Monday, March 28, 2011

Yard Sale!

     Saturday we had a yard sale with Nana and Aunt Kristen.  As much as I hate haggling over a $1 we needed to get rid of some stuff and also make a little Chicago money.  I got up around 4:30 a.m. and woke Jackson and Mia up around 5 a.m. so we could make it to the bookstore before 6 a.m.  My parents own Living Faith Bookstore in town, so luckily we had a huge building to use for our sale.  I say luckily because around 3 a.m. I heard it start to rain, and it rained and stormed all day long.   I figured we wouldn't have anybody show up, let alone at 6 a.m., but it never fails.  People were already there peeping in the windows when we arrived.  Kristen brought Kenzie and Isaac with her and the kids were all ready to make a buck.  Jackson and Mia skipped school on Friday to help set up and bake for the sale, which consisted of me baking for 2 days while they complained "hey, that's my favorite toy, don't sell it!".  They did manage to make a few signs and flyers for "their" bake sale.  At one point they figured out how to use the intercom system on the phone to make announcements to the entire store.  They did this until they got so loud and giggly we couldn't even understand them, then we unplugged the phone and hid it in the office.
     They had fun running around all day.  Eventually Pop got there and then it was total madness!  Every kid loves Pop because he rarely says no and usually breaks all our "mom" rules.  Matt and Jeremy got there with the 4 little kids about the same time as Pop.  They played hide-n-seek until I think most of our customers were scared away.  We closed up shop around noon, grabbed some lunch, and went home for the rest of our rainy afternoon.  The next thing I knew Parker was sulking down the stairs saying that Jackson and Mia wouldn't play with him and wouldn't keep their eyes open!  I guess getting up an hour earlier than usual entitles a 9 and 6 year old to a 3 hour afternoon nap!  All in all we did really well at the sale.  We got rid of tons of excess and made a few dollars for Spring Break.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Everett Update and a Surprise Long Weekend

     We had our marathon of doctors appointments yesterday and it went extremely well.  First we had an ultrasound at Women's and Children's hospital in Huntsville.  Of course, the xray tech didn't tell us anything while she did the scan, but handed us a sealed, SEALED mind you, envelope to take with us.  We went from there to our urologist's office which was right around the corner. Everett met a friend in the waiting room named Josiah and his mom and I figured out their birthdays were only 3 days apart.  Well, this little boy was so enthralled with Everett all he wanted to do was sit close to him.  He is an only child, so his mom said he just loved being with other kids.  Everett on the other hand, who is always hugged on and carried, would scoot over every time Josiah would sit by him!  I apologized to them both, trying to explain that he has 6 little hands at home that are always reaching for him.  We didn't wait long, which I was thankful for, and we were ushered back to our room.  I felt like a Miss America contestant standing there while our doctor opened the envelope and looked over the results.  And the winner was, Everett!  Our doctor told us it looks like the hernia is closing on it's own.  We have to go back in 4 months just to make sure, but no surgery for now.  Everett did very well considering we were in the car for 2 hours round trip and at various offices for about 2 hours.  It's nice to be in a doctor's office that is not infested with cold and flu germs for a change!

Everett waiting patiently in a big boy chair.  Yes, that's a huge bruise on his head from where he dove into the column in our kitchen. 

     Mia had a field trip yesterday (that she will never forgive us for missing) to The Palace and Spring Park.  The Palace is a local sandwich shop in downtown Tuscumbia and they stopped there for ice cream and then went to the park to play and have lunch.  She had a good time despite not having me there. 
     Jackson has had state testing this past week and they are gearing up for another whole week of it starting Monday, so I told the kids they could stay home from school today.  We are having a yard sale tomorrow and they wanted to bake up some goodies to make their "own" money at the sale, so we are spending the day getting things prepared.  I love having them all home, almost as much as Parker loves it.  He gets kind of lost during the day without them here.  Most mornings he sleeps until after they are gone, but his first question is always "Where's Jackson and Mia?".  He will be very glad to discover them still here this morning!   So, if you're out and about early in the morning stop by Living Faith Bookstore for our sale.  One man's trash is another man's treasure!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Conversing with Kids

Jackson: What's an encyclopedia?
Me:  It's a bunch of books with all kinds of information.
Jackson: Kind of like the internet on paper.

Parker to Jackson: She's having a big attitude.
(talking about Mia crying for not getting something she wanted)

Parker to me: I'm glad at you.
(after I gave him breakfast one morning)

Parker: Oh no, there's a bug out here .
Me: It's ok, they live outside, it's their home.
Parker: I don't like them here.  They should have little houses.

(Parker sneezes banana ALL OVER me & the kitchen counter.)
Me: Buddy, cover your mouth when you sneeze so you don't spray germs and food everywhere.
Parker: If I cover my mouth with my hand I will get banana on it.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Family, friends, and Impending Appointments

    We have had another fabulous weekend of good weather and we've spent most of it outside.  I finally had to make Parker and Everett come in this afternoon so they didn't get a sunburn!  Saturday we celebrated birthdays with my nieces Kenzie and Prentiss.  Kenzie is now 7 and Prentiss is 2.  We grilled out at their house and the kids played all afternoon.  We are very grateful that all my grandparents came from Hamilton and we got to spend some time with them. On a side note, thank all of you for praying for Prentiss last week.  She is much better!  A few days after her fall, her brother Isaac had a run in with Matt's truck bed and had to have 2 stitches.  He is also much better.  When it rains it pours, but our God is good!

The girls at the party

Everett playing kitchen

My grandparents James and Martha Hugh Fowler

My grandparents Harold and Rhemel Smith

     We ended our Saturday with Mia declaring "family movie night" and we watched Underdog.  Parker actually watched the entire movie with us, which is very unusual.  Jeremy asked him when it was over if he liked it and he said "no".  Oh well, at least he took part in our activity.  I think he may have just been too exhausted to get off the couch after playing with his cousins all day!
     Sunday was more of the same.  After church we played outside, we ate lunch outside, we scoured the neighborhood for stray kids to play with outside.  We also gave Everett his first popsicle today.  He kept holding it by the popsicle instead of the stick, but it's so hot out I don't think he even cared.  Needless to say it was a hit!

     Mia went to a birthday party for her friend Grace.  It was at Lucy's Artsy Place.  Grace is not just any friend, she is our spend the night friend.  She was Mia's first overnight guest, and also the very first friend Mia stayed overnight with.  They are a year apart in school and love each other to death.  Mia loves to paint, especially with Lucy.  She lives down the street from us, and also teaches kindergarten at Mia's school.  After the party Lucy brought Mia home in her convertible.  Guess what kind of car Mia wants now.

Mia and Grace

 Mia's painting (she has decided she doesn't like her nickname, and wants to be called Amelia now)

     As we start our new week, Everett and I will be going back to Huntsville to have his hernia ultrasound.  We will do this first, then our appointment with the urologist is immediately after.  So thankful they scheduled this way so we don't have to make 2 trips!  Hopefully the scan will find nothing, but we are prepared for whatever the doctors say.  We appreciate the prayers and I will update when we know something. 
     We also have decided this week that we will be spending Spring Break in Peoria and Chicago, Illinois.  A lot of Jeremy's family is there, so we will get to visit with them.  We really wanted to see Jeremy's great grandmother Helen, but she is leaving the day before we get there to visit her daughter Janice (Jeremy's grandmother) in Tucson, Arizona.  I hate we will miss her, but I told them that now they all have to come and stay with us soon!  Jeremy used to go there all the time as a kid, but the kids and I have never been, so it should be fun!  So, we are now looking for hotels, things to do, how to stay sane with 4 kids on a road trip, etc.  If any of you have tips on Chicago they are more than appreciated!

Friday, March 18, 2011

That Crazy Leprechaun!

     This was just too funny not to share.  On St. Patrick's Day Mia's kindergarten class wrote their very own naughty leprechaun stories.  This is a page from her book.  I guess she knows what we label "naughty" at our house!

Translation: "He left the toilet seat up"

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

God is Good!

     We have had unexpected company for the past couple of days.  Even though the circumstances through which we acquired this company were horrible, we have enjoyed the extra giggles coming down the hallways!  My mother called Monday morning to say that she was at my brother's house because my little niece Prentiss took a tumble from the top bunk of her brothers' bed.  They are blessed with 4 little ones like us, and mom went to watch the older 3 while Matt and Kristen to her to the ER.  Mia had a fall like this, though not as far a fall, when she was almost 2 and ended up with a concussion.  The way my mom described Prentiss's reaction was the same as we had experienced with Mia (groggy, glazed eyes, not talking, sick to her stomach).  They did a CAT scan at the hospital and found a crack in base of her skull.  They sent her home a few hours later and she was talking and hungry by the time they left.  They go to our pediatrician today at 3 for a follow up, so please keep little Prentiss in your prayers.  It's amazing what a nasty turn our "everydays" can take in just a second.  I am so thankful for a Sovereign God who we know is in control! 
     On a lighter note, we got to have the cousins over on a school night!  Kenzie, Isaac, and Ezra came to play with us around 3 yesterday and stayed for supper.  Then they came back today so Prentiss can have as little stimulation as possible until they find out what the doctor says.  Kenzie and Mia are 8 months apart and Parker and Ezra are 10 weeks apart, so it's almost like if every kid I have has a twin when they are all together.  Jackson had a mysterious stomach ache at school about an hour ago and had to come home, but suddenly he feels much better.  Amazing, right?  So, we are surrounded by light sabers today, having a ball and just waiting for Mia to show up after school and join in!  I will update when we know more about Prentiss.  Thanks to all of you who read my crazy blog and pray for our family.  I love to see where all of you are from and would love to know about you, so leave me a comment sometime and tell me more!

The boys

The girls (minus sweet Prenny)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Weekend

     We have had a wonderful weekend despite the dreaded "lose an hour" time change.  The weather has been perfect so we've been outside as much as possible.  Parker is our allergy sufferer, but so far the Zyrtec is doing it's job.  I don't really have anything extraordinarily exciting to write about, but I did want to get some things down about the kids before I forget them.
     Jackson and Mia have always been interested in reading, especially Jackson, but Parker has always turned his nose up at books.  Even when he was little he didn't like me to read to him.  He would take the book from my hand and throw it across the room!  Well, this week he has discovered his love of book.  No, that's not a typo.  He really likes letters and has known how to spell his name for a while, so I tricked him into reading  Alphabet Mystery (a book about a missing letter).  Well, he absolutely loved it.  He carried this book around all week so everyone he came in contact with could read it to him.  But, this is the only book he wants to read.  We have tempted him with every other title in our library, but he won't have them.  Baby steps and small victories, right? 
     Parker also has discovered we can make his name out of play dough, so that's a new favorite activity.  He will not, however, let anyone "squeeze" the red or green play dough.  It is still in the cylindrical shape that it came in.  Not that they haven't been played with plenty of times.  To an almost 4 year old they are  "Mario" and Luigi".  Together they battle Bowser and the Koopas, which are all the other blobs of dough.  If he thinks someone is about to take his beloved characters, he scoops them up and puts them back at home (their cans).

     Our "Every" is going to be an outdoorsman like the rest of the kids.  During the first round of nice weather we had he was pretty iffy about getting down in the grass, but this weekend he has loved it.  I think walking has really put a new spin on outside for him.  He has played ball and swung for 2 days straight!  If we have to come back in the house he just stands there, looking at the other kids, banging on the window, doing his best to say "outside".
     Speaking of walking, he is getting really good.  There is just one little quirk he has.  He walks with his arms straight up in the air.  When he was first learning he would reach out for whoever was waiting for him, and I guess the habit just stuck.  It's really funny when someone doesn't know and reaches out for him, just to have him turn around and go in the opposite direction!
     Jackson and Mia are now counting down the days until school is out for summer.  We haven't even had Spring Break, but they don't really care.  Jackson says he wishes they wouldn't even have Spring Break, and just get out a week earlier.  These 2 always have big plans for summer.  Some of it is doable, but a lot of their summer list looks like this: 1. Go to California   2. Go to Hawaii   3. Fly on a real rocket, you get the idea.  I am anxious to see how our list shapes up for this summer.  I'm sure their little minds are already reeling with wonderful plans!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Update on Everett

     I am now "that" mom.  You know the one.  The one that lets her kid run amock in the overcrowded  waiting room at the doctor's office.  I myself have smiled gracefully at this mom as her kids go crazy while I hold mine perfectly content on my lap and think "thank goodness it's not me".  Today it was me.  After an hour in a car seat and an hour in the doctor's waiting room I let Everett down from my lap to stretch his legs.  I think I just heard a collective gasp from everyone reading this.  If my husband (aka The GermX King) reads this he may just faint.  In my defense it was a urologist waiting room, so no room full of flu germs (no obvious ones anyway).  It was a tiny little sweatbox of a waiting room and the teenage girls sitting across from us did ask if he was walking yet.  What else could I do?  He showed out a little for these girls, then proceeded to clear the magazines from a table, dump out his diaper bag, and try to take an innocent bystander's video game.  Just before he started to show everyone how loud he could get they called our name.  The moral of this story is never say never, because it just might be you one day.  I just had to confess that before I moved on.
     When we finally saw the doctor we had some good news and some bad news.  The good news is he doesn't think it is going to require surgery.  The bad news is that he used the word "think" in the good news statement.  We will go back on March 24th for an ultrasound to see exactly how big of a space there is and decide what to do after that.  I am confident that my God can close that hole if He sees fit, and that is what I am praying for.  If we do have to have the surgery then it is supposed to be a lot easier at this age than waiting until later.  The best news is that this is a very minor situation in the grand scheme of things and that it does not seem to cause him any pain or have any other physical effects.  Thanks to everyone that is praying along with us!  It seems that our "baby monster", as his siblings so lovingly have nicknamed him, is going to keep us on our toes for a while!

A Much Needed Break!

     After an extremely long week Jeremy and I went to Huntsville for a little time away this weekend.  Once again I could not ask for a better husband!  Our heroes Nana and Grandma kept all the little ones so we could have this trip.  After our eventful morning on Friday all the kids slept in our room that night and went to bed by 9 p.m.  Everyone was exhausted!  It was pouring down rain when we woke up Saturday morning, but Jackson, Parker, and I decided to brave the floods to visit our local market.  We love Jack-O-Lantern farms and if you live around here you should stop by.  You can find all the information about them right here.  Mrs.Connie had made orange pound cakes so we were in luck!  We picked out stuff for lunch and headed back home. 
     Jeremy and I dropped the kids off after lunch and left around 1 p.m. for Huntsville.  We got tickets about a month ago to see Emmylou Harris (one of my faves) and John Prine (one of Jeremy's faves), so when Jeremy said we were also spending the night I was very excited.  No kids to wake me up, I get to eat my own food (while it's still hot), I get to converse wtih my husband without interruption . . . BLISS! 

     I tried to take pictures at the concert, but forgot my camera and the phone would not cooperate, but I did find the picture from the tour so that will have to do.  The concert was great and we left around 11 p.m.  We went back to our hotel and I slept until 6:30 a.m.!  That is late for me and it was so nice to wake up on my own with no thoughts of laundry, or medicine, or breakfast for 6!  We went out for a bite to eat and shopped around town a little bit.  Jeremy's love of the color brown has heavily influenced the way our home looks, and when I say heavily I mean the walls are brown, the floors are brown, the furniture is brown leather, you get the idea.  In fact, as I kissed him goodbye this morning I think his sweater was brown!  So, I found some springy (is that a word?) stuff at Michael's to lighten it up a little bit.

 (Note the brown in the background!)

     We got home around 1 p.m. and were very glad to see the kids.  As nice as it is to get away it's always nice to be home.  Years ago before we ever had kids, I would be so sad to have to leave vacation and come back home to the everyday stuff, but I am so glad to be home now.  Just another way God has worked in me and made me appreciate all the little blessings on this Earth!
     As we start this week we will be going back to Huntsville to a urologist with Everett.  His pediatrician pointed out that he may have a hernia a few weeks ago, so we are looking at potential surgery to correct it.  My prayer as we go today is that we will not need surgery and that it will heal on it's own, as I am told they sometimes do at this age.  I will post an update when I know more.  I know God will take care of little Everett either way, so I pray He will use whatever goes on today for His Glory.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Doctors All Week Long

    We started this week very excited about Read Across America and ended up seeing a lot more doctors than just Seuss!  You can learn all about the program here. They celebrated Dr. Seuss's birthday on March 2nd, as well as his contribution to reading.  Each day the kids did something different and most days they got to dress up. Enjoy!

"Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” ~Dr. Seuss


Mia had Wacky Hat Day

Jackson had Socks & Flops Day.  That's what I said, SOCKS & FLOPS!  From the knees down he looks like he's retired to Florida!


Jackson had "Tall Tale Tuesday" and they got to write one of their own in class.

Mia had crazy sock day and they read Dr. Seuss's The Foot Book.


Jackson had "Wacky Wednesday" and got to dress crazy.  Subdued as he may be, he did actually turn everything inside out.  That's about as crazy as it gets for him!

Mia had "PJ Day" and they ate and read Green Eggs and Ham.


Jackson's class had character day and they got to dress like a character from a book that they liked.  He was Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes.

Mia's class got a special t-shirt today.  She was very excited about this day in particular because her Nana came to school to read to her class.


Mia's class celebrated Rock Into Reading today with a 50's theme.  Her Nana made her poodle skirt.  Being the eccentric one in the family (Mia, not Nana), she had not one, not two, but three poodles on this skirt. They also have approximately 50 days of school left.  They dressed up and got to have ice cream sundaes.

     Jackson was scheduled to have PJ day today, but he didn't make it to school.  Around 4:30 this morning he came to our room saying his ear and lip were swollen.  I took him in to the bathroom and he was covered in whelps.  My immediate thought was he was having an allergic reaction, followed by thoughts of potential breathing problems.  Jeremy got dressed and took him to the ER where the doctors told him it was indeed an allergic reaction.  They treated him there and it looked tons better, so he got to come home with prescriptions.  We do not know what caused the reaction but we suspect it might have been a bug bite.  Since they can't really test for what caused it while he's having a reaction (and they treat all allergic reactions with the same meds anyway) that's all we have for now.  He wasn't in pain or itching, so that was a relief.  The funny part was that even before he went to the hospital he was worried he was going to miss school today.  His suspicions were confirmed, no school until Monday.
     There have been so many heartbreaking events in our area lately.  Just last night a family lost their mom and the twin 10 year old girls are in ICU in Huntsville hospital.  About a week ago another little girl from Jackson's school was diagnosed with a very threatening heart condition.  I am so glad to have a merciful Savior during these times.  I honestly do not know how people survive times like these without faith.  We are very grateful to God that Jackson's episode wasn't more severe than it was.  I know a few of you were praying with us during those wee hours this morning and we are thankful for you. 
     I had just been bragging that we were illness free during February and then our house just exploded with sickness.  Everett has had RSV since Monday, Parker's had allergy troubles, and then this with Jackson today.  To top everything off Jeremy was out of town for the first part of this week, so it has been a very draining week for me.  But our God is so good!  I pray that all of these instances of grief and loss around here lately will ultimately be used to Glorify His Holy Name!