Saturday, October 25, 2008

Josiah Rides His Bicycle

Josiah's training wheels broke in our move to Florida. I looked but never found replacement training wheels that fit his bicycle. Awhile ago, Kerry helped him ride it in the grass. He had to have help starting and didn't like going on the concrete. Yesterday he figured it all out and is now riding all over the place.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Pumpkin Patch 2008

The boys and I went and chose pumpkins today. The closest place to get pumpkins besides the grocery store was at a church located near our church. The church had a good selection of pumpkins and a couple of good places for photos, but I sure missed going to The Pumpkin Patch of Flower Mound, TX and Tanaka Farms (in California).

It started raining about 5 minutes after we got there so we only had time for a couple of pictures and to choose pumpkins quickly. It was interesting to see which pumpkins they chose. They weren't exactly my choice of pumpkins but the boys were happy. Plus, the pumpkins were very inexpensive in comparison to what we normally pay. But we are normally paying for the experience as well, not just the pumpkins. Caleb wants to paint his pumpkin this year instead of carving it. Josiah wants to paint his, eat it, and then make a pumpkin pie.

(I got a good picture of Levi on the first try!)

(Josiah insisted that he button all buttons on his shirt.)

(Silas didn't know what to think of the grass.)

(How many more years will Caleb come to the pumpkin patch with us?)

(A nice family took a picture of all of us.)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Josiah's Head Injury

Yesterday Josiah and Caleb asked if they could go outside and play for a few minutes before we left for church that evening. I gave them clear directions that they were to stay on the concrete and not to get in the grass where they always end up getting dirty. According to Caleb who witnessed everything, Josiah was riding Levi's little 4-wheeler in following picture.
This is a toy that I have never felt it necessary to require a helmet. It is very low to the ground. A child can not possibly go fast on this thing unless going down a hill. Somehow, Josiah (it would only happen to Josiah) managed to flip over the front of the 4-wheeler which resulted in the below head injuries.

Unfortunately, we did not make it to church and Kerry ended up coming home a little early to check on Josiah. He had fallen asleep pretty much right away due to exhaustion (no nap) and crying. The knot on his head was about the size of a baseball Kerry said. They scrapes are right next to the scar he already has next to his eye, and he has another scar right above the same eye. He did wake up several times before bedtime which made us feel better, and he woke up a couple of times during the night.

He is feeling much better today but looks worse. We're going to the Pumpkin Patch tomorrow and I will post pictures which will show day 3 of the scrapes.

Although the picture above isn't the best, it represents what a great job Caleb did yesterday evening playing with Levi. After Josiah got hurt and fell asleep, I let Caleb take Levi outside as long as they stayed in the back where I could see them from inside. Caleb stayed with Levi the entire hour to hour and a half they were playing, and he showed Levi lizards, put him on the swing, and explored the outdoors with him. I praised him for the good job he did telling him that that's what big brothers do (instead of bossing). What a way to end the day!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Brain Work is Tiring

Caleb has been working hard in school this year. One thing I realized was that he was going to have to study his spelling words outside of school time during the day. We have started setting aside time almost every night where he studies his words and then practices them with Kerry. This is a new experiences for Caleb, and we have explained that most boys and girls do have spelling words they have to learn whether it's in public school, private school, or homeschool. I have been pleased to see him try so hard these past few weeks and has gotten some good grades on his tests each week. Last night, he was studying his words, and he fell asleep. Sometimes studying can be just as tiring as playing outside, and he did both yesterday. I couldn't resist taking a picture.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Silas is Six Weeks Old

Silas is six weeks old today. These past six weeks have gone by so fast, but it seems he has always been apart of our family. He is a complete joy. Here are a few things about Silas.

(Thanks Ry, for the outfit!)

1. He is still nursing like a pro.
2. He will take a pacifier on occasions.
3. He spits up some, and he seems to be spitting up more each day.
4. Occasionally, he gets upset when his tummy doesn't feel well, but it doesn't last for long.
5. He loves to snuggle but also enjoys sitting in his bouncer.
6. When he sleeps, he either likes to be snuggled up next to me or laying on his tummy. I only tried laying him on his back once, and since I've been through this 3 other times, once was enough.
7. He doesn't get a lot of tummy time, because there always seems to be either a dog or brother that could possibly trample over him. I think I've laid him on a quilt on the floor twice since he was born. I'm not ready to run the risk of him getting hurt.
8. He can lift his head and hold it steady for a short amount of time, just not long enough for a good picture.
9. He has started smiling some, and I can't wait until I can catch a picture of it.
10. He is no longer wearing newborn clothing and can wear some 3-6 month clothes.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Before There Were Four: Part 2

Caleb was almost a year old and I had been taking care of Pappy for about 7 months when I started desiring to have another baby around the house. Granted Caleb was still a "baby" but not so little anymore. I truly felt that it wasn't time for us to have another one yet, because I was still taking care of Pappy. Pappy required a lot of lifting and that wouldn't go well with pregnancy or soon after having a baby.

(Ethan and Caleb)

God heard my heart and sent our neighbors, Mike and Gloria, to us. They had just had their precious baby boy, Ethan, and needed someone to watch him a couple of days a week. It ended up working well since I could enjoy taking care of a little one again but not have the full 24/7 responsibility that comes with having your own. Caleb and Ethan are 11 months apart. I will admit it was an adjustment. Looking back, I wish I had had my sling back then. It would have given me more hands. I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it all with two. I still remember the first time that I took both of them to lunch. We went to Chick-fil-a. I got quite a few stares. I'm sure the people staring were trying to do the math of how far apart in age they were. Caleb and Ethan grew up together until they were 5 and 4 years of age. They loved each other like brothers and fought like brothers. We still try to see them whenever we're back in Texas, but it's not the same.

(Caleb and Kylie)

Caleb and Ethan were getting older and once again I was thinking how nice it would be to have a little one around again. Once again, I knew it wasn't the right timing and once again God heard my heart. Ethan was going to be a big brother and his baby sister was going to need someone to take care of her a couple of days a week too. I wasn't sure I would be able to handle it all but was willing to try. Kylie quickly found a spot in my heart. Not only did she have her own brother to look out for her, she had Caleb too that was willing to do anything to protect her.

(Caleb, Ethan, and Kylie)

My sister found out she was pregnant in February or March of 2004. She had plans continue working after Brock was born and wanted to know if I would take care of Brock while she worked. How could I say no and send my nephew to be cared for by someone else? I couldn't and eagerly agreed. By this time, I was starting to wonder if we would ever have anymore of our own kids or if God wanted to use me this way in taking care of others on a part time basis. I didn't know if I would be able to take care of Pappy and the kids but God told me not to worry about it which was impossible for me to do. Pappy passed away four days after Brock was born. God had taken care of it. I started taking care of Brock in January of 2005 and cared for him until the school year ended when RyAnn decided to become a somewhat stay at home mom. I'm sad that I miss out on his day to day life now that we've moved away, but I'm thankful that I had that special time with him during those first few months of his life.

(Caleb and Brock)

The years between Caleb and Josiah were just as busy as they are today. They hold special memories that are near and dear to my heart as well as Caleb's. There is something very special about taking care of a child from the time they are a baby. Also, Caleb didn't grow up completely as an only child during that time. He had to learn to share his toys, get along with others, and how to help others. So, there is my story of before there were four.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Before There Were Four: Part 1

Before there were four, there were four others I would have easily claimed as my own. It all started on a day in August or September of 2000. I remember receiving a phone call from my mom saying that the man who took care of my Pappy during the day had taken another job and could no longer continue caring for Pappy. Caleb was 4 months old. I agreed to help out not knowing how much that would change my life for the good.

(Me, Pappy, and RyAnn in December of 1997)

I'll give a little background information. Pappy is my dad's dad. Pappy and I always had a good relationship growing up. I was the first girl on my dad's side of the family in 65 years. I still remember one time as a little girl telling Pappy to get into the playpen and he did. When I told him to get out, he did and it proceeded to break. After my Mamie died (I was 11), Pappy and I became closer. If my parents went out of town, I would often go and stay at his house. We would try and visit him every week and take him to dinner.

(Uncle Bob and Pappy in December of 1997)

As I got older, Pappy started to slow down. I truly enjoyed helping him walk when he needed it. When I went off to college, he started needing more help. It was decided that he would come and live with my parents. His first night there, I was home for the Christmas holidays. I was a junior in college. There were a lot of transitions that took place and I missed out on a lot of those since I was away at college that spring. I loved coming home and seeing him.

(Dad, Mom, Me, Pappy, Lizzie, and RyAnn in December of 1997)

Pappy had been diagnosed with dementia and couldn't walk except on his knees due to osteoporosis. Pappy, Caleb, and I fell into a good daily routine when all of this started in 2000. By October, I had pretty much decided I could never stop taking care of Pappy. There was no way I could ever turn my back on him. I won't go into detail but that October, we took him to the doctor for The doctor let us know that she thought he might have cancer but she didn't think we should do any testing and only gave him 6 months to live (He lived for four more years.). He now qualified for hospice.

(Pappy meeting Caleb for the first time in May of 2000)

I appreciated the fact that my parents respected me enough to ask if I wanted daily help. At that point, I declined but a nurse came out weekly to see how he was doing. I learned a lot about home health care and hospice, some good and some bad. In the spring of 2004, Pappy developed a cancerous growth on his head. The doctor didn't think it should be removed, but our nurse supported our decision and we were able to find someone who would remove it. I knew he was uncomfortable and didn't think it was fair to him. I wanted him to have a quality life no matter the length of time. Even though he couldn't tell me in words, I knew he felt relief.

(Caleb and Pappy in December of 2000)

At one point during this time, an opportunity was presented for us to move out of state. After much prayer, Kerry and I decided that God was good with us staying where we were for the present and we felt it was more of God wanting to see if we would be willing to go if He told us to go. At that time, I felt God was telling me that He was going to allow me to be with Pappy until he died. I made a commitment to Pappy at that time that I would be there for him until the very end.

(Caleb and Pappy in the summer of 2001)

My love for Pappy had changed throughout those four years. Although he was my grandfather, the roles had changed and I saw him as more of a son. I loved him as a son. The day finally came when I received a call from my mom on a Sunday morning that Pappy wasn't doing well. Caleb and I came right over (we were already at church). I called Jeanice, our nurse, who met me there. She informed us that it could be 24-48 hours but with Pappy you never know (she new his ability to keep going strong). She suggested continuous care but I wasn't too sure how I felt about it. Since I respected her opinion, I agreed to start continuous care for the evening only and that I would be responsible for him the following day. Kerry came by after church and took Caleb home. I stayed in Pappy's room with him all day and still remember the last time he looked at me.

(Pappy and Caleb)

God placed the right people there when I needed them. He sent a nurse for the evening that sat and listened to me talk about Pappy, Kerry and Caleb until early in the morning. I finally decided I should get some rest if I was going to be the only one there the next day. Plus, I finally felt that I could trust the nurse to take good care of Pappy during those few hours away. I kissed Pappy once more and told him I loved him and would be in the next room if he needed me. (He hadn't opened his eyes since before dinner). However, sometime before 6am, the nurse came in the living room and let us know that Pappy had passed away.

(Pappy, Granddad, and Caleb)

I'm sure people think that there should be a since of relief but there wasn't. I was happy for Pappy but not for me. He had taught Caleb how to have a giving, helpful spirit, something you can only learn by doing. I had learned how to be selfless, not expecting something in return. Pappy's smiles and kisses on my hand were enough. It wasn't easy for awhile during the day without Pappy. Not only had I lost Pappy, I lost Etta Mae (nurse's assistant) and Jeanice (nurse). These ladies I saw constantly when Pappy was alive. Etta Mae was so good at making me laugh and Jeanice would listen to me on good days and bad days. It took a long time going to my parents' house before I was able to visit without heading to Pappy's room to check on him.

(Pappy and me in July 1997)

I still think of Pappy, and as I sat here not too long ago, I realized not too many people that we have met since moving from Texas 3 years ago realize what my life was like before then. It was also before I started the blog. One more tidbit, Kerry and I knew we weren't going to have any more children until Pappy passed away. Pappy passed away on Monday, November 15 and we found out we were pregnant on Friday, November 19th (we weren't even trying). I will always see Josiah as our blessing from God and how He worked out my desire for more children in His own timing. Pappy was one of the four others I would have easily claimed as my own. I'll share about the other three on another day.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Kerry Turns 38!

Happy Birthday Kerry! Kerry turns 38 today! Here are 38 things that makes him so special to me.
1. You are a brother in Christ.
2. You're relationship with Christ is the most important thing in your life.
3. You listen to what God wants you to do.
4. You provide for our family.
5. You love me.
6. Without you, there would not be a Caleb.
7. Without you, there would not be a Josiah.
8. Without you, there would not be a Levi.
9. Without you, there would not be a Silas.
10. You have demonstrated more than once this year what the vows "in sickness" me while taking care of me and the boys.
11. You spend time playing with our boys.
12. You are showing our boys what it means to be men of integrity.
13. After 10 years of marriage, you still call me during the day to see how we're doing.
14. You let me be the mother I have always wanted to be.
15. You don't mind snuggling up with our boys at night when they need you (not all Dad's would do that).
16. You don't complain if nothing is prepared for dinner when you get home at night.
17. You don't mind that I'm a picky eater.
18. You make me feel safe wherever we are, even in a gas station that makes you pay to use their bathroom and has a huge barrier between the customers and employee.
19. You let me homeschool the boys.
20. You understand that it's important for me to see my family as often as possible.
21. You stand up for what is right and are not ashamed.
22. You are a man of integrity.
23. You are straightforward and give me a straight answer even if it's not what I want to hear but need to hear.
24. You don't hesitate to help a friend in need and have demonstrated that ever since I met you.
25. You are a great leader.
26. You never meet a stranger.
27. You don't complain when I sleep late.
28. You are good with outdoor stuff such as camping, hiking, etc.
29. You are selfless.
30. You let me pick out my own presents and don't have a problem with that.
31. You are patient.
32. You take the trash out to the curb.
33. You love your Mother.
34. You love my family.
35. You bring me joy.
36. You understand that it's important for me to be able to stay at home with our boys.
37. You listen to me even if it's not something that interests you.
38. You are the best husband any girl could ever ask for! Happy 38th Birthday!