Thursday, January 31, 2008

Pepsi's new commercial

Hooray for Pepsi on this one -- check out their new SuperBowl commercial, which plays off of a popular deaf-community joke. Click on the link below to go to Pepsi's website, then click on the video square "Bob's house", and when it shows up in the video window, click on "big" (just to the right of the video) to see the bigger (easier to see!) version. Click here to watch the commercial.

Just life

I don't usually get to blog on Wednesday because Bruce works from home, so he uses the laptop all day. It's a bit of a pain not to have the Internet access that I am used to, but it's well worth it in order to have him home to share lunch and dinner with us!

There is a nasty flu bug that is making the rounds here -- many in our church are sick and mid-week service was canceled last night because of it -- I am tempted to lock our doors and go under quarantine until the bug moves on to another state!!! We did get our flu shots this fall and hopefully they will give us an effective immune boost...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Abigail's getting a new brace

As most of you know, Abigail wears a brace on her left leg to help everything stay properly aligned as she grows and gains strength in that leg (because of her CP). As you can imagine, the brace needs regular adjustments to keep it properly fitted on her growing foot and ankle, and then, when it can't be adjusted any more, we get a new, bigger one made! Yesterday we went to have the mold taken for her new brace and I thought we'd share the process with you.

Many thanks to Aaron @ Children's Healthcare of Atlanta's Orthotics & Prosthetics for taking such good care of us -- she has been with us since Abigail's very first brace!

First, Aaron marks Abigail's ankle & foot bones with a special pencil that will transfer the markings to the inside of the mold. Special care is taken with the new brace to make sure that these spots will not rub and irritate Abigail's skin. Next Aaron slides on a thin sock and then wraps Abigail's foot and leg with this material that will then stiffen in the shape of Abigail's leg. (The tube allows the stiffened mold to be easily cut off of the leg).

After a minute or two, the mold is ready to be cut off. Now we wait three weeks for fabrication of the brace, then we'll go back in to have it fitted and Abigail will walk out wearing her new brace!

Abigail and Aaron

Abigail learns a new skill

This had been going on for a minute or so when I realized that I had the camera in my I captured the last few seconds before she gave up! (And yes, then I helped her get some!)
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Monday, January 28, 2008

Silly girl

"I'm David!"

(Note the hands on the hips...this is her most recent very girlie and drama-queenish gesture!)


Molly has finally decided that Abigail is "safe". This was the first time Molly snuggled up with Abigail of her own volition, and the two of them bonded for almost half an hour. I am relieved that Molly finally agreed to a truce, because Abigail took Molly's previous rejection very personally!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Game plan for my dad-in-law

Many of you have asked after -- and are praying for -- my father-in-law, but I have been waiting until there was a game plan before I posted an update. There have been many bumps in the road between the diagnosis and now, but the game plan has finally arrived! Despite those "bumps", the Lord has been faithful and has arranged so many details in amazing ways. Well anyway, Dad (Jerry) will go for a "dry run" of radiation on Monday, February 4th, and then the complete treatment will involve eight weeks of radiation, five days a week. Thanks to all of you who are praying.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Pet personalities

Molly helped herself to my water while I was getting ready for bed.
First she tested it (to make sure it was good enough for a cat to drink)...

Then she drank it!
Don't worry, I got a new one when she was done...!

And here is a picture of Baker with his "worried" face...
he is afraid of the red-eye light on the camera!!!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Help! I'm stuck!

Two nights ago we were awakened in the middle of the night by David crying and saying "Mommy, help me! I'm stuck and I don't know how to get out!" Once I figured out that it wasn't part of my dream, I realized that the voice was below us...directly below us, in fact...he had sleepwalked (sleepcrawled?!) and was completely under our bed! He had no idea where he was or how he'd gotten there. Dad and Mom Minota, does that remind you of anyone else you know?!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

North Carolina trip pictures

We had a wonderful weekend at Dad and Mom McKee's house.
Here are pictures sharing some of the highlights of the weekend.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

A visit to North Carolina

We are currently in Horseshoe, NC, visiting my mom- and dad-in-law. My dad-in-law's birthday was Thursday, so tonight we celebrated...and I got to have my first piece of elderberry pie! We had a nice day today. This morning we visited a local fish hatchery and then had lunch at Hot Dog World (I had two slaw dogs...I should have stopped at one, but it was soooo good...!). When we got home, the kids played outside with Grandma (it was snowing, and they still have a little snow on the ground here as well). Now my bathed-and-ready-for-church darlings are sound asleep and the grownups are going to eat banket and watch Miss Potter. I'll post pictures from our trip sometime in the next couple of days...

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Happy birthday, Grandpa McKee!

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Enjoying the last vestiges of snow

Well, we woke up to a wintry mix this morning that is more rain than snow, so our beautiful snow is disappearing quickly. This is typical for us, but I still can't help but hold out hope that one of these times we're going to get a big one!

The kids went straight outside this morning -- it was still dark, but I wasn't sure how long the snow would be on the ground, so we turned on the porch lights and let them go. We have called a "school delay" and the kids are still outside playing -- I will let them stay there until they are good and ready to come in -- snow to play in is a rare commodity for us and I wouldn't make them miss one minute of it! School will wait until they are inside, properly thawed with hot chocolate and a warm bath, and sated with the fun of a special morning!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Abigail the Sugar Plum Fairy

This is the first time Abigail has seen snow
when she was old enough to understand what it was
and be excited -- she was absolutely fascinated by it!!!
(...and then see below for another video and pictures of our snow!)
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Southern kids go sledding

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Snow, snow, snow!!!

It started to snow at 4-something this afternoon and it hasn't stopped yet...this is the thickest, fastest-falling snow we've had since we moved down here and we are loving it!
When we first went outside to play in it, there was nothing on the ground, just flakes in the air, but by the time we headed inside just before 6, it was starting to come down thicker and faster. As you can see, we had to get the sled out -- no matter how I tried to explain that the sled is for snow covering the ground, I got overruled and we had to have sled-rides on the grass!

Below is what it looked like just a few minutes ago (shortly before 8 p.m.).

Let it snow!!!

Doesn't she feel lovely...

Last week while I was grocery shopping in WalMart, I noticed a lady standing there staring at me...a few moments later, since she was still staring, I quirked my eyebrows inquisitively and glanced at her, at which point she exclaimed that I had beautiful skin and asked what I use on my face...

Long story short, she was a Mary Kay consultant and she asked me to come to their reps/sales directors meeting to model their new line of stuff. Although activities away from my family in the evening is about the last thing in the world that appeals to me, this was a rather unique situation and what girl wouldn't love to "be a model" at some point in her life?!

So last night I went (don't worry, I am NOT a Mary Kay consultant, so I will not be trying to sell to all of you!) and I had a nice time. I must admit to really liking their skin care line -- I am thirty and starting to get fine lines around my eyes, so it's time to step up the skin care, don't you know! -- I think some of the ladies about had cardiac arrest when they heard that I just use Dove soap to wash my face! I've gotten to play model for a night...and my conclusion is that, although it was lots of fun, I still prefer to be home on the couch with my family, so I won't be taking off dreamily to pursue a big modeling contract anytime soon. :-)

Monday, January 14, 2008

Wiggle-worm goes to school

Lest you all think that I have an abnormally low-key and lethargic little boy, I thought I would share some pictures of all of the different poses I caught him in while he was in school today. Mind you, in almost every pose he is totally engaged in his lesson, reciting with the class and answering questions, but as you can see, "holding still" is a foreign concept. He is of the persuasion that as long as he is touching his desk, he's good!

Pennies from heaven...

On Saturday, David had his first "job" for our neighbors -- he followed our neighbor around for a couple of hours and helped him spread pine straw and do other yard work. David loved it -- although it's nice to be "needed" by Daddy and Grandpas, there was something manly about being "needed" by a man outside the family! At some point, our neighbor paid him a few dollars for his hard work, a fact of which David was extremely proud (and he should be!).
This gave rise to a discussion about how, in thankfulness to God for providing for our needs, we give back to Him a portion of what we are given. Although David is used to the concept in relation to his allowance, this was his first "paid job", so he worked through it for a while before deciding it was a good idea.
With all of this as background, yesterday afternoon our precious
boy asked us, with the serious and contemplative attitude
of a child who is trying to figure something out,
"But Mommy, how does our money get up to Heaven?"

Saturday, January 12, 2008

My blog's first makeover

I have now been blogging for over a year (my first blog was Oct. '06) and have gotten much more familiar with the tricks (and quirks!) of blogging...I have also discovered that not only do I really enjoy it, but those for whom I am blogging really appreciate the constant connection to our family, so it looks like I am in it for the long haul! That said, I decided that it was time for our blog to get a makeover...hence the new look. I plan to update its look more often now that I have braved it once and found it to be easier than I thought it would be! I am glad that so many of you enjoy our blog...and thanks to all of you who have given me feedback -- it's good to know that I'm not the only one enjoying it!!!

Two points do not a pattern make...

...but I'm dangerously close! Let me explain... When we were kids, my brothers and I always used to push a button whenever we walked by a soda machine, just in case someone had left credit in it. We had done this for ages and never gotten a reward, so eventually I just did it out of habit. One day when I hit the button on the way by, I heard that rumbling noise, and sure enough, I had gotten a soda!!! The problem is that, not expecting to get one, I hadn't paid attention to what button I pushed, and I got a Mello Yello, which I can not stand to drink, so I ended up giving it to my brother. Yesterday, when I was cleaning out the Olds to get it ready for its departure, I was digging down between the front seats to make sure there were no lost 'treasures' in there, when I felt something funny. I dug way in and pulled out...the second set of keys AND another remote entry key fob for the Olds. We bought the Olds used (er, pre-owned) with only one set of keys, so the previous owner must have lost that second set and not known that they were actually still in the car. TWO YEARS we have owned that car and gotten by with only one set of keys for it (it's the kind of key you can only get from a dealer), and then, on the day it's going to the salvage yard, I find the second set, and a second remote, no less! Do you see my pattern emerging yet?! ...sigh....

Farewell to some 'old friends'

Well, the wrecker came last night and towed away the Oldsmobile -- I was feeling a little sad (no poking fun, you all...I always feel sad when we "say goodbye" to one of our cars) but I didn't say anything because I didn't want to put ideas into the kids' heads, when David piped up with, "Mommy, I feel a little sad about Daddy's blue car going away." He can be so rough and tumble sometimes (most of the time), but he has a sensitive streak that I hope he never loses! On a side note, his sadness ended quite abruptly when Bruce pulled up in the "silver race car" (that is what David dubbed it and in church last week, he told anybody that would listen all about Daddy's new silver race car!!!).

Well, anyway, the big entertainment of the evening -- never mind the video we got at the library -- was sitting out on the porch to watch the wrecker-guy hook up the car to tow it away!

Another 'friend' we recently bid farewell to -- but in much happier circumstances! -- was the serger that Bruce bought for me early in our marriage, when we were far away from home and money was really tight (he was in law school). I was attempting garment sewing and sorely missing my mom's machine...and somehow Bruce scraped together enough to surprise me with a serger! The old girl is still running like a top, but I recently inherited my mom's serger when she upgraded, so I set the old serger aside and was waiting for a new home for it, when I heard about a friend who wanted her first serger...voila! So my beloved first serger has a new home, which makes me very happy!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Yarn Mama

I know I've said many times how much I love our kids' imaginations, but I will say it yet again...and this probably won't be the last time, either!

This morning Abigail has been using a skein of yarn as a baby (never mind that she has many "real" babydolls), rocking it, singing to it, and otherwise tending to it. I love her imagination!

Also note her adorable new pajamas -- they are so soft and snuggly, which Mommy and Daddy love, and they are pink with silver sparkles, which Abigail loves!

It's gone back to winter weather again here (low 50s!), but that doesn't slow David down a bit -- the minute he was done with school, he was out the door to play in the sandbox! Since I wouldn't let Abigail play outside in her pjs, she opted to stay inside because she didn't want to take off her new pajamas!

Thursday, January 10, 2008

David's 100th day of school

Seems like we just started, but here we are on the 100th day --
it's amazing to see how much he's learned already --
I wish you all could hear him read!
I'll have to take video of it to share sometime soon...
it's not quite the same as seeing it in person,
but it's the best we can do sometimes!

Monday, January 07, 2008

We love the Southern winters!

I didn't get a chance to take a picture of our thermometer today, but it hit 70 degrees this afternoon -- it was just gorgeous outside and I even opened a couple of windows to let in some fresh air. This is why we love the winters down here! We returned Bruce's rental car today and moved the Oldsmobile out into the yard so that we can park our good cars in the garage, so now it doesn't look as much like a redneck yard anymore. :-) In other news, David went to the dentist for a regular cleaning and to have two cavities filled -- he is such a trooper about these things and they were commenting that he did better than a lot of their adult patients! David left the office cheerful and saying how much fun it was to go to the dentist -- I'm so glad he feels that way (I still get stressed when it's my turn but he doesn't know that!) -- hopefully he can convince Abigail that it's exciting before her first visit later this year!!!

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Bruce's new wheels

Bruce is pleased to announce that he is now the owner of an '03 Acura CL (Type S). It is in beautiful shape and loaded with enough bells and whistles to thrill any guy! Below you will find pictures of his car from almost every angle, though I just realized that I failed to take a picture under the brothers will be disappointed in me...but I will do my best to add that picture in a "p.s. post" sometime this week!

For the wrench-heads out there :-), it is an automatic transmission (with manual shift option), with a 3.2 L, V6, VTEC, 260 HP engine. It has 69K miles and lots of 'fun stuff' like a navigational system, Bose sound system, electric seat adjustment, sunroof, climate control, 17 inch wheels, sport suspension, and -- my personal favorite -- heated seats! The interior is black leather and in mint condition.

Once we figured out (after a few stomach-dropping, heart-stopping minutes!) that the "Maintenance Required" light coming on meant simply that, according to the odometer, it is due for routine maintenance, and we figured out how to get rid of said light, driving the car is pure pleasure and Bruce was awfully quick to offer to run to the store for me tonight!!!

However, our driveway now looks like a used car lot...can you say 'redneck'?!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Another cold one, but it's so lovely

It's so cold here again this morning -- the sun is fully up and very bright (down here you can feel the sun's warmth even in the winter months) but it's still only 16 degrees. I wish the camera could capture how beautiful it is outside, though -- there is a heavy frost that has covered everything with ice crystals, and with the sun shining so dazzlingly, everything is sparkling. It's gorgeous. I have loved jewels ever since I was a little girl (what woman doesn't, right?!) and the "diamonds" of a frosty morning still give me a little thrill, even after thirty years of seeing it! The beautiful scenery outside (which I am enjoying from inside my cozy house, through the window, by the way) made me think of the book of Job (38:29, 30), where God, reminding Job of His limitless power, asks Job the rhetorical questions
"From whose womb has come the ice?
And the frost of heaven, who has given it birth? "Water becomes hard like stone,
And the surface of the deep is imprisoned."
"Then Job answered the LORD and said, "I know that You can do all things,
And that no purpose of Yours can be thwarted."

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Ride 'em, cowboy

This is what the kids are busy playing right now -- they have turned the couch and cushions into a wagon, a bar stool into a horse, and a jump rope into reins, and they ride wildly and then "fall" off the wagon onto the ground (which they have conveniently padded with extra cushions).

I love to watch their imaginations soar! ...thanks, Mom, for all of the hours you let us "mess up" the house so that we could build forts, is a wonderful memory that still sticks with me and helps me on the days when I am tempted to just see their play as a mess to instead remember the magic of a child's imagination...


This is the outside air temperature here this morning...
it's a good day to stay holed up in our cozy little den!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

We're cold down here

National Weather Service View: 400 AM EST WED JAN 2 2008 5 Day Forecast for ATLANTA, GA. . Wind advisory in effect until 7 pm est this evening... ~Today. . . Partly sunny with a 20 percent chance of snow showers in the morning. . . Then mostly sunny in the afternoon. Windy. Highs in the mid 30s. Northwest winds 15 to 25 mph. Wind chill readings around zero. ~Tonight. . . Mostly clear. Lows around 17. Northwest winds 5 to 15 mph. Wind chill readings around 5 above zero. ~Thursday...Sunny. Highs in the lower 40s. North winds up to 10 mph. Wind chill readings around 5 above zero. Thursday night. . . Mostly clear. Lows around 16. Light and variable winds.

You need to post!!!

This is a friendly reminder to Debbie
that she hasn't posted in over a month...
where are you?!
Don't make us beg...(or nag...)! =)

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

New year, new 'friends'

Since we had a couple of hours to burn while we were waiting for our picture appt yesterday, we went next door to Build-A-Bear, where the kids picked out, helped to stuff, stuck a satin heart inside, and then dressed their new stuffed animals. David picked out a dog he named "Jupiter" (he dressed it in a solar system shirt) and Abigail picked out a koala she named "Kelly" (I had to make suggestions until I thought of one she liked), and of course she dressed it in a princess shirt!

It was a fun process for the kids and it used up an hour or so in a useful pursuit instead of getting tired, bored, and grumpy before pictures!

Their animals have played with them all day long today, too -- superhero/princess, hospital, house, etc -- it's been fun to see them enjoying their creations.

Happy New Year!

What better way to start the new year than by sharing pictures of our children?! Yesterday I took the kids to get their 2007 pictures taken (nothing like waiting until the last minute, huh?). The kids were very cooperative and we are very happy with the results. We can't believe how much older they look, though! When did they get so big?! To see the rest of the pictures, click here.