Meet Sister Moss. Some of you know her but for those who don't this post goes out to her. She is a small sweet English woman who was my neighbor most of my growing up years. Our road we lived on was named after her family as she and her husband owned a lot of the land around my childhood home.
A few months ago she fell off a stool in her kitchen and broke her hip. She is still recovering and doing well. Ever since she heard about Burke and his heart from my parents, she has been praying for him. She always asks about Burke and how he is doing from my parents when she sees them at church. She always tells my parents she is praying for him.
My mom thought it would be sweet for her to meet Burke after his heart surgery. She thought it was a great surprise. And it was nice to have the two post-op patients meet.
Burke was so cute he showed her his scar and was so cute around her. Emma on the other hand wasn't but that's another story.
It was nice to chat with her and see her again. Thank you Sister Moss and everyone else like her who have prayed non stop for Burke over the past few years. All the prayers have helped. Truly. Thank you.
Here are a bunch of pictures of when we were at mom and dad's before Burke's surgery and then for a day after the surgery before we headed home. We had a great relaxing week when Burke's surgery was postponed. I basically did nothing. It was awesome. We just sat around the house and watched B and E play. We did get off our tails and do something here and there like crack a huge bag of walnuts, decorate the Christmas tree, eat, visit with family and friends, eat a little more and talk a lot. You can tell which pictures are from before and after the surgery because of Burke's oxygen tube. (Hint: he has it before surgery and he doesn't have it after). Enjoy!
Grandpa bought each of the kids a mini hammer so they could crack the walnuts themselves. Dangerous. Luckily B was sitting by grandpa and not me. I think grandpa got hit only a few times! By the expression on his face, I think he LOVES it.
My good friend Ashley and her husband Steve came over to visit. Her sister was speaking in Church that day and they just happened to come to our home ward and so we saw them and I finally got to meet Steve. How long have you two been married- like 3 years and I hadn't even met one of my best friends' husbands? Crazy huh?! Anyways, they came over after Church and it was so good to see her and catch up with her. So, long story, but she took these pictures of us with mom and dad and believe it or not we didn't even think to get a picture with them. I couldn't believe it. Sorry Ash. Looks like we will just have to see you again soon to make up! Thanks for taking the pictures though, they turned out great!
Tom and Maya came to visit before surgery. They kids were enthralled with them, it was great! Thanks for being great sports Tom and Maya!
Emma's Christmas ornament that Grandma gave to her- an angel with her name on it. She loved it, thanks grandma! Classic Emma picture above. Multi-tasking. Talking on the phone with cousin while decorating the Christmas tree at age 4. AWESOME.
We went to see some new baby goats that were born only a few days before these were taken. My dad prunes these people's trees and they let us go and check out the new babies. The kids loved them (except when Emma thought that the mamas were going to come and eat her)- thanks dad for taking us out there!
Emma was able to have a fun and special Christmas this year. Since Burke was in the hospital over Christmas we had to send Emma somewhere else to be taken care of. The first 5 days while B was in the hospital, Emma stayed with my parents. She had a blast! She loved playing and working outside with Grandpa planting flowers and working inside with Grandma making cookies and baking.The picture above is in front of the house I grew up in. I just love this picture.My parents recently sent us some pictures of the flowers Emma planted with Grandpa over while she was there in December. It was fun to see what she had done especially since these are my favorite flower!! Thanks grandma and grandpa for the fun couple of weeks!!
Emma then flew with Grandma Johnson back to Boise to spend Christmas with Tyler's sister Becca and her family. She has always gone to their house while Burke has had his surgeries and she wanted to go back again. She LOVES it at their house! She fits in perfectly and is like one of the kids. Katerina especially loves her since she doesn't have a sister. Emma is the fill in sister and Katerina loves it! Here are some of Emma's special Christmas away from home. It was bitter sweet for us. There was no way it was going to work out to have her at the hospital with us since children who aren't being treated in the hospital cannot go into the hospital, but we knew that she was being loved and cared for well at the Labradors! Here is Kat with her "little sis"
The kids waiting to open their presents
How Becca saved Christmas. This year the story doesn't read, "How Santa saved Christmas," it was definitely "how Becca saved Christmas!" for sure. The baby that E is holding above was a $7 purchase at Walgreen's on Christmas Eve. E had told EVERYONE that Santa was bringing her a baby doll. I had sent all her Christmas gifts up to Idaho with her and was confident that the 5 or so little doll house dolls would suffice. Oh no. Those to E was not a baby doll. Oh no. So, Becca being an experienced mama, sprang into action. Literally on her way home from spending Christmas Eve with the whole family and grandma's she stopped at the corner Walgreen's hoping there was a baby doll that would do. It was small but perfect, and the price was great too. She bought it. Christmas morning came and E was NOT disappointed! After she opened it I guess she told everyone that she knew Santa was going to bring her a baby doll. Thank you Bec for saving the day and my tail. She didn't get the idea ingrained in her head until right before Christmas. She is so funny. One more baby doll added to the pile make like 6 babies for E! She kills me.
E was obsessed with their cat Bella. She is just like how her mommy was when I was little. I LOVE it!
She fits right in with their cute family!
These last two are from grandma's house. They aren't the greatest quality I think they were from a camera phone, but this is a very classic holiday setting at grandma J's and I love it. We sure did miss going home to Tyler's parents house this year. We skyped the family one time during the holiday to see if we were missing anything and sure enough everyone was just sitting on the couches just talking and hanging out. Classic. We weren't missing a thing everyone was just sitting around. I love it! We really did wish we were there though even if it was just to "sit around"!
I know E had a wonderful Christmas-her first Christmas away from home (we start sending them off when they are young.) No, but we do appreciate everyone up in Idaho who cared for and loved her when she was up there. She didn't want to come home at all. It has been such a blessing to have her go to The Labrador's every time B has a surgery. She just knows that's where she goes and she LOVES it! They are so good to her and it is so good for her to play the younger child every so often. I think she still takes over at their house though, so we gotta work on that! Anyways, thank you so much!
I know, I know I am HORRIBLE at updating my blog. But I am finally doing it, so here goes!
This post goes out to my oldest brother Tom and my sister in law Maya! We were able to see them a few times while we were in California for Burke's surgery. We were so grateful for their love and support during that stressful time. Maya is a doctor and so we were able to talk with her and pick her brain about the medical questions I had. They came to the hospital a couple of times and one time in particular Burke absolutely LOVED seeing them! We also loved seeing them. When ever we had company it helped our moral so much. It helped Burke's moral also. I know he was super bored with looking at that boring hospital room and boring mom and dad day in and day out.
My parents came to visit and help support us and see Burke also. It was so great to have them near also. They were a huge help! Here are pictures when they and Tom and Maya came. Good times were had by all. It was a beautiful day and we were able to take Burke out on the roof to get out a little. He LOVED it!
I think this blowing picture is by far my favorite of Burke. Maya was trying to get him to exercise his lungs and blow the flower petals out of his hands. He could barely do it, but he was determined to try. It was so cute.
Here is Tom and MAya with Burke at the awesome train at the hospital. This was our saving grace many a times. This picture is blurry of them but I love the look Burke is giving them cause it was the look he had on his face the whole time they were there. He was entranced by them and I loved it!
Tom is a teacher and he is so great with kids! He was helping Burke walk down the hallways. It was so fun to see them together.
Thank you Tom and Maya and mom and dad for coming out often to see us and help give love and support to us while Burke was in the hospital. We don't get to see my brother Tom very often and it was great for my kids to get to know him and Maya better. They were both so good with our kids and it was a nice break for Tyler and I as Burke was clearly entertained by our guests! Tom and Maya you are welcome anytime at our house- but as a warning my kids would probably be OBSESSED with you guys! We love you and hope to see you both sometime soon and thank you again for everything!
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Johnson Family Est. 2004
Rachel. Emma. Burke. Tyler.
Tyler and Me
Tyler and I have been together for over six years and enjoying life. We have two kidlets who rule the coop and we are so grateful for them in our lives. Here's just a chapter in our lives...come enjoy our story.
Fun family shot!
My sister Liz from redbucketphoto.blogspot.com took this and all the other professional pictures on our blog- isn't she awesome!!
Here's my boy at the Ranch in Idaho.
This is Emma Mae who is 4! I can't believe I have a child who is that old! She is as curious and determined and indepentent as they come. She is full of life, of love, and of dang cute laughter! She is such a blessing in our lives!
Emma at age 3
This is Burke who is 3. He is the happiest little guy and we are amazed with him and what he adapts to daily! He is such a blessing in our lives and we are grateful to have his heart touch ours in so many ways. He was born with congenital heart disease called Double outlet right ventricle (DORV) and has undergone four open heart surgeries and many heart catheters and other surgeries. He received the Rastelli Procedure which was his full repair surgery, in December 2009 by Dr. Hanley at Lucile Packard Children's. He is doing well and is loving life with out oxygen. As a friend said when Burke was born, "He came into this world open-hearted". He truly has.
Seriously? Burke when he was 2.
Burke and The Tank
Burke was born with HD called Double outlet right ventricle. His oxygen levels his whole life have been 75-85% and he was on oxygen from June of 2008 until December of 2009. He was able to get off the oxygen just last December because he had his full repair heart surgery. Dr. Hanley performed the Rastelli Procedure on him at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital and he has changed Burke's life. We no longer have to tote "tank" or "missle" around everywhere we go. We are truly grateful that Burke does not need oxygen any longer to sustain life. He is our little miracle and we thank the Lord above for fixing his heart. I just love this picture of Burke and tank who was his constant buddy for most of his life.