Monday, October 17, 2011

Matthew M. Brennan, Rest in Peace

In July, Christi and I attended the funeral of a very close family friend, Matthew Brennan. Matt was the son of Michael and Maria Brennan, who have been in our lives for nearly 20 years. Matt and his brother Scott used to come over to the house and play with Legos with our kids. The family moved to Oregon when the boys were young, but they still came to visit and we enjoyed watching the kids together. In later years, when Mike and Maria came to visit, the older boys didn't always come as older kids tend to do, they don't necessarily want to hang out with the folks. I remember what was probably the last time I saw Matt, watching him laugh and joke with my boys at the table in the Denny's where we all met. He was a smiling, freckle-faced kid, probably 14 or 15 at the time, and he looked like he had not a worry in the world.

But then he grew up, became a soldier and went to war.

When he came home, he was no longer the Matt that everyone knew. He had faced some horrible situations while in Iraq and they had left him forever scarred. If given permission by his family, I will share more of his story at another time. It only needs to be said here that he suffered from PTSD

On July 16th, 2011, we lost Matt to PTSD. While he did not die in Iraq, he was a victim of the war as surely as if he had stepped on a land mine. Although his was not a combat death, we cannot afford to forget those who lose the battle with PTSD. For more information on Matthew, please go here, here or here.

Please visit Christi's facebook page for more links about Matthew.

God Bless you Matthew Brennan. You are a hero.

You are OUR hero.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Set your DVRs! Or not.

We told you that we'd let you know and now we are. The TLC version of Inside the human body is set to air tonight at 7 pm pacific time. We are looking forward to seeing what changes TLC made in their version. They filmed quite a bit more after the BBC was finished, so it could be very different from what we saw on the dvd BBC sent us. Christi also wanted me to mention that when we filmed this, she was at her heaviest and has since lost a little over 60 pounds (she really does look awesome!). I'm even 30 pounds lighter than I was then too. Can't do anything about my looks though. Jessica is coming over and we're all gonna watch it together. We'll have some snacks and enjoy our 5 minutes on the screen. Kinda silly, but it's one of those things we do.

We are the silly Casons, after all.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

House update

Just a quick update and some info on the short sale house that we are buying. Here is a link to the listing for those of you that are interested. Our amazing realtor Leanna Bradshaw has been great throughout the whole process. She's been in this hunt with us now for almost 2 years and has stuck through 5 short sales, shown us countless houses, in the morning, noon and night. She has pestered sellers with all manner of questions for us and always has stood by us. She has learned to know exactly what we're looking for and doesn't show us houses we wouldn't want. She is now working out of Orange County, CA. If you're in need of a realtor, give her a call.

Sadness and recovery

Recently, Christi and I experienced a very sad loss. At approximately 8 weeks gestational age, it was confirmed what would have been our 17th child, had ceased to grow, and the placental sac appeared empty. We had held out some hope, because the initial blood tests showed Christi's HCG to be sufficient, but her progesterone was low, and to further muddy the waters, the ultrasound she had done was an external. At this early stage, an external can be virtually blind. Her Dr. prescribed progesterone supplements and had her take things easy, which she tried very hard to do, but if you know her, you know that easy for her is what most of us call busy. Notwithstanding, her spotting eventually began to be bright red and we went to the ER where the bloodwork showed a decrease in the HCG and a vaginal U/S also showed an empty sac. It was a very sad time for us, and it hit me much harder than I would have thought. Christi says she had a feeling that something might not have been right and the low progesterone may have helped ease her emotions just a bit. Still it was very hard. Some don't realize that for folks like us, even a relatively early loss like this is still the loss of a child.
Her doctor offered a D & C procedure to ease the process and due to a risk of hemmorage, but she really preferred to allow for a natural passing of the tissue. In the next 24 hours however, she began to have very severe cramps and pass large amounts of bright red blood and tissue. Remembering the doctors concern about bleeding, we chose to go ahead with the procedure.
Everything went very well, and one small plus was that he didn't have to dilate her as she was already in the process of miscarriage. She is healing very well physically and although she has put up a very brave face, she has felt the loss deeply. I saw it in her eyes when I took the kids to run errands, which I do from time to time to give her a quiet house, and she ran after me and made me leave Nathaniel to be with her. She immediately took him to the couch and cuddled him close. Yes, she grieves the loss of the baby that could have been, but she is healing and looking forward to trying again. Dr. Byrne has been really great and says that all should be well whenever her cycles kick back in.

I for one, can't wait to start practicing...;)

Friday, June 10, 2011

Woohooooo #17 is on the way!!!!

Wooohoooooooooooooo I am about 6 weeks along with #17, yeah!!!! Dave will be back to update with quite a bit more. Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah wooohooooooooooo #17, our 17th Blessing is on the way!
Christi mommy to 16 and God willing 17 beautiful awesome kiddos soon.

Friday, May 6, 2011

In case you thought we were dead.

Well, we're not. We've been busy with the house hunt, life in general and when we weren't doing that, we were procrastinating. Notice I said "PRO" crastinating. Just means I'm really, really good at it. Just a little update: On the house front, we've made several offers on houses since our last house post. The one we were waiting for, with the urine stained carpet, went on so long that we started looking again. Surprisingly we found a whole bunch of houses that were in better shape and for the same or only a bit more money. We actually went into escrow on one that was pretty good, but I decided it didn't have quite enough space for what we'd be paying monthly. After a whole lot of searching, we finally found a short sale that was in a better situation than the stinky one. This home is immaculate and it's clear that these people took great care of this house. Since this house is not yet in arrears, the negotiations are going much smoother than a typical short sale. It is a 5 bed, 2 3/4 bath with 3 car garage, pretty good size backyard and a huge long driveway. There is also nobody behind us and no development likely for awhile. It is also on the outside of a bend in the road, almost like a cul-de-sac, and the wedge shape of the property means that our neighbors to each side are a bit further distance than most, and are at an angle so that our windows are not looking directly across at theirs. Long story short, we truly think this is THE ONE, so we've pulled all other offers and have stopped looking. Our agent says things are going smoothly.
In other news, the show we filmed for the BBC was supposed to have aired on the 5th and we are awaiting our DVD copies from our producer. She said the BBC would send them as soon as the show aired in the UK, so we're anxious to see it. It's called Inside Human Bodies just in case you happen to be somewhere you can watch BBC one.
That's it for now. Christi and I will try and get back to this thing, but only time will tell. My new job doesn't have loads of down time like my old one did, so no blogging from work.

Not much anyway.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Tanya Marie Petro, Rest In Peace

Our first exposure to this tragedy was when our daughter Bailey came home and told us that her friend Sam's aunt had disappeared. We were, of course, very sad for Sam, and we offered up our prayers for her aunt's safe return. We later heard the horrible news that she had been brutally murdered by her supposed boyfriend and we were again shocked and saddened. The story only really hit home for us when a week or so later, Christi stopped by Sam's house to pick up Harper and was introduced to Laura, Sam's grandmother. It was then that she realized that we had known her for some time, as both she and her daughter Tanya had worked at our local Circle K stores. It was then that we really put the face to the name and Tanya's loss became a little more personal for us. We decided to attend her memorial service and we later worked at a car wash to raise funds for her children who are 7 and 8 and have had their lives turned upside-down. Tanya was a single mom who worked hard to make a good life for her kids and herself and now the children could use your help. To that end, a fund has been set up by the Riverside Sheriff's office and Circle K to help her kids and if you are so inclined, donations can be made to the Tanya Petro children memorial fund at any Wells Fargo bank. More information about that can be found here. Her kids can also use any prayers you can send their way too.

On behalf of the family, we thank you.