Sunday, December 28, 2008

My favorite quote

My nephew Kevin gave me a beautiful gift for Christmas this year. It was a complete surprise, and I just love it. I framed it as soon as I returned home from Indiana. Isn't it great?Thanks, Kevin!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

We took the kids to the McNay Art Museum today. I had read about an exhibit they had showcasing the works of Tim Burton's the Nightmare Before Christmas, one of Deborah's favorite movies. I was excited as this would combine a Cub Scout requirement for David with some fun stuff to see. Dwight took some cute pictures...When was the last time you were at an art museum? Do you love them? Hmmm... I don't. I was there for about 15 minutes before I was ready to leave. I felt like a child with ADD. Yup, the paintings are cool. And, Yup, I recognize the names of those artists ... but, can we go yet? Okay, can we go now?

I'm glad my sweetheart has so much patience with me. Afterall, I talked him into going. He had other things planned for his day and I said, "I'd really like you to be with us. Please go and let's have a family field trip." So, he did. And, me ... yea, I was ready to go 15 minutes after getting there. Dwight was great though ... he made it fun for the kids and pointed things out to them.

The good part of our day ... I got a cute photo of Johnathon ... see:

Rolling Over

Tonight Ryan was laying on his play mat surrounded by the Skinner Box on 3 sides and some dangling toys/noise makers. He managed to roll almost over but his right arm was tucked down straight at his side. Ryan felt panicked by his inability to get back to his back. He started to cry/fuss. Dwight went to him and was so pleased with Ryan's accomplishment.

I love that when Dwight sees Ryan, he sees all that he can do. Dwight plays with him and talks to him like he's the perfectly healthy child. I'm so thankful cause I need his reminder that Ryan is perfect. Sometimes I worry so much about him that I forget to just enjoy him.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

He must have been watching...

On Tuesday, Dwight and I took Johnathon and Deborah Christmas shopping for their sibling's exchange gifts. While Johnathon and I were walking around Target, he spotted a Star Wars cap and instantly fell in love! He asked me if we could buy it and I said, "Not tonight." He quickly responded, with the faith of an imaginative 6 year old, "I sure hope Santa's watching in his snow globe!"

So, what could Santa do but give him that hat for Christmas? As soon as he opened the gift, (Oh, how I wish I had been taping then), he exclaimed, "Oh, he WAS watching!"

It's almost 9 pm here and I am wiped out. It's been a busy day, but oh, we've had fun! I thought I'd share a few pictures and a few fun video clips. Okay, there's really more than just a few ...

Last night we went to see The Tale of Desperaux. We had read the book as a family a while ago and so we were pretty excited to see it. The munchkins all decided to wear santa hats to the theater.This year I started what will be a new tradition. We took a picture of each individual child as they came down the stairs for Christmas morning. Isn't that fun? Ryan was still snuggled up all comfy in bed.And, of course, as soon as I took the picture, he started to wake and did that cute little baby stretch...Daddy started our Christmas morning with some fun Christmas songs playing and Deborah was SOOO excited she could not contain herself. I tried to take a picture of the little Christmas dance she was doing, but couldn't catch her ever facing the camera.We all ate a little protein to get us through the morning exercises. :) And, then it began... Daddy always hands out our presents. He does an amazing job! We had lots of fun! It's great to watch the munchkins open their gifts. I think we must have the most gracious children on earth too. Everything was just what they've always wanted! Ryan was awake for the festivities and seemed to be fixated on the lights. Deborah bought him a new wrist wrattle. She was scared to death of them as a baby, but he doesn't seem to mind them.Deborah was really excited that Santa had brought her stuff with Elmo on it. I think she would have been perfectly happy with a box wrapped in Elmo.
Tonight while nursing Ryan I was reading a wonderful blog written by a Mom with a child who has Cerebral Palsy (CP). The blog site is:

I feel overwhelmed at what our future may hold. How will I balance the needs of Ryan with all the needs of my other 5 children? Will I really be able to help him live his best life? Will I be patient enough? Will I be smart enough? I pray I'll be able to rise to what ever the occasion calls for. I know it may seem selfish, but please, please let Ryan be alright. That would be the very best Christmas present ever. I believe in miracles...

Merry Christmas!

It's 1 am and everything is finally ready for Christmas! Most years I don't sleep well on Christmas eve, but tonight I'm so tired that I think I'll sleep just fine. I'm sure Ryan will be waking in just a few short hours.

Hmmm.... what time should we start the festivities?

Anyway ... merry Christmas to you all!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I saw this on Jenny's blog and also thought I'd give it a try. You should try it too.

These are a list of questions that you must answer with one word answers. Can you do it? Here;s my attempt...

1. Where is your cell phone? bag
2. Where is your significant other? bed
3. Your hair color? brown?
4. Your mother? Talented
5. Your Father? Trustworthy
6. Your favorite thing? people
7. Your dream last night? blank
8. Your dream/goal? Fitness
9. The room you're in? bedroom
10. Your hobby? knitting
11. Your fear? drowning
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Beach
13. Where were you last night? Date
14. What you're not? Psychotic :)
15. One of your wish list items? Beach
16. Where you grew up? Indiana
17. The last thing you did? read
18. What are you wearing? undies
19. Your TV? on
20. Your pet? kids
21. Your computer? communicate
22. Your mood? cheerful
23. Missing someone? yes
24. Your car? van
25. Something your not wearing? socks
26. Favorite store? depends
27. Your summer? hot
28. Love someone? many
29. Your favorite color? fall
30. Last time you laughed? minutes
31. Last time you cried? today

Your turn...
We are very blessed to have the sweetest Occupational Therapist who works with Ryan at our home. She is so encouraging and thoughtful. During her visit on Friday, Ryan was very alert, and really enjoyed being near the Christmas tree. He seemed to be looking at the lights. Notice how well he's holding up his head in this picture ... and he's doing it without any support.

Only 29 more days...

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Jacob and Daddy went camping last night with the other 11 year old Scouts. I hear they had a great time. They made some yummy beef stew and hung out around the fire. The boys told "scary" ghost stories, and then one of the Dads, our friend Jeff, told a real ghost story. Dwight said the boys started moving into a little huddle together and were obviously getting a little uptight. So after that story, in hopes of getting some sleep, Dwight got all the boys talking about Batman. One of the boys reported in the morning, that to his surprise he didn't think about the scary stuff cause he was too busy thinking about Batman. It sounds like Dwight's genius plan worked.

This morning they had breakfast, and helped to clear some trees from the property where they stayed. They built the above contraption, sat on it, took pictures, and then took it down again. It seems a good time was had by all. Jacob is looking forward to his next camping adventure.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Today has been a bit frustrating. I can't seem to comfort Ryan in any way other than just feeding him. He doesn't respond to me, and he doesn't seem to feel comforted by anything I do. It's just tough.

She still fits in a back pack!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dr Rhame left a voice mail message last night at 5.15 pm. He was calling to follow up on Ryan. He wanted to see if we were able to get an appointment with the Neurologist.

I spoke with him this morning. He said he pulled all the hospital tests and was unable to find any thing. He wanted to know when our appointment was scheduled and with which Neurologist. I told him we were scheduled for February 3rd with Dr. John Seals. He asked if I would like him to call and see if we could get it moved forward. I told him that would be great and expressed appreciation.

A few minutes after I hung up from Dr Rhame, Dr Seals office called me and rescheduled Ryan's appointment to January 19th at 8.45 am. I called Dr Rhame's office back, scheduled Ryan's well-child care appointment for February 2nd, and left a message thanking Dr. Rhame.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Our good friends, Becky & Eric Singletary bought us the cutest little chair for Deborah as a baby gift. She LOVES that chair .... almost as much as she loves Eric. (For the first year or more, Eric was the only guy other than Daddy that Deborah would let hold her. When Daddy was traveling she would often whimper while Eric was holding her. It was the sweetest thing!) Anyway ... you've seen pictures of Deborah in that chair ... remember, her in the little Christmas outfit in front of the Christmas tree. Well, she's very territorial about the chair. She has "given" some of her things to Baby Ryan, like the crib, the swing, the bassinet ... but NOT her chair.

The other day she was out of the room and I thought I'd just take a quick picture of Ryan sitting in her chair. More than anything, I wanted to see if he could sit in it yet. So I got this picture...Then, it happened, the owner of the chair returned! I felt a flash of panic, but to my surprise, she was SOOO excited. She started ... what I would call yelling ... excitedly saying, "My Baby Ryan in my chair!" She was thrilled! So, then I snapped this picture:
Not every Saturday is as crazy and busy as my last Saturday. It's just that I'm about 2 weeks behind ... oh, maybe more ... and so I'm constantly trying to catch up. At what point do I get to just "file bankruptcy" on all the things I need to catch up on? :)

Baby steps though, right? So, tonight my baby step was to move all the photos from my camera and update my blog. Are you ready???

First, an update on my arm... it's healing really well. I can now move my wrist about 30 degrees up and down, and about 15 degrees to either side. A lot more work to do in that area, but the incision looks good, see:
More to come...

Saturday, December 13, 2008

I think Ryan smiled today when he heard my voice. Once I went to the crib to pick him up, and as soon as I spoke, he smiled. Then another time, he was laying on his play mat, and as soon as he heard my voice, he smiled.

So what did I do today?

changed Ryan's diaper, nursed Ryan, checked bank accounts, updated finance record, checked on health care account, wondered why the hospital still hasn't put the charge through, checked calendar, recorded appointment with Dr Kempf for November 09, threw away the card (one less piece of junk), put Ryan back to bed, woke up Dwight asked him to get the 5 older kids ready to ride with me, showered, found out Johnathon threw up again, inquired where (whew ... he made it to the toilet), talked with Dwight to make changes to the schedule, turned off back porch light and opened kitchen blinds, plugged in family room Christmas tree, checked to see if Jacob had his Scout shirt on and his book with him, reminded kids to brush their teeth, turned off front outdoor lights and turned on livingroom Christmas tree lights, opened livingroom blinds, found Jacob's merit badge card & confirmed that we'd keep them in my drawer for safe keeping, reminded Jacob to tuck in his shirt, opened the game room blinds, laid out clothes for Deborah to wear, checked on Johnathon, confirmed that Jacob knew both the home phone number and my cell phone number, said good bye to Jessica Dwight and Jacob, checked on Deborah and David, put a piece of toast in the toaster, moved the clothes from the dryer to the couch, had David move the clothes from the washer to the dryer, sorted all the laundry, started another load of laundry, asked David to fold and put away the towels, answered questions about which towel goes where, took pillowcases off my bed, cleaned my vanity, shook out the rugs, cleaned the master water closet, moved Dwight's shoes to his closet, decided to and cleaned Dwight's vanity (again), vacuumed 1/2 of the master bath, mopped the master water closet's floor, noticed Deborah was going poopy and quickly convinced her to move to the big girl toilet, moved the pillowcases down to the laundry, celebrated Deborah going poopy on the big girl toilet, washed our hands, gave Deborah 1-2-3-4-5 treats, put a diaper on Deborah, gave David 5 treats, reviewed yellow green and orange colors with Deborah, got Deborah dressed for the day, turned on Blue's Clues with Steve, wrote in Ryan's medical journal, checked on Ryan, checked on Johnathon, opened the windows in Johnathon's room and the game room, helped David unload the newspapers from the box we received, gathered trash from the master bedroom, helped David move the gifts from G&G Mann to the tree, checked the tree to see if it needed more water, covered the downstairs couch with a blanket, helped Johnathon move to the downstairs couch, arranged towels to protect the floor and furniture, put a large plastic bowl next to Johnathon in case he needs to puke again, helped David clean the master shower, went through the paperwork on my desk, filed some papers, made a list of things to do today, added some things to the list of needed groceries, finally ate the toast for breakfast and had a glass of oj, checked to see how David was doing, helped David get a movie started for Johnathon, put a dvd back into its case and asked Deborah not to do that any more, made Johnathon & Deborah each a piece of toast, unloaded a few dishes, got the sheets out of the dryer, folded and put away the bed linens for the guest bedroom, typed up what I had done, checked on David, moved the pillowcases from the washer to the dryer, reminded Deborah not to bother the gifts under the Christmas tree, and started a load of my whites, straightened the floor of the linen closet, took Johnathon a drink of water, took the gifts from Deborah and put them back under the tree (will reattach the bows later), talked to Ryan, removed the sheets & blankets from my bed, put sheets in laundry (will do blanket another time), opened the bedroom curtains, put clean sheets on the bed and wondered why manufacturers do not indicate where the top/bottom of the sheet is ... why do I have to figure it out each time? Decided to mark it with a sharpie ... a nice long line... wondered if it'll work. Responded to Kevin's IM. Moved another bag of trash out of my room ... where does all the trash come from? continued conversation with Kevin, checked time ... 11.22 ... wondered when I should go pick up Jacob ... hope he has access to a phone to call me. turned off blue's clues in my bedroom (oh, happy day), turned on Christmas music, played with Ryan, put (dirty) blanket back on bed ... I love a freshly cleaned linens and a made bed, talked to Kevin about being a big brother, volunteered to be a reference for him ... he'll be a great big brother, resisted the urge to snitch a piece of the fudge (Dwight doesn't even know it was sent in the box from his parents), asked David to take the trash out to the trash cans, picked up Ryan ... he smiled at me!!! ... talked to him, changed his diaper, put a new outfit on Ryan, put his sleeper in the laundry, asked David to put our shampoos etc back into the shower, got caught by Deborah & turned back on Blue's clues, reminded Deborah not to yell at me, found the dvd player's remote, found a Blue's Clues episode with Joe instead of Steve and turned it on for Deborah, asked David to unload the dishwasher, nursed Ryan (enjoyed the moment to rest), checked email ... deleted 4 obvious junk mails ... followed up on Christmas order for G&G Mann, sent Dwight an email to let him know his parents should receive their gift on 12.15, checked on status of gift for Echelle's family, added that information to Dwight's email and sent it, reviewed toys r us deals of the day to see if I need to go there today, added it to my list since one of Jacob's most desired items is 40% off ... whewhoo!!! Printed the coupon for his gift and added it to the to do list, checked on Deborah, put Ryan in his carseat, went to church to pick up Jacob ... 11.51 ... still hasn't called ... don't want him sitting there waiting by himself or something... oh, first better put on jeans, gave instructions to David, loaded Ryan, and went to church. went into church and gathered Jacob, drove to gas station, talked with Dwight on the phone to see how his day is going, realized I didn't have my wallet, drove home, unloaded Ryan ... he's asleep ... put him in the crib, checked on Johnathon and Deborah. Asked David to finish cleaning the kitchen. Asked Jacob to take the pillowcases upstairs. Moved whites from washer to dryer. Started a load of our colored clothes. asked Jacob to clean up his bedroom and bathroom. checked the kids' bath tub drain. Put drain-o in it. checked time. 12.25 pm. Put pillowcases on pillows ... wondered why we have TEN pillows on our bed. Laid out some lunch foods. Asked Jacob to put mine in the oven. Decided to have a piece of fudge afterall... yummy! Folded up the guest bedroom pillowcases and put them away. Put away my comb. Finished off the bottle of water on my desk. 12.40 pm Ran hot water down the kids' bathtub drain. Picked up trash in the hall way and threw it away. Asked David to get Deborah out of my bathroom. Updated blog. turned off water in kids' bathroom. moved Deborah away from Jessica's desk. Put Jessica's art stuff out of reach. finished final touches to the master bathroom. helped Deborah clean up her toys in the master bedroom. moved g&G mann treats from off the printer to the bed. Scanned picture of Deborah and Dr bob. Put school art stuff back in art bag. found Jessica's first check and put it with her party invitation to give to her. put library cards & toys r us rewards card in my wallet. put coupons in diaper bag. cleaned trash out of diaper bag. filed receipts. put away coupons. started Christmas wish list. added Jessica & Jacob's ortho appointments to the calendar. added note on to do list to call ortho about bands for Jessica. reviewed Jessica's stack of outgrown clothes ... moved them to the quilting box. ate 1/3 of my lunch. added note to pay sarah roberts $18 for banana chips. added a blog about Deborah's first dentist appointment. finished my lunch. answered a call & verified that Jessica is planning on babysitting tonight. showed the blog to David. talked to Ryan. asked David to get the whites from the laundry room, gathered hangers for clothes. did physical therapy on my hand. checked time ... 1.30 pm. checked on Deborah. helped Jacob get movies together to return. Asked Jacob & David to go get mail ... watched from the window. reread my affirmations. Hung a picture up on my mirror that Johnathon drew for me. scanned Jessica's self-portrait. Sent self email with soccer coaches name. Filed soccer papers in David and Jacob's folders. completed Scout paperwork. Asked David to switch the colored clothes from washer to dryer. cropped Jessica's self portrait file and then added a blog about it. checked Jacob's bathtub and asked him to touch it up a bit. talked with Dwight about Jacob's privileges. looked up information for insurance paperwork. completed insurance paperwork for Dwight's additional coverage and addressed & stamped envelope. set up the black room for Ryan for visual therapy. did some physical therapy stuff with Ryan. took a few pictures to post on his medical journal later, Vacuumed master bedroom. moved visual image to right side of Ryan. finished bottle of water by my bed. Opened master bedroom window. completed some bexarmet paperwork. reminded boys to finish their lunches and clean up after themselves. checked email. drew a self portrait and posted it. filed more receipts. hung up some clothes. put away the black box and played with Ryan. folded garments. threw away the broken laundry basket piece. added new socks to list of things to buy for Deborah. received great big smiles from Ryan when I got him out of his chair. tickled and cuddled him for a couple of minutes. changed Ryan's diaper. Asked David to switch the laundry. Checked on Deborah. Threw away dirty diaper and got Ryan dressed again. Moved Ryan to his playmat. calmed Deborah and got her down from the high chair. Started the sheets in the washer. Picked up trash from the stairs & threw it away. changed Deborah's diaper. took Deborah to big girl potty. threw away the dirty diaper. hung up some more clothes. sorted & matched socks. reminded Deborah to finish pottying, greeted Dwight & Jessica. looked at Jessica's art project. reminded Deborah to finish pottying, listened to Dwight tell me what he needs to do, felt a little disappointed that he didn't even notice that I've been working my butt off today, but still glad to have it done. put away my clothes. Asked Jessica to put a diaper on Deborah & to put her down for a nap. Put away Deborah and Ryan's clothes. cleaned the potty chair, threw away the empty Soft Scrub bottle. Reminded Jessica to shower before her babysitting appointment. Put away the bathroom cleaning supplies that were returned by Jacob. Put the wipes boxes back away. Put away Dwight's garments. Put Ryan's hat in the closet. Nursed Ryan. Dried Ryan's chin. Burped him and dried his chin again. Put final touches on the master bedroom. Checked time.... 3.20 pm. nursed Ryan some more. talked with Dwight. caught up on FB. put ryan in carseat. put on mascara & shoes. curled hair. went to store to buy gift for a friend. bought gift for donation, met Dwight & Jacob at the toy store, bought Jamba Juices, went to Target and bought items on my grocery list plus stocked up on wipes since they were 30% off, came home from store, helped put away purchases, changed Deborah's stinky diaper, talked with David, ate another piece of fudge, laid out pj's for Deborah, gave a piece of fudge to David, put 2 diapers into diaper bag, left with Ryan to go Christmas shopping for kids ... 6.42 pm. filled the van with gas, talked with Dad on cell phone, stopped to eat dinner, talked with Tami, drove to store, changed Ryan's diaper, nursed Ryan & spoke to a new Grandma, bought Christmas gifts for kids, drove home & talked with Dwight, took the clothes out of the dryer and put them on the couch, moved clothes from washer to the dryer, started a new load of wash, moved gifts into my closet, watched a short video clip that Dwight had found online, turned on computer, filled bathtub, re-arranged gifts in closet, laid out Ryan's pjs, gave Ryan a bath, dried and dressed Ryan, put dirty clothes in laundry, nursed Ryan, checked email, deleted junk mail, checked out some "deals" (not really good deals though) on ebay, checked time .. 11.03 pm ... wondered when Jessica will be home from babysitting, changed Ryan's diaper again, heard Jessica come in, talked with her about her babysitting job, put Ryan in his bed, showed Jessica the gifts she wanted me to get for her, put the gifts back in my closet, picked Ryan back up, burped him some more, gave him some Mylicon, tried nursing him again, ate a pear, handed Ryan off to Dwight, watched the last 20 minutes of a tv show, updated blog, checked time ... 12.13 am ... so glad it's finally the Sabbath ... a day of rest .... hoping to get to bed soon.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Deborah's First Dentist Appointment

Today was Deborah's very first dentist appointment. Dr. Childers, our orthodontist said I would need to sit on the chair with her and hold her. But, NO. Deborah wanted to sit on the chair by herself. She LOVED it! She opened her mouth wide, let them take pictures, and put flouride on her teeth. Nothing but smiles. I must say that this is to the credit of the most amazing dentist/orthodontist office ever! Dr Childers, Dr Bob, and our friend Dr Casey do a great job at fostering a truly child friendly office. I have not met a single employee who did not seem to love being there and love the children. We've been going there now for 4 years and will not change. It's so nice for me to be able to take all the children and still feel relaxed. :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Today about an hour into my physical therapy appointment, I heard Ryan crying in the small waiting area. I quickly went to check on him. Normally Jessica and Ryan walk the building, and Ryan naps.

He was fine ... Just hungry. My Physical therapist asked if she could hold him. We had discussed his issues previously and I could see that she was gently evaluating him.

She observed that he is doing something abnormal with his right arm. He also wouldn't turn his head to the left, only the right. She also commented that he does not appear to be focusing his eyes. She also observed that he scissors his legs.

Jessica And I had a good follow up conversation. At one point she said, Deborah will be happy to hold him up.

I'm thankful for a daughter who holds me up. And who always seems to see that others help to lift is up.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Where do I start?

I don't know whether to start at the beginning, or to start with today and just catch up all the details. Either way the task of documenting Ryan's life thus far already seems quite overwhelming.

Perhaps the easiest thing might be for me to start from the beginning of my memory. I suppose you might say that it really started on September 20, 2006. That was the day I had Deborah. I know ... this is about Ryan, not Deborah. But that really is the first day that I realized that there was definitely another baby for our family. Until that Wednesday evening, I had thought perhaps we'd have more children ... and then again maybe not.

Deborah wasn't born until after 4 pm that day due to complications with another Mom's c-section. Much of the evening after her birth was a blur. But one of my very first memories after her birth was of Dwight standing next to my bed. I don't remember anything else he said to me except ... "There's still one more baby."

Now days I joke about this and tease that he was crazy for thinking of another baby only hours after I had just had a baby. But, it was actually a comforting statement to me. Crazy, right? Not really. See, Dwight confirmed what I felt. A second witness.

At my 6-week post-partum follow up, I spoke to Dr. Shows about having another baby. At that time, she didn't see any problem with it but suggested that I give my uterus at least 1 year to recover. So, I did.

In September 2007, I was anxious to get pregnant again. My clock was ticking loudly. I knew I hoped to have my last baby before turning 40. I just didn't feel we had a lot of time to wait around.

Sometime between the time I had Deborah and when we found out we were pregnant, I had a very sacred experience. I was in my bedroom and I thought I saw a child standing by my closet. The child was very serious. I could not see a lot of details, but I could sense that the child had a very heavy decision to make or something similar.

I actually thought from the experience that it was probably a girl, but wasn't sure. I wasn't even sure at the time that the child I thought I saw was actually my child. I didn't really understand the meaning of it at the time. It has only been through prayer and retrospect that I have come to realize that it was Ryan.

As a side note, I have been privileged to see most of my children prior to their birth. I suppose it is because the Lord knows that I need advance warning on pretty much everything. I typically deal well with things once I adjust. The Lord giving me advance notice helps me to adjust so much faster.

Where is God?

Don't panic... I'm not expressing my personal thoughts or feelings with the title of this post. :) I just wanted to share a great poem with everyone ...

He was just a little boy,
On a week's first day.
Wandering home from Bible school,
And dawdling on the way.

He scuffed his shoes into the grass;
He even found a caterpillar.
He found a fluffy milkweed pod,
And blew out all the 'filler.'

A bird's nest in a tree overhead,
So wisely placed up so high.
Was just another wonder,
That caught his eager eye.

A neighbor watched his zig zag course,
And hailed him from the lawn;
Asked him where he'd been that day
And what was going on.

'I've been to Bible School ,'
He said and turned a piece of sod.
He picked up a wiggly worm replying,
'I've learned a lot about God.'

'M'm very fine way,' the neighbor said,
'for a boy to spend his time.'
'If you'll tell me where God is,
I'll give you a brand new dime.'

Quick as a flash the answer came!
Nor were his accents faint.
'I'll give you a dollar, Mister,
If you can tell me where God ain't.'

Sunday, December 7, 2008

This morning I was in the kitchen making myself breakfast. (Yes, I know it was Fast Sunday, but I'm a nursing Mommy.) Jacob was cleaning up the kitchen. Johnathon was sitting at the table writing in a notebook. Jessica was sitting in the window seat drawing. Ryan and Daddy were sleeping late. And, come to think of it, I don't know where David was. Deborah was pushing the trash can all around the kitchen when I noticed she was also singing. The tune was familiar. What was the song? The ABC song. You know the one... A B C D E F G (breath) H I J K L M NOP (breath) Q R S (breath) T U V (breath) W X Y and Z. You remember it, right? Well, she was only singing S T X Y Z. So, I started singing it with her. Whenever we got to the part ... Now I know my ABC's. Next time won't you sing with me? ... yes, that part. Whenever we got to that part, she would just smile so big! It was quite cute. Tonight she sung ... or would that be sang ?? ... the song for for Daddy. She actually started with A B C D, and needed a few promptings but made it through most of the song. Is it wrong to think she must be the smartest little 2 year old in the world? Well, she is at the very least the smartest little 2 year old in my world.
And, since we're on the subject of Deborah ... check out the hair! I curled it!!! She actually stood still long enough to let me curl it. And, today she wanted her hair curled again for her class. (She loves her nursery class.) It really looked SOOO cute!

Jessica's Self-Portrait

Jessica did this self-portrait today in her art class. Have you ever tried to create a self-portrait? Here's mine...

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I am so blessed with amazing children. I think this picture speaks volumes. Do you see how Jacob is holding Ryan's hand, and rubbing his foot? Ryan loves that. Jacob is really great with Ryan, and Deborah too. It's very sweet. Thanks Jacob!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Traditions

We decorated a gingerbread house tonight. But, as you can see in the pictures, it became a gingerbread garage ... thanks, Stephanie Myers (author of Twilight). This year we also decorated gingerbread cookies. That was fun. They tasted yummy. Enjoy the blizzard of pictures...
Johnathon's Cookie
Jessica's cookie
Jacob's cookie
Deborah's cookie

*Apparently David's cookie disappeared before I got a picture.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Santa Is Alive And Well...

A friend sent me this story and I just loved it. It's a great reminder of what Christmas and Santa is really all about ... enjoy...

I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma. I was just a kid. I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Claus," she jeered. "Even dummies know that!"

My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been. I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me. I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her "world-famous" cinnamon buns. I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so.

It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm. Between bites, I told her everything. She was ready for me. "No Santa Claus?" she snorted...." Ridiculous! Don't believe it. That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!! Now, put on your coat, and let's go."

"Go? Go where, Grandma?" I asked. I hadn't even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun. Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything. As we walked through it's doors, Grandma handed me ten dollars. That was a bundle in those days. "Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it. I'll wait for you in the car." Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.

I was only nine years old. I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself. The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping.

For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for. I thought of everybody I knew: my family, my friends, my neighbors, the kids at school, the people who went to my church.

I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby Decker. He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in Mrs. Pollock's grade-4 class. Bobby Decker didn't have a coat. I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter. His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all we kids knew that Bobby Decker didn't have a cough; he just had no coat.

I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement. I would buy Bobby Decker a coat! I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood to it. It looked real warm, and he would like that.

"Is this a Christmas present for someone?" the lady behind the counter asked kindly, as I laid my ten dollars down.

Yes, ma'am," I replied shyly. "It's for Bobby." The nice lady smiled at me, as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat. I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening, Grandma helped me wrap the coat in Christmas paper. A little tag fell out of the coat, but Grandma said it was okay and just tucked it in her Bible. We finished wrapping the coat and tied the package with pretty ribbon, then wrote, "To Bobby, From SantaClaus" on it.

Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy. Then she drove me over to Bobby Decker's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever, officially one of Santa's helpers. Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house, and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk.

Then Grandma gave me a nudge. "All right, Santa Claus," she whispered, "get going." I took a deep breath, dashed for his front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his doorbell and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma.

Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open. Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.

Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering, beside my Grandma, in Bobby Decker's bushes. That night, I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were: ridiculous. Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team. Grandma has long since passed on, but I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside. ....It says, $19.95

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Tonight I spoke to my Visiting Teacher's husband who is a Neuro Surgeon. An amazing couple. I called them today. I explained about Ryan's dr's appointment yesterday and asked if he had any recommendations for a Pediatric Neurologist. He said his 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choice would be Dr. Seals. He said is "superb". I'm so thankful for this. I already have an appointment for February. It seems like a long time away, but I'm sure it'll be here before we know it.

I have some new pictures that I will post tomorrow. We started decorating the house tonight. Had a little scare with Ryan and was distracted from it. So, we'll need to finish it tomorrow. Dwight and the boys brought home a beautiful tree tonight. It should be ready for lights and decorations tomorrow. It's very full. Not completely straight, but I don't think we've had a straight tree for several years now. Perhaps we'll just call it tradition. :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

18 Weeks and a Well-Child Care Check Up

Today was Ryan's 2 month well-child care check up. He weighed in at 11 pounds and 13 1/2 ounces. And, he's 24 1/2 inches tall now. He's now in the lower 25th percentile for his height and still not on the chart for his weight. He continues in an upward trend; however, his weight trend flattened out a bit. Dr Rhame isn't overly concerned yet as it could just be a small hiccup in the growth pattern. It is concerning enough however to keep an eye on it.

I was hoping to receive a little comfort today, but that's not really what happened. Instead we've been referred to a pediatric neurologist for more testing. Dr Rhame said there will probably be lots more tests before we have definitive answers. And, he called Baby Ryan a "special needs" baby. That was tough. It's still tough.

Anyway ... here's a picture of Ryan that was taken today.

You can't see just how cute his little outfit is, but on the backside it has a reindeer. :)

Countdowns and Milestones...

Can you believe it's already the 2nd of December? Only 23 more days till Christmas! So much to do and so little time! We planned to buy a Christmas tree last night ... you know the real kind that fills the room with the smell of Christmas (and that leaves needles in the carpet till next Christmas). Well we went to dinner first which took a little too long. By the time we made it to buy the Christmas tree they had just closed. It was Family Home Evening: the Indian Food & Christmas Tree Denied Edition. So tonight after tithing settlement, we'll head out for the Christmas tree.

So, Kelli, remember "K is for knitting not crocheting?" Well, I had my first crocheting experience since Merry Miss class when I was 11. I hate it! Is hate too strong of a word? Um..... no. I must be missing something because I just don't see how anyone could find crocheting enjoyable. I never could find a rhythm to it.

Why was I crocheting? Because the cute little Suede dress I had knit for Deborah called for a crocheted edge around the neck and sleeve lines. I think the dark color edge is a nice touch, but did it really need to be crocheted? What do you think?

Oh, and speaking of Deborah, you other Moms will appreciate this ... Deborah went poopy on the big girl potty! Whewhoo!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008


Thanks Jen for the tag. Here's my 4th picture ...

4 things about this picture...
1) This is a picture of Jessica when she was 6 years old.
2) The picture was taken in 2001.
3) My kids loved Chuck E Cheese!
4) We spent WAY too much time at Chuck E Cheese after I quit working and started staying home full time.

For the rest of you, here's the scoop ... go to the 4th album on your computer, open it, choose the 4th picture and then write 4 things about it. Then tag 4 of your friends to do the same thing. (I think many of my blogging friends have already done this. So, if you blog and if you haven't done it yet, consider yourself tagged. If you don't blog, maybe it's time to start?)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

I am thankful for...

(in no particular order)

1. Dwight
2. Jessica
3. Jacob
4. David
5. Johnathon
6. Deborah
7. Ryan
8. Medical technologies and great doctors
9. The Gospel
10. My parents and their example of good living
11. My sister and her example of childlike love and kindness
12. My nephews and the way they always make me feel like I'm the most important person in their world
13. My friends
14. My Mom's willingness to learn how to knit
15. Amber for inspiring me to learn to knit
16. The Woolie Ewe for all their patience and the great atmosphere in their shop
17. My ward family for all of their support
18. A spacious home that houses my large family without feeling cramped
19. Airplanes and the pilots that fly and land them safely
20. Dwight's job
21. Dwight's willingness to work hard
22. Dwight's intelligence
23. Books
24. The internet
25. Email
26. All my aunts and uncles
27. All my cousins
28. Water
29. Good food
30. DVR's ... how can you watch live tv?
31. Digital cameras
32. Photoshop to fix all the errors in my pictures
33. The Cub Scout and Boy Scout Programs
34. Good Den Leaders
35. Money sufficient for our needs
36. The Temple
37. My Ancestors
38. Telephones
39. Cell phones ... at least at times
40. The freedoms I enjoy in America
41. Memories of scuba expeditions ... barracuda ...
42. Dwight's patience with me
43. Disposable diapers and wipes
44. My minivan
45. Being in remission
46. Repentance and forgiveness
47. A body that heals well
48. My education
49. Obedient and fun children
50. surviving 6 pregnancies with NO stretch marks! WHEWHOO!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

14 Weeks

I was hoping to find a picture of Deborah in her car seat at 14 weeks. I think it's interesting to see the 2 little ones at the same ages. I think they are similar in size. Deborah was a little smaller. I think she was just starting to wear newborn size clothing. Ryan is wearing mostly 0-3 month size clothes. Ryan cannot hold his body or head up enough to sit in Deborah's chair. Not only can he not hold his body up enough to do it, but I think Deborah might be a little bugged by it. We've had to negotiate what has been passed on to Ryan. For example, Ryan gets the crib, but she still gets the swing. She is willing to share it, but still claims her territory. "Baby Ry in my swing."

Speaking of things that belong to Deborah... Daddy. As you may know, our whole family no longer fits in the minivan, and I'm unwilling to loose money trading it in. We typically have Ryan and Deborah's car seats in my van. So they ride with me to church. Church is during naptime, which means that we have a very tired, sometimes irrational 2 year old on our hands after church. For the past month, she has yelled and cried ALL the way home. (Thankfully, we only live about 2 miles from the church.) "MY DADDY!! ME NEED MY DADDY!! WHERE'D GO MY DADDY?" Over and over again with increasing panic and wailing. No amount of reassurance calms the child. No bribes. No threats. (And, believe me, a tired, sometimes irrational mother of 6 can make a lot of threats in 2 miles.) But, once the girl catches a little glimpse of her daddy within reach and the world ... and my Sabbath ... is again a calm place.

This past week Daddy had a brilliant idea ... Deborah rode with him to and from church. THANK HEAVENS!!! Such a simple solution = such a happy little girl = a more sane Mommy.

Speak of sanity... tonight the conversation went like this:

Me: "Did you arrange my music in a particular order when you were setting up my iPod for me?"
Dwight: "No, why?"
Me: "You sure have a knack for giving me music with meanings when I take a day trip."
Confused Dwight: "You know there's a mental illness where people assume the media is trying to send them messages."

No, I'm not mentally ill.... let me explain. A while ago, I drove north about 2 hours to meet a new friend for lunch. Dwight wanted to go with me and I declined. He made me a cd of music to listen to on my way there. "Since you've been gone I can't breath" ... "All by myself" .... etc. Last Tuesday when I ran away from home, Dwight had just lovingly put my music on my "new" iPod. (I've had it sitting unused next to my bed for several months now.) The first song ... "May God's love be with you always!"

Either way ... be it insanity or him not owning up to his doings, I really appreciated the message.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Twilight Fans

Jessica, along with many others, is a HUGE fan of the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyers. These are 2 of Jessica's most recent drawings:

Friday, November 7, 2008

Feliz Dia de Los Muertos

Last Saturday we attended Muertitos Fest 2008 sponsored by Jessica's art school. We were able to purchase one of her works, a graphic done in Adobe that was made into a greeting card. It's impressive. I certainly wouldn't have been able to do it.

There were also fun things to do for the family. The boys tried their hands at making prints, decorating sugar skeletons (a traditional celebration activity), making roses, and getting their faces painted.

Jessica took a friend and she was a delight to have with us. She is one of our neighbors and is just a sweetheart. It was tough to get a picture of these girls. Jessica is currently in that stage where she doesn't like her picture being taken. (But beware, Jessica, I am stalking you and will get a photo!)