Monday, August 17, 2009

Music Within

I watched a really good movie the other night called "Music Within". I just kind of stumbled on it while looking for watch on tv. It was kind of a scary time for me because if I couldn't find anything it meant I would have to clean the kitchen! Anyway...I did find a good's rated R so there's your warning.

Here's a photo I found of the real Richard Pimentel and Art Honeyman. I hope you all will get a chance to watch this movie!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Meet Aidan!

I just found out about this little guy today. His name is Aidan and he's a complete cutie! Aidan has been diagnosed with Eagle-Barrett Syndrome (also known as Prune Belly Syndrome) and End Stage Renal Disease and, needless to say, he really needs our prayers. Recently, he has suffered a stroke which has left him without activity in the top portion of his brain. This has been heartbreaking news to his family. I encourage you to visit Aidan's Fight and let his family know you are praying for them...words of encouragement are so powerful!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

What I Want to Be When I Grow Up

I've been away for awhile because I've been getting ready for nursing school (BSN at ETSU). Applications and other necessary paperwork has been turned in and all I have to do now is wait...for something like two months! Ack!! While I've been away, I have remembered all of our little Gus' Gang kiddos and families. I haven't kept up with all the blogs and updates though so I will be taking some time to catch up. I can't wait to hear about all the exciting things everyone is doing!!!

Also, I am looking for organizations and sites that offer encouragement to families who are suffering the loss of a child through miscarriage. I want to update my sidebar and there are a bazillion of these sites out there. I was hoping that one of my readers had a suggestion...

As always, if you have specific prayer requests let me know...if you know of child you would like for me to add to Gus' Gang then let me know! It's an honor to pray for and offer encouragement to these kids and their families!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Urgent Prayers for Chloe and Family

UPDATE: Chloe died Tuesday night at 10:51. Please continue to join with me in prayer for her mom, dad and little sister...

I just read this over at Chloe's carepage:

Chloe’s internal functions are slowing down and starting to not work as efficiently as they should be, and we have been given a possible time-frame of 2-3 days or maybe a week at the most. I really, in my heart, don’t think we have a week. We have all of our family coming tomorrow to visit.

Let's all remember to be prayer warriors for this family during this time. This news breaks my heart...not for Chloe because I know she will be fine...but for Mom and Dad. It's tough, folks. It's tough to have to let your child go...on one hand you want them to no longer suffer, but on the other hand you know you will miss them so profusely. At the same time, as parents, you hold out hope that God will miraculously heal your child...and He can if it is His will. There are tons of emotions, but in the midst there can also be God's peace and that's what I pray for them.....

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Chloe's Journey

Nessa asked me to add Chloe to our blog and prayer my honor and privilege to do so! Chloe is a 7 year old little gal who was diagnosed with Stage IV Neuroblastoma awhile back. She received several different treatments, including a bone marrow transplant. Scans have been done on a regular basis and all have come back clear...until recently. Unfortunately, the last scan result was not what was expected and her parents received that much dreaded news...the cancer is back and has spread to her liver and back into her bone marrow. My heart just breaks for her and her family...I don't understand these things...can't even wrap my mind around it. God is the only thing that brings any kind of comfort during times like this. A friend had updated the Carepage with this:
I am so grateful to KNOW without a shadow of a doubt that GOD IS ON THE THRONE and nothing surprises Him. He has prepared Michele, Nathan, Chloe and Trinity for a time such as this. We, those who love and support them, can offer the greatest gift by lifting them up to The Father.
And that is what I am asking all of you Gus' Gang readers to do...pray for Chloe and her family.

I just love the photo above! Those bright eyes are just captivating...makes me think about what little warriors these kids are to endure all the hardships they face. Seriously, they seem to always be smiling...I think there is a lesson in that for all of us.....

You can visit Chloe's Carepage for regular updates and to leave encouraging comments for her and her family.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sad Update

It was my plan to post an update about Isaac Bowers...he is the little fellow I wrote about here. He and his family were awaiting heart surgery at Vanderbilt when he caught some type of infection. Pete received a call just a bit ago letting us know that Isaac had died. As many of you who have had sick children know, being in the hospital is both good and bad: good because our children are given medicines and therapies that give them a chance, but then on the other hand it's a place where germs thrive.

My heart just breaks for Isaac's family because I know how they feel and I know what lies ahead. As we have been praying for little Isaac's healing (which, by the way, our prayers have been answered!), let's now shift gears and pray specifically for the healing of his parents and the rest of his family. Pete and I will be dropping off a GUS Box when we go to the service. If you want to leave a message of condolence or of encouragement, please do so here and I'll make sure it gets to Isaac's family.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Prayers Needed for Kari

Ok, Prayer Warriors...I've got a little gal that needs your prayers! Her name is Kari...she is just a few days old and she has an incomplete aorta, an aortic valve that is too small and she has a hole between the bottom 2 chambers of her heart. Needless to say, this little chick has some serious medical issues and she and her family need our ongoing prayers.

Kari was airlifted to CHOP (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia) last night. The docs there at CHOP are very familiar with the type of surgery she will need and are better equipped to handle it all. Friends of the family made sure that Kari's mom made it to Philadephia in a timely manner...they provided her a charter flight! Seriously, I think that is soooo nice....I was so pleased to hear that mom was able to get to her quickly.

Kari also has two sibling, I believe, so say some extra prayers for them also.

If you have a desire to send an e-card to Kari through CHOP, please e-mail me and I'll pass along the info.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Minkee-liscious Quilts

I just wanted to share with you all these wonderful quilts that have been donated to Gus' Gang! They were made by my friend, Joy Smelser, and they are WONDERFUL....anyone who knows what Minkee is knows that I am not fibbing here! lol!! Joy has backed these quilts with Minkee and has even added a few squares to the front of some of the quilts....Minkee is soooo soft and I think the kids at the hospital will love to feel these quilts and will certainly want to snuggle up with them! Folks, these photos don't do these quilts design wall is falling down and I just am not a photographer...

Joy also made some little bitty quilts that I've been calling "Stim Quilts" which is short for stimulation quilts. These little quilts have lots of different textures on them which makes them great for the little NICU babies who are a little older and need the stimulation...there's the soft minkee, a waffle texture and satin. Just perfect!!

I am so thankful for Joy and I can't wait to share her wonderful quilts with the Child Life department at our soon-to-be open children's hospital in Johnson City. Pete and I are going tomorrow to the ER Open House and I'll be taking these with us.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Prayers for Baby Bowers

Pete and I have recently taken over one of the local blood drives. While Pete was calling one of our regular donors, he found out about Baby Bowers.

Baby Bowers was born last night to Sam Bowers and wife (Sam is the donor we were trying to reach). He had to be airlifted to Vanderbilt because he needed emergency surgery to repair his heart. We don't have the details, but we do know how scary this all is to the family. Pete talked to the Grandmother who gave as many details as she we get the info (I'd like his name!), I'll pass it along. Until then, just pray.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Needing More Help!

Our son, Gus, who passed away at 16 months, was profoundly and bilaterally deaf. Most insurance companies DO NOT pay for hearing aids...ours was one of those that did not. We were fortunate enough to get help from a local group that flat out paid for Gus' hearing aids which were $10,000 a pair. A lot of people are not in the same situation that we were and they are having to pay for their child's hearing aids out of pocket. If that had been our case, Gus would not have had the hearing aids. I think it is very important for any child who has been diagnosed as hard-of-hearing or deaf, to have the equipment he/she needs.

The organization I blogged for this past Saturday is one that advocates for these kids....they too feel that deaf children should have the equipment they need. Seriously, it makes me sad that we even have to have an organization to do should be an automatic thing that we do...take care of our children. I'm simple though...I guess it's much deeper than that....

Anyway, I know that money is really tight for all of us right now and that's why I am thrilled that Nessa has set up a way for you all to donate to Blogathon 2008 without spending a dime!! Please head over to her blog and read all the takes less than a minute, won't cost you a single cent, and she's giving away prizes!! Woohoo!!

Of course, if you want to donate more you certainly can. All you need to do is click here and then send me an email at pdoriot(at)chartertn(dot) net or leave a comment and tell me the amount you've donated. I will post your name...unless you wish to remain anonymous. I only ask you to send me the amount so I can keep track goal-wise!

CURRENT DONATIONS: $155 only $345 more to go!!


Kidd Dynamite

Nessa and Gang in memory of Serena who recently passed away.

Crazy Tanya


Thursday, July 24, 2008

Blogathon 2008

For more information and instructions on donating, please click HERE!


Nessa, from Absolutely Moms and According to Me, has graciously offered all of her monies earned from her Lilaguide registrations!! Lilaguide is a new site with lots of different communities. Nessa has started a group for WAH or SAH moms where we can exchange tips and ideas, read product reviews and even find great blogs to read! This community is new and is growing daily...I know you don't want to miss out on this!! Even if you are not a WAH or SAH mom yet, you are still welcome...heck, even if you're not a mom yet, come on in! lol!!

Sign-up is easy-peasy. All you have to do is sign up here and when you do so, Nessa will make as bit of money which she will be sending to me as a donation for Blogathon 2008. So see, you can donate even if you have absolutely no money cool is that!?

Seriously, this is so easy....just a smidge of time and you've joined a cool group AND you've helped make a difference in the life of a deaf child! So do it...ok?

banner: Shabby Fall Page set by Shabby Princess

Friday, July 11, 2008

Prayers for Maddie

UPDATE: Maddie died late last night. Please continue to pray for this family....

I usually don't post information or photos without permission, but I felt led to do so this time. I think it is because Pete and I have been where this family is right at this moment and we know how the power of prayer can envelope us in peace. That is exactly what I want all of us to pray...that the family of Maddie Harrill will feel that peace of God that goes far beyond our own understanding.

Maddie has cancer and has been given a poor prognosis. I believe she is currently at East Tennessee Children's Hospital which is where we spent so much time. I know that the whole family is being cared for well by the nurses and doctors there...we were so I imagine they are too.

Her parents are hurting, yet they remain full of faith. Folks, watching your child die is so very hard so please, please, please make time to pray for this family today. I rejoice that Maddie will soon be seeing the glories of Heaven, but my heart is breaking for her mom and dad. Of course, there is always hope that Maddie will be healed her on earth, but sometimes the miracle of healing takes place not on this side of Heaven. Regardless, God has Maddie in his hands...

You can read more about Maddie...and see some great photos....over at her Carepage. Type in MaddieHarrill as one word.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Johnny Jackson

I just read about a little guy named Johnny Jackson who has died due to secondary drowning. My heart is heavy for this mom right now and I think we should all remember her and the rest of the family in our prayers. It breaks my heart that such tragedy has followed what started out to be a fun time...very sad.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Letter to Gus

I am posting this letter one day early because I will not be on the computer is Celebrate Gus Day! Gus died on May 31, 2006 and we will be celebrating his life this evening and all day tomorrow...

I have found it very therapeutic to write letters to Gus. The following is the letter I’ve written to mark the second anniversary of this death…or rather, his “homegoing”. I want to make it very clear that by writing this letter I am in no way trying to make contact with him. Contacting the dead is wrong and quite dangerous. (Deut. 8:9-12). There are deceitful spirits out there that yearn to make us think we are talking to our loved ones when in all actuality we are not. Besides…God has provided us with the only Spirit we need…the Holy Spirit. He will not deceive us nor misguide us. Since I’m certain that the Lord and Gus see each other daily, I have asked Him to share these letters if it is His will….I like to think it is!

Dearest Gus,

It has been two years since we said goodbye to each other. When I think about the time that has passed, I am amazed that it has been that long—yet, then again, sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday. I am still able to feel the weight of your little body in my arms. I can even still imagine nuzzling your neck and breathing in your precious baby smell. I know in time that will pass. God comforts me with these memories and I am thankful.

I still dream of you often. My hope is that I will continue to do so until we are reunited. My dreams of you are often funny. I can honestly say that I wake up from them feeling joy instead of the great dread that I could feel in knowing you are no longer here. God uses these dreams to bring me comfort and I am thankful.

Your dad is about to graduate nursing school and I’ve just started working on my three pre-requisites so I can start nursing school next summer. My time with you has shown me that I can handle the toughest things on this earth. Certainly I have not done any of these things—like holding you as your heart beat for the last time—on my own but only through the magnificent power of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Because of this, I am praying that God will bless us with in-home opportunities to care for other medically fragile children—especially the ones that are abandoned in the hospital and have no one. This sounds crazy to a lot of people and I do understand. Who in their right mind would want to get attached to a child that may die?? Who would set themselves up for such heartache?? Well, your dad and I would…and we would be honored to have the opportunity to do so. I have been blessed and equipped with the experience of your death and as I start school, I look forward to the chances I will have to “give back”. God has empowered me to face the tough things and has given me empathy and I am thankful.

As I am aware of the fact that a righteous man’s prayer is powerful and effective(James 5:16), and you my son are as righteous as you can be since you are now with the Lord, I am hoping you will pray for me…well, for all of us Doriots! Seriously, this world is so beautiful yet so dark—so full of sin. I strive daily to live joyfully and I look forward with great anticipation to our reunion. It is hard here though so please pray that we will not grow weary and lose sight of Home. God uses the reality of Heaven and seeing you again to comfort me…and I am thankful!

I love you, Gus!


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Katerpillar Kids

The summer after Gus died, Nik and Jake attended Katerpillar Kids. This camp is held yearly for children in grades 1-12 who have lost a loved one.

Our good friend, Chaplain Sandy, sent us information about the camp and I'm so glad she did! Pete and I thought it would be good for the boys to meet others who were experiencing loss like they were. Some of the kids had also lost siblings, but some had lost parents. At the end of camp, there was a butterfly release. I missed it because I had gone on a scrapbooking all honesty, I'm not sure I could have handled seeing the butterflies fly away. I could now, but not back then.

Katerpillar Kids will be held this September in Townsend, TN. The camp is free and fills up quickly so you need to get your application in soon!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Maria Sue

Please join me in praying for the family of little Maria Sue Chapman.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Special Mother

I wanted to share this famous poem by Erma Bombeck. I can't help but think about all you moms out there who are daily living (and thriving!) with your wonderful special needs kids. Though Gus was only with us a short time, I was certainly plunged into that world and I know both the hardships and joys you all experience on a daily basis. My wish is for each of you to have the most wonderful Mother's Day ever!!

The Special Mother
by Erma Bombeck

Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice,
a few by social pressure and a couple by habit.
This year nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of handicapped children.
Did you ever wonder how these mothers are chosen?
Somehow I visualize God hovering over Earth selecting his instruments for propagation with great care and deliberation.
As he observes, he instructs his angels to take notes in a giant ledger. "Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron Saint, Matthew."
"Forrest, Marjorie, daughter. Patron Saint, Celia."
"Rutledge, Carrie, twins. Patron Saint...give her Gerard.
He's used to profanity."
Finally he passes a name to an angel and smiles.
"Give her a handicapped child."
The angel is curious. "Why this one, God? She's so happy."
"Exactly," smiles God. "Could I give a handicapped child a mother who knows no laughter? That would be cruel."
"But does she have the patience?" asks the angel.
"I don't want her to have too much patience,
or she'll drown in a sea of self-pity and despair.
Once the shock and resentment wear off she'll handle it."
"I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence
so rare and so necessary in a mother.
You see, the child I'm going to give her has a world of it's own.
She has to make it live in her world, and that's not going to be easy."
"But Lord, I don't think she even believes in you."
God smiles. "No matter, I can fix that.
This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness."
The angel gasps, "Selfishness? Is that a virtue?"
God nods. "If she can't seperate herself from the child occassionally,
she will never survive.
Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect.
She doesn't know it yet, but she is to be envied.
She will never take for granted a spoken word.
She will never consider a step ordinary.
When her child says momma for the first time, she will be witness to a miracle and know it.
I will permit her to see clearly the things I see--ignorance, cruelty,
prejudice--and allow her to rise above them.
She will never be alone.
I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life
because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side."
"And what about her Patron Saint?" asks the angel, his pen poised in the air.
God smiles. "A mirror will suffice."

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Elvin the Elephant Who Forgets

I came across this book and I thought that some of you might like to know about it. It's about an elephant who suffers a brain injury after a tree branch falls on his head. He visits a therapist and finds out that he's not bad at all and that he just has an injury.

This sounds like a wonderful book and the illustrations are great...and not only because I love elephants! You can see for yourself by checking out some page excerpts. Very neat!

If anyone has read this, I'd love to know!!

Elvin the Elephant Who Forgets
by Heather Snyder & Susan Beebe, Illustrator 2005

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Dragonfly Heart Camp

Dragonfly Heart camp is a camp where children with heart disease and pulmonary hypertension can go and experience a lot of fun and adventure! Kids will be able to use a zip line, take field trips, nature walks, and much more. Of course, there are doctors, nurses and respiratory specialists who are part of the staff so campers are well care for.

Dragonfly Heart Camp is located near Chesapeake Bay in Maryland. The camp is almost free...there is a $50 registration fee that is non-refundable. For more info, you can visit their website here. Sounds like a lot of fun!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Two New Friends

We've got two new Gus' Gang friends to welcome!

First is a little fellow named Caleb. Right now he is hanging out at St. Judes in Memphis, TN because he is undergoing treatment for a rare cancer called ATRT. I hope to soon get permission from his family to post a photo and his carepage address. Caleb's parents live in Greeneville and take turns staying with Caleb in Memphis. Road trips are common in situations like this so we all need to be praying not only for Caleb's healing, but also for travel safety for this family.

Next, I'd like to tell you all about a gal named Cassidy. She is a nine year old girl who my parents have recently met...her uncle owns a restaurant that my parents eat at and she sometimes helps her uncle serve the food. Both of my parents have mentioned that she is just a jewel! Well, last week, she was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. We are still trying to find out what type of cancer and I'll let you all know when I do. She has already had her first treatment and became very, very sick. I hope that each of you will pray for this gal and her family. I hope to find out when her next treatment is so that we can just bathe her in prayer at that specific time. As with Caleb, I hope to get a photo soon.

So there you go....please don't delay in adding Caleb and Cassidy to your Prayer Lists!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Top Droppers

Thanks to all these fine Entrecard folks who have been consistently coming by for a visit! These are the top seven droppers.

Easy Share ---Connie's going to be seeing Gregory H. Johnson (Major, USAF) soon! ---tons of techy stuff here, folks!
Cheaper by the Half Dozen ---read a neat story about her son
The Sewing Mom ---read about a IRL meet-up!
Old Bitty ---see a hilarious IRS sign!
Nessa's Place ---read about Nannito Bandito
Struggling Parents ---find out about natural remedies for ADHD


Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Trails Edge Camp

As summer is quickly approaching, I thought I would share some camps I've come across lately.

This week's featured camp is Trails Edge Camp. This camp is for children ages 5-18 who are ventilator-dependent. It's a great opportunity for these kids to meet other kids like themselves and also a time where parents can take a break and know that their child is in good hands.

Of course, like any other camp, there are tons of activities planned like horse back riding and fishing along with all the other typical camp activities! I think it's great that camps like this give children the opportunity to be be able to do things that other kids at camp are doing. They just have to do them a little differently! One thing I think is incredibly neat about this camp is that there is a tree house that the kids can go up into. They get hoisted up in a sling and harness!! Very clever!!

If you have a child who is ventilator-dependent you should check into this camp. It's located in Mayville, MI and is absolutely FREE to children and parents. See what generous donations can do!!

Let me know if you go!!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Great Resource for Tube-Fed People

One of the resources I found early after being told that Gus would need to be tube-fed for awhile was the Oley Foundation. I did a search for tube-fed children and support groups and this foundation is what came up on the results page. I'm thankful that I discovered this resource because there is tons of info and tips. I encourage you to check it out if you have tube fed child!

I noticed too that there is a section on Omegaven now. This is the new drug that has had incredible results in repairing the liver. This is huge for those people who are on long-term TPN because the lipids in the TPN basically kill the liver. I found out about it a month after Gus died. It's not an easy medication to get, but there is info at the Oley Foundation site that tells you how to actually go about it. At the time I found out about the med, it was only being administered in one there are at least 25 hospitals who are giving it. I can't even begin to tell you how happy this makes me. TPN induced liver disease kills infants...the adults seem to do better but not by to know that this med is becoming more available to small ones with short bowel syndrome really makes me happy.

I still get the newsletter because I want to stay on top of the information. Hopefully, we'll be adopting medically fragile children in the near future and I'm sure most of them will have a g-tube, ng-tube or central line. I'll be a better caregiver if I stay informed!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Etsy for Autism

Some of you all remember me writing about Betty Refour and her sister Rose who is an autistic adult. Well, I recently heard from Betty that there is a new blog(Etsy for Autism) that is being written by a team of artists who support and encourage Autism Awareness. I love to buy handmade items and I think it's wonderful to know that there are people out there who are using their talents to draw attention to things like autism, organ donation, etc. So head on over there to see some really beautiful art...and be inspired by these kind souls!

This is a piece created by Rose. Betty says that Rose has always been artistic and that she loves to go shopping immediately after she sells one of her masterpieces! Click on the artwork to go to the Etsy shop...

Monday, February 25, 2008

Book Report: Room of Marvels

There are a lot of books out there to read. Some books are entertaining…some are boring…some are down-right awful…and then you come across a book that is just…well…beautiful! That’s exactly what I discovered when a church friend loaned me her copy of the Room of Marvels by James Bryan Smith.

This is a story about the author’s loss of joy after the death of his best friend, his two year old daughter and then his mother. Well, let me rephrase that: it is a story about the hope of Heaven and regaining joy! This is such a moving book, and I could so closely relate to the author, that I read it in one sitting. Yes, everything else was pushed aside so I could read this book and take from it the message God wanted me to hear.

You join the author on a journey through Heaven. As the journey progresses, the author meets acquaintances and loved ones from his past and yes, he does see his best friend, mother and his daughter. And yes, you will cry! Of course, the book is fiction because none of us know such details about Heaven, however, I do believe that God does reveal things like this to us and I do feel that God did just that with Mr. Smith!

If you have experienced the searing pain of losing a loved one, especially a child, then you certainly need to read this book! I was moved, inspired and filled with hope and joy for what is to come. I am thankful that Mr. Smith has shared his dream with us and I’m tickled to think that my children know his child in Heaven…I just know they do!!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Weekend Linky Love

I was thrilled and honored to find our Gus' Gang button in the sidebar of a blog I came across today! It really touched my heart... Please be sure to visit Cheaper by the Half Dozen. You'll be sure to find a neat blog chocked full of good stories and lots of lovely goodness. And of course, Jo from Life with Heathens, has had our button in her sidebar for awhile now...thank you, friend!

Entrecard Top Droppers:

Parenting Squad
Sense to Save
Mommies Home
Momma Muse

A big "Thank You" to these fine folks who ran our Gus' Gang button on their blogs:

Comfort Joy Designs
Parenting Diva
Mo Mhile Gra

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Template Giveaway!

Just wanted to let you all know about a cool giveway happening over at Doodlebug Designs! To celebrate the Grand Opening of her business, Judi (Grayson's mom!) has decided to give away a template...well, actually she's giving away several prizes! Here's the list:
  • 1st Place Prize ~ FREE completely customized blog design for a blogger blog!
  • 2nd Place Prize ~ FREE completely customized header for a blogger blog!
  • 3rd Place Prize ~ 10% off any service!
Judi does great work...she designed my Up the Hill Gang blog and I absolutely love it! Make sure you head on over there to get all the details! Neato Mosquito!

Monday, February 04, 2008

Bob's House

Hat tip to Karen from A Deaf Mom Shares Her World for sharing the link to the interview with Darren, the passenger in the commercial! Neat!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

The Dales Walk

As I was visiting Corey today, I read about the Dales Walk being pursued to raise funds for the Joseph Salmon Trust. This trust has been established in memory of 3 year old Joseph Salmon who died in his sleep. The money in this trust goes to help with the expenses when a child dies. I think this is a wonderful cause. Funeral expenses are so high and sometimes it is years before money can be saved in order to purchase a headstone for the grave. One of the best ways to help families who have lost children is to help with these kinds of expenses. We had someone donate money when Gus died and we were able to purchase his marker quickly....there are some graves around his that still have the little metal pokes used to id the graves that do not have markers yet. It would make me very sad if we had not been able to mark Gus' grave....

So...if you feel led, please consider helping this group raise some money to help these grieving families. Every donation makes a difference.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Happy Birthday, Gus!


Henry Larsen Doriot


January 18, 2005 - May 31, 2006

I am happy!

I am happy that I got to meet Gus. I’m happy that I got to see his precious smile and his flirtatious ways. I’m happy that I was able to capture very expressive moments with my camera so I can continue to share Gus with others. I’m happy that we got to bring him home where he could interact with his siblings in a normal atmosphere. I’m happy that he would wiggle to get out of the arms of whoever was holding him when he saw me come in the room. I’m happy when I remember his fascination with a new plaything. I’m happy when I think about the special kind of communication we had since he was deaf. I’m happy when I think about how much he loved to get his central line dressing changed because of the smell of the chloraprep. I’m happy because he was such a complete joy to take care of and I’m so happy that he is mine!

My New Addiction

I have decided to put together an album of our Gus' Gang kids so I can show our "locals"...mainly because I can't get any of them to visit the blog! lol! This is Leah Rose...isn't this an absolutely adorable photo of her?? I love it! looking for more layouts...I'm kinda addicted! I've got Rhett's done and am looking for the perfect "paper" for Noah...

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Healed in Heaven

Tadhg Michael Kilgore
October 12, 2007 – January 9, 2008

I first read about Tadhg over at Noah's blog. I was so moved by something that Tadhg's Uncle Chris wrote that I wanted to share it with you all. Having experienced the death of a child myself, these words really touched my heart. As I approach Gus' birthday, I want to remember these words...

One would not say that a short story is incomplete because it isn't a novel. It takes all kinds and some stories by their brevity make their point all the finer.
----Tadhg's Uncle Chris Kilgore

Please join with me in prayer for this family and please visit Tadhg's blog and read his courageous story. Also be sure to read The's beautiful and I'm thankful that the family has shared it....

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Happy Birthday, Sam!

Samuel Finn Doriot

January 9, 2004

born sleeping at 19 weeks

A Dream

A dream is a wish your heart makes,
When you are fast a sleep.
In dreams you will lose your heartaches,
Whatever you wish for, you keep!
Have faith in your dreams and someday

Your rainbow will come smiling through!
No matter how your heart is breaking
If you keep on believing
The dreams that you wish for,
will come true!

from Walt Disney’s Cinderella

Friday, January 04, 2008

One Small Sparrow

I've just finished a book that I thought some of you would enjoy reading. It's called One Small Sparrow by Jeff Leeland and you can read my quick review over at my main blog, Up the Hill Gang. I have a hardback copy that I found in the free bin at our local book exchange place and I would love to pass it along to one of you! It's first come first serve...just make sure you leave me your e-mail or blog address so I can get in touch with you to get your mailing address!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Leah Rose

Meet Leah Rose! She is a spunky 4 year old we are going to be praying for here at Gus' Gang. A geneticist at Shands Hospital in Florida has diagnosed her with Freeman Sheldon Syndrome. Her mom has put together a ton of information for us at her blog so instead of explaining the syndrome here, I'm going to send you over there!

I look forward to getting to know Leah Rose and her mom and I also look forward to praying for them. Please join me!

The Dying Child by Hans Christian Andersen

We've been reading a good little story by Hans Christian Andersen called What the Moon Saw. As I was doing some research about this author, I came across this poem that really touched me....and yes, made me cry. It's the last stanza...the image of an angel kissing my sweet Gus just brings tears to me...good tears though. He is sorely missed....

The Dying Child

By Hans Christian Andersen.

Mother, I'm tired, and I would fain be sleeping;
Let me repose upon thy bosom sick;
But promise me that thou wilt leave off weeping,
Because thy tears fall hot upon my cheek.

Here it is cold: the tempest raveth madly;
But in my dreams all is so wondrous bright;
I see the angel-children smiling gladly,
When from my weary eyes I shut out light.

Mother, one stands beside me now! and, listen!
Dost thou not hear the music's sweet accord?
See how his white wings beautifully glisten?
Surely those wings were given him by the Lord!

Green, gold, and red, are floating all around me;
They are the flowers the angel scattereth.
Should I have also wings while life has bound me?
Or, mother, are they given alone in death?

Why dost thou clasp me as if I were going?
Why dost thou press thy cheek so unto mine?
Thy cheek is hot, and yet thy tears are flowing!
I will, dear mother, will be always thine!

Do not sigh thus – it marreth my reposing;
But if thou weep, then I must weep with thee!
Ah, I am tired – my weary eyes are closing –
Look, mother, look! the angel kisseth me!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Words of Encouragement

As I was out and about visiting other blogs today, I came across a post over at The Not Quite Crunchy Parent blog which reminded me of all the words of encouragement we received and still do receive on Gus' Caringbridge site. MC Milker has written a post called "Caring Through CarePages" about how she has been lurking around one that has been set up for a child who has leukemia. This little guy goes to preschool with her child.

I can't even begin to tell you all how encouraging it was to us to find out that we had received comments. Some were short and to the point and others were long...all were refreshing and gave us so much love. Just that fact that someone had checked in on us was encouraging.

So, if you are ever at a CarePage or Caringbridge page, please be sure to leave a comment. It doesn't matter if you actually know the person or not. In fact, that is exactly how I met Judi, Grayson's mom...she had commented on Gus' page after he had died and we started corresponding. So, don't have to really know the family to spread God's love and encourage one another.

I challenge you this week to find a Caringbridge or CarePage site and just leave a comment. Some pages are private, but there are plenty of ones out there that are not. Of course, you can always visit some of the kids we have listed in the sidebar.

You really can make a difference....

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

With Much Sadness

I just got an update from Jon's caringbridge site with the information that he has died. Folks, we need to really just bathe this family in prayers right now because I can't think of a harder thing to go through than the loss of your child. I also know that the presence of the Lord during a time like this can be very evident and can give great peace. Though saying goodbye to Gus was the hardest thing I have ever had to do, I did feel that peace that goes beyond understanding and that is exactly what I want for this family...for Jon's mom, dad, well, his whole family because I know that they are all feeling his absence right now. I have included a photo from a family vacation...these are a few of the people that need our prayers right now. Of course, you can see Jon right there in the front.

May the God of Peace and Love bring comfort beyond measure to this family and may this comfort last until we all are reunited with our children in Heaven.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Jon Needs Prayers

Jon is in need of our prayers. He was in an accident after work on October 29th. According to his Caringbridge site, he fell off of a moving golf cart and hit his head. Currently he is in the has been a hard day and there have been some changes in his condition that may mean a different treatment plan.

Not only do we need to pray for Jon, but we need to pray for his family too. Those of us who have dealt with things like this know all too well how stressful it all is. I will be praying for the Peace and Calm that only the Lord can bring....

You can keep up with Jon over at his Caringbridge site.

Friday, October 19, 2007

I've Not Forgotten You!

Dearest Noah,

ok..ok...I know, I know...I've been a horrible person because I've not been posting about all the wonderful new things you are doing...and well, some of the interesting things you are doing! But please...when you look at me that way, I feel so bad! I haven't forgotten you, really.

I think it's wonderful that you are rolling over and that your mom (well YOU!) dc'ed your ng tube!! That's exciting news. I know how icky those ng tubes can be for both mom and baby..not fun. And look at you gaining all that weight...You Grow Guy!!

So, I was wondering, what's the first thing you're going to do when you get to your "Home Home"??

Your Friend and Fan,

ps...I know that you are not looking at me all sad was your dad wasn't it? Bugging you while you were taking a bath...sheesh!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Deaf Pilot...Cool!

I was avoiding any kind of responsibilities this morning and I came across a wonderful post that Lillie had written over at her blog A Writer's Words, An Editor's Eye. It's about two people who have overcome great obstacles. Of course, I focused in one the video of Stephen Hopson because he is deaf. Gus was profoundly deaf and I found that, while he was here with us, I developed a heart for the deaf. I am amazed at these people...what heroes they are. Can you imagine for even a minute what it would be like to hear absolutely nothing?? It blows my mind...

Here's a video about Stephen. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did and I hope that you are inspired by his "can do" attitude! I also hope you catch that there was one person, his elementary school teacher, that encouraged him...and I hope that instead of just looking at people who are "different" that we all reach out and encourage and embrace these people...and appreciate them for the wonderful gifts they are! Enjoy!

Stephen Hopson links:

Obstacle Illusions
Adversity University

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Little Rooms...All the Cool Blind Babies Have One!

Really...I stole the post title from what the author of this neat site said because it completely cracked me up! It reminded me of how much it is necessary to have a sense of humor when you have a sick's good therapy!

All that aside...if you have a blind baby or know someone else who has a blind baby, then you need to visit Wonderbaby support groups where you can meet with moms and dads who have "been there-done that"'s . Not only will you find instructions for making your own "Little Room" but you will find a lot of resources for families with blind babies. Most importantly you can find severa moms and dads who have walked the path's always comforting to know those who are farther along the path...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Look at This Squeezie!!

Absolutely squeezable....really, I would have a hard time keeping my hands off this little guy!

I was thrilled to read that Noah and his mommy will probably be heading "home-home" on October 25th!! He is eating well and making great progress....his mommy is excited and so am I!

Let's remember to continue to pray for this little trooper, his family (his big sister!). Also, Noah's mom mentioned that her Aunt has had some medical complications and needs our prayers also.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Kindergarten Krazy!

Word has it that Izzy is loving Kindergarten! And I'm sure those assisting her during school are loving her!! Lots of neat things going on with this little chick so be sure to head over to her blog and read all about all her school adventures...neat!

He's a Whooper, Folks!

19 pounds! Let me tell you all, this is a BIG deal! Those of us who have taken care of a child who does not thrive know that even a few ounces is reason to cheer. Heck, there were times that we were thrilled that Gus had stayed steady and not lost any weight. I know Damon's mom has had that feeling too....

I am just thrilled that Damon is becoming a Whopper! Maybe he can give some lessons to Noah!

Noah "No-Tubes"!

Ahhh....there's nothing like seeing your baby without tubes! I love his expression!!

Crystal's new chant is "Get Fat Noah!"...and that's exactly what I'm going to be praying for! Fat is good when you are medically fragile....sometimes, fat is everything. So grow big, baby, grow big!!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Celebrate Brandon Day!!

And – this is very important – though you and I may wish a longer life for our loved ones, they don't. Ironically, the first to accept God's decision of death is the one who dies.

While we are shaking heads in disbelief, they are lifting hands to worship.
While we are mourning at a grave, they are marveling at heaven.
While we are questioning God, they are praising God."
~Max Lucado

Please go and visit Brandon's Caringbridge site to read about him and about his family who have so beautifully been grieving his death. The above passage was taken from his site and , in all honesty, it makes me weep....but only because it is completely true. Praise God that our children are now healed!!

Brandon's beautiful light still shines one...just much brighter in Heaven. I can't wait to meet him!!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

No Rejection For Noah!

It looks like Noah is NOT going through rejection and that is great news!! Praise God for that...but do continue to pray for Noah because he is still so very sick. The docs are just not completely certain what is going on with the little fellow. Let's pray that they figure some things out and that Noah's edema (swelling) goes down. He's so puffy that his little eyes are swollen shut...folks, that is so hard for a mommy to have to see so let's pray for Crystal too. Be sure to go read Crystal's complete update...

Also, don't forget Noah's big sister and his Dad.