Thursday, September 27, 2007

A big milestone for David

David’s speech evaluation went very well today – truly a testament to God’s grace and power – David has officially ‘graduated’ from speech therapy and his therapist categorized him as “normal for speech and language development”! He scored just above the mean for articulation, and his overall intelligibility is at a normal level for his age. Our hearts are so very full of gratitude for God’s work in our kids’ lives. When David was diagnosed with LVAS in January 2006, one of the desires of my heart was for the Lord to give David until September 2006 with some natural hearing left, to be able to develop better speech. Now here we are in September 2007, with natural hearing in both ears, and age-appropriate speech ability. To God be the glory.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Anniversary wishes

Happy 14th anniversary,
Uncle Chuck & Aunt Connie!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Quiet day

Today is the first weekday this month that I do not have an outside commitment of some the kids and I are all enjoying a 'normal' day for a change! David did school, then the kids played together wonderfully while I caught up on housework that has fallen behind due to the insanity of the last few weeks. Now the kids are down for naps and I am headed to the couch for mine. The busyness has taken more of a physical toll on me than I had realized while I was still running on adrenaline, so now it's time to refuel! Before naps today, I taught the kids how to play Go Fish...wouldn't you know, Abigail won...David came in second...and I lost. (Sound familiar, Debbie?!) Ah well, it made for happy kids...!

Sunday, September 23, 2007


Happy first day of autumn!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Family night

Here is a cute picture of the kids last night (if you remember, Friday night is our family popcorn, soda, and video night). Although they squabble like normal siblings, they are also fiercely attached to each other, and I love moments like this...

Friday, September 21, 2007

Celebrating autumn's approach

Yesterday we made autumn cookies
shaped like leaves and pumpkins --
we had lots of fun!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Long shiny hair

<- This is my new favorite way to do Abigail's hair. Her hair is so long and golden and's just beautiful! ...and she's really cooperative about letting me fuss with it, so we have lots of fun.

David did his own hair today and he needs a haircut besides, but he wanted to be on the blog today, too, and he's cute enough to post even with the messy hair!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Happy birthday, Matthew!

Happy birthday, Maciej
(aka Uncle Mattie)!
We love you.

Taste of autumn

Autumn is creeping into north Georgia...
our nights are dropping into the 50s,
the days -- though still in the 80s -- have a lovely breeze,
the trees are starting to hint at color,
a few leaves are beginning their earthbound tumble,
and the kids and I stay out as long as we can
in the early evening, because
it's just too beautiful to be inside...

Monday, September 17, 2007

Abigail's physical progress...WOW!

Abigail had her PT (physical therapy) evaluation today -- she has made a huge amount of progress in the last six months. This evaluation focused on her gross motor skills (running, jumping, stair climbing, balance, catching/throwing, etc). I will not confuse (and bore) everyone with the specific numbers, but she is now in the average range for age-appropriate abilities! This was pretty exciting as she has always lagged far behind the norm. In one section of this evaluation, she had progressed seven months' worth, and then thirteen months' worth in another section...and all of this in six months' time! For CP kids, the therapists hope for one month's worth of progress every two months (i.e. six months' progress in one year's time)...and Abigail has far exceeded that! As we've said before (and I'm sure we'll say it again), we are so grateful for the Lord's hand on her little life and body, for allowing her to overcome so many of her physical challenges...what a miracle it is to watch her run and jump and play...

North Georgia Air & Car Show

Saturday we went to an air show out in Rome, Georgia (northwest GA). We had fun, though we all got rather sunkissed (I always forget that September is still sunburn season down here!)...the kids and I have already turned to brown, but poor Bruce still looks like a fresh-cooked lobster!!! David's photo was in the Rome News-Tribune -- click here to see the photo of him checking out an old Air Force plane. Below are our will notice that there's only one of Abigail...she wouldn't go near anything that looked like it might make a lot of noise at any given moment! The kid-sized fighter jet was the only aircraft I could coerce her to approach!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Making an investment in our children

Another thing I love about my husband...he takes the time to include David (well, both kids, but Abigail would usually rather do her own thing!) in whatever project is happening. David's 'help' usually makes the project take MUCH longer than it otherwise would, but Bruce is unfailingly patient, not merely allowing David to observe, but actually taking the time to explain the process, the parts, the tools, etc, and letting David do as much as he (safely) can.

Maybe you have seen the commercial where the dad is working on under-sink plumbing, and when the little boy asks if he can help, the Dad says "No, this is grownup work"...then when he sees his dejected son, he relents, letting him hold the flashlight. Bruce has never liked that commercial, pointing out that the dad never should have said "bug off" in the first place... I am so grateful for a husband who recognizes the importance of investing in our children (and enjoying time with them besides), despite the cost of time and efficiency. He is such a great dad! It is beyond wonderful to watch David just glow when he helps Daddy.

Heights to depths

Sometime a month or so ago, my husband had commented -- completely out of the blue -- that I have beautiful eyes. Ever since, I have been enjoying the fuzzy feeling that gave me! ...and then one morning this week, before I had attended to my morning routine, I was crouched next to David explaining something to him and he very matter-of-factly stated, "Mommy, you have a SMELL...your breath smells stinky." From the heights of feeling beautiful to the depths of reality!!! Yeah, well...nobody ever said that being a mom is a glamorous job!!!

This week's doings

This has been a crazy week and we are all glad to have survived until the end of it! Noteable reports from this week are: ~Abigail had her eyes re-checked and we were relieved to hear that her glasses are doing the trick -- we don't need to do any supplemental patching. ~The kids both had hearing checks. David's hearing was essentially stable; Abigail had some significant loss in two higher frequencies in both ears. Next scheduled check is October 3rd. ~Bruce had his echo but we don't have results yet -- probably early next week. That report seems awfully brief compared to this week's schedule, but those are just the interesting things. :-) Right now we are all happy to be heading for naptime!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Janettics demonstrated

In our family, we women blame our klutziness on our "Janettics" -- a play on words, since we all inherit it from my grandma, whose name is Janette. However, here is another -- and perhaps more desirable? -- 'Janettic' link!!! (And see, Grandma? I didn't even point out the ice cream on the end of your nose! I love you!!!)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Remembering...six years later

In memory of all who lost their lives six years ago in the terrorist attacks on our country...

...and in honor of those who are fighting overseas to weaken those who would -- or who are helping those who would -- try to attack us again. Thank you.

Remember to
fly your flag at half-staff all day long today.

Monday, September 10, 2007

To the grandparents

Belated Happy Grandparents' Day to our
Grandpas and Grandmas
McKee, Minota, and O'Gorman.
I didn't remember that G's Day was yesterday
until I looked at my calendar this morning...
Bummer for Hallmark...:-)

Thursday, September 06, 2007

NY trip - part 7 - recap

So there you have it -- our trip to NY -- we had a great time. I forgot to mention earlier that the weather was absolutely gorgeous -- CNY put on its autumn best for us with leaves just starting to turn, geese flying south, chilly mornings (mostly 40s), and then brilliant blue daytime skies with lots of sun and big fluffy clouds. (It was a bit of a shock to come home to hot and humid again -- but the trip was a nice tide-me-over until it's our turn to have autumn!) Our love to all of you who are far away again...thanks for a wonderful visit and we can't wait to see you again! As I always remind all of our friends and family scattered throughout the country, our home is always open and we would love to see you -- come visit us!

NY trip - part 6 - family

I don't have pictures of everyone, nor do I have as many pictures as I would like...but here are the ones I do have, and the rest of the 'moments' are stored away in my heart!

^Kids on one of Uncle Bob's Harleys>

NY trip - part 5 - Onondaga Lake

below: Uncle Chuck, Aunt Connie, Amanda, & Alicia (Midlar)

Abigail, Amanda, Alicia, & David

...I don't have a picture of Grandpa & Grandma in the tree because Grandpa mysteriously disappeared when we suggested a picture of each family...! (We wouldn't have made you two climb it, you know...although we could have tried boosting you up from behind...!) :-)

Ny trip - part 4 - trip to the park

On Saturday, we went to a park near Onondaga Lake,
where we rode the trolley through the park
and then played on the playground.

Saturday night we had a campfire
complete with hot dogs, marshmallows, and s'mores.

NY trip - part 3 - Out on a date

On our wedding night in 1998, Bruce and I stayed at the Green Gate Inn, a historic old inn in Camillus (NY). We had often talked about staying there again, but it just hadn't happened. However, due to Bruce's health-related exhaustion, we hadn't done anything special to celebrate our ninth anniversary this past this year seemed to be perfect timing. I had planned to surprise Bruce with this overnighter -- I already had reservations made and everything -- when he 'fessed up that he had been considering surprising me with a trip there (he had no idea what I had planned)! I confessed my plans, we had a good laugh, and then we spent the rest of the time looking forward to our date!

We had a wonderful mini-trip...we ate dinner at the French Restaurant there (the food was excellent), stayed in the same room we had stayed in nine years ago, and had a private, leisurely breakfast out on the deck the next morning.

Thanks to Gram and Gramp, Uncle Chuck and Aunt Connie, & Amanda and Alicia for willingly taking care of the kids for us...even if they did wake you up at a terribly early hour!

NY trip - part 2 - cousin love

<clockwise from top left: Amanda, Alicia, Abigail, David

NY trip - part 1 - trip summary

^Sweet kids on our northbound car trip

We headed north on Tuesday, August 29th, stayed overnight at a hotel in Ohio, and then arrived in Phoenix, NY, on Wednesday. Oh, it was so good to see so many dear faces!

The kids traveled really well on both the northbound and southbound trips. Other than Bruce flipping in and out of a-fib right before we left for home this Tuesday, everything was pleasantly uneventful.

The kids stuck like glue to Amanda and Alicia, and they all played nonstop from sunup 'til bedtime. Alicia and David played dressup and police and all sorts of fun things, and Amanda and Abigail hung out and did whatever Abigail wanted to do! :-) Having the kids taken care of gave me a wonderful time of rest and reprieve...Grandma and I did some projects, we spent a lot of time sitting in their sunroom knitting and crocheting, and I got to read books and even go on an overnight date with my husband. I got spoiled!!! Bruce did some work, but for the most part, he got to relax, read "fun" books, and take lots of naps.

We also got to visit with some of my extended family, as well as with our NY church family. We got to eat Hofmann's hot dogs, s'mores, and ice cream; we got to talk and talk and talk; we got to share stories and lots of we miss everyone terribly, but it was an absolutely wonderful visit and we are very grateful to have been able to make the trip.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Home again

We have arrived home from our trip to New York...we had such a wonderful time! It was as sad as always to say goodbye to everyone up there, but it's also nice to get home...such a dichotomy...! I will be posting pictures piecemeal-style over the next few days. Right now I am too tired and I need to scrape up some supper besides!