Archive for January, 2016


Thanks for all the support y’all! Quick update…Korah is still down and out so I called Teladoc today-one of our many benefits of our travel club membership – crazy, I know! It didn’t cost us anything to get a doctor to call me back – within 5 minutes – and get her a prescription called in. Been doing essential oils too so maybe she will be better in a couple of days.  She has been on the couch since Sunday night!

Kaston’s Holter results will be sent to Dallas for review that we will discuss next Friday during our visit. We are not expecting any surprises heart wise that we aren’t already aware of.

Other issues to address will be liver damage, as new studies and information kids/adults with the Fontan circulation have some degree of liver damage, whether just scarring of the liver and gradually fibrosis and full blown cirrhosis of the liver. Some of the top centers like Children’s Boston and CHOP (Philadelphia) are starting screening immediately on all Fontan patients and some centers their standard is 10 years post Fontan.  He is 11 years post Fontan. We are not sure if Childrens Dallas is screening the liver or if they even have a program in place yet.

So many times these kids are referred out to bigger more advanced centers (like when we referred to Texas Childrens in Houston for neuro issues). Dallas is great and a top center in the nation but not as big as TCH or CHOP.

Here’s a simple explanation from Mayo Clinic.

http://hlhsblog.mayoclinic.org/discussion/fontan-surgery-and-the-liver/

I have read so many of these hospital sites and read studies from so many journals it would make your head spin.  One of the last reports indicated 100% of Fontan kids/adults screened have a certain degree of liver damage. Problem is, they know what’s causing it but have no way of fixing it, except for transplant, when it is completely failing. By then it puts so much pressure on the heart that many end up in heart/liver transplant.  A few years ago Kaston had some blood work come back with terrible numbers on his liver and it freaked everyone out. They chalked it up to bad test results.  Now I am beginning to wonder??

Of course we have only been seeing this information come out over the last year so this is all very new to us, as well as the medical community.

Alot to wrap your brain around, and the source of some anxiety in mom!

Overall we think the visit will go like they usually do, EKG, Echo, see the doc, answer/ask questions on both parts and we’ll be outta there!

 

 

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Snyder kids

Please keep my kiddos in your prayers as you go throughout your day today! Korah has been pretty sick all week and not getting any better. She told me she wanted to go to the doctor tomorrow if she isn’t any better by then.  And that’s saying alot because she absolutely despises medicine and shots.

Kaston has a 24 hour Holter monitor strapped to his chest like a mini bomb- it’s basically a portable EKG machine monitors his heart rate and rhythm for 24 hours, as he is at risk for abnormalities and his heart rate is typically Bradycardic, meaning slower than average and his Dallas cardiologist likes to look at that once a year.  This always affects him emotionally. I guess it just brings his CHD to his forethought constantly and affects his attitude on a big level. 

He and I will be headed to Children’s Dallas next Thursday for his annual visit. Letting the familiar anxiety settle in a bit.

Snydertime 2016

Well, this blog thing hasn’t really been used in quite some time, but I really would like to develop it a little more. As alot of you guys know, I enjoy writing so whether you read any of this or not, it’s really a great way for me to jot some thoughts down and gives me the ability to organize the craziness that goes on inside my head that keeps me up late at night!  Sort of like a journal you could say.  And if it can help any of you, then that’s just adds to it! It is my #1 goal in life to help people and have a servant’s heart, so maybe this can just be an extension of that for those that want to follow along!

So as I was scrolling thru FB land, my Time Hop popped up and 1 year ago today we were skiing in the Rocky Mountains in New Mexico!  It was the first time we had ever been as a family together.

The year before on this day, Bob and I were in Kentucky enjoying the distilleries of the Smokey Mountains.

And here we are year #3 headed home from Orlando.  Twice in the last 7 months. Out of the country 4 times in 2 years. Countless vacations and bucket list item after bucket list item checked off.  Who would have ever thought this would be our life?!

The last 10 days has been an incredible experience and full of reflection, goal setting, personal development along with preparation for our future.

One of the best things about the last 10 days is that I got to have so many peak life experiences with my mom. She is checking bucket list items off of her list too! I am so so blessed that she is able and capable and willing to experience new things, even at the young age of 66!! And I am grateful I have a dad that allows her those opportunities to spread her wings. It’s what makes their marriage work, for more than 47 years. She is adventurous and spur of the moment…a free spirit. He is steady and hard working and content. An awesome combination that works. It was such a great experience her sharing new things with her grandkids and especially her love of Star Wars with Kaston. And then of course wearing matching John Lennon shirts with Korah! Her time at Give Kids The World was very fulfilling and I am so glad to have shared that incredible experience with her. Just a great time overall!

So where am I going with all of this?

A little over 3 years ago, our lives changed forever in yet another direction that we had not planned for.  Crazy how when you give over control to God to help you find your path, destiny and purpose, where He will lead you. As you all know Kaston was granted a Wish through Make A Wish, and it was to go to Disney World.  It was something, at that time in our lives, that we never even thought would ever be a possibility to ever provide for him. And man was it an incredible experience that can ever be or will be recreated again, nor would I want it to be. It was such a special time for our son and our family and we will forever be indebted to Make-Wish for what they did for us.  Kaston will always be a Wish child and will always carry that throughout his life. And we as a family will always be a part of MAW as well.

What it did for us, however, was to open up a world of possibilities for our family and put in us an intense desire to travel more. And for us to volunteer more. We basically opened up our hearts and mind and asked God for the desires of our hearts and for Him to reveal His purpose in our life and boy has He delivered since!

For us to have had the opportunity we have had this week has made things come full circle since that first Florida experience and I can’t wait to see what the next chapter in our life will bring us. We are on the path to our destiny and purpose God has placed in our lives and I have no doubt the future is going to bring so many more opportunities our way.

The fulfillment we experienced in volunteering at Give Kids The World far surpassed anything I could have ever expected for myself and for my kids.  To be able to serve other families like we were served 3 years ago is priceless.  It taught our children compassion for others and is developing a servant’s heart in them at a young age, something I only started learning in my 20s. Those things can only be taught by experiencing it. You can talk and preach it but until you do it, it won’t ever develop.

And honestly, even though when we left there 3 years ago we really wanted to go back to volunteer,  we figured it would be maybe 20 years from now that we would have the opportunity to do so, like when we retired! Who would have ever thought it would be a short 3 years later??!!! But sometimes when opportunities present themselves, you just gotta run with it! And for my mom and her friend to have just a little taste of that made it even better! Because you can talk about and show pictures about places far and wide, but until you are actually EXPERIENCING it first hand, it just won’t have the same impact.

It’s the same as travelling.  You can read about something or even see it on TV but until you actually see it, feel it, smell it, taste it, EXPERIENCE it, you really have no idea what it is like.

Something I have been reflecting on the last few days, and actually has been heavy on my heart for quite some time, is knowing that not everyone has the ability to travel like we do. Or do you? We have so many people that have questioned us, the good, the bad and the downright ugly, about why and how we travel so much. But I want you to think about something for a minute.  Most families I know have something they enjoy spending their “extra” money on.  It ranges from shoes and purses, clothes and jewelry, to maybe a nicer house or nicer car.  So many families have their kids involved in sports (I know families that spend THOUSANDS on their kids sporting activities). Many people I know enjoy camping and have expensive campers, toy haulers, RVs and the usual toys that go along with that lifestyle, like boats and motorcycles and all terrain vehicles. Some ladies I know spend a TON of money on getting their hair and nails done and have the best make-up out there. Some people choose to spend lots of money on alcohol or eating out or tatoos. If you add up some people’s ink, it would provide for a pretty awesome vacation, right??!! Then there’s the gym people that have gym memberships and the best and most expensive nutrition products on the market. And of course don’t forget about the people that have the newest phone or gaming system and have to buy the newest and latest version the week they come out and spend more on their phone and data plans, video games and televisions and computers and tablets than we do airline tickets. Or maybe sending your kids or yourself to college has been a priority, which is perfect if that’s what YOU want. I just see it as funding a TON of peak life experiences instead! College just isn’t our thing…but that’s cool if it IS your thing. Same with public school. It’s just not our thing.  Then there’s the guys that spend a fortune on hunting and fishing and golf. Or maybe a Harley. Or maybe gambling on your favorite sports teams.

So really, isn’t it more about where you personally enjoy spending your own money? It doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t afford to travel, it just means you choose to spend your hard earned cash else where!  And all of the above is ok! It’s your decision to invest in what you feel is best suited for you and your family and what your interests and hobbies are.  We spend our extra money on travel and on a boat and time at the lake. We truly enjoy meeting new people, exploring new places, having new experiences. When was the last time you did something for the first time?? Our kids aren’t in sports, but what most parents spend on sending their kids to sports camps, club ball, rodeo-ing, 4H or whatever else, sends my daughter to Costa Rica or Europe!

Have we always been this way or felt this way?  Heck no!  Have we changed??!! Heck yes!!  Our lives have changed, our needs and wants have changed, our goals and aspirations have changed. We have had very very different life circumstances happen in our lives than most people we know and that has molded us into totally different people, for which we are thankful for.

Besides that we NEVER EVER pay what most people do to travel. We have found a better way. We love getting free rooms, free flights, and deeply discounted trips, excursions thrown in, etc. Sometimes our trips are 100% paid for.  So why wouldn’t we, right? Where in the world are the Snyders, right?? We just have the deal. And it helps us with our passion and life goal of fun, freedom and fulfillment.

It’s simply what we enjoy doing with our family.  It’s our hobby.  You guys brag on your kids games or events or grades or accomplishments or jobs or your new purse or new jewelry or that big fish or the one that got away or your house or your car or your cute nails and new haircut.  Ours just happens to be travel. It’s who we are and what we do.

I do sometimes have guilt about how we are able to do what we do. I know the struggle is real for so many families. Believe me…we’ve been there!

Sometimes in life, however, you just have to learn to trust God to provide direction for you and He will puts things in place for you.  God wants to fulfill the desires of your heart!

What are your desires?

What are your goals for your life?

What are your gifts?

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

In 10 years?

In 20 years?

Do you have vision for your future?

Do you know what your purpose is?

Does your purpose, your future and your goals align with each other? Are you and your spouse on the same page? Do you know each others dreams and goals and desires? Do you have a bucket list to fufill? How are you gonna accomplish that?  Do you have a plan in place? Or are you just gonna go to work day in and day out and let life deal it’s cards to you for the next 30-40 years while the world goes by?

Yes, this past 10 days was incredible. The parks, the volunteering, being in Florida, have all been incredible.  Saturday and Sunday was astounding. I encourage each of you to grow and challenge yourselves mentally and spiritually. What are you filling your days with? Do you watch mindless television, stupid youtube and facebook videos and sporting events on TV (aka Income Reducer). Or are you investing in yourself and your future? I never knew what personal development was until 3 years ago. I didn’t understand that there were books out there that you can read that can help you to think and grow as a person, as a leader and, if you choose to be, successful. I had the misconception that the only way a person could become successful in life is if they went to college and got a degree!  And that wasn’t us!! I just thought that since we never completed college and got a degree that we would ever be successful.  And actually I have found it to be quite opposite!  I would say that 95% of the most successful people I know personally didn’t go that path!  They are outside the box thinkers and taking risks drives them to become more successful.

Low and behold, there are other ways to become successful in life! Choose to surround yourself with GOOD and motivated people and it will change your life! Because you are the average of the 10 people you surround yourself with!

So if you want something to change in your life, then you’re gonna have to be willing to change and invest in yourself to make those changes.

Here’s what I know to be true. You are in charge of your destiny. Who is guiding it? Are you just letting life happen or are you going out and MAKING things happen for yourself?

I have learned that all people can tell you is no. And if you have an idea or a thought or a dream or a vision, what’s keeping you from fulfilling it?? Is it money, or resources, or an unsupportive spouse, or time?  Whatever it is, you actually DO have permission to make it different for yourself!

Moral of my story…be who you wanna be! Travel the world if you want to!! We do!  And would love for our friends and family to come along, if that’s your desire! Are you tired of life just happening and passing you by and wishing things were different?  Well, who in the world told you that you had to live a mediocre life?  Some of you may have a great life with no struggles and are content and happy and desire nothing more, nothing better and are 100% happy with every single aspect of your life. I personally don’t know anyone like that, so if you are that person, I wanna talk to you and see what your secret is! Of course, I am blessed beyond measure and have no real complaints in my life, but I feel there is ALWAYS room for improvement and for dreaming and aspirations and to become a better human being overall. And of course, to become everything I am destined and called to be.

That is all.