Thursday, May 29, 2008

Last Week's Pictures

I am learning that the more kids we have the harder it is to get that perfect picture. As soon as I knew we had one good picture, I told the photographer that we didn't need to take anymore.

Caleb's 8 year old picture. I can't believe how big he looks. The next thing I know, I will blink and he'll be a teenager. Yikes!

Josiah at 2 and 1/2 years old. He doesn't look much like a baby anymore.

Levi at 14 months. I'm counting this as his one year old pictures. He still looks smaller than Caleb and Josiah did at this age. He did get compliments at church in this outfit for being a cute little girl.

Too Much Sickness

I feel that overall, we have had pretty healthy kids. That is until this past month. We have been in Florida for not even one month yet. Levi has been cutting his molars which always leads to having a fever. This has occurred twice since we've been here. On top of that, Levi had the lovely sea lice which sent him to the emergency room. He had a fever for a couple of days this week that I thought was teething but now think it could have been a virus. And now he has a rash on the back of the neck. Caleb and Josiah are never sick, but this weekend, Caleb complained of a headache and then had a sore throat for a few days. So Josiah wouldn't feel left out, he developed a fever Tuesday night at bedtime. Wednesday morning his fever was the highest any of my kids have ever had. He has had no other symptoms. I just can't believe how sick they've been in one month's time. Hopefully, this will remain something rare in our household.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

10 Days and Counting

Ten more days until we move into our new house, new to us that is. I haven't wanted to mention finding a house until I was for sure everything was going to work out. We close on our house on Friday, and we will be moving into it on June 7. The current owners want time to let their children finish the school year. We've waited this long. One more week doesn't make a big difference. The house sits on one acre and is completely fenced. I'm so excited that the boys and Bailey will have a nice big yard. There is also plenty of room in the driveway for riding bikes, scooters, and skateboards. I don't know if we'll ever want to leave the house. It also has a swimming pool which the boys are thrilled about, Kerry included. The two things missing are a fireplace and a bathtub in the master bath. I will not complain though because those are things that could be changed over time. We are all looking forward to feeling settled. I can't wait to see the boys faces, especially Josiah's face, as we unpack all of their belongings that they haven't seen in six months. It should be fun.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Got Wife?

This sign really does exist. I saw it as we were departing one of the campgrounds where we stayed. I just had to share.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Levi Can Walk Like a Pro

It seemed like as soon as we arrived in Florida, Levi figured out the walking thing. I kept telling my mom that I would get a video of him walking. We finally got around to making the video this afternoon. He definitely has the walking thing down now and can maneuver around obstacles, i.e. Josiah almost running into him and toys on the floor. Here is the video. Please disregard the tv in the background and Josiah running around making lots of noise. I hope everyone has a relaxing Memorial Day.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Withdrawals from the Web

Friday morning Kerry left for Texas leaving the boys, Bailey and I here in Florida. I had no problems with that until he said he was taking the wireless card with him. It's amazing how fast one becomes accustomed to such things. The idea of going a day without checking emails or blogs is no big deal, but four whole days is an entirely different story. The hotel he was staying at didn't have wireless and he needed it for work purposes. That trumps leisure time on the internet when the boys are sleeping at night or playing nicely together.

The boys and I did fine with Kerry gone. We took time to go the the Wildlife Animal Refuge and spent some time swimming. I even dragged them shopping for clothes and furniture. Saturday night we went to church. I'm so glad to be going back to church on Saturday nights. It's going to allow us to use Sundays as a school day and then take Fridays off when Kerry is home.

The boys are so glad to have Daddy back even though they haven't seen him yet. Kerry got in late last night and they were already asleep. He was also gone when they woke up this morning. They loved knowing that Daddy brought them something back from his trip and they have spent the way too early for me morning coloring. Levi has enjoyed walking around with his horse that Daddy brought back for him. They will be over the top excited when they see him after work.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Goodbyes and Transitions

Granny and Levi on April 27, 2008

4/27/08 Josiah, Granny, Levi, and Caleb

I thought goodbyes would be easier this time around, but they weren't. When we moved to California, Kerry and Bailey had already been there for three weeks. Caleb was five years old and Josiah was six weeks old. I already had a wonderful pediatrician that I knew I could trust, and I didn't need to find myself a doctor for awhile. I remember saying goodbye to my Mom before she left for school on a Wednesday morning feeling that it was worse than leaving for college. My dad took us to the airport which was tough but not as tough as it could have been since RyAnn and Brock were coming with us. I remember meeting Kerry at the airport and he looked like a Californian (if that's a word). Kerry took us to the house we had bought that I had only seen through pictures, took us to pick up some dinner, dropped us off at the house again, and then went back to church for an evening meeting. Had my sister not been there, I'm sure I would have broken down in tears. My sister was great helping unpack all of the boxes. We tried to squeeze in a little fun as well. A short week later, I said goodbye to RyAnn and Brock and tried not to cry as I was walking out of the airport with my two kids all alone. I have to admit I felt really alone that day. Obviously, things got better. I made friends, can truly say I like California, and have some wonderful memories to carry with us.

4/24/08 Caleb and Granddad

4/26/08 Caleb and Nana

When we moved out of our house in California in December, I truly felt that we would be back. As much as I would have like to have settled in Texas, I was content with going back to California. Part way through the past 6 months, we considered settling in the DFW area. It was exciting to think that we were finally going to be "home." I always assumed that if God moved us from California that he would lead us back to somewhere in Texas. Never did I imagine, he would move us just as far away from "home" in the opposite direction. One thing I have realized though, God gave us these past six months to prepare our family for this next journey in our lives. If Kerry had told me that he felt God was leading us to Florida while we were still in California, I'm not too sure I would have wanted to consider moving. Funny to think that I would have been fine with anything on the west coast. Having this time showed me that God was in control of our lives and that I didn't need to set parameters around where we lived. I have to admit, that I have been pretty scared to say that I would move anywhere in the world for fear of where He might lead us. I know I shouldn't feel this way, so I have something I need to work on.
4/26/08 Levi with his favorite person - Granddad

This move has felt harder to me at this point than the last. I cried as I hugged my parents goodbye in their yard. I was sad that I wouldn't see my sister and her family for awhile and that our boys once again would not see each other on a regular basis. It wasn't any easier saying goodbye to Granny knowing we wouldn't be nearby to see her. We have also moved to Florida with no house and our things are still in storage in California. We think we've found a house but I don't want to get overly excited about it until it's all said and done. We have three kids now with a fourth on the way. I still have not found a midwife (I am trying) and I'm looking for a pediatrician that will space out vaccines. It makes me tired thinking about it. And my dearest friend Jessica is all the way in California. Did I mention last week was so hot and humid I could hardly breath in the afternoons if we stepped outside?

4/26/08 Levi and Nana

I know I should look at the positives and I'll try. I'm thankful that a member in our church is letting us stay in one of his villas until we find a house. I'm thankful that we have a pastor with a prayerful heart. I'm thankful that Caleb loved Bible Study Saturday night and is constantly telling me that I have to get him there earlier next week. I'm thankful that my boys are all healthy now as Kerry will be out of town for four days starting on Friday. I'm very thankful that my Dad called me this morning to let me know he booked a flight and will be here on June 3 to see us. I'm thankful that I'm having a healthy pregnancy so far. And I'm thankful that we're all together, Bailey included.

4/26/08 Josiah (who didn't want his picture taken) and Nana

4/26/08 Josiah and Granddad

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

A Promise Kept: Dinosaur Valley

All five boys standing by the T-rex

Brock, RyAnn, and Braxton

Brock, Caleb, Josiah, Me, and Levi

Back in January, Granddaddy and I took all five boys to Fossil Rim. While driving through Fossil Rim, Brock was looking at a "map." There was a small picture of one or two dinosaurs and he asked me what it was. I told him it was a picture telling about a place called Dinosaur Valley. He asked me if we could go that day and I explained that we couldn't go that day but that I would take him one day before went back to California (the plan at the time) for good. Obviously, we are not in California, but I did keep my promise and RyAnn and I took the boys the Monday before we left for Florida.

The boys had a great time. We ate a picnic lunch, played on the playground and saw dinosaur fossils. The boys really liked crossing the river to see the fossils. I think Caleb liked seeing the hurt baby bird the best. The forest ranger said that they had to leave it where it was or the mother bird might not come get it. We all felt pretty sad leaving the baby bird sitting all alone when we could see the nest. Hopefully, his mommy took care of him. All in all, we had a great day and the boys want to go back again.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Birthday with Family

We celebrated Caleb birthday with family Saturday, the 26th, before we left for Florida. He was so excited to be able to celebrate with family. I think he was really interested in the presents he was going to receive. He has been asking for star wars for a couple of years, and I haven't been too sure if I wanted him to have Star Wars stuff. I'm not a big fan of violence related toys. Anyway, I finally relented since Kerry has never really seen the big deal in it not having them. Caleb wanted a Star Wars cake. I was checking on ebay for cake pans and was amazed at the prices for some of them -- up to $50 for a cake pan! The one I purchase was a whole lot less than that. The cake didn't turn out as good as I wanted it to, I put too much food coloring in the icing. It was supposed to be gray but it looks blue in the pictures. The main thing was that Caleb thought it looked great. All the boys had fun playing together. It was kind of sad knowing that it was the last time we would all be together until July. But it definitely was a time sweet time spent as one big family.

The cake

Josiah, Brock, Braxton, Caleb, and Levi

RyAnn and Levi

Our family of five for now

Caleb is ready to blow out his candles

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Week 2 in Florida: A Trip to the Emergency Room

Yesterday, the boys and I had the privilege of visiting St. Mary's Children's emergency room. I think I mentioned that Levi had broken out in a rash on Saturday which was thought to be sea lice. Tuesday morning, he woke up appearing even worse than he did the day before. The rash just kept spreading. He was pretty lethargic as well. He didn't want to play which is very unlike him, especially in the mornings. He would just snuggle in my lap not even trying to get down and play. The boys and I had a couple of errands to run after school yesterday. We just happened to be near Kerry's office. After the errands, I noticed Levi's hands and feet looked swollen. We drove to Kerry's office where upon seeing Levi said that I really needed to get him to a doctor. We don't have a pediatrician yet and I didn't want to go to an urgent care center, so the boys and I went to the emergency room.

Fortunately, it wasn't crowded at all. It was right at 5:00pm. To make a long story short, it's sea lice. According to the doctor, he had an allergic reaction to the sea lice. He prescribed prednisone and that was basically it. Not being familiar with the area or not, I'm not sure if this is the hospital we should use in the future, but I feel God led us there not just for Levi. While checking in, the nurse, who was doing the initial assessment, and I started talking. She goes to Christ Fellowship and I was asking her about pediatricians. I explained what I was looking for in a pediatrician and she said she had a friend of hers that sounded similar and would call her to get the name of her pediatrician and then call me. I'm hoping she will call sometime tomorrow. There was also another great nurse that gave me the name of the group of pediatricians she uses. It was just so nice to feel welcomed even in not the greatest of circumstances.

Levi is slowly recovering. We could tell a big difference this morning in his hands and feet. He even was talkative this morning and played for a little while. It didn't last too long until he was back to snuggling. I know each day he will continue to improve.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

No Church This Week

The boys and I had every intention of attending church with Kerry this weekend at our new church. Unfortunately, Levi had other ideas. We went to the beach Friday evening before dark to let the boys play for a couple of hours. The following morning, Levi had a fever and a rash on his knees, hands, feet, and mouth. My first thought was that it was probably from crawling around in the sand and picking it up and attempting to put it in his mouth. We decided to monitor Levi throughout the day. I almost considered taking the boys to church anyway, but just in case Levi was catching, I didn't want to risk it.

Saturday night at church, Kerry met a doctor and was describing Levi's symptoms. He thinks it's sea lice. I had never heard of it before. It sounds so gross if you ask me. I looked it up just now and it is actually jellyfish larvae that can sting. I"m hoping he'll feel better in a few days. Kerry has taken the two big boys to the beach again which is allowing me to give Levi some one on one care when he doesn't feel well.

Friday, May 02, 2008

We Made It!

We made it to our destination in Florida on Monday evening. It was so nice to finally get here. Currently, we are staying in a church member's villa which is working out very well. It's a completely furnished 2 bedroom/2 bath villa. Coming from living in a camper for a couple of months and my parents' second floor of there house, this feels giant. We are now in the middle of house hunting.

Tuesday found the boys, Kerry, and I driving around a couple of different areas to decide which area we liked best and could see raising our family. Wednesday was a little more of the same but looking at specific houses on the outside and the lots that they were on. Yesterday, the boys and I went out with Renne, our realtor, to look at the houses. It was a little depressing to come out with only 2 or 3 possibilities. This was after looking at while we were in in April and then again when I came out with Levi to look the following week in April. I can't even tell you how many houses we've seen. We decided Kerry needed to see the houses to help make a final decision on our favorite. We met Renne if the afternoon and Kerry fell in love with the one I knew he would. I just couldn't figure how I would work with the layout of the house. Renne suggested we look at one more that we didn't see that morning. I had put it on my no list since it didn't have a bath in the master or a fireplace. We decided to go and check it out anyway. We fell in love with the house even though it was missing those two features. Now we're in the process of making an offer. Hopefully, we'll know something soon.

Today has been a pleasant day for the boys and I. We have been able to have a normal school day with no house hunting in which the boys are thankful. They have been great being dragged everywhere but I know they will be glad to be truly settled once and for all. We are waiting to get into a house before we send for our things in California. It will be like a big Christmas for the boys since it will have been 6 months since they have seen most of their toys. I have to admit that I am ready to feel settled too.

Currently, I've been trying to find a midwife today that delivers in a hospital. I called the hospital that will be closest to us and the lady I spoke with was very helpful in referring me to a group that has several midwives. After that, it's looking for a pediatrician and a dentist for Kerry and I and one for the boys. Lots of fun things to do. At least we should be nice and settled before Silas arrives. I can hardly wait!