Thursday, July 31, 2008

Not Goodbye, But See You Soon.....

A couple of weeks ago, some very sweet and generous friends threw a 'going away' party for us. It was really nice to have so many friends in one place and have the opportunity to hug their necks since we won't see them much anymore. It is hard to believe that after living in the same place for 6 years and seeing certain friends all the time (through church, sports games, or just around town), things will be different. We will have to make an effort to maintain friendships, which really stinks. One of my sincere prayers is that we will keep in touch with the people that we have developed relationships with.
Our Sunday school class was an incredible source of generosity and support while we were in the old hometown. There was never a "life event" where we didn't have them by our side...bringing meals, helping with kids or transportation, calling to give pep talks, or bringing things by for a kiddo that we randomly had taken in. :) They were truly incredible and blessed our lives like crazy.
We also had the best neighbors ever. We only got to see one of them (out of about 6 houses worth) at the party, but we were thankful that we saw Carrie. She is such a sweet friend and she and her husband loved our kids. C and K would always talk to them through the fence in the backyard or just go their house and invite themselves in. It was awesome. Our other neighbors?? AMAZING! But, I just don't have any pictures...
We were really excited to see some coaching families at the party. The great thing about having friends that are coaches and their wives is that you truly understand their lives. The group of coach's wives last year was very close. It was so nice to see them every Friday fact, when football season was over, we really went through withdrawals. I am thankful that God placed us in the school that he did because it was a great experience for Hubs and me.
We really miss these guys...their son, A was our C's best friend. They were in the same class at school and we were down the street neighbors. They loved our C like he was theirs...and treated him like a prince. C has really missed his buddy A...hopefully we can see them soon.
All in all, it was a wonderful evening that meant the world to Hubs and me. Thank you to our sweet friends for doing something extra special for us. We will always remember this awesome night with such an incredible group of people.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Fun in the summer...

We are so thankful to be settling into the new hometown. Believe me, we have a long way to go, but things are coming along. Last week, we were outside with the kids and our neighbors (and great new friends) were outside too. We got our wagons out and started walking around with all the girls. The boys were doing their own thing until they saw how much fun we were having. Here are a few pictures for proof...

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Pretty much....

He rocks....
And she is amazing... And we are already missing this lady...
Yesterday was my 29th birthday. And it was great. I am having a really hard time facing the reality that my 20's are almost over. I think next year will be a tough birthday for me...but I guess I will try to take the 30's plunge with grace. Last night we went to dinner. All day, I had been feeling a hidden feeling of selfishness about my friend Em. I knew I wanted to see her and hang out with her. That didn't seem to be happening....and...she hadn't even called to wish me a happy birthday! If I remember correctly, we have spent every birthday for the past 5 years together. She is one of my very best friends...and has definitely had the courage to stay beside me through thick and thin. And on birthdays (and ONCE in a while other special occasions), she shows up with the best chocolate cake you have ever tasted. Well, I guess I thought distance would get in the way. But Em showed up at the restaurant last night to celebrate my birthday with us. It was amazing...well, she is amazing. I completely enjoyed having her was such an incredible surprise. And she even had chocolate cake with her. That made my birthday complete. :)
Nana left today and we will miss her. She was a tremendous help and loved on all of us a lot. I really hope we didn't wear her out too much here at the circus....

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Goodbye to the old hometown...

I know this is old news, but I am still trying to play catch up from the long blogging vacation that I took. Our last few days in the old hometown were pretty crazy. We loaded U-hauls, soaked up our friends, closed on our first house, shed a few tears (poor got the best of him), and said goodbye to a great place to live.
We had so much help packing up our house and loading the U-haul. God is so good...I am not kidding when I say that people were coming out of the wood-work just to help our circus. Family, friends, neighbors (lots of neighbors) and some of Hub's old football players came to help out. We appreciate everyone so much.
The kids had a blast playing in all of the empty rooms and jumping on lots of mattresses. They truly did great with all of the craziness...we are so blessed...our kids are amazing.
Then, it was time to say goodbye. And that was hard. We left the old hometown overflowing with memories. My hope is that we never forget all that was there and that the friendships we made will last a lifetime.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Big and mighty...

Today I took K-Bel back to the old hometown for a weight check (the picture above is from about a month ago). She had her feeding tube placed about five weeks ago and we could tell that she had started to gain some weight. We just weren't sure how much. We are constantly making efforts to give her extra calories and recently had to start putting the remainder of all of her bottles into her tube also. She has been anti-bottle lately for whatever reason (I don't know...maybe a tube down my throat would do the same thing to me). Anyway, K-Bel shocked us all today...that sweet baby tipped the scale at 17 1/2 pounds today. WHOA!!! It was truly an answer to prayer since we have been working on weight gain for so long. Here is K-Bel with her sweet sweet cousin this past weekend (can you tell that she has some meat on her bones?)
As always, Dr. S was amazing and very encouraging. I can't say enough about the friend she has become to us. Her office staff is amazing and she truly cares about our family. I am not sure I will ever be able to switch my kids to a pediatrician in the new hometown...haha. The other kiddos are doing great. C and K are taking swimming lessons this week. I asked K when I got home today if she put her face in the water and she said...'no, not yet.' Everything is done on her own time. C is doing great. He really doesn't need the lessons (he is a great swimmer), but I wanted him to have the chance to swim and meet new people. I think he is enjoying it. The highlight of C's week however is getting to go to football camp at Daddy's work. Hubs started work full time this week, so we have been missing him. But, C has gotten to go to big boy camp everyday. F has done really well. She is still adjusting to the new can be very stimulating. We are trying to get some sensory equipment ordered for her, which will be awesome. Nana is still here and working herself to death. Our new neighbor (and great friend) Becky helped out today with transportation to and from football camp and two different swimming lesson times. Nana was here to hold down the fort and do all that crazy cleaning that she is so good at. :)
Things are coming along. Soon...oh so soon, hopefully we will get some pics of the new house up for everyone to see.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Homelessness is restful...

Don't worry....we are obviously not homeless anymore. But, we were for about four days. And it was wonderful. We have had so much on our plate for so long, it was nice to just relax at my aunt and uncle's lake house. The kids had a great time and so did Hubs and I. C fished and fished and fished. He loves to go fishing and he had lots of luck.
The kids swam in the lake with their 'light jacket's times. I passed on that activity because of the yummy lake water issue that I have.
And, oh my word, the jet ski. Boy was the jet ski a lot of fun too. K is such a little dare devil and hopped right on. I was even a little nervous for her.
Anyway...we had a great time sitting on the deck, seeing my aunt and uncle, coloring like there was no tomorrow and spending some much needed time together.

Friday, July 18, 2008

By golly, I think it's clean...

I am so tired and I don't have any pictures of this. I will take some and show you our project from tonight. The house we moved into is about 22 years old...we really do love it, but we are accustomed to living in a brand new home. Needless to say, I think the people that lived here before us forgot to mop the tile in the kitchen for atleast the past 19 years. I tend to be a bit anal about my house being clean, but Hubs can vouch for me that the kitchen floor truly was gross. Every day, I would sweep, swiffer, and wipe a tile here and there....and every day the swiffer and rags would be black. I wasn't getting anywhere. Well, tonight I had had mom came in town today and we went to Wal-Mart. We bought grout and tile brushes and got after it. There was layers of disgusting dirt and grease and everything nasty in that kitchen. But now....oh sweet now....after about 3 hours of cleaning, half of the kitchen is DONE. And it looks so white and sparkly. I will show you a before and after picture....because I promise the floor made a remarkable recovery. It is absolutely amazing.
All that is to say that I am a bit weary from all the scrubbing, spraying, brushing, wiping, and shining the kitchen floor. I better rest up for the other half of the floor tomorrow...

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Back to the real world...

When we went to PC, we were able to block a few things out of our minds. Well, atleast that is what we tried to do. We sold our house in our old hometown a few days before we left to go to, what does a crazy family like us do? We drove through our new hometown to pick out a house on our way to PC. Haha...we laugh that we saw the house we now live in for 20 minutes before we made our offer on it. On Thursday during our week at PC, my mom called with some heartbreaking news. My sweet Aunt Melinda had passed away that morning. So, we packed our bags and headed West for her memorial service...leaving the greatest place on earth a little early. Melinda fought with cancer for several years and God finally took her home. The weird thing is that even though I truly knew this was coming, I was really caught off guard. Melinda was a beautiful woman with an incredible love for Christ and her family. I am so thankful to have lots of great memories of being with her throughout my childhood years until now. I never questioned how much she loved me or whether I was welcome in her home. I will miss her so much, but I am so glad that her fight is over...she persevered and now lives with the Lord. She LOVES children and received the greatest gift about 6 months ago when her first grandchild was born. I know that her heart was filled with so much joy because of him.
When we got home, we had lots of packing to do. Hubs was back to the new hometown teaching summer school, but my mom and pops came in town to help wrap things up at the old house. Then, we had a slight turn of events...K-Bel had a doctor appointment with the GI doctor. We knew that he was ready to put a feeding tube in her, but we did not know what that process looked like. To my surprise, he put her in the hospital overnight to get it taken care of right away. Thankfully, my parents were at the house to watch the other kiddos and Hubs came to be with me and K-Bel at the hospital. When we got home, we just packed and packed and packed....and tried to protect K-Bel from ripping her NG tube out of her nose/throat/stomach. She went to the doctor 6 days after her tube was put in and had already gained about 12 ounces. AMAZING!!! Next week, she has a check-up and we think she has gained close to another pound....we will see!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

The Greatest Place on Earth...

Oh how I could go on and on about the most incredible place on earth. We went to PC a few weeks ago and it was just as amazing as always. It is such a reflection of the beauty of God and the earth and people that He created. The staff (mostly college kids there for the summer) are in love with getting to know your family, loving your kids, serving you like crazy throughout the week, and just being there for any needs you might have. This is one of my fav. counselors...
F had her own personal counselor...and can I please mention that it was beautiful? She did amazing and the counselor really wanted to know her and all of her needs. F has never had a better week in her entire life. We were so excited to see her having so much fun and so thankful that she fit in so well. C had a blast....he was so excited to do the 'camp thing'. Our reserved little man was not reserved at all. He was pumped....helping with cheers, getting to know counselors all on his own, hanging out, fishing, doing the ZIP LINE (brave guy), going down the water slide, and loving the water rockets. He even got on stage and led a silly song in front of the whole camp. Those that know C know that he must have absolutely been SOLD on camp to participate like that! It was awesome to watch him love everything so much!
K thought that she was so hip. She loved her teachers so much and said that she had a lot of friends. One of her teachers that she called "Haha" (everyone has fun names at camp) really embraced K's personality and ran with it. I loved seeing that. We are still singing lots of fun songs and talking about how she could swim in the big pool all by herself because "Haha" gave her a 'light-jacket' (funny). K-Bel was so so sweet as always. Her actual birthday was while we were at camp, so that was fun. She shared cookie cake with the entire camp and got lots of love from all the counselors. She is too young to realize what an incredible group of people were serving her and praying for her that week, but she will know very soon I think.
We were truly blessed by the families that we knew at camp. I have known the camp director for many years...his family is super amazing. The speakers this year were a blessing they were. Two of the families there were actually acquaintances and we were able to get to know them better that week. What a blessing each of them was to us. I am sad that we moved away from our old hometown just as we got to be friends. I worked at PC when I was in college. I cannot tell you how much it means to me to go back there. One of my sweet sweet campers from the old days is now a counselor at PC. She has grown into an incredible young woman of God. All in all, that is probably one of, if not the best week, of our entire year. Each night has a theme, some with kids and some of which was a concert by Anthony Evans. If you have not heard his music....PLEASE listen. He is absolutely amazing and was a PC employee in the days before his music career took off.
Anyway...that is a winded version of that week of our lives...hands is the greatest place on earth!

Monday, July 14, 2008

She did turn 1...

Well, my itty bitty baby K-Bel did turn 1 year old a little over a month ago. It is so hard to believe. I look at her and see so many similarities to her sister and brother, but many many differences. She is definitely the biggest 'mommy's baby' that we have had yet and I don't seem to mind a bit. She is also the most verbal 1 year old that we have had. K-Bel often uses phrases of 2-4 words...her vocabulary is incredible (I would say atleast 50 words). She has facial features just like her brother C, but expressions just like her sister K. She is beautiful and very rotten. C and K, and even F treat her like she is the only person in this world. We will have to work on that, but for now, it is so VERY cute. Somewhere this precious love picked up a temper that is out of this world...she definitely stands up for herself and sometimes she stands a little too tall! :)
Her polka dot party was a hit. We had so much fun making round snacks...and decorating the house. The week after her birthday party (and a few days before her actual birthday), she weighed in at a whopping 14 lb. 14 oz. K-Bel, you are just such a blessing in our lives. I can't believe that you are 1 and God has given me such an incredible gift in being your mommy. I love you so much!!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Is there a good place to start?

Well, a lifetime of crazy has happened since the last post. Six weeks is a long time in this family. K-Bel turned 1 year old, we went to the greatest camp on earth, sold our house, K-Bel got a feeding tube put in, loaded and unloaded 2 U-hauls (with lots of help), were homeless for a few days (but relaxed at my aunt and uncle's house), bought another house, moved into the new house, painted 20 walls, went on a mini-vacation to the lake, and came back to the new house in the new hometown to do more unpacking.
Crazy, I know. I told C just yesterday that I felt the need to be better about blogging and journaling our life. So, hopefully as things settle down a bit (haha), I will take the opportunity (make the time) to blog so much more regularly. Right now, I am just hoping for some organization in our lives...soon...really soon....maybe?