Monday, December 31, 2007

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Its such a busy, fun time of year! We'll have pictures soon, and might even get around to sending that family Christmas letter I typed up a few weeks ago and still haven't printed, but for now, this blog is our way of saying hi. We love you all, and hope you had a good holiday. Between planning our move, buying a home, Christian's trip to India, hosting family for Christmas, and family sickness, we've had a few things to keep us busy, but we feel blessed all the same.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Road to Taj Mahal

After spending two long days at the supplier in Delhi, India, we took a break to give them time to complete a few action items. During our day off, we drove down to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal. Alvin and I have decide that anyone cited for road rage should be sentenced to driving in India for a week. It is crazy. No one stays in their lane, cows (and people) wander freely across the roads, and our driver has to dodge all of the slow moving traffic (horse, cow, camel, elephant, bicycle, weird three wheeled vehicles, people jaywalking) in addition to on coming vehicles that decide they ought to drive on our side of the road. The 175 km (110 mile) trip took us 5 hours each way.

It was worth it - the Taj Mahal is by far the most exquisite structure I have ever seen. Nothing even comes close. Every building in the entire compound could be considered a masterpiece. The Taj Mahal itself is white marble with semi-precious stone inlays (onyx, jade, lapis lazuli, carnelion, etc.), the other buildings in the compound are sandstone and white marble with semi-precious stone inlays. It took 20,000 workers 22 years to complete. Just an amazing place.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Happy Anniversary!

We're celebrating our 6th anniversary today--Six years, and so much to celebrate! Christian is my best friend, and I love the fun we have together and the great family we have together. Hannah likes to say in her prayers, "Please bless Mother and Daddy to love each other," and I'm happy to tell her that her prayers are definitely answered. In six years we've lived in three homes and three states (soon to be four), had four kids, one kid has had four operations, served in lots of different church callings, and thankfully spent a lot of time with friends and family. Our favorite thing about moving so often is making new friends and seeing new places (like an extended vacation). So I guess we'll keep on going... :)

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Road to Taj Mahal

After spending two long days at the supplier in Delhi, India, we took a break to give them time to complete a few action items. During our day off, we drove down to Agra to visit the Taj Mahal. Alvin and I have decide that anyone cited for road rage should be sentenced to driving in India for a week. It is crazy. No one stays in their lane, cows (and people) wander freely across the roads, and our driver has to dodge all of the slow moving traffic (horse, cow, camel, elephant, bicycle, weird three wheeled vehicles, people jaywalking) in addition to on coming vehicles that decide they ought to drive on our side of the road. The 175 km (110 mile) trip took us 5 hours each way.

It was worth it - the Taj Mahal is by far the most exquisite structure I have ever seen. Nothing even comes close. Every building in the entire compound could be considered a masterpiece. The Taj Mahal itself is white marble with semi-precious stone inlays (onyx, jade, lapis lazuli, carnelion, etc.), the other buildings in the compound are sandstone and white marble with semi-precious stone inlays. It took 20,000 workers 22 years to complete. Just an amazing place.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Its beginning to feel a lot like Springtime

The tree is decorate (and un-decorate, then re-decorated, courtesy of the kids), there is a collection of Christmas presents hidden from the kids, we've made travel plans for family coming to visit, and its nearly 80 degrees outside. Something isn't quite right.... Christian leaves next week for India, so I'm trying to get as much ready for Christmas as possible so I don't have to worry next week when I'm on my own. I realized that it just doesn't feel like Christmas until I do a secret santa project, so I'm working on that today. Tonight the Young Women are assembling gift baskets for some older members of our ward (and the missionaries), so that'll help the feeling. I'm enjoying the constant Christmas music playing on the radio and trying to really get excited for the season, but with the move to Michigan hanging over my head, I can't quite feel ready.
Its the time of year I love getting Christmas cards from friends and family all over the country (and begin to feel badly that I haven't sent mine out) and love to check up on families we haven't seen in years. Last Sunday our YW lesson was on optimism, and the teacher, one of my counselors, asked me how I felt about moving so often. Its hard to move before really putting down roots in any one place, but I'm really grateful for all the people I've met because we were willing to take a chance on a big move. From our Provo friends and the group of kids born within a week of Hannah, to our Maryland friends, our family in Utah, Idaho, Washington, Massachussets, and Georgia, to college friends and high school friends, and now our friends here in the South, its nice to have this time of year to feel close to people again.
Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Something to share

E. T. Sullivan once wrote these interesting words: “When God wants a great work done in the world or a great wrong righted, he goes about it in a very unusual way. He doesn’t stir up his earthquakes or send forth his thunderbolts. Instead, he has a helpless baby born, perhaps in a simple home and of some obscure mother. And then God puts the idea into the mother’s heart, and she puts it into the baby’s mind. And then God waits. The greatest forces in the world are not the earthquakes and the thunderbolts. The greatest forces in the world are babies.”1

I read this quote in a talk by President Hinckley and it helped me remember the value of good motherhood. I've had a challenging time with my kids over the last few weeks and this helps. Just wanted to share...

Friday, December 7, 2007

Good news

Rachel is doing really well! I took her up to Chapel Hill on Wednesday for more programming and testing for her implant. The specialists there showed me how to keep the ear piece to actually stay on her ear. Rachel wore the implant all afternoon, and even slept with it. She told me that afternoon that she likes to hear. I feel like we are making real progress. She is responding to more sounds, making more sounds, and being much more cooperative. Her audiogram shows that she is hearing some speech sounds, but is still missing some frequencies. We still have a long way to go to teach her and find out what she can really hear, but I'm so pleased that the people we are working with now are so helpful. Thanks goodness for technology!
Otherwise, we're busy getting ready to move and trying to fit in some Christmas activities. Our ward Christmas party is tonight and we hope to get our tree this weekend. We've all been pretty sick, so that's slowed us down quite a bit. I'm on antibiotics for a persistent cough. Nathan has croup, bronchitis, and an ear infection and the girls are catching the cough. We've spent a lot of time at the doctor's office lately.
We're looking forward to Christmas. My Mom and sister will come for a week or so, and Jonathan and his family will come for New Years. Christian will spend the week before Christmas (including our 6th anniversary) on a business trip in India, but thankfully my Mom and sister will be here for part of that time, so I won't be alone again.
Take care, and happy holidays!

Friday, November 30, 2007

Sleep is a wonderful thing!

Aaron has always been a good sleeper, but last night was a first-- 11 hours and counting! I feel like I should wake him up to make sure he's okay, but on the other hand, I'm loving this! Of course, I woke up, even if he didn't. It'll take a lot of nights like last night before I get used to not having interruptions at night. I'm so pleased! We had our Relief Society Christmas party last night, and it went way too long--I left early at 9:15. Over 2 hours for an Enrichment night is too much. The kids were going crazy, especially Aaron, who was being passed around the women. He was so tired, but they wanted to give him a bottle or play with him. I finally left so he could rest, and he's been asleep ever since. I think I'll go check on him now...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

I'm so glad when Daddy comes home

Ever feel like you're losing your mind? Christian is gone for the week on a business trip and we are missing him very much. Our mornings are going well, but starting at about 4:00 every afternoon, it seems like everything falls apart. I'll have all four kids crying and I feel like joining them. After the first few days without Daddy, Rachel told me that he was on an airplane. At least she understands a little. I'll be so glad when this move is over, because although he'll still be traveling, I won't have to worry about selling the home at the same time.
We'll be fine, and Daddy gets home tomorrow. I just wanted to vent a little in the blogosphere.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Picture Updates

Here are some photos of the kids from the last few weeks:

The kids liked to show off their costumes at the ward Halloween party. We dressed Aaron as a baby girl because people kept mentioning how similar our kids look, but I think he looks like a boy, even dressed in pink!

I love to see Grandpa Green napping with my babies. Don't they look comfortable?

Hannah and her cousin, Megan, wore matching dresses to Natalie's baptism.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hope you had a happy turkey-day! We enjoyed cooking the meal together and sharing it with our friends, the Christoffersens, and the Elders. Christian has wanted to to brine a turkey for years. He brought home a 20-lb turkey, soaked it in a brine all night, then rubbed seasonings all over the skin and cooked it in an oven bag to keep it moist. It was soooo good! I attempted to make homemade stuffing the way my grandmother made it, and it was almost as good as I remember. The kids didn't eat much, but they enjoyed the holiday-feeling. Christian is enjoying a much-needed break before heading off on yet another business trip next week. And today is his 30th birthday! So he's officially an old man.
We spent a busy week getting our house fixed up and cleaned up, ready to put on the market. We put an offer on a home in Michigan, so we're set as long as this home is appraised well-enough. We're excited to learn that Christian's brother, Jonathan, recently got a new job in Milwaukee, so he and his family will be only 4 hours away from us. (They are currently in Atlanta- about 4 hours away) We were worried about moving away from family, but they are moving with us!
Rachel's implant was activated on Monday. We're very excited, but it will be hard to get her adjusted again. Last year, after nine months of using the implant, she had just learned to like the implant before it all fell apart. Now we have to go through the whole process again. The good news is that she can definitely hear, even thought it bothers her. She'll start another round of speech therapy, and she'll have to re-learn much of what she knew last summer. I am very impressed with the doctors here at UNC-Chapel Hill. Fortunately, Ann Arbor, Michigan also has an excellent cochlear implant facility and a much better education system for deaf children.
I'm thankful for my family, medical help and insurance, friends, the gospel and church callings, technology that helps keep people connected, and Christian's vacation days. I feel especially blessed that I have such a fabulous hubby who is loving, fun, and provides so well for our family. Have a happy day!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

More news

We've been especially busy lately, preparing our home for sale and trying to find a place in Michigan. I flew up to Kalamazoo a week ago to approve a home, and after negotiating a price, our offer was accepted (contingent on the sale of our home). We spent this weekend, and as much time during the week as we could, painting and cleaning. The front rooms and hallway look so much brighter with a new coat of paint! I wish we'd done it a while ago so we could have enjoyed it longer.

YW in Excellence

I've loved serving with the Young Women in our ward, but it has had its share of challenges. We have a small group, but they're good girls. Its been hard for me to learn that although I hear a fair amount of negativity from the girls, they are teenagers and girls and the things I hear aren't necessarily representative of how they feel. This month we put together the Young Women in Excellence program, after months of planning. I was very worried that the girls wouldn't come or participate because they had been less than enthusiastic when we as leaders discussed it with them. We put a lot of time into planning it, and a large portion of our yearly budget went into the activity, decorations, and refreshments. I was very pleased that four girls, their families, and the Young Men joined us. We had a total of 20 people! Our theme was "Dear to the Heart..." We decorated everything in pink and brown and talked about the love our Heavenly Father has for the the women of the church and how to feel His love. We had a few short talks, the girls sang "Where Love Is," and we did a scripture marking activity. We presented each girl with a gift bag containing special scripture marking stickers and a marking pencil. The people were divided as tables and took turns each sharing and marking particularly meaningful scriptures. We also had displays of things the girls have done for personal progress throughout the year. I was so relieved that it all came together nicely. I'll probably be released soon, since we're moving, but I've loved working with the girls and hope I've done a few good things.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Baptism and Blessing

We can't seem to stay a whole week in the state! On Friday, we drove down to visit with Christian's brother, Jonathan and his family, in Atlanta. My kids love to see their cousins and they usually play really well. This trip was special because we were going to see their cousin, Natalie, be baptised. Grandpa Green, Aunts Bethany and Alexia, and DeAnn's parents, Grandpa and Grandma Warner, all came to visit as well. On Sunday, we blessed Aaron and his cousin, Isaac (six weeks older) in their ward so we could do it with family. It was fun and hectic with so many people together, and we appreciate Jonathan and DeAnn opening their home to us.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Hannah and friend Benjamin bobbing for donuts at a YW/YM activity.

Rachel painting pumpkins with the ward youth

Our cutie, Aaron

Nathan is a sweet little big brother.

Natalie, Hannah, Megan, Karen, and Rachel--five girl cousins on Conference weekend.

Nathan playing at a park in Virginia

Rachel loves to climb!

Moving again

I realized that with everything else going on, I haven't given an update on Christian's job. In September, Christian was approached about a job promotion that would potentially send us to another state. After all, we've lived in Shelby for a year, so isn't it time to be moving on? He applied for the job, and actually interviewed in Michigan while I was in the hospital with Aaron. He really liked the job and the area, so when he was offered the job we really debated what to do. At the time, he was seriously considering options for graduate school, and accepting this position meant postponing grad school for at least a year. We looked at homes in the area, and I looked at the medical options for Rachel and the school programs for deaf kids. In every area it looked like a better place for us. We also felt like we might find more young families like ours. He accepted the position on the condition that we stay here until Rachel's medial needs have been met, since moving in the middle of implantation and activation causes delays. We have found two homes we like and will make a final decision soon, and we plan on moving in January. In the meantime, Christian is traveling frequently and we are trying to prepare our home for sale. Its stressful, and I feel a little bad about leaving the people we've met here, but I do think this move will be the best thing for the family.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Surgery, rounds 3 & 4

Rachel is home and doing really well. Christian drove her to Chapel Hill on Monday for her pre-op visit; her surgery was Tuesday morning. The surgery went well, but when they looked at her post-op CT scan, the doctors realized that because her inner ear anatomy is so strange, the electrodes didn't go into place like usual. They operated again on Wednesday morning to make the correction, and it seems like the problem is fixed. Rachel was not happy on Tuesday, but she has recovered very well. During each surgery Rachel has had a problem with leaking CSF (brain fluid) so we are watching her closely to be sure this doesn't continue, but otherwise she is fine. We came home on Thursday. She is playing, walking around, and eating normally. We won't know whether or not the implant is working until she is activated in a few weeks, so please continue to keep her in your prayers. We've been very pleased with our experience at UNC-Chapel Hill, with the doctors and the facility.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

This week....

Rachel's surgery is this week--hopefully her last. I just wanted to let everyone know. She goes in on Tuesday and if everything looks good, they'll replace the implant and she'll be activated and hearing again before Thanksgiving. Christian will drive her up to Chapel Hill on Monday, her surgery is on Tuesday, and they should be home on Wednesday, if all goes well.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Five years and three weeks

Happy Birthday Hannah! Its hard to believe that I have four kids and the oldest is only five, but on the other hand, its hard to imagine a time before Hannah was in our family. She's a terrific big sister and a very special kid. Her kindergarten class took a field trip to see the animals at the county fair, so it was like the whole class got to celebrate with her. She especially liked the cotton candy. That night she got to pick her favorite dinner (grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup ) and blow out candles on her black forest cake.

Aaron is a happy, healthy, sleepy baby. I'm always amazed watching little babies grow. I love to see his little contented smiles. We took a picture of Aaron the other day holding his head up and looking around. He seems to have good control of his movement. He also slept a whole eight hours two nights ago, giving me my first uninterrupted night of sleep in months.

We are looking forward to having Jonathan and DeAnn and family come join us for Conference weekend, and next week, while Christian goes to Michigan on business, I'm taking the kids to see Marc and Marcy in Virginia. Oh, and I'll join Christian in Michigan for a few days for house hunting (by the way, were moving again! More details to come).

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

For once they got it right....

We have a new baby! And for those of you who like gory details, here's the story:
My sister-in-law, Marcy, took off work for a week to come help me with my kids. She came on Friday, Sept 7, and stayed through the 15th. Her husband, Marc, drove down twice to bring her here and take her back (its a 7-8 hr drive).
I really, really, really hate the last few weeks of pregnancy. I fully expected him to come early, but we had to wait, and wait, and wait, until he came on his actual due date. I didn't think that ever happened, but for once the doctors had it right. Aaron Stanley Green was born on September 12 at 7:24 am, and it was an "accidental" natural delivery (meaning, I wanted an epidural, planned for an epidural, and got Ambien instead...). I still say that it takes a very special type of person to choose a natural delivery, and I don't think I'm that kind of person.
The kids love having little Aaron at home! I worried about jealousy, or that I would be so overwhelmed and tired that I would have a difficult time, but things are going very smoothly. The girls love to comb Aaron's hair and all three enjoy holding him and giving him kisses. Aaron sleeps very well and we are working on having the breastfeeding go more smoothly. I feel better than I have for a very long time, and I have had several people tell me I look younger, now that I'm not pregnant.

A few days after Aaron was born, Christian's company had a family fun day at a local amusement park. Marc and Marcy were both with us, so we decided to go together (we even took Aaron, rather than have me stay home with him...). The kids loved the kiddie rides, and Marcy took Hannah on a real rollercoaster. It was really nice to spend a day as a family, and thankfully Aaron slept well.
We added a new slideshow to our webpage, and Marc and Marcy have posted pictures on their blog, if you are interested.
In other news, Rachel's surgery is scheduled for October 23. Her doctor says that she has healed nicely and we expect to have her new implant activated by the middle or end of November. She is back in preschool and really enjoys it.
Hannah is doing really well in Kindergarten. Her teachers say that she is bright and helpful and has good beginning reading skills.
Nathan is exercising his independence and, in true 2-year-old character, his favorite word/ASL phrase is "don't like!" He is a good helper and is very patient with all the changes going on at home right now.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Just for fun

I noticed that our last few posts haven't been all that cheerful, so here's some fun photos of the kids from the last month.
The girls found a ladybug in the house and decided to help it feel "at home." They put it in a play dog bed (the ladybug is the tiny dot inside the small green bed) and carried it all around- and fought over it--until Rachel eventually squished it. In this picture, Hannah is signing "Mother" to Rachel.
This is Rachel, the first day home after surgery. She decorated herself with foam stickers.
And here is Hannah, waiting for the bus on her first day of Kindergarten. She is very proud of her Dora backpack.
Rachel and Nathan helped me make banana bread on Sunday, then the girls went with me to take it to some of the ladies I visit teach. The family had three dogs, one weighing over fifty pounds. The girls were terrified at first, then warmed up and played with him. As we were leaving, Hannah said the thing I've been wanting to hear from her. She said, "Mama, I don't think I'm ready to have a dog yet."
All three kids playing play doh--and yes, Nathan is sitting on the table. I took him down just after taking the picture.
Here is the tent our kids built--Rachel is behind Nathan.
And finally, for anyone interested, a shot of Rachel's ear one week post-surgery. Her stitches (the black stuff in her ear) will be removed next week, and yes, they did stitch closed her ear canal.
Hannah really loves Kindergarten. She is finally meeting little girls her age (I really thought there were no 4-5 year old girls in all of Shelby, after looking for nearly a year and finding none) and she loves music, P.E., the library, etc... Its hard having her gone all day, though.
Nathan is obsessed with Hot Wheels. He carries them around all day, sleeps with them, and, of course, fights over them. He even makes the mandatory car noises that come naturally to boys.
And we are still waiting on baby. My brother and sister-in-law, Marc and Marcy, come Friday night to help with the kids, but I'm really hoping to have this baby NOW. The last few weeks of pregnancy are completely designed to make anything, even labor and crying babies, seem better. I went through three deliveries without seeing the epidural needle, but this doctor made me watch a movie about how they give the shot, and I really didn't need to know just how big the needle is, or how easy it is to put it in the wrong place. Still, though, it takes a special kind of person to have a natural birth, and I don't pretend to be that special.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Surgery Update

It's done, and like always, there's good and bad news. The good news is that Rachel is recovering well--much better than last time. Already today she is up and walking around, communicating, and acting much more like herself. The bad news is that the doctors were unable to reinsert the implant and plan to do so two months from now.
So here's how the day went: We left home at 8:00 without giving Rachel anything to eat and only 8 oz of apple juice to drink. The drive took about 3 and a half hours, and while the other kids were quite fussy, Rachel was fairly calm. Christian dropped me off at the hospital with Rachel while he took the kids to lunch, then the hotel. I really wanted to be with Rachel. We were admitted quickly and met with the doctors. I was relieved that our doctor had enlisted the help of a senior partner for the surgery and that the senior partner had contacted Rachel's previous surgeon at Johns Hopkins, whom he knew personally, and discussed her situation. The doctors said that there was a good chance they would not reinsert the implant at this time, depending on how her inner ear looked. Rachel was given "happy juice" to keep her calm before the general anesthesia, and was in the operating room less than two hours after we arrived. She was in surgery for just over 4 hours, and during that time Christian joined me in the waiting room. He stayed with Rachel during post-recovery while I took the kids to dinner. The hospital had not reserved a bed for Rachel as planned (another minor bump in our road) so we took her back to our hotel with us. Thankfully, she was very sleepy, and not at all sick and delirious like last time. I was so relieved, especially when morning came, to see how well she was doing. She slept through most of the night, waking only occasionally to try to remove her bandage. In the morning she began to drink and ate everything we offered her. We took her back to the hospital for a checkup, when the doctor removed the bandage (a huge relief). We went back to the hotel, where she continued to improve, walking around and communicating and asking for more food. We left at 11:00 and drove home. She is still on pain medication and antibiotics, and we'll probably keep her out of public for a while, but it is a huge relief to see her feeling so well. We are very disappointed that we have another surgery to look forward to, and we have some big choices to make about it. Please keep her in your prayers. We'll probably just focus on learning to use ASL as best we can over the next few months and pray that she will be able to make up for lost time once she has the implant again. She will probably be at least four months without hearing by the time this is all over. We appreciate everyone's concern and prayers-- they worked-- and now are just waiting to schedule everything, and to have this baby come.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Tomorrow's the big day

Rachel goes to surgery tomorrow (Aug 28th). I've been so nervous about it, but the closer it gets, the more confident I feel that we are doing the right thing. We'll head up to Chapel Hill as a family so Christian and I can take turns staying with Rachel while she recovers. We'll post an update when we know how it goes.
Hannah started Kindergarten today. She insisted on riding the bus this morning, and looked really confident and happy. She said she had a "perfect day." I'm so glad she's happy with school. Rachel went to a pre-K orientation today, as well, but we won't send her for at least two weeks, if we don't decide to wait until her implant is turned back on. Nathan will miss the girls when they are off at school...
And I'm still pregnant, and this is the first time I feel like I'd rather not have this baby come very early. He needs to wait until next week, so we can give Rachel the attention she needs this week. We also are concerned that Hannah and Nathan have their needs met. Hannah has a tendency to get emotional and make up illnesses when she's under stress.
Nathan and Rachel have begun to say their own prayers, and its really fun to hear (or see) what they have to say. On Sunday, when Rachel really wanted to go to church but we kept her home to keep her healthy, she prayed that she was thankful for church, food, and butterflies. Nathan said in his bedtime prayers that he is thankful for cars. Sometimes they fight over whose turn it is, but its nice because Rachel didn't like saying prayers until Nathan started.
That's it for us. We'll update when we have news.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Another busy week! Congratulations to DeAnn and Jonathan on their new baby (finally a boy!) and yes, I am very jealous. The last month of pregnancy is so uncomfortable, but for once, I don't want this baby to come too early. Our biggest news is that Rachel needs to have her entire implant replaced, and her surgery is scheduled for August 28 (two weeks before my due date). About a week and a half ago, we started having trouble with Rachel's implant, and she told me that it was hurting her. When I checked it, I felt a hard lump over the implant site. We called the doctor, had some trouble finding someone who would see her quickly, and ended up driving her 3 and a half hours to UNC-Chapel Hill to get her checked out. We learned that the magnet, an important part of her implant that activates the device, had fallen out of place and was moving around under her skin. It would have been a quick fix, but when we took her back for a CT scan, we learned that there were other problems with the implant that make it necessary to replace the whole thing. Part of the implant is an electrode string that goes in the cochlea, a shell-shaped piece of the inner ear. Rachel's electrodes punctured the skin in her ear canal. This is a huge infection risk and makes the faulty electrodes useless to her. They need to be replaced and the punctured skin needs to be sewn up to prevent further problems. While they are doing all that, the doctors feel that they should move the magnet farther up her head to where her skull is flatter, making it less likely to have the outer piece (the coil) fall off and less likely for the magnet to fall out again. Here is a link to a site that gives a good explanation of how the implant works and what it looks like:
We are grateful that we were able to find out about the more serious problems now while it can be fixed, but it is frustrating to have to go through all this again. The surgery is usually done as an outpatient thing, but because of all the post-surgical problems we had last time (two weeks shy of a year ago), the doctors plan on admitting her at least overnight so they can keep an eye on her. Rachel is handling it all very well, and although she says she wants to hear again, we are working on learning to sign better. It is very clear to us that no matter how much the implant can help her hear, she will always be deaf and there will always be times when she needs to use sign language. A sister in our ward used to teach ASL at the college level and she has started an 18-week ASL class for all interested ward members. I was very pleased that even in our small ward, 14 people came to class. They come for different reasons, but many of them are the Primary leaders who will work with Rachel.
Our family is busy, but happy and doing well. Its fun to hear Nathan using more words and speaking more clearly. He is very independent, but still cuddly and very happy. Hannah starts Kindergarten in two weeks and in the meantime, she tries to spend as much time as possible in the water. Christian is scheduled to retake the GMAT on Saturday in a week and a half, and during Rachel's surgery and having our fourth kid, we hope to make progress on researching and applying to grad school for next year. We are praying that everything in the next few weeks goes as planned, especially the surgery and birth, and that I stay sane. Thankfully, nothing seems to get Christian too upset and that helps me from going nuts. Its hot and humid, but the summer is coming to an end and we are happy and busy. Please--keep us in your prayers!