Archive for December, 2009

Ben's tough look

"Playing stars wars." That was their response when I said, "What are you doing?"

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That’s what Ben calls his cardiologist.  Ben’s pediatrician explained his heart problem by comparing it to plumbing problem with his heart.  That his heart still worked but that we need a plumber to go in and work on his heart so the water will flow better (sounds weird but it worked for him).

So we saw the cardiologist and there is good and not the best news.  First of all. . . look at his awesome chest!  The scar is healing nicely.  By the way, he will show anyone his scar just ask (although I prefer that you don’t ask before we are walking into the sanctuary on a Sunday morning.  Tucking his shirt back in is hard!)  Second . . . she said that he sounds good.  She thought she heard an additional heart murmur while listening to him (like his aortic valve may have started leaking again), but she concluded that she believes the murmur is just a residual sounds from the resected membrane.  The sound went away when he laid back down.  I don’t understand it all, but that is what she said.

The not so good . . . on two different heart medications his blood pressure is normal.  So she asked us to try to take him off one of his medications today.  We did and his blood pressure went up to 115/70 (good for an adult. not good for a kid).  She wants it below 100.  We will try again in a few days.  I hate that he is still on so much medicine.  He is still on five different prescriptions.  Only two for the heart, but still.  He has developed pretty bad acid reflux over the summer (like he would throw up after lunch or breakfast.  Just throw up and then go outside and play!) So he is on an acid reducer and two allergy meds.  He needs them all but . . . yuck!

Now I have saved the best for last . . . BEN GETS TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL!!!!!!!  I don’t know who is more excited me or him.  He has to wait two more weeks for his sternum to heal but then he gets to go back!  He also gets to play outside for recess and run in p.e.   I think I want to cry.  He gets to be normal for a time.  He has no restrictions except he can’t carry his backpack for two more months.  I’ll take that restriction.

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Happy Birthday, Madie!

Kamryn and Madie being monkeys! How close that is to reality!

Not to be left out. . . Ben!

For those of you who don’t know, Madie has a half-birthday party in the summer.  Madie always wanted to have an outside party with a pinata.  But that is near to impossible to do that in December in Nebraska.  So we started having a friend party for her in the summer and a family party in December.  This year she decided that she wanted to have her birthday cake with her cousins.  (Of course, she wanted her presents on the day of her birthday.)  She had to wait until Ben could be with people again, so we had to wait until Christmas Day to have her birthday cake with all of the cousins.  She wanted an ice cream cake (I use to think that mothers who didn’t bake their own child’s birthday cake were pure lazy.  But now I realize that sometimes it is out of necessity and I am often thankful when one of my children elect to have a store-bought cake.).  She picked it out and it made her very happy.  The day ended well for her and for the rest of us too.  It was a good birthday and an awesome Christmas.

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Christmas of 2009

Gordon and his daddy having fun

This is exactly how I feel about family sometimes!

We spent Christmas morning at our house and then headed off to Grandma and Papa Grace’s house for an afternoon of Christmas fun with aunts/uncles/cousins/grandparents. We all had a really good time hanging out with family.  After going, going, going with Christmas stuff, I am ready to relax and enjoy time with them.  Chris is always completely exhausted by Christmas Day.  Not only from the number of worship services but from the unpleasant dramas that the holidays brings out in families.  It is hard to be a pastor sometimes.  So it is nice to just hang and be amongst family.

We especially love getting to see all of the cousins.  From the teenager down to the toddler, they are always fun.  My kids always like having other kids their age to ride bikes and to play with.  I think that the teenager has a rough time of it.  But I’m so glad that she toughs it out to be with us.  It is sweet to see her get older and more gorgeous every day.

I didn’t catch many pictures of the day.  But someone helped me out by grabbing my camera and snapping a couple of photos for me.  Thank you, Aunt Michele!

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Christmas afternoon

Is that a look of joy or what?

Talkin' on the phone while work continues on around her.

Armed and ready!

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This is Rosie Christmas morning.  More interested in everything except her own new toys.

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We got to talk to some old friends from Nebraska before Christmas.  It was the highlight of their day.  They were walking around their rooms with the phone in hand “showing” their friends their rooms.  It was too funny!  We miss our friends a lot.

Although we have made plenty of new friends in Texas.  We don’t have any kids Ainsley and Ben’s age in the neighborhood to play with.  So we haven’t had friends over like we used too.  We used to have playgroups at our home in Nebraska at least once a week and sometimes more.  It was great.

Don’t get me wrong.  We have plenty of kids visiting our casa here, but they are all Madie’s age.  These things take time.  It will take us years to make friends like the ones we had in Nebraska.  We dearly miss them all.

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Picture taken on Dec. 22, 2009 in Conroe, Texas.  Yuck.  The kids wanted to know when winter would show up.  I agreed with them that it doesn’t feel like winter when it is 70 degrees outside.  Of course, if we still lived in Nebraska we would be in a blizzard.  It’s a toss up as to which one I want right now!

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Making Christmas Treats

The children and I made puppy chow this year.  Along with candy and dozens of loaves of banana bread, we were in the kitchen a lot.  The kids wanted to help with the puppy chow.  Madie stirred the chocolate and peanut butter and Ben did some shaking.  Ainsley helped count the ingredients.  Ben really got into the shaking. He insisted he could do it better climbed on top of the chair.

We made five batches.  We ate a some that night.  Ben was so funny.  He came up to me, patted me on the back, and said, “Mom, I don’t mean to hurt your feelings, but . . . Susan’s (our friend from Nebraska) puppy chow tasted better.  Just a little bit, Mom. But I liked hers better.”

“Don’t worry Ben.  I liked Susan’s better too.  At least we had a good time making ours!  Right?!”


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Fuzzy has said goodbye for the year.  He will be back again next Thanksgiving.  Goodbye, Fuzzy.

This was one of his more interesting spots to view us for reporting back to Santa.

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