Brennan's Journey

The support Brennan has received is overwhelming and incredibly humbling. There is a growing number of people who are asking us how they can help Brennan through his journey and our main focus and priority continues to be prayer for Brennan, his overall health and for the doctors. But so many people are wanting to help even more. For those that feel led to help Brennan financially, a "donate" button is now available. It is linked directly to a special account for Brennan and his long road ahead. Any amount is greatly appreciated. I wish there were words to express our gratitude for all of the support and prayers B is receiving. Thank you to all and God Bless.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Daddy's Cars

I was getting ready one morning and Brennan was roaming the upstairs and enjoying his toy room as usual. Suddenly, I realized that he was being really quiet for longer than usual. I went looking for him and thought of every mom’s greatest nightmare: finding their child writing on the walls in permanent marker or eating crayons. I was expecting the worst but was pleasantly surprised to find Brennan sitting quietly going through a small bag of toy cars that were hidden away since he was born. The toy cars are very special because these are the cars that Joel played with when he was Brennan’s age. It was such a special moment. I ran and grabbed the camera to capture Brennan’s first time playing with Joel’s childhood toy cars. The cars now have their own special container in the toy room for Brennan to play with whenever he wants. One more reminder to keep the permanent markers out of reach.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Brennan's Class Time

Brennan is involved in a program, due to his hearing loss, which is offered through the school district. It is called the Early Start Program. We wish we would have found out about it earlier in Brennan's life, but we are so thankful that we know about it now! It's a free program funded by the state that offers therapy, one-on-one time, group classes etc... for orthopedic, vision and hearing issues for kids age birth - 3 years old. Brennan does some one-on-one sessions with the speech therapist twice a month and we go to classes twice a week.

On Wednesday mornings there is a support group for the parents. We start the day bringing our kids to a classroom where we do circle time. We sing songs that start the morning and then the parents go to the room next door to talk while teachers do activities with our kids. We discuss anything from issues we are dealing with as parents to issues we are dealing with that apply to our kid's specific needs. After an hour or so, we go next door and pick up our kids. We do circle time again that includes a "good bye" song.

On Friday mornings we go to a Deaf and Hard of Hearing class. This is a "mommy and me" class where we do different activities with our kids. It's such a fun time for Brennan because he gets to interact with other kids and do a bunch of fun crafts and activities that I wouldn't normally think about doing at home. Here are some pictures from a Friday class.

Brennan is always very excited about starting class...

Lesson Plan for the day...

Brennan gets to put his picture on the board during circle time...

Holiday Craft

Slide time... B's favorite

Learning gross motor control...

Time to JUMP...JUMP...JUMP

Making clouds out of cotton...

Making a necklace out of cereal and pretzels...


Playing with Rice...

Mr. Potato Head of course

Reading time...

Closing the day with Circle Time

Saturday, 10 January 2009


One realization that came to light when Brennan was born is that life is not slowing down but rather speeding up on an hourly basis. I'm learning that it’s increasingly more important for us to change pace every now and then and remember the great blessings God has bestowed upon us in both big and small ways. From life changing events to the little things that mean so much, He has His hand in everything. Here is a look back through 2008 for the Givens Family.

JANUARY- We are anxious for the coming year and all the changes God has in store. Brennan is 8 months old and is now starting to roll over, sit up on his own and has his 5th tooth coming in. Kim is teaching but is on break for Christmas and dreads time spent away from her son when she has to go back. Brennan gets to experience Universal City Walk for the first time as well as his first car accident (fender bender) in Cedars Sinai Parking Lot.

FEBRUARY- This month was highlighted by Valentine's Day, or lack thereof. I bought a car in Irvine through Craigslist. Yes, we drove down to Irvine on Valentine’s Day (afternoon and evening) with Brennan and bought a commuter car for my work. I will never do that again even though it was the best deal I have ever made in my life. Kim still calls the car “Valentine”. Brennan is 9 months old and experiencing more teeth, birthday parties and starts the journey of mobility with crawling.

MARCH- Brennan is 10 months old and experiences his first Easter Sunday even though his dad had to work. Kim brought everyone to Beverly Hills for an Easter Lunch at Jerry's Famous Deli. He surprised us this month by sitting up on his own, clapping his hands, learning to play “gimme five”, and he says, “daddy” for the first time. He was introduced to many new foods and selected a little orange crab as his favorite bath toy.

APRIL- Kim turned 30 this month and we made our annual trip to Newport for four days. We got him a shiny new ride of his own which he grew accustomed to immediately. By far the highlight of this month was Brennan’s dedication at church by Grandpa Givens.

MAY- Brennan is ONE! Holy Cow can time go by any faster? His Birthday party at Chesboro Park was a blast as we got to celebrate with so many friends and family. Brennan also got to experience a merry-go-round for the first time this month and identified his favorite TV show as The Wiggles by watching it, motionless, for 30 minutes straight.

JUNE- We miraculously won tickets to a private suite at Dodger stadium for us and 20 of our friends for SCV Dodger Day. Brennan experiences a baby pool for the first time while his parents buy a new tank (family SUV) for safer and more convenient transportation. Kim is officially done working and now a stay at home mom.

JULY- We start July by running the SCV 4th of July 5k for the second year in a row. Pastor Tom returns for an emotional but meaningful weekend as Grace celebrates 10 years “on the hill.” We manage to find our way down to Newport yet again for a run on the beach and this time experiencing the OC Fair as well for the first time as a family. We give thanks as we find out that Brennan is going to be a big brother! Kim is pregnant with baby Givens #2.

AUGUST- Brennan is now 15 months and with that comes more teeth, ouch. He gets to experience ice cream for the first time and also adds “thank you” to his list of word signs. We head to San Diego as a family for the Givens Summer Slam, a time when all Givens from all over come together to hang out, catch up and kick back at a beach house on Mission Bay. It was a great time with Mom, Dad, Beth and the kids.

SEPTEMBER- The first few days of every September starts with Dove Hunting Season. We headed down to Yuma, AZ. for a few days before Labor Day to spend time with family and eventually did pretty well for the season. Brennan is now standing on his own and starting to walk more and more. Kim’s new schedule as mommy allows for more family trips and we’re anxious to take advantage. We were blessed to spend three great days with our good friends the Roughtons in San Luis Obispo.

OCTOBER- Fall has begun and kicks off with a trip up to the Bay Area for some medical consultations by the leading doctors in the fields of Microtia and Atresia. Both Grandmas come along and it is a road trip to remember. Brennan’s new favorite playground is Lombardi’s Ranch with three visits and proudly wears his homemade Wiggles costume to Fall Festival at Grace.

NOVEMBER- I hit 32 years young this month and celebrate by starting a 90 day home workout regimen. Roxy (the dog) is promoted to a better home with another canine companion and more children to play with. Brennan is 18 months old and his vocabulary is growing by the day and says, “mama” which in turn brings Kim to tears. We celebrate the arrival of the holidays by going to the Holiday Lighting Ceremony in Beverly Hills complete with music, lights, fireworks and of course a gourmet cupcake.

DECEMBER- Brennan was 19 months and still hadn’t been to a real amusement park so Knotts Berry Farm was his first experience. Kim and I both had many fond memories as we walked around and went with Brennan on some of the rides our parents took us on. We had three Christmases this year. We went to Az. for a few day for the extended Givens Christmas. We celebrated at home by spoiling Brennan after saying we wouldn’t but it was way too much fun. Last Christmas he didn’t really “get it”. This Christmas he got it!

God Bless everyone this coming year and may God give you the time to stop and reflect on everything, big and small, that make life a priceless treasure.