on Wednesday mornings in his pajamas so he can dress himself with his OT Jeanine…they like to sing “Do Your Ears Hang Low” and this particular morning, Rudy’s certainly were!!!

IMG_5995 (1)
Rudy’s OT shinanigans!

Rolf and Max enjoyed a dude trip up to San Jose over MLK Weekend for a hockey tournament…so glad for the occasional awesome pic of our hockey rock star –


Speaking of hockey, Rudy made a surprising new friend at the hockey rink last week.  Rudy isn’t a big fan of dogs generally but Wally made for a fun walking partner during Max’s game.  They became fast friends and wore each other out…both Rudy and Wally fell asleep on their rides home from the rink that night!!!  Ha Ha

Rudy the dog walker!

Tomorrow is Rudy’s “Move-a-thon” at his school and he had fun this past month raising $1 donations to meet his $50 goal!  His daily walks to the mailbox have been good conditioning…in addition to the dog walking  😉

Rudy and his special ed classmates got to go on a fun field trip to Kyle’s Kitchen (a favorite eatery in town that supports special needs programs)…Kyle goes to Rudy’s school and is a special big buddy.  Rudy LOVED getting a “behind the scenes look” at our favorite spot!!  Click here to see a quick video about our friend!

We enjoyed a messy dinner (complete with condiment art) on the eve of the asbestos abatement.  We’re looking forward to new carpet and fresh paint at the end of this process.  🙂


Our quarters have been a little small since the plastic barricade went up but the kids have been troopers and are making the most of it.  We’re starting February 2016 excited to have our house back in order and SUPER grateful for insurance!  😉