Tuesday, September 11, 2012

chatty cathy...

Camilla is still seizure-free! The past 5 1/2 months have been great - her days are filled with laughter and her eyes seem clearer. Her actions are calmer, controlled and more deliberate. Her communication is clear and undeniable - though not with words - and she has learned several new signs. She is potty-trained (during the day) and is learing to dress herself. We are so grateful for our many blessings - especially the one named Camilla! We have been so happy to watch how she is growing and learning since the surgery.

On this journey with Camilla we have learned a lot about finding joy in what you have - in what surrounds you everyday - and not placing expectations on things, events or people. We have learned a lot about accepting our 'cross' and about meeting people where they are - meeting Camilla where she is rather - and not placing expecations on her. Now don't get me wrong I still have plenty of dreams and wishes for her but my happiness is not wrapped up in her fulfilling these things - my happiness is wrapped up in how far she has come and what she CAN do. I guess that's why I was so surprised last week when, out of the blue, she said a new word 'bye-bye'. Had I really gotten so accustomed to her communicating in other ways that I actually stood there, with my mouth hanging open and my heart just praising God, in total disbelief. She spoke! She spoke a new word! Since surgery Camilla has actually been less vocal than before and from all of the information that I read and everyone I talked to about this surgery and the children learning to speak it seemed that most advances were made very soon after surgery (days and weeks). So I guess I had chalked it up already that we would continue to communicate in other ways for awhile longer. I guess I was wrong because in just over a week Camilla has added 'no, blue, hi, and dada.' It's random sure but we'll take it! Praise God! I can't wait to see what He has in store next - maybe 'mama'!

"For I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11


You can't have a testimony - without the test! We have had several people contact us regarding the testimony we gave at Fairhaven Baptist Church several weeks ago, some blog-followers who were trying to get a DVD of our story, please know that we will be happy to share those with anyone who wishes to have one. You may email or message me directly or you can contact Fairhaven at 334-289-0712 (ask for Brandon & Kelley Smith's testimony) and one will be mailed to you at no charge. We are grateful to have the opportunity to give voice to Camilla's story and we feel that God is leading us to share with others. We are also grateful to the several churches and other groups that have scheduled Brandon and I seperately or together to speak. I'm very excited to see how God will use these opportunities to reach families being tested and to bring glory to His name.

"For I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 

birthday bubble bash-

beWhat a fun day! Camilla's  7th birthday bubble-bash was great fun! We had bubbles of all sizes, shapes, colors; we had bubble wrap, bubble gum, bubble coloring and bubble bath all worked into the mix and Camilla thoroughly enjoyed them all. Seriously, I don't know that I have ever seen her have more fun than being elbow-deep in bubble solution for  several hours straight. She wouldn't even leave the bubbles to blow out the candles on her cake - we had to bring the cake to her.  

 Officially this marked Camilla's first 'real' birthday party - friends and all. Typically we have just done very small parties with close friends and family because Camilla had such behavior and socialization issues that it made it difficult for her to be in large groups especially if there were lots of distractions and since she doesn't speak it made it difficult for her to befriend and communicate with other children. Also, in the past it has been a struggle of mine to see Camilla with children her same age. It was always just so difficult to see where she 'should be' developmentally - and birthday parties would
 always just throw me into a funk. Those issues
 just don't seem to bother me anymore - finding
 joy in the blessings that surround me everyday
has to be one of the most gracious gifts God has
given me. Camilla is just that too, a joyous blessing, a 7 year-old joyous blessing.
Happy birthday my sweet angel!

"For I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11