Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Well, my ankle really hurts much for my "all better in the morning" plan! I went and bought an Ace brace for it, which does help relieve the pain some, but otherwise I just have to keep trucking and pretend it doesn't hurt! Unfortunately, it's my right ankle, on the front of the ankle, and the motion that hurts most is flexing up and down, so driving is very unpleasant. The really bad part, though? My right foot is also my sewing foot -- the one I use to push the foot pedal -- bummer! ...but I am pushing through the pain to clean house and drive to appointments, so perhaps I will go ahead and squeeze a little sewing in dspite the pain, too!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hopping, running, falling down...

The hopping and running part of this post's title is for Abigail -- she had both a PT and an OT evaluation today and did very well. It will be a couple of weeks before we get the complete report(s), but it looks like she is in age-appropriate ranges for both. How far she has come! (...praise the Lord!) She does have ulnar deviation on her left arm (the hand and wrist pull toward the outside bone of the arm [the ulna], which causes the muscles on the inside of the arm to over-stretch and the muscles on the outside of the arm to shorten, which, if uncorrected, can start a vicious cycle of increasing severity of the deviation), and it has worsened a bit over the last year or so, so Abigail will be wearing a brace on that wrist/hand/forearm not only for sleeping, but also for at least some of the day. It will be custom-made (she was thrilled that she got to pick purple!) and it should arrive in a few weeks. After all of her work today, she is one tired little girl, but she did a great job accomplishing all of the tasks required of her for these evaluations and we are so thankful for the progress she has made! Now, the falling part was mine today...I didn't realize there was a step behind me at a friend's porch and I twisted my ankle falling off of it...any of you who know me can picture this scenario very easily!!! Gratefully, it seems to be only a minor sprain, but after being on my feet most of the day today, it sure does ache. I am going into bed very shortly and hopefully it will be much improved in the morning! I am glad Abigail didn't inherit my klutz-gene...she has enough of a challenge with her CP and doesn't need the extra challenge of klutziness!!! The rest of our day was spent squeezing in school and cutting out a new quilt with my friend Karen. We finished our cutting, ate dinner, then she left and I put the kids to bed at 6:45, and I'm ready to crash already, too! Bruce is working late, but I'm afraid I shan't be awake to greet him when he gets home tonight. I will leave him a cup of coffee and a snack...and hopefully that will be enough of a welcome, because I'm fading fast!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Who's the boss?!

Friday night Abigail asked her daddy if he had to go to work the next morning.
Bruce replied, "No, I don't have to go to the office...I get to stay home."
Abigail then asked "Why?" (a common question from her lately!)
As Bruce hesitated to formulate a response,
Abigail followed up with,
"Because Mommy lets you?"

Plenty of appointments this week...

This year sure has had fewer busy weeks than last year, which is a blessing! This week is one of those busy ones, though -- one or the other of us has an appt every day except Friday, and we are on the home stretch of school (eight days left!), so we are doing that every day as well. David had his annual opthalmology check-up today and did great. His eyes are sound both structurally and vision-wise -- praise the Lord. Tomorrow Abigail has an evaluation for PT (she has one every six months) and then one for OT immediately following. Wednesday Bruce has a dentist appt and then Thursday David has an asthma follow-up. So, if I don't blog much, you'll know why...and yes, my camera is still missing...still not a happy subject!!!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Prepping the garden

Today we got the garden ready so we can plant next week...we all raked out the dead stuff on top and then Bruce and David rototilled. The soil has improved every year, and this is the fifth year we have done the garden here, so the soil was more crumbly than clay-clods this time -- hooray!

While the guys tilled, Abigail and I sat in chairs and watched and played with the dog...except for the one time that Bruce stopped the tiller and yelled, "Marsel! I need a hoe, NOW!" ...guess what he found...(slither slither) We all moved really fast! :-)

Well anyway, I had a moment while I was watching the guys till...Bruce has let David "help" till every year we've gardened here (don't worry, the tines are out in the front, not near their feet, so it's safe!). The first year here, when David was two, his "help" consisted of a few inches' worth of tilling, and it has slowly increased until this year he helped till more than half of the garden. This was the first year that -- although I'm sure he still slowed Bruce down some -- he actually worked at trying to hold the tiller steady and steer it, instead of just hanging on to the handle and walking. I felt a bit choked up as I sat and watched the muscles in his becoming-a-big-boy arms flex and work as he helped his Daddy. There's something poignant about watching your husband and son work together.

I also felt a bit of awe as I reflected on the thought that, although the technology has changed, this is what fathers and sons have done for millenia -- every year, the father teaches the son and lets him handle a little more until one year he's big enough to help dad hold the reins to the horse team (or tiller, in our case!) and soon he's old enough to drive it himself. It's neat to be part of a long history in a small way...

Rainbow sighting

Last night, as the sun was setting, we got a downpour of rain...combine those two events and we had an incredible, gorgeous rainbow. I have been utterly fascinated by rainbows for as long as I can remember and I still get a thrill that takes my breath away whenever I see one! All four of us sat out on the porch swing and watched it as it morphed with the setting sun's changing light. Forty-five minutes later, when we finally went inside to put the kids to bed, it was still bright and beautiful.

Pictures NEVER do a rainbow justice -- it was so intense and brilliant in real life, but it looks so washed out in the pictures -- but here are a couple of pictures anyway! I couldn't fit the whole bow in one frame, so here are the two ends separately...

Friday, April 25, 2008

Dog in action

I caught this picture of Baker as he raced by me and thought it was cute!


The kids and I went garage-saling for a while today...there is an upscale development near us that was having community-wide sales, so we thought we'd try it out.

Although we didn't find a living-room set (I was hoping to upgrade ours!), we did find some stuff. Here are a few of our 'treasures'...
^Abigail got a scooter. She was very coordinated with it right away -- and it's great therapy for her left leg, which does all of the pushing!
^David got some new sandbox trucks...always a happy thing. He spends a lot of time in the sandbox.
^A bed frame for Abigail's room...these are just the tops of the posts (it's a white four-poster). The footboard needs a little TLC at the joints before we set it up and then I will post a picture of it when it's put together in her room!
^The copper pitcher and the frosted-purple glass grape-thing on top, as well as the little copper piece on the bottom right (it has a grape design), are new. I want to paint my kitchen plum and taupe, with a grape theme and purple and copper these were fun finds.
^My favorite find of the day! A beautiful, sturdy, big copper bowl hammered with grapes, grape vines, and leaves.

I also got a looks-like-new sewing chair (the office-type whose height adjusts etc), but it doesn't make for a very interesting picture, so I skipped it. :)

(And yes, my good camera is still missing...)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

MIA camera

I know that I haven't yet posted pictures from David's birthday's been too busy what with my parents here and then a day of appointments yesterday, and now that I have a day at home today to catch up, my camera is MIA. I have looked and looked and can't find it anywhere...grrrr! The last I remember seeing it was Tuesday afternoon...the kids were taking pictures with it and I told them to please go put it away...I can only imagine where it ended up! They both sport blank looks when I ask, so even if they did put it somewhere, they don't remember it now! I have an old camera that I used to take the 'cowboys' picture, but I haven't downloaded the birthday pictures to the computer yet, so I'm stuck until I find my good camera! I'll post pictures as soon as I find the camera...

Western wear

Last year when Bruce went to AZ, he brought back a leather vest for each of the kids, and this year he brought back chaps to match. It just so happens that today is "western day" for school, so they were very excited to be able to wear their new duds. (...the hats they are wearing were Bruce's when he was a kid!)

It wasn't an easy task to convince David that "real" cowboys wear pants under their chaps and that underwear alone is not an acceptable underlayer!!!

Bruce's Arizona trip

Here are a few pictures from Bruce's business trip to Scottsdale, AZ. One of the afternoons they had some free time, so Bruce was able to visit Frank Lloyd Wright's winter home, Taliesin West.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

I've been tagged... Liz! FOUR JOBS I'VE HAD: 1) Babysitter 2) Sales associate 3) Misc. Finance dept. positions 4) Mother FOUR MOVIES I'VE WATCHED MORE THAN ONCE: 1) Sense & Sensibility 2) All Creatures Great & Small 3) The Sound of Music 4) Wizard of Oz FOUR PLACES I'VE LIVED: 1) Phoenix, NY 2) Baldwinsville, NY 3) Naperville, IL 4) Canton, GA FOUR TV SHOWS I WATCH: 1) Good Eats 2) This Old House 3) As Time Goes By 4) Keeping Up Appearances FOUR PLACES I'VE BEEN: 1) Roof of the Pontiac (Michigan) Silverdome 2) Maine 3) Washington state 4) Springfield, IL FOUR PEOPLE WHO EMAIL ME REGULARLY: 1) my mom 2) Bruce 3) my grandma 4) RaDora FOUR OF MY FAVORITE FOODS: 1) Deer heart 2) Crab legs...all seafood in general (with the exception of oysters!) 3) Cannoli 4) Stuffed mushrooms FOUR PLACES I WOULD LIKE TO VISIT: 1) California 2) Great Britain 3) Mediterranean 4) Caribbean FOUR PLACES I GO EVERY WEEK: 1) Church 2) Wal Mart 3) Kroger (grocery store) 4) Umm...I stay home as much as I can!!! FOUR FRIENDS I'M TAGGING: (okay, three friends, and ONLY if they want to -- no guilt if not!) 1) Jessica 2) Debbie 3) Jeanette ...Bruce would like to be tagged since he came up with smart aleck answers for all of these (okay, I have to admit that most of them were quite funny)...but since he doesn't blog, he doesn't get the chance to share it with you!!!

Happy birthday, Amanda!

Happy 13th birthday, Amanda Rose!
We love you lots!
(...and I still can't believe you're a teenager already!!!)
(from left: Alicia, Abigail, Amanda, David
in Florida in February '08)

Reflections on David's six years

David not too long before he was born...~~~
David as a newborn (in the NICU)~~~
David on his 1st birthday

David on his 2nd birthday
David on his 3rd birthday
David on his 4th birthday
David on his 5th birthday
(I'm still not used to the fact that my son is six!)

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Happy birthday, David!

Happy 6th birthday, David!
We love you so very much and are so glad
that God gave you to us!!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Georgia Aquarium trip pictures (...finally!)

Here are some pictures from our trip to the GA Aquarium
...thanks again, RaDora...
you know how much we love you
and it was great to spend the day with you!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Happy birthday, Sarah!

Happy birthday, Sarah!!!
Hope you have a great day...

Monday, April 14, 2008

MIA Aquarium pictures

A quick note of explanation on the Aquarium pictures I have not yet posted...Saturday was a run-from-start-to-finish kind of day, so I didn't get a chance to post them...and then yesterday Bruce left with the laptop, which is where all of my pictures are! So I will post the pictures when my laptop comes home. :)

Glimpses of Abigail

Here is Abigail wearing her "pirate patch" (and holding up her new princess pajamas, which she insisted had to be in the picture) -- she is such a big girl about it and it's going very well. We have a routine that makes it fairly stressless for her since she knows what to expect every day, and it helps that she gets to choose which patch-design she wants, too! On a side note, click here for the website from which we ordered her eye patches. We're really happy with them.

A few more Abigail-isms of late:

~Lately whenever Bruce or I tell her she's silly, she says (in a rather affronted manner) "I am NOT silly. I'm serious."

~On Saturday, she learned how to pedal a tricycle!!! This is a real feat for her since this skill requires constant whole-body involvement.

~This morning after she weighed herself (just for the fun of it), she proceeded to try weighing individual parts of her body, including her chin and her hair!

~She is learning the joys of plurals and adds "es" to most words to make them plural -- this is one of my favorites! -- so she talks about "birdses" and "spotses" etc. It's so cute.

~She had her four-year old checkup on Thursday and, for the first time ever, she did not begin screaming at the word "shot" -- we talked about it very reasonably and then she was very brave for all three shots -- she's growing up and it's showing in so many ways!

Missing my husband...and the laptop!

Bruce is on a business trip to Arizona, and he took the laptop with him, which leaves me with the corrupted (read: possessed) desktop computer...sometimes it cooperates but most of the time it freezes, gets hung up, and performs other similarly annoying computer tricks. But I will try to post anyway -- we shall see! And yes, I do miss Bruce more than I miss the laptop...I will definitely kiss him first at the airport late Wednesday night, although I may try sneak in an inconspicuous hug for the laptop a little later when nobody's looking!!! :) Other than Abigail's pink-eye, the kids and I are doing fine. We like it much better when Bruce is home, of course, but we fare well on our own when we need to do so. We are all good company for each other and we enjoy the opportunity for "contraband" dinners...that is, food that isn't really "guy" food, that we don't usually eat on weeknights when Bruce is home!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Georgia Aquarium trip

Today we had a wonderful day with RaDora. We took a train downtown, ate lunch at the CNN Center, walked through Centennial Park, and then toured the Aquarium. I will do my best to get pictures posted soon! Thanks again, RaDora, for treating us to the Aquarium (what a great birthday idea!)...we had such an awesome time!

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Tomorrow RaDora is treating the kids and me to the Georgia Aquarium (we are all very excited!). I just checked out their website to verify that cameras are allowed, and couldn't help but see the humor in the following list... "No guns, knives, lighters, matches, chewing gum or fishing poles are permitted inside Georgia Aquarium." Rats. Now I have to think of something else for dinner.

Growing pains

We are moving past the stage of the kids being completely happy in our own little bubble. I don't think I'm ready to move on yet! The last few days, David has begged to go over to the cul-de-sac that we can see from our yard. There are two little boys around my kids' ages that live there and David has really been wanting to play with them. So today I took a deep breath, told myself to let go a little, and let him ride his bike across the lawn and into the cul-de-sac since the other boys were out there riding their motorized four-wheeler things (the slow battery-powered ones!). He went with strict instructions that he was to stay in the cul-de-sac, not the boys' driveway (which I can't see from the yard), and to ride his bike only and NOT the four-wheelers. And so begin the growing pains. Mine -- because up until now my kids have always been perfectly content to just be us, in our own yard. Now they're growing up and want some more diverse social interaction, which is normal and healthy...but also a little sad! Abigail's -- because she was crestfallen that I wouldn't let her go with David, and that David would actually want to go without her. I think this was our first big lesson in the fact that sometimes older siblings get to do things that the younger ones can't do yet. (don't worry; after our brief discussion, I gave her a "special job" that cheered her up very quickly!) and David's -- because, after he had played nicely for a while, he then climbed onto one of the four-wheelers. I immediately walked over and brought him home, where we had a discussion about "If you disobey the rules, that means you are not grown-up enough to go over and play without Mommy..." etc etc. At the news that part of his punishment was that he would not be allowed to go over again all of next week, he was so upset. ...growing pains...

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

A lesson I am still learning... think before I speak, and most of the time, don't speak! But even for those of you who don't have foot-in-mouth-itis like me, even our thoughts are often mistaken or unjust. How many of us have thought, when we hear a kid screaming in a public place, "Discipline your kid, would you?!" or something to that effect? That used to be my knee-jerk reaction, until the Lord gave me two friends whose kids are either on the autism spectrum or have similar difficulties. It has been a wake-up call for me, not only to adjust my ungracious attitude, but I have also learned that not only do the moms of kids with difficulties not need rude looks or "helpful" comments, but they are usually exhausted and frustrated and feeling deeply the (obvious) disparagement from most of the people around them...and they could use a little encouragement and friendliness. This has been a very humbling but very valuable lesson for me to learn. My friend Heather recently shared an experience she had at a store and she gave me permission to re-post it here on my blog. I'm sharing the following excerpt in the hopes that we can all learn from it and spare another mom any more stress than she already has...a little food for thought. Heather wrote: "...I decide to get a gallon of paint for the downstairs bathroom. The man is talking to me. Joe is standing right there and decides to run. He turns the corner...I’m right behind...I turn the corner...He’s gone. I run up and down the aisles and no Joe. I was beginning to panic when another woman way down says..."I found him!" So I get him back to the paint counter, and Joe then begins to roll on the floor. He really likes shiny floors. So [he] is rolling and I let him. It’s better then trying to restrain him and him be screaming or have him running off. The man at the paint counter says, "How old is he? He should be learning to behave by now." So I say, "Well...Believe me...I wish I could get him to understand me to get him to behave. He’s 2 1/2, non-verbal, epileptic, has 4 heart tumers, too many brain tumors to count and we are waiting for him to be tested for autism, but would be nice if he would behave...believe me...I’m exhausted."

Monday, April 07, 2008

Imaginations...alive and well!

^The kids playing "submarine" after they watched
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
^The kids pretending to be camels
(they stuffed pillows in the back of their shirts)!

Sunday, April 06, 2008

In the yard

Here is our creeping phlox, which is a lovely periwinkle color.

Here is Bruce and his current yard project. Don't ask. :)

(Note David, following right behind, imitating Daddy...)


And here is a picture from Easter, at my parent's house...

their cat Bling enjoying the spring sunshine.

A very feline pose, isn't it?

Trying to catch up

Wow, I'm really behind on posting...I will try to give a brief summary of what's been going on... ~I am finally starting to feel better...I had a ruptured ovarian cyst, which caused days of pain and feeling sick. Abigail is sick with a cold/cough virus again. ~Abigail had an eye appt last week, and we now have to start patching one of her eyes...guess how excited I am about that...! Her left eye has normal sight, but her right eye is farsighted, and that right eye has been showing some weakness lately (sometimes crossing when she tries to focus, etc), so we will patch the good eye for two hours a day in order to strengthen that weaker eye. (And no, we can't do it while she's asleep...wouldn't that be nice!) On the advice of a couple of friends, one who has done the patching-thing with her son, and one who told us about girlie-design patches, we bought some good-quality patches that are hypo-allergenic as well as being very girlie (pink camo, butterflies, etc), which will hopefully make it easier for Abigail to accept. We go back in four months to see if there is any improvement. ~We are closing in on the end of school. We should be done the second week of May, and I'm excited! When I told David about summer break, he exclaimed that he wanted to have school during the summer...but on further reflection, he changed his mind and decided he would like to be 'free' all day! Bruce and I are likely going to switch gears curriculum-wise, so I am feeling the weight of that decision looming, since I would like to make our choice(s) in the next month or two. ~I got to go to lunch with a friend yesterday -- our lives are so very busy, so we are trying to get together for lunch one Saturday each quarter to be able to have a heart-to-heart. It has quickly become a precious time for me...and I must admit that it is rather nice to finish whole sentences without interruption. :-) ~I recently made reservations for our tenth anniversary trip (in June)! We are really looking forward to is amazing to be at that milestone already, although in some ways it seems like another lifetime ago that we were young newlyweds! The kids will be staying with my parents, so they will think that's a grand adventure, too... ~Well, guess that's all I'm going to say for now. This week is supposed to be fairly quiet...

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Rough week!

Lest I be scolded for not updating my blog, I thought I would post a quick explanation...this week we have had special meetings every evening at church, which have been a real blessing, but in addition to that, I have been having some health issues and have been in pretty rough shape since mid-morning Tuesday...hence my posting-delinquency. I will get some new pictures etc up sometime soon...I am planning to feel much better when I wake up tomorrow ("where there's a will..." and all that)!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Series on grief

I would recommend that, when you have a quiet few minutes, you click here to read a series on grief (scroll down and start at part 1). It is a series that gives a little insight on what's likely going on 'behind the scenes' for someone who is grieving. Most of us are very uncomfortable around someone who is grieving, in part because we don't know what to expect, to say, or to do. Over the last couple of years, Bruce and I have often discussed that every one of us needs to be taught how to interact with people who are grieving, because it does not come naturally. (Admittedly, even after experiencing some deep grief of my own, I still don't find it an easy thing to reach out to others who are grieving.) A little bit of background: The blog I am linking you to is Molly Piper's (and yes, for those of you familiar with John Piper of Desiring God, this is his daughter-in-law). Molly and her husband lost their little girl last year just before her full-term delivery; baby Felicity was stillborn. At the time of their loss, I was still reeling after our third miscarriage, and from the time we heard their news, I have followed Molly's blog and prayed for them often. I can't imagine the depth of their grief, and Molly has been a real blessing to me in that, although they recognize and acknowledge God's perfect plan for their lives, and glorify Him even through their pain, at the same time she has been very open about the grief that occurs and that is very real and very painful. I hope that this series will be a blessing to you, too -- and to those around you who are grieving and need your love and encouragement.