The Virginia Witmers

What's Happening and What We're Learning


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A Wonderful Summer

Last summer we had a baby who was shunt dependent and needed constant vigilance and monitoring.  I had to chart his weight gain every day. I had to fight with him to take his medicines. I was pumping 6-7 times a day. We had to drive an hour away to appointments every other week, which also meant finding childcare for Katie and Ben. We were scared about bringing germs into the house so we limited our activity. We had the reality of his impending second heart surgery looming heavily over us.

This summer has been very different from last year. It’s been full of fun, activity, travel and many sweet times together as a family. We thank the Lord for this! See the pictures below for some of the highlights.

I’m happy to report that John is doing so very well. He hasn’t been over to UVA since April! We had only one scare when he had a 101 fever in July. Thankfully, it was just a short-lived virus. He is eating everything in sight and growing at his own pace. When I called our Nurse Practitioner at UVA I reminded her that John had been hospitalized only for his surgeries. She said emphatically, “That is unheard of!” Nothing is impossible with God!

We’re preparing for some changes here as summer winds down. Katie is starting Kindergarten on August 25. We know she’s ready and we’re excited for her to start school. I’m really going to miss having her around all day. She’s a delightful presence (most of the time) and a wonderful companion for Ben and John. It will take some adjusting for us all. Ben will go to the same preschool Katie went to last year 3 days/week in the morning. It will be nice to have some time with just John but it will be strange to not have all the kids together during the day.

In other exciting news, John has taken his first steps!  We returned from our vacation to Maine this Monday and on Tuesday he was ready to go. I think he was motivated by staying in a house with his 6 active cousins 🙂  I’ll be sure to post video once he gets a little more stable on his feet. We are so encouraged by his progress, determination, and energy. What a wonderful milestone for our precious boy!

On the shores of Lake Hebron in Monson, Maine!

On the shores of Lake Hebron in Monson, Maine!

Katie, her sweet cousin Annie, and all the grandkids loved going for rides on Grandpa's wheelchair.

Katie, her sweet cousin Annie, and all 9 of the grandkids loved going for rides on Grandpa’s wheelchair.

John and Great Grandpa during a visit to Lancaster.

John and Great Grandpa during a visit to Lancaster.

Katie and I before seeing

Katie and I before seeing “Fancy Nancy” at the local performing arts center.

Katie with the pink dog from

Katie with the pink dog from “Go Dog Go!”

We had a great week with my parents in July!

We had a great week with my parents in July!

Ben and Pop Pop doing what they love best- watching a baseball game!

Ben and Pop Pop doing what they love best- watching a baseball game!

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How cute is he in this hat! www.kristinmoorephoto.com

How cute is he in this hat! http://www.kristinmoorephoto.com

John doing his

John doing his “mad face”.
http://www.kristinmoorephoto.com