Our Family

Our Family

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Special Days with Crazy Experiences

Man, these days have been so much fun! This morning we are in all up early. Mat headed off to work for the 3rd weekend in February :( so the kids and I got our breakfast and did something I NEVER allow the children to do. We took our breakfast into the living room and started watching a movie...Marley & Me. I am now sitting snuggled up with my kiddos, and we are laughing hysterically at the silly things the dog does. I could get used to starting my day laughing like this! One of my favorite lines from the movie is when McSteamy from Grey's is asked why he is laughing so hard and his response is "b/c I am incredibly immature." I'm gonna have to use that!

Yesterday, we dissected 2 fetal pigs. We have been learning about the body so we got a close look at the different organs inside the pig while the kids recited their memory work describing the different organs and their functions. What a cool experience! The kids got to do most of the cutting, and I think we saw some budding doctors in our little group. My little Andrew was super fascinated with the heart. The dissection took place at this huge completely awesome park in Winter Garden called Chapin Station. It's the same park where we had Andrew's big birthday party. We stayed there all afternoon playing after all the gross stuff was over.

The day before that, we met a bunch of wonderful homeschool friends at the playground close to our house. Andrew finished up most of his first grade work this week...at least the work that he has in books. He was highly motivated when he got to the last 10 pages in each of his books, and the play dates were just extra motivation for him to hunker down and get his work done. I'm considering planning play dates ever day if we can get this much progress out of Andrew! We won't stop doing school, but it's so exciting to know that we are ahead!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

MRI Results are IN...

Andrew does NOT have graves disease! Yay!!! We were excited to hear the great news yesterday. Many of you know that he came down with strep the night of the MRI, but he bounced back to life 24 hours into the antibiotics. The only thing we missed out on was Awana. Andrew was sad about that, but we were excited to have a night of "down time."

Lizzy is allergic to cold weather, and with the change in weather, we have had to break out the nebulizer. She's been on albuteral and 2 rounds of steroids, and still I can't get her to stop coughing. Poor thing!

We haven't let this keep us back. Tuesday, we had the best time making chocolate treats together at a chocolate factory in downtown Orlando. I think it's going to be a new valentine tradition to make chocolate somewhere! The kids got to take home a pound of chocolate each. I finally just let them finish eating it all. I'm sure they will start bouncing off the ceiling in a few minutes, and I will likely regret my decision. I just hate the begging and would rather deal with the sugar rush all at once. It beat Lizzy. She ended up putting some back in the fridge for later. She does look delicious with a nice chocolate ring around her mouth. Her pudgy little fingers and rounded belly are just too cute for words. Andrew also had smudge of chocolate on his face, but he used a baby wipe to clean himself.

And still 30 minutes out from the pound of chocolate, Andrew is still making wise choices and playing calmly!

Monday, February 13, 2012

7 years and 2 months ago...

Seven years and 2 months ago today, my sweet Andrew entered this world. My life has never been the same. It's been full of chasing after him, teaching him, and guiding him to be the young man God created him to be. My Andrew is wonderful, and today we got to celebrate his life.

Andrew wanted to have a birthday party back in December, but I knew no one would come. He made me promise that we would have a party in January, but I didn't plan one. I honestly thought that no one would come. I had this horrible feeling in the pit of my gut b/c I really thought that I would plan this big shindig, Andrew would get really excited, and no one would show up.

Finally, Andrew and I pegged down a date for the party. He wanted a Lego party, but after seeing how expensive the Lego stuff was and knowing how long it would take me to make invitations and creative Lego crafty party stuff from scratch, we decided to go with a sports theme. I barely got the invitations out, and then we waited and planned a great party at a huge playground nearby.

Now here I sit after the party with a heart overflowing with gratitude. You can't even imagine how many precious friends and families came to celebrate my little boy. I made 22 goodie bags, and still that wasn't enough for all of our wonderful friends. I can't even tell you how many people were there. I know we made 64 hot dogs and there were only 15 left. We had so much fun sharing this gorgeous Florida day with lots of fantastic friends. Mat even had a buddy helping him with all the grilling, and I had so many wonderful mom's helping me set up, serve and clean up. I had so many helpers that it was really quite fun and easy. Thank you to all the wonderful helpers!

I left the party in tears. Our stay in Florida hasn't been easy, and it has taken us so long to find friends. It's not about the gifts or goodie bags. It's about the relationships. I shared with some people today that our stay in Florida has taken us down the worst and best roads. It's been a place of extremes...a place where God has molded us into the people that HE wants us to be. It's been a tough road - a road I NEVER would have chosen. BUT the reward of being where HE wanted us to be has been so sweet.

Right now, Mat is heading to a meeting...a meeting that could potentially change our lives forever. It makes me sad, but I know that MY BEST might not align with God's BEST for me.

No matter what changes are in store for our family, I know that my family and I have been blessed beyond measure by some of the relationships we have started here. And like many of our friendships, I believe there are many here that will last a lifetime!

There is one (ok maybe 2 or 3) especially sweet memories of the day:

1. We had some boy scouts and sweet friends help us get ready for the party - for which I am so thankful...thank you Chris & Alex. I thought they would be all excited about helping with the helium tank, but their favorite thing to help with was...decorating the cakes with frosting to make the cakes look like a soccer ball and a basketball! They looked fantastic, and I was totally impressed. Who knew Chris really has a heart for that kind of thing - love it!

2. Andrew's friends all gathered around him some sitting beside him some hovering over him and some even sitting on and standing on the picnic table where he opened gifts to get a closer look. You couldn't find a sweeter group of children cheering Andrew on for all the wonderful things he got. They were all so kind and caring. Many of them even made special cards from scratch with such beautiful details. It made Andrew feel so special! I have a video that I'll have to post showing how caring and kind the children were. Andrew tried to relay how much he loved each gift, but I can tell you that he loved every single item he received.

3. We got home from the party, and before Andrew even got a single gift out of the car, he ran up to me and gave me this huge bear-hug thanking me for planning his party. I cried...that boy is so kind hearted. I told him I was thankful that he was born and in my life so that I could plan a party like that for him! In truth, only God could have made a party that wonderful.

So here we sit with our hearts filled with gratitude. We are watching a movie Andrew got while we gorge on left over hot dogs. Lizzy sneaked 3 pieces of Andrew's new bubble gum (and swallowed most of it) while Andrew was busy watching the movie and putting 3 Lego sets together - that he got today, of course. Life is good!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Our Little Kitty

My sweet girl is something special. She keeps me on my toes, and she challenges me. The picture you see isn't a bad picture, it's her mad face...one that she shows us often.

Her favorite thing to play is kitty. Right now, she is locked in Sydney's kennel by her own doing, and she is meowing. I'm kinda thankful for the entrapment for a few minutes even though I think it's horribly disgusting that she's in the dog kennel. This week she is not just on one type of steroid but 2 for asthma issues, and unfortunately, her reaction to steroids has always been to act like a wild child.

OK...the little kitty escaped and is now jumping on her sick brother. I think I'll go rescue Andrew and give the little kitty a bath

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I want to...

I am so blessed to have found a fantastic homeschool group for our family. We team up for school once a week, we have playdates together, we do field trips together, and most of all we encourage each other along in our homeschooling journey. It's taken me some time to find such a group, but through the prompting of a friend who lives all the way in Connecticut, I stepped out and joined a random Classical Conversations group. I have loved every minute of it.

We try to plan a mom's night once a month, and life gets so busy that it's hard to set aside ME time. I was finally able to go to my first mom's night out with this group last Friday night...a chocolate and fruit party with chocolate fondue no less! It was a fantastic time of fellowship with some precious ladies I am thankful to call friends! Of course, we missed some very special ladies who had other obligations so it made the group a bit more intimate. I was able to get to know more ladies.

One lady in particular made an impact on me, and she likely doesn't even realize the impact she's had just by this one phrase she made. She told me that she has a friend who she believes truly see's people through the eyes of Christ and loves them through Christ's eyes. How amazing would it be to be described like that?!

I want to be like that. I want to see people through Christ's eyes and love people like Christ.

Prayers Please MRI

To all my praying friends who read this blog:

Andrew has been going through testing to determine if he has grave's disease. It's basically a thyroid disease that can be regulated by medicine. He's already had blood work, gone to visit the eye doctor, and today, we are having an MRI done. He is anxious and a little excited. He gets to stay awake from the test, and then I guess we will have the results shortly. We have a wonderful pediatrician, and she is the one who asked us to have the testing done. She said that grave's disease can cause calcification's to form on the muscle behind Andrew's eye. By getting the MRI on his orbit, we can see that muscle clearly and see if any calcification's have already grown causing his eye to stick out a little. If we can catch it, we can prevent the growth of these calcifications, and we can preserve Andrew's eye sight. Currently, we have to see the eye doctor every 6 months to see if his vision has changed at all, and as of now, he has perfect eyesight.

My prayer is that the tests are clear, and the doctor's will know for sure if it's grave's disease or not. I also ask for prayer for Andrew who will have to sit completely still for the duration of this test.

Thank you for your prayers and for caring for our family!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Surfing the Web

Someone mentioned that she enjoyed reading my blog, and I haven't been posting anything in so long. I've not been away, and we are doing a great job of simplifying. Instead, I discovered some websites and blogs that I'm enjoying so much that I've been crafting away. I haven't made anything fancy, but I have found some educational websites through Pintrest and through other sites that I've actually stopped and used. Andrew is making lapbooks while Elizabeth does her own "school." I really dig this whole homeschool thing, and I'll have to post pics of all the crazy fun school we've had.

Everything is going well at our house, and we are just enjoying life together. Andrew's smarts seem to keep up with his size instead of his age. He's growing by leaps and bounds. As an early 7 year old boy, he already weighs 71 pounds...and it's not fat. He's also wearing a size 4 shoe. By far, he is larger than anyone else his age. He just finished reading his very first very fat chapter book that also had small letters - Mr. Popper's Penguins. He is super excited to get to watch the movie, but he feels sure that the movie won't be as good as the book. He reads better than I do, and he really enjoys it. We can't keep enough good books around for his liking. I'm thankful that we have a heavy reading based curriculum b/c he loves it. Andrew is also playing marvelous pieces of music on the piano. What was so challenging to me in piano comes so naturally for him. He does practice, and he is really getting into the first really hard stuff where his hands are changing keys during a song. It's only like the 3rd level, but I think it's pretty spectacular. I love hearing him play.

Elizabeth is growing so very quickly and she's a giant. She is much taller than her little friends, and she has the big foot to go along with her height. We have some friends that pass clothes to her, and while they send the shoes too, she has usually already outgrown them. She is really a smart cookie, and she keeps us in stitches with her words. She understands sarcasm, and her favorite thing is making us laugh...which she does often. She is really quick to understand our real meaning (and if you know us, we are always silly), and she is so cleaver to make a witty comment about anything she hears. She is also very shy so often, we are the only ones to catch a glimpse into her comedy. She loves all things cat especially playing kitty, and now she is just as excited as her big brother to be playing piano. The teacher, and my dear friend, started giving her 5 minutes of lessons at the beginning of Andrew's lesson. I didn't think she'd be nearly as diligent about practicing, but she enjoys it...but on a much slower pace than her big brother.

We are enjoying a very warm winter. I think there were just a couple of weeks that we wore jeans and long sleeves, but now we're back in our tank tops and shorts. It's already in the 80's again. I love the warm weather, but I feel a little sad that we didn't get to wear sweats for long. We have lots of fun things planned over the next couple of weeks including a long awaited birthday party for Andrew. It should be a very exciting February!