BIG NEWS!

No, not that…silly!

Our little family takes up a lot of space.  This has been true since Karis got her trach but hasn’t really been a problem since Ander started crawling (and boy can he move).  We decided to look into renting a home, but the realtor my friend put me in contact with gave us some very legitimate reasons why that might not be the best solution for us financially.  We started praying through it and began looking for a home to purchase.  The Lord was so faithful every step of the way and has provided a home for us here in Clinton!  We close on our house next Friday and will move in that Saturday, the 15th.

We still have a few needs but we know that God provides at just the right time :)  We would be so thankful for your prayers as we make the transition from seminary housing into our new home- primarily prayers for Karis’ health and for wisdom as I set up her “mini ICU” in the new house.  Kales is extremely enthusiastic about the new home, but there is always a little transition angst in a three year old’s heart, so we’d appreciate prayers for her too!

If you are in the Jackson/Clinton area on Saturday, November 15th, the moving fun will begin at 8am!  Free donuts, coffee, high-fives, and “thank you” hugs for anyone able to help.

Thank you all for your continued support and prayers!

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Fall Family Update

Hi friends!

It has been a while since I’ve updated The State of the Family so I thought I’d let you in on new prayer requests and praises.

Karis and her doll, Hope

Karis and her doll, Hope

Karis has started her kindergarten year with a new teacher from Clinton Public Schools.  Her teacher is very energetic and enthusiastic about learning Karis so that she can teach her effectively.  We also try to be creative with her environment so that Karis doesn’t get bored.  Last Friday we were at the playground before school and Karis was so alert and responsive that I asked her teacher to come to the playground for school time.  Karis seemed to enjoy it, but I think we might not try that again until Mississippi inches closer to Fall.

Speaking of Fall…here comes allergy season.  Everyone in the house is sniffling and sneezing, including Kare.  With the “noxious stimuli” of a runny nose, headache, and congestion come more seizures.  Nothing makes me long for Heaven like watching my daughter seize.  She is still progressing on the Ketogenic diet, but whether or not it will be effective in seizure prevention remains to be seen.  Her dietician said that it took one patient a full year before noticing a therapeutic effect.  We are still hopeful that it will help.

Karis isn’t the only one who has started school this year.

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With his Masters of Theology now under his belt, Trevor started his job as an English teacher for Terry High School in August.  The Terry High community has been gracious and welcoming as Trevor settles into the position.  I have developed a new respect for teachers as I have watched him scrub his classroom, set up a welcoming environment for students, leave early and get home late.  (And I will gladly join the Teachers of America Deserve Higher Pay club!)  Trevor has also started a creative writing club and scholars club at Terry, which I think might make him a “coach?” ;)

IMG_0445As I believe I mentioned, this summer I earned my certification as a professional medical coder.  While coding is a great field, it is such a specific position that employment has proven to be very difficult to find.   I’m looking specifically for a clinic that will allow me to do an orientation in their office, then take the work home with me.  Until I find a position of that nature, I have re-opened my Etsy shop to help supplement our income.  The latest collection is Blessings for Children.  You can check it out here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/katiealmy?ref=search_shop_redirect

 

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My little sidekick, Kales, is growing up faster than I’m ready for.  Every day it feels like she is communicating a new depth of emotional maturity and understanding.  She is also growing physically and has absolutely no hesitation taking initiative in meeting her own needs.  When you’re not even three and a half, this can be both a blessing and a huge source of tension ;)  Along with her can-do perspective on life, Kales has a growing compassion for her big sister’s broken body and a heart for prayer that convicts her mama.

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I was sure that Ander being such a big fella would buy me some time before I had to manage a mobile baby.  It turns out that he’s not just big, he’s also strong.  He will be seven months old tomorrow and has a steady, slow crawl down.  Nothing motivates this crawl like the glow of Karis’ bipap machine.  {Trouble}  He is truly a delightful little man and I’m holding on to my days of “baby” because they’re going by so, so quickly.

 

 

Finally, if you haven’t heard, our friend Jim has received a biopsy report clearing him of cancer.  Thank you to those of you who prayed with us.  Our hearts are rejoicing and praising God with the Kelly family.

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A Parable of Two Trees

Our family made a little trip south to visit my family in Mobile before school starts.  Trevor had to go back early for NEW TEACHER orientation!  He will be an English teacher at Terry High School this fall and we are praising God for His provision.

Yesterday I was outside where my dad planted trees to line either side of the driveway.  When Kales was born, he planted two Japanese Maple shoots at the end of the row of trees.  He named one “Karis” and the other he named “Kales.”  Daddy reminded me of the story of his Karis and Kales trees and I am always so overcome by it that I wanted to share it with you.

When dad planted the trees they were exactly the same size.  Just two little bitty shoots.  The tree that he named, “Kales” (Pictured on the right) began to thrive immediately.  It grew beautifully, just as a young Japanese Maple should.  The Karis tree did not grow as it should. It started to, but then it began to wither.  The center stem that should have supported the tree started to blacken.  I prayed for the tree (Y’all…His eye is on the sparrow.  He can fix a tree, right?)

"Karis" and "Kales"

“Karis” and “Kales

Daddy did everything he knew to do to make the Karis tree grow, but it continued to die.  He even had the soil around the tree tested, but results indicated that the environment for the tree was excellent.  Nothing wrong with the soil.

Next, dad called a tree expert in.  He examined the withering little Karis tree and explained to dad that there is a disease inside the main part of the stem.  Think of it as, I don’t know…tree myelin.  ”It’s okay though,” the Tree Man said. “All you need to do is prune back the tree until the diseased part is gone.  You’ll have to do it in several stages.  It’ll likely take a while.”

It has been almost three years and my dad has lovingly and painstakingly pruned back the little Karis tree in hopes that the Tree Man was right.  He was.  Shoots are starting to form from the main stem and the tree that once had a rotted, diseased core is now thriving.  It is growing out, but taking it’s time growing up.

That’s okay.

We’ll wait for you…

little Karis tree.

And we’ll still pray.

Because His eye is on the sparrow.

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“Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  And not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father.   But even the hairs on your head are all numbered.  Fear not, therefore, you are of more value than many sparrows.”

Matthew 10:29-31

 

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY KARIS!

Since Ander’s arrival I have been slacking in my video making, so here is a video of Karis as a four-year-old.

The song is “Thrive” by Casting Crowns (Apparently I’ll be sued if I don’t put that EVERYWHERE. :) ) and I believe it tells our story so beautifully. Yes, Karis has a “terminal” illness, but by the power of the Holy Spirit at work in her, she can THRIVE…not just survive. If she can live a full God-glorifying life in that little body of hers, WE can too! Amen?

Karis’ birthday is always hard for me. I’m flooded with just about every emotion, but above all, I’m grateful. We continue to pray every day for walking legs, speaking lips, and miraculous enzyme production. For now, He has called us to wait on those things. So we wait. Knowing that Karis’ Savior will (and does) supply ALL HER NEEDS according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

This video was fun. Don’t blink!

To celebrate turing five, I’ve painted this scripture on the walls in Karis’ room. I’d love for you to pray it with me:

“Because (she) holds fast to me in love, I will deliver (her). I will protect (her) because (she) knows my name. With long life I will satisfy (her) and show (her) my salvation.” Psalm 91

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How We’re Celebrating 5 (please read!)

Hi friends,

For several reasons it’s just not feasible for us to have a large celebration for Karis’ birthday this Sunday. The most important thing to Trevor and me as her parents is that Karis is prayed for, and that she feels special and loved on her birthday.

We would love for you to be a part of that. If you’d be interested, please think about sending Karis a card with a prayer, scripture and/or words of encouragement for her birthday. After church this Sunday we plan on decorating her room, dancing, and playing with Karis. During that time we would read your cards and hang them on her wall to look at and enjoy.

If you’d like to stop by Sunday afternoon and wish Karis a, “Happy Birthday” I’m sure she would LOVE it!

Thank you for loving our little girl and for bringing her before the Throne of Grace.

Here is our address:
Karis Almy
603D McDonald Dr
Clinton, MS 39056

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It’s hospital time!

Hi friends!

We have been so busy lately that I haven’t had time to sit down and update you all on prayer requests and praises!

I can proudly say that Trevor Almy is an OFFICIAL graduate of Reformed Theological Seminary!! He was awarded his Master of Arts in Theology (including Biblical languages) Saturday, May 17th. It has been such a long journey and I am so proud of him. It was very emotional for me to get to hold Karis’ hand through her daddy’s graduation ceremony, since we were told she would not likely live to see it. When they asked the children of graduates to stand I raised her little arm high and she looked so proud. Thanks be to God.

Trevor also just finished his certification to teach public schools and is pursuing employment for the Fall. Please be in prayer that we will find a position soon!

RTS Graduation

RTS Graduation

Next up is Miss Karis. Her seasonal seizure increase is upon us and we are doing what we can to keep them under control. During an appointment last month her neurologist (who has experience with leukodystrophies) suggested that we try putting Karis on a Ketogenic diet to help control the seizures. This diet is almost exclusively protein and fat, with very little carbohydrates (Think extreme Atkins Diet) They’ve recently developed a Ketogenic formula that makes the diet very g-tube friendly. After discussing it in-depth with the Ketogenic nutritionist and doing a little research on my own, it looks like being in Ketosis is very protective of the brain, particularly myelin (ding ding ding!). I am not aware of any leukodystrophy friends who have tried this approach before, but we’ve prayed over it, weighed the pros and cons, and we’re going to give it a whirl.

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Since Karis’ blood sugar is going to be dropped quite low, we are going to admit her to Batson Children’s Hospital tomorrow morning and monitor her for four days until she is in Ketosis. This will allow for constant monitoring and frequent blood sugar checks. Please pray for wisdom as we make decisions for Karis. Please pray that her body will respond FAVORABLY to the diet change. Please pray for Ander, while he’s in the hospital with Karis and me this week and for Kales, while she’s with my parents in Mobile. Please pray for Trevor, as he is battling a very aggressive virus right now.

Thank you all so much for your faithfulness to bring us before the Throne of Grace!

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