As another holiday season approaches we reflect back and appreciate all there is to be thankful for. This past year, as many years before, has been one of tremendous growth for our family. We are a stronger family today for all we have been through together.
As most of you already know, Shea Matthew was born on March 29th weighing 6 pounds, 14 ounces and was 19˝ inches in length. He is now over 8 months old with beautiful blue eyes and blond hair. He is a very sweet, happy baby. He crawls all over the place, following his big brothers around. He tries to pull himself up on anything that will hold his weight and grins from ear to ear with pride when he succeeds. His 3-tooth smile is precious. Jake and Ryan love Shea and are constantly hugging, kissing and playing with him. They all get along very well together and are an absolute joy to watch grow.
Jake turned 4 years old in August. He is still a huge sports fanatic, excelling at every sport he finds interest in. He seems to have a thirst for knowledge, asking question after question. He is learning to sound out words and will be reading soon. He is already adding and subtracting and can count to well over 100. Of course he still loves the basics, animals, cars, riding his bike, and most of all, using his imagination. He is a very bright little boy.
Ryan turned 2 years old in August. He is a sweet boy always full of hugs and kisses. He loves to follow Jake around and imitate everything he does. He is the artist in our family, constantly coloring or drawing on his magnadoodle. He also loves sports, cars, animals, and riding his bike.
Ryan’s special heart has kept us on our toes medically speaking. In early August he had been acting unusually tired. An EKG and Echocardiogram were performed followed by a Holter Monitor being placed on him for 24 hours. The Holter Monitor recorded his heart rate, which seemed low. We consulted a specialist regarding a pacemaker, and were relieved to find out Ryan didn’t need one. The tests showed pulmonary stenosis in his pulmonary artery again. (Which was corrected once already in last years open heart surgery). He is scheduled to have another ECHO and EKG in early January 2003 to further check the stenosis and heart rate. Ryan will most likely have another cardiac catheterization and angioplasty at that point, possibly followed by the placement of a stent to help hold his pulmonary artery open.
The evening of September 29th Jim’s dad died of cancer. We found out about the cancer shortly before Bob passed away, leaving us just enough time to say good-bye. Bob was a wonderful man and will be dearly missed by all of us. We are in the process of creating a memorial website for him. There will be a link added to our family webpage shortly.
Jim and I are doing well, enjoying our boys and thanking God for our many blessings. As life continues to change and some of our dearest loved ones leave us, opportunity for growth is always welcome. We look forward to each new day and the wonder it brings. Our family webpage has been updated with recent photos and Ryan’s medical updates. Please feel free to visit and sign our guestbook: http://www.ryansheart
May the New Year bring abundance of peace, love, health and happiness. We wish you all a very happy holiday season.
Jim, Cathy, Jake, Ryan & Shea Smith