Friday, 30 January 2009

Happy Birthday Jason

Today is my husband Jason's birthday!

He is celebrating by launching a new website where you can download or listen to lots of his music for free! You might even hear me on some of the tracks! If you have a free moment check it out! He will continue to upload new stuff, post and watch for a new album coming in the next few months.

The Jason McGibbon Project

Have a super weekend.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

A Surpise Snow Day

It is a snow day here in the growing town of Milton. I didn't realize it was going to snow at all until late last night so it is bit of surprise. Everything is already covered in white and the snow just keeps coming. Buses are not running, schools are closed and roads and highways are slow and slippery. As I look out the window it does not seem too bad but apparently looks are deceiving.

It is fairly quiet here at the McGibbon house. My kids are at the dining room table working on their math and spelling. One of the benefits of homeschooling is that the snow doesn't stop us. I am not sure that the kids see it as a benefit but it works for me. The snow has cancelled a program that I am involved with today so I have gained some unexpected extra hours and I am able to post and spend some time in prayer.

I have been contemplating my prayer life as of late. During the journey with Liam's health, my soul was reawakened not only to the power of prayer but to it's necessity for my spirit. Prayer is a funny thing for me. Experience has taught me that prayer is not only a blessing but it is essential for my walk with God. I love to pray. It is not something I do as a last resort or just because I think I should do it. I truly am astounded by the fact that little old me has the privilege to talk to Almighty God and that He is listening. I have to confess though, I have struggled with a consistent and concerted prayer time. My mind is prone to wander. Thoughts and distractions flood into brain. I try to push them out but sooner or later while I am praying, stray ideas of grocery lists, organizational details for my kids start popping into my head. The next thing you know I have lost my train of thought and my mind is running off on a tangent that has nothing to do with spending time in God's presence.

Earlier this month, a good friend with her family moved back overseas to serve as missionaries. I asked God to help me to not just pray for her but to truly intercede on her families behalf everyday for their safety and their ministry. Now, my friend is really smart. Before she left she gave me a book by Mary Ann Bridgewater called "Prayers for the Faithful". I started the book the day her family hit the ground in their new country. It is a daily prayer guide for Christians serving around the world. To help you pray God's Word the author uses the acronym:
P-R-A-Y to guide you everyday. She explains it as follows:

"P stands for praise and thanksgiving to God, for who He is and what He has done. R stands for Repentance and Confession. We are instructed from God's Word to take thought of the sin God reveals to us, to confess it, asking God to forgive us, and to take hold of the truth that will wash us and empower us to be holy. A is for asking. Asking is when we make intercession, praying in the Spirit...praying that God's plans and purposes will be accomplished... Y is for yielding. Yielding is submitting your heart, soul and mind before God, listening to His voice and being obedient to His commands..."

This guide has been a real blessing in keeping me focused but most of all God has been faithful in answering my sincere prayer for a compelled heart to pray on behalf of not only my friends serving overseas but my children, my husband, our ministry in Milton and for those that do not know the overwhelming wonder of His love. So take heart if you struggle in your prayer life bring it to the Father.

"The Holy Spirit is the greatest teacher of prayer. Lord, teach us to pray."

- Anonymous

Friday, 23 January 2009

MacKids Kick-off for Celebration 2009

Well, it was quite an evening. We made the drive to Hamilton being not quite sure what to expect. As soon as we arrived we were greeted by people who knew Liam's face and came up to introduce themselves. I think Daniel's comments summed it up. "Wow it feels like we are in Hollywood! Everybody knows Liam." Although the evening was overwhelming at times, we were very proud of all of our kids. They took everything in stride even when the CHCH news crew interviewed us on TV. As most of the attention was focused on Liam, he did great.

Thank-you for all of your prayers. We felt our speech went well and we have had some positive comments from people at the hospital. We were a little nervous as we did not expect the approximately 1000 people that were in attendance!

Liam met last year's poster child and they participated in a ceremony where she passed a cute stuffed animal (Cheeky Monkey) to Liam to kick-off this year's fundraising campaign. We watched video's of staff and donors for MacKids and then the video presentation ended with Liam's poster being revealed on the big screen! It was really neat.

After all the presentations, service awards and ceremonies were over it was time for the dance. They had The Pointer Sisters impersonators and a Rod Stewart Impersonator. Or kids had a super time. Trinity Joy loves to bogey! Liam got on stage and hammed it up with Rod Stewart singing and dancing for the crowd. Caroline was strumming the guitar for one of the band members. Anti-dancers Daniel and Jason hung out and laughed a lot at the table. We really did have a lot of fun!
The following is our speech. I started it off with reading to them some of my feelings that I wrote on this blog in a post entitled "Breath".
KIM - There are moments in your life when it takes everything you have just to continue to breathe. As I sat in the office of my son's pediatrician I had one of those moments. Life does that to you. One minute you are fine and then in an instant you are in the midst of full blown gale. A storm that is so huge you have no idea where you are. As the doctor repeated the words "We found a mass in Liam's brain. He needs to see neurosurgeon," it seemed as if all the air was sucked out of the room and walls around me began to spin out of control. I was trying desperately to concentrate on the words that the doctor was saying but I felt like the room had gone so cold that I could no longer get any air into my lungs. I have no idea if my prayer to Jesus was audible and I know that my mind could not have formed anything other than to call His name but I became conscious of His presence. The room was still spinning but a warmth was beginning to return. The thoughts just breathe started to run through my head. Just breathe. God knew this was coming. He was not surprised, or shocked, or out of control. He has got this. I need to just breathe.
JASON - Liam had been suffering migraines and after a particularly bad episode at school he was sent for a CT scan at our hospital in Milton, which revealed his tumor and began our journey. As it turns out the migraines are unrelated, and so his tumor was an incidental finding. We see it as God’s hand being in our story from the beginning.
Being people of faith, news of the tumor led to a lot of prayer by our family, extended family, our church family and people around the world who heard of Liam’s story. We truly believe that an answer to those prayers was to bring us to McMaster Children’s Hospital. This place is being used in amazing ways and we really want to thank all those who are involved with Mac Kids for all you do in the lives of those who are treated by this hospital. And in particular we would like to thank all those who were directly involved in Liam’s care, and the care of our family. We are blessed to be cared for by such an amazing group of people.
From the great people in the MRI lab who came to know Liam’s face and his name and would even remember which movie he was watching with the video goggles and where he left off on his last visit.
The Child Life staff who would care for Liam’s emotional well being, helping him process his journey through bravery beads, or lift his spirits with homemade quilts and Nintendo Wii consoles that made Liam smile.
To the amazing staff of doctors and nurses who cared for Liam as if he were family. Whether it was those on the Ward or those at the foot of his bed in PCCU, we found kindness, gentleness and caring. And from putting up with Liam’s practical jokes (which he reminds me I helped him with), to helping him check his prayer list to bring him comfort, we knew that it was not just Liam’s scars that were being cared for, but his whole person.
Anesthesiologists who would seek us out in the hallway to give us a report on how things had gone before providing comfort and support to another grieving parent she found crying in the hallway. Although the doctor was not involved in the case, she involved herself in the care of this mother and leading her to the support she needed.
And of course an incredibly talented team of neurosurgeons. It was one of our nurses in PCCU who would let us know that “our neurosurgery team kicks....butt” Although I don’t think she said butt. When a child can undergo two craniotomies in two weeks and then literally walk away a week later with only a scar as evidence, the only word that comes to mind is brilliant. And perhaps it is because I have watched too many television medical dramas, but in the back of my mind I thought the most brilliant of doctors and surgeons are not supposed to have great bedside manner. But when your surgeons show up with gifts for their patients, when they check in on them everyday, visiting between other appointments and even on days off you know that there is something different about this team.
KIM - To have experienced the people behind MacKids is to have experienced integrity, and excellence for sure, but also kindness, caring and compassion. In July, it was all I could do just to breathe. We stand before you today being able to do so much more. Every person in this room tonight has been an answer to prayer and we thank you. We thank-you for all you do from the bottom of our hearts.
We thank all of you too that read this blog for the important part you played in bringing us in prayer before our almighty God!

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Dressing up and heading out!

Life at the McGibbon house is never dull. We have had lots of fun this past week with homeschooling, swimming lessons, basketball and to top it off we had a great time at a Hollywood baby shower. Yes, our family walked the red carpet for our good friend Cheri's grand baby shower. Only Cheri would not have have a normal shower for her daughter, she had to have paparazzi and photo shoots and a red carpet walk. We love Cheri and we all had a great time. My kids thought they were stars and loved posing for shots with their favourite friends.
This Thursday we are headed to Hamilton for the McMaster Children's Hospital event. They have asked Jason and I to speak for a few minutes about our experience. We thank God for the opportunities that He is continuing to provide. We think they will be unveiling Liam's poster and there is a ceremony that kick's off the fundraising drive where he will be on stage. We are all excited and looking forward to the fun. So if you have some time turn on CHCH news and hopefully you will catch a glimpse of us!
I will post photos on Friday! Till then be blessed!

Monday, 5 January 2009

A Belated Happy New Year

Happy New Year! I know I am almost two weeks behind. In all fairness, last year it took me a month to write my first post of the year so things are looking up!

Life at our beloved zoo has been blissfully crazy to the point that sometimes I just laugh hysterically to myself instead of tearing out my hair. Our Christmas was wonderful. We had great celebrations with family and quiet moments with Jesus. Jason's brother Brandon and his girlfriend Nathalie got engaged just before Christmas in Switzerland while visiting her family. We are thrilled and so happy for them both. The kids are over the moon as they love Nathalie and have not really kept it a secret to Uncle Brandon that they wanted her to be their Aunt. We can't wait to celebrate with them.

We had a few hiccups over the holidays in that Trinity Joy is terrified of Santa Claus. We told her that he is not real and he is just a story book character but that did not seem to help. She would not even go in a mall until we convinced her that Santa was not there. She would start to get upset when other kids talked to her about Santa and told her that he comes in her house when she is asleep on Christmas Eve. Oh boy....there were a few tears over that one. She even told other kids that there was no Santa because her mommy said so! I am sure I am not the most popular mother on the block.

Our other little hiccup is that it has snowed. Now, I like the snow but Liam likes it more. He is driving us crazy to go tobogganing. I think he has forgotten all about his, not one, but two brain surgeries and that his bones are not yet healed. Almost everyday he tries to play let's make a deal! Although there are points where it gets a bit much, I have to admit that I even feel blessed to argue with him. I am constantly reminded of what a miracle God has allowed us to experience.

A few people have asked for an update on Liam. The truth is he is doing remarkably well. He is pretty much just the same as he was before the surgeries and his hair is growing like crazy. He started swimming lessons last week and tomorrow night he is off to his beloved basketball. He has been chosen to be the poster boy for the McMaster Children's Hospital Telethon and fundraising campaign. So if you live in the Hamilton area you are going to be seeing him on bus shelters soon! We are attending a kick-off dinner and dance next week on Thursday January 22nd. They will be introducing him there. It is suppose to be on the CHCH News at night so if you are up and want to see us in our finest make sure you tune in. The kids are all very excited as the girls have to wear dresses and the boys dress-shirts and ties. We don't have all of Liam's outfit yet but he wants to look spiffy. We did get the boys shoes at a second hand store here in town. Yeah! Liam's requirement was that the soles were good for dancing! It should be quite a night. I will take some photos and try to post the next day for all to see! Liam has to have another needle and MRI on February 6th. This one will determine the next course of action for treatment since they were unable to get all of the tumour. We are praying that everything looks good. Our appointment with oncology is on March 3rd.

Thank you to all who keep encouraging me to write and who keep checking this blog. I will endeavor to write as often as I can!