Romans 5:3-5

"We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems or trials, for we know they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope will not lead to disapointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love." Romans 5:3-5

Friday, 23 December 2011

The Klassen Christmas Letter 2011

As I pour myself a cup of coffee and sit down to write this letter I am at a loss to know where to start. In some ways, this past year has been one of the hardest, most challenging years we have faced as a family.  However, those memories are overshadowed by the tremendous love, support and generosity we have ever known.  Where do we begin and how do we explain the deep blessings we have received.
Could we with ink the ocean fill, and were the skies of parchment made;
Were every stalk on earth a quill; And every man a scribe by trade
To write the love of God above; would drain the ocean dry
Nor could the scroll contain the whole, though stretched from sky to sky.
Favourite old Hymn

One year ago we were going to sell our home. we had sold our most reliable vehicle.  This was all being done because we knew that Zach needed to go to the states for medical care.  We were sad and scared.  We didn’t know what to do.  Then amazing things began to happen. 
 The generous staff at Anixter (Perry’s work) began raising funds so Perry and I could attend the Doctor’s Conference in Maryland.  Their outpouring of concern was humbling.  This kindness hasn’t stopped.  From the recycling that they give us to cash in at the bottle depot, to Todd and his awesome milk coupon’s (LOL).  The beautiful gifts we received from the many Anixter locations all over Canada.  We are so thankful for them and their support and for being such an understanding employer.
Then there are the Myshak and Secord families. God truly used them to give us hope when we had reached the end of our rope.  They went above and beyond to bring help to us.  Their kindness and generosity did not end with that event. Daily they bless us with their concern and friendship. We are so grateful for them.
“Dear Children, let’s not merely say that we love each other, let us show the Truth by our actions.” 1 John 3:18

Then there is the outpouring from our Community.  There are SO many!  To everyone who donated items for auction, for the garage sale and who provided food and fun. Many of you put on fundraisers for Zach and our family that we didn’t find out about till after the fact!  Again we are humbled by all the generosity.  The List is endless.  We want to thank everyone and pray that God would Bless you as you have blessed us.
“Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us.”  Ephesians 3:20
We want to thank our amazing staff at The Country Pumpkin.  Your commitment to the store and dedication to it is a beautiful thing.  You make it a great place to work.  This hasn’t been an easy year for lots of different reasons.  Thank you for always working so hard.  Know that Perry and I appreciate you and your families more than words can express.
We want to tell you a bit about our four beautiful Children,
Jacob, Zachary, Olivia and David.

Jake really enjoys school and hanging out with his friends.  He apparently has a knack for learning new languages!  He started Spanish last year and uses it constantly... unfortunately know one else in our home speaks Spanish...LOL!  We figure there must be a genetic predisposition to so easily learn languages as Perry’s Grandpa could speak seven! In June at the awards night, Jake was given the “discipleship award” for his class and this fall he was voted in as the class rep for student council.  Jake is a wonderful, responsible boy.  He is a great big brother and we are very proud of him.

Zach Loves water, dolphins, whales...pretty much any marine life.  He is looking and feeling so much better now that he is getting the hormone his body doesn’t make, PTH.  He loves school and gets irritated when he has to miss because of labs or Doctor Appointments.  He enjoys playing with his siblings.  They turn their beds into deep sea caverns and play “Pet Island”.  He is so good at including everyone in his games.  He is our tender-hearted but tuff little boy who daily is a reminder to us of the Grace of God.

Olivia, are precious little girl.  She LOVES school, she is in grade one. Her teacher tells us that her printing looks like that of a grade 3’r. She is an amazing little artist who is helping keep Crayola washable markers in business!  She likes to “decorate” her room and has even turned it into an art gallery for all her pictures. Olivia enjoys the outdoors.  She runs across Auntie Jody’s yard with her arms in the air yelling “FREEDOM!”  (LOL)  Olivia has a way of making everything she touches turn out beautiful, she is sugar and spice.

Then there is Davey. Davey is our little jokester.  He keeps us all laughing with his quirky personality.  He enjoys preschool and playing with his buddies.  He misses his big brothers and sister when they are at school and can’t wait till he is big enough to go with them.  He is our baby and his light hearted conversation can make you laugh on the hardest of days!
When Perry comes home and proof reads this he is gonna say, “It’s too long!”  We have been married 14 years and I’ve never written a Christmas letter, it will probably be another 10 years before I do it I’m gonna make it worthwhile!
There is a group of people that we need to thank.  They are the constant in our lives and our support through the toughest of times.  We are so grateful for our family, our Church family at GRBC, our LWCA family and our close friends. The journey we are on has been difficult but God has brought you into our lives to help carry this load.  Sharing our difficulties and needs with others has been a blow to our pride.  It was finally in the acknowledging that we cannot do this on our own that true peace and help came.

 We like this quote,
Following God’s call isn’t easy.  He expects us to trust Him explicitly, and yet He doesn’t ask our advice on decisions that may impact us dramatically.  He doesn’t tell us His specific plans at any given point in our lives.  He doesn’t always shelter us from adversity.  He tests our faith to produce endurance and spiritual maturity – tests that are sometimes painful.  He makes some promises that we’ll never see fulfilled in this life.”
We know that God has a plan for each one of us.  We may not always understand “what” is going on, but we know the “why”.  All things happen for one reason, to bring Glory and Honour and Praise to God...It is All for Him.
We want to wish you a Very Merry Christmas!  We are thankful for your prayers and concern for our family.  When we look back over the year the words that come to mind are Generosity, Compassion, Genuine, Abundant, Grace and Love.  May God bless each and every one of you.  May you know the true meaning of Christmas, may God draw you to Himself and may the Peace only God can give rule in your heart. Amen


Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Praying for Hope

We would like to ask you all to pray for a little girl in Calgary named "Hope".  We do not know this family or all the details surrounding her current state.  What I can tell you is that she is on life support and her condition is very unstable.  Last week she was air ambulanced from Calgary to Edmonton for emergency heart surgery.  She is now back in Calgary and things are not looking good.  They are asking everyone to pray for Hope...
"At present Hope is basically
comatose and we are struggling to not feel disheartened in this. She
should be waking up according to doctors.....We are clinging with all our
might (which feels very small right now) to the knowledge that God
make all things work together for good for those who love him."

Pleas pray for Hope and her family 

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Rough week

Hi, so Zach has had a tough week.  For reasons we are not completely sure of, his calcium took a dive and was really low.  We had to go for labs Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  He has been very emotional, anxious and tired. Please pray that his calcium comes back up.  His levels have been so good since going on the PTH we kinda forgot how awful he feels with low calcium.

As you know we have been waiting for months for the Alberta Government to approve our request for the  Genetic testing that we need so they can determine the reason for Zach's hypoparathyroidism.  We have not heard from them, however God has provided another way to get it done. 

Our Doctor at the Stollery requested the specimen kit from Gene DX, they sent it to his office and on Friday he pulled Zach's blood!  Tomorrow we will Fedex it back to Maryland and then in 8 weeks we should know the name of Zach's disorder.

We have waited for what seems like forever to know what it is that Zach has.  As a parent, you want your child to be healthy and happy and when they aren't you just want to fix it.  Knowing what Zach has may shed some light on his medical needs.  "If you know the cause, you can anticipate the problem," this is a quote from a Doctor at the Hypopara conference.  It will enable us to be more proactive in his care, rather than reactive.  Knowing what it is will help us care for his needs and thus effect Zach's quality of life. 

We know that this is just "information".  Only God knows each and every detail of Zach's health.  We have learnt that know matter what the Doctor's say, think or do...or don't do (lol).  God is Sovereign.  We put our hope, faith and trust in Him.  It is hard at times to stay focused on "the things above"  especially when Zach's calcium is dive bombing in the other direction.  However, through the grace of God we just take each day as it comes knowing God has laid this path before us.

We are so thankful for your prayers and concern.  God Bless  xoxo
Zach with his 2 blood samples. 
 One to test for Calcium Receptor Gene (CASR) and the other to test for the  AIRE Gene
 (Autoimmune Poly glandular Syndrome type 1)

Monday, 12 December 2011

To Bethesda and back in 3.5 days.

NIH December 4th to 7th   2011

Zach in the cockpit of the Airplane that flew us from Minneapolis to Dulles.
lucky bum....

Well it was a quick trip!  They did labs, scans and saw Dr. Winer.  We are tweaking his doses of PTH and they are trying to get his magnesium to come up and address the pain he is having in his joints.  Zach had lots of fun and as usual he makes friends wherever he goes.
Dr. Winer and Zach

This is Zach with his back to the Children's Inn. He was very excited to stay there,
 "it's kinda like a hotel but way cooler!"  Zach

Like decorating cookies...
Or playing with Viola the therapy dog.  Tho other little boy in the picture is from Newfoundland.  They've been coming to NIH for 4 years.

Or making Christmas ornaments.....

The Hospital and The Children's Inn were beautifully decorated for Christmas.  We are so thankful to be able to take Zach their where he can see Doctor's who have seen kids like him.  We have a story to share with you....I will post it shortly.  xoxo

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Back To Maryland!

Well, it has been six months since we were with Dr. Winer and the staff at NIH.  Tomorrow Zach and I are going back for  routine tests and checkups.  Zach is doing remarkably well on the PTH 1-34 injections.  The most obvious improvement is how Stable his calcium  levels have maintained.  We are so thankful for this.  Here are some pic's to help you visulize where we r going!

The National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development
Bethesda, Maryland.

This is the Front Door Canopy at NIH.  This is where we go after our security check

From this picture you can see the window to the room we stayed in last time.  The first right wing on the Hospital in the Ped's ward.  Zach's room is the last window of the 5 on the right.  You can see the tiny circle green area on the right.  Thats a play ground where we spent lots of time with other kids,  He can't wait to go see who he can play with!  lol!
However, this trip we will be staying across from NIH at the Children's Inn
This is a very special place. I will attach a link to this so you can hear more about it.  Zach is Super Pumped and we've been having a good laugh about it.    He tells everyone he is going on a "holiday"  LOL!  Well if collecting urine for 48 hours straight, Blood tests 3x per day, Kidney function tests, Dexa scans and CT scans sound like a "holiday" to him......see ... its funny.
Well, I need to go finish packing.  We will keep you posted!
Thankyou for all your love and prayers.
God Bless You!