Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The L Word

Pops doing an egg and spoon race just because the boys wanted him to:)

Meeting his first granddaughter for the first time:)

Patiently helping Davey feed Hope a bottle when she was only a week old.

This is my Dad. He is hilarious when he does not even try to be and is truly the BEST grandfather on the planet. He loves his grandsons and his granddaughter and is protective of us all. He loves VT Hokies and is a Godly man.

Why am I telling you all of this?? He is in need of your prayers. He was diagnosed about a month or so ago with Chronic Leukemia (CLL). Praise Jesus it is not the aggressive, grow really fast kind of cancer but it is still cancer. He is in stage zero (prasie Jesus) but the doctors have no idea how fast or slow it will progress.

I know we are blessed that he is in such an early stage and that it is the slow-moving type of cancer, but we ask for your prayers for him. They have been to an oncologist in RAdford, but they also went to Norfolk to a specialist (thank you Uncle Gary) that specializes in this type of cancer. Both doctors are optimistic and great, but who wants to even have to visit an oncologist.

My Dad is a rock star around this house. I love him dearly and he is David's favorite person on the planet. Just recently David walked into my house and saw me and my Mom but the first words out of his mouth were "where's Pops?" In the next few weeks we will have some additional testing that will perhaps shed some more light on this CLL, but in the meantime we covet your prayers for Pops:) He is truly the klutziest, most precious, hilarious person in the world-and he does not even try to be:)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Not Me Monday!

It is a chilly and dreary Monday morning here. Just perfect weather to snugggle on the couch and pretend to be getting stuff done. It is Not Me Monday time-time to publish for all the blog world to see my slightly ummm, less than precious moments over the last week or so.

I did NOT enjoy three lunches out last week with friends. That would be simply too luxurious to dine out three days in a row with friends.

I did NOT feel the least bit guilty when I took Hope in to see the doctor on Friday and ended up chatting with our friendly pediatrician for way past our allotted time. I would never be selfish and simply chat away with a friend when she is working:)

I did NOT simply throw away a baby sleeper when Hope had a blow out on it because I was too lazy to find the stain stick. Nope not me!

I did NOT take the boys to school this morning and then snuggle on the couch for a nap when this house looks the way it does this morning.

I did not accept a friend request on Facebook recently and then subsequently hide her when I realized that she posts the strangest things.

That is all I am willing to admit to on this Monday morning-how about you??

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Swim Meet

We had such a fun family weekend cheering on our LASO kids at the Bristol Swim Meet this weekend. I learned a lot about how NOT to act at a swim meet from another Mom who drove us crazy! She screamed so loud in my ear and woke Hope up. AAGGGH. She took a lot of grace this Sunday morning...

Anyway, we had a blast and Kyle did awesome! He got second place overall in the 8 and under age group. He swam 9 events in two days and swam 6 personal best! Go Kyle go! Mike and I both love swim meets and it is so fun to cheer on our team and watch Kyle's competitiveness come out!

Hope did great. Here she is sound asleep in her carseat. This CRAZY mom screamed several minutes later and woke her up.

My Mom went with us on Saturday and here she is with David and Hope. Such sweet kisses..

Kyle getting his award.

Here are some of the LASO kids with their awards. Many more LASO swimmers went, but these were the kids that stayed until the very end and got awards.

Kyle doing the backstroke:)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Happy Day!

Sometimes life just feels full-not the busy schedule kind of full, but the life is so flipping awesome kind of full. That is how I feel today-the day I officially turn 34 years old. I feel so lame saying "life is good" but that is how I feel.

Everyday is not a walk in the park for sure-there are often days Mike and I snarl at each other, the kids are less than precious, the ringing phone drives me crazy, but for me at this stage of my life, I could not be any more full.

I am full of love for the three children God has blessed me with. At this stage of our life, I get to cuddle an infant as I cheer on Kyle at a swim meet and listen to David's first tentative words he is reading from a book. I love in the bible where God talks to us about an abundant life. I think people sometimes take that passage to mean affluent life financially. My life could not feel more abundantly blessed right now and it has nothing to do with our checkbook balance thankfully:)

I definitely feel 34 today (especially in the knees), but my heart is praising God for the 1 husband, 3 kids, lots of friends, a great family, and his merciful grace that I can count on daily:)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Cute Girls

This week has been full of fun. Yesterday Hope and I got to go to meet my friend Tracy from Tennessee at Cracker Barrel for lunch. Tracy has a daughter named Chloe who has the most adorable accent you have ever heard and the sweetest curls! We met for a mommy/daughter lunch to catch up. Chloe was a super patient little girl while her mommy and I chatted and chatted about our big boys and life. Tracy has a little boy named Cade who is the same age as Kyle. We marveled at how we used to run around together with our boys, but now yesterday we were together with our little girls. God works in mysterious ways...

This week we have also been working so hard with Hope to help her learn to roll over. I love that the boys are teaching her!! They literally get in the floor with her and roll!!

Hope and Chloe after our lunch outside Cracker Barrel:)

Tracy and Chloe talking with Hope:) Check our Chloe's pocketbook on the table. It contained money to buy something in the store, but it also contained a PRECIOUS halloween bracelet for Hope!!! It is adorable....:)

Hands on training for Hope on rolling over with her big brothers. It is hilarious to watch them roll for her!!

Sweet Kyle being a good big brother. He does not love to snuggle and hold Hope, but he does love to teach her things. Perhaps he will be an educator one of these days...:)

One of my Mom's friends made this quilt for Hope which has ballerinas all over it. So, we got the idea to dress Hope up like a ballerina with her new tutu from Gymboree to take her picture on the quilt for the thank you note to the sweet lady who made it:)

just an FYI...David has an imaginary friend named "Fee Fee" Not clear where this came from, but Fee Fee has been very helpful to get David to do stuff this morning. For example, eat your oranges or I will have to give them to "fee fee!" Mike and I have just rolled over this latest development in DAvid world, but really sometimes I feel like my life could be a reality show!!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Not Me Monday!

Such fun to share your imperfections with the blog world for some cheap therapy!

I did NOT shamelessly promote my daughter's cuteness at the VT game to get her on the jumbotron!! By the way, friends and family said that she looked so darn cute up there on the big screen! I did NOT feel like hurting my brother when he later told me on the phone that my hair looked "wild" on the screen!Whatever.

I did NOT purposely steer my children to a game at a school event just so I could avoid speaking to a mom that drives me a little nutty:)

I did NOT tear up at bible study last night when I realized that Hope was the youngest member of our bible study and that I want her to love women's bible studies as much as me. I then had a weird thought that I was super emotional and the pregnancy word popped into my brain. Couldn't be... really. That would be absurd.

I have NOT spent a good hour of my life today and yesterday replaying the final minutes of the VT/Nebraska game on YouTube. I am NOT that obsessed with football that I would waste precious minutes of my life to relive something that I have already seen:)

That is all I am willing to admit to on this rainy morning-how about you?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

This morning when I checked my email I noticed that my friend from Tennessee, Tracy had sent me an email about a boy with Down Syndrome playing football. I then read the article and clicked on the link to watch the video and I sobbed. This freshman who has DS, got into the game with 10 seconds to go and both teams cooperated for him to run the ball for a touchdown. It literally made me weep-to see that these competitive guys on the team would be this kind and inclusive to their teammate who happened to have an extra chromosome. Unbelieveable.

This comes at such a sweet time in our life when David is doing so well at school. We are so proud of his reading and his teachers feel that he is doing super great. His teacher was kind enough to give Mike and I the material that they would be doing in school a month ahead of when they would be doing it, so we can prime the pump at home and get David exposed to the material earlier to increase his success at school.

This new system is for now helping him master material with the same pace as his peers at school. But make no mistake about it, to keep the pace with his peers, David is having to work triple fold to keep their pace. We are constantly working with him here at home as well as help from Ashley. But this proves to us that David is going to be able to do most anything he sets his heart on, but that the path to get there might be a little longer and steeper than his peers. With David's strong-willed personality I see him succeeding at anything he wants over his lifetime.

This video is such a sweet reminder about the power of inclusion and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did:)

Friday, September 18, 2009


I am so excited that there are some fun friends and little people to do a playgroup this year. Today was our first official playgroup and we went to the local fish hatchery. It was perfect weather for such a fun trip with friends. The kids got to see fish eggs and feed the fish as well as see lots of little critters around the hatchery.

Here are the kids feeding the fish.

They happened to have this HUGE snapping turtle at the hatchery which I think will give me nightmares for a month. Uggh:)

The kids eye balling a garter snake! Yikes!

Hope hanging out in the snuggli!

All dressed and ready for playgroup!

After the fish hatchery we washed our hands and a friend and I got to have a leisurely lunch with babies at the local salad place. Yummy! It has so far been a great day!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fun lunch and family time

Today has been a wild but fun day. I went to have lunch with a coworker of Mike's who recently had a baby. I got to visit her and baby Alexander at her pretty home. I took lunch but we both chatted so much that we forgot to eat! We then laughed and said that we needed adult conversation more than we needed food! HA! It was fun to meet her sweet baby and just chat about life and baby stuff:)

Then we took the boys to the doctor for flu shots. I was expecting HIGH DRAMA, but it was relatively okay. Mike picked the boys up from school five minutes before I pulled in to pick them up-needless to say we had a slight miscommunication!! It was all good after some drama:)

This evening we have chilled out at home and I got these cute pictures of our family:)

Hope and Baby Alexander. He is about two months younger than Hope but he is a long and skinny boy:)

Davey and Hope after bathtime!

David loves the bee song and here he is making Hope do it! Thankfully she likes it as well and I love the expression on her face:)

Never too early to train Hope up to watch sports on TV. Here they are watching the Red Sox while waiting for college football to come on.

Davey and Hope:)

My Favorites

I have caught myself lately saying that certain things are my favorites right now and I just felt like I had to share!! Here is a list of my "favorites" for right now:

My sling. I truly would get nothing accomplished if I did not have that sling. In the evenings Hope takes a snooze around 7 and usually that nap is taken in the sling as I pack lunches, clean up dinner, and get children ready for bed. It is especially wonderful if Mike is not here and I do not have a baby holder!!

The new Selah CD. Awesome. If you look at my blog list, you will see a blog called Bring The Rain and it is written by Angie Smith. Her husband Todd is one of the Selah band members and last year their baby died several hours after birth. There is a song dedicated to their daughter that makes me weep but there are also other awesome songs on there. Love it:) If you ever have a moment, click to her blog and read Audrey's story.

Diet Dr. Pepper at Sonic. From 2-4 p.m. they have happy hour and all their drinks are 1/2 off. Their fountain Diet Dr. Pepper is AWESOME And tastes way better than it does anywhere else. Plus, their little pebble ice is to die for...great afternoon treat!!

XM radio on my TV. As most of you know I do not watch much TV except for the Duggars, (I know but I cannot help myself) and a few moments of Matt Lauer, ummm I mean the Today Show, but during the day I have found that there are XM radio stations on Direct TV and there is a great contemporary christian station (826) and I listen to it all day as I putter around the house. Very uplifting as you are folding clothes and doing the drudgery of housework!

Facebook. Okay, I know I said I would NEVER sign up but I caved and it is so much fun. It is so neat that you can keep up with people without spending time on the phone which is hard with children around. For example, my cousin posted last week about studying for a chemistry test in college. I saw her at the VT game and I asked her how her test went. That never would have happened without FB. Love it:)

Teaching David to read. We are so pumped that David is grasping reading concepts and has quite a few words that he has mastered. Because speech is such an issue with David, teaching him to read phonetically is going to be a challenge. But that little boy is so smart with memory skills that we are using that to teach him to read. We just have these words on the fridge that we drill him on constantly and by george he is getting it@!! Love it:)

Wendy's BBQ wings. Wow-I used to hate wings, but when your diet is as limited as mine is these days (no diary, peanut butter, shellfish, highly gassy veggies and such) it is hard to find things to eat. I tried these wings as Wendy's and I love them!

Our family schedule. For the first time in a long time, all Kyle is doing right now is swim team. Kyle swims three days a week year round, but we always have another sport going at the same time. Because Kyle (thankfully) did not choose to do football, we have no evening games or practices right now!!! Kyle swims right after school and is done by 5:15 which allows us time to eat dinner as a family, plenty of homework and playtime and maybe even a little TV time. I know that this is only temporary, but it is awesome not to have a ballgame to run to after dinner. Last fall there were times that after swim practice Kyle would put on a football uniform and head to a game or practice. I love this pace right now but I know that upward basketball is right around the corner!!

I am off to meet a friend for lunch and meet her new baby boy. I know Hope will look huge next to him:)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Three Months!

I cannot believe that my baby is three months old! Time is flying so fast these days. Hope is such a sweetie, but we are still struggling with her belly issues. If I eat a truly dairy-free diet she is fine, but if I eat anything that has any dairy in it we are in for a rough night. I pray that she will not have further allergy issues down the road, but with our family history we are realistic about this.

Hope is really starting to get into a routine and enjoys playing in her pack and play. She loves to be talked to and often gets fussy if you ignore her!! I am finally ready to admit that she is our most spoiled baby yet and is often found in our arms. She is a Mommy's girl these days much to her father's dismay:) We are enjoying her so and I cannot believe she has been in our life for three months!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Not Me Monday!

It is always so therapeutic to admit to my not so pretty moments to share with my blog friends. This past week has been very peaceful at our home, but there are always those moments that you simply need to say "not me!"

I did NOT get kicked out of the first aid room at the VT game while nursing my daughter because a really drunk student was being brought in to detox! I then was forced to find a quiet corner for some nursing time without my beloved blanket! Thankfully Hope's head is finally getting a little bigger which helps cover!

I did NOT gasp so hard walking with a friend this morning. I would never allow my body to get this out of shape:) Just a note in our defense, this was a huge hill and we both had babies strapped to us which adds some weight:)

I am NOT addicted to ebay these days. Nope, I would never waste valuable time like that:)

I did NOT smuggle an infant into a VT football game in her sling. Just because I think it is ridiculous to pay almost $50 for a ticket for a two month old I would NEVER do that:) Just note, I did have a ticket for her, but the teenager taking tickets was too embarrassed or clueless to ask me what was strapped to me!!

That is all I am willing to admit to today-what about you????

Saturday, September 12, 2009

VT weekend

You know how you should never say never?! Well, this weekend I did something I said I would never do. I took a infant to a VT football game! The weather was perfect and cool and Tech was suppose to win big so it was a good game to try. Little Hope was a trooper and slept in the sling most of the first half and then looked around the second half. David also LOVED the game and was such a good boy. Tech did win big and it was perfect football weather!

Mike and Kyle were not with us because they went to Navy to watch LA Tech and Navy play football in Anapolis. They had a good boy weekend-Kyle really LOVES special boy time with Mike.

Before the game this huge jet flew over as a fly by before the game and it was really loud!

David insisted to sit with Pops during the game and he watched every play and cheered so hard!

Little Hope at the game in her onesie and orange hairbow.

Me and my youngest two before the game. Just before going I had gone to the salon for a cut and color-this is the shortest my hair has been in a while:)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I cannot resist posting a cute picture of sweet Hope:) I love a picture of a sleeping baby but amazingly in this picture she is sleeping in her own bed without being in my arms-amazing!!

Anyway, we just got back from the pediatric cardiologist and it appears that our Hope has a hole between two of her lower heart chambers. The doctor did an EKG and an echocardiogram. Hope was amazingly well-behaved considering she had stickers all over her and then a cold wand.

The doctor felt that this hole will eventually close on its own but we have to go back every 6 months to recheck it. We will go back in December when she is 6 months old. We are so thankful that her appointment turned out so well. Kyle has a heart murmur also and amazingly with David's DS you would think that he would be our child who had to visit a cardiologist.

Hope is doing very well and I am enjoying my days with her. Next week we will start library time (never too young to start falling in love with books) and next week is also the official start to playgroup. Life is good in our household right now and we are so thankful for the good report we got today:)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Game Day!!

We are college football junkies around here and today we are ready for Mike's Louisiana Tech Bulldogs to play tonight against Auburn on TV, and of course the Hokies play tonight!!! We have eaten tailgate food here at home (David has a snotty nose) to prepare for the games! I have taken two naps so I can actually stay awake for all the action. Kyle, Hope and I are going to a neighborhood Hokie party to watch that game, and Mike and David will stay here to watch the Bulldogs.

David the bulldog football player and Hope the Hokie cheerleader!
My mom bought this outfit for Hope for the football season. It is plenty big on her now, so hopefully it will last through the whole season:) The orange bow is just a plus!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Cool quotes and such

"Real friends do not count chromosomes!" I love this quote so much and I ran across it on a Facebook profile for Down Syndrome. I finally caved and created a Facebook account and found it on there. Love it! David is blessed with so many friends at this stage of his life and I just pray that it continues. Raising a child with DS is fun, exhausting, and overall we just feel so blessed to get to raise this wild man. Parenting any child is not easy, but when you have a child with a disability small milestones become a huge celebration!

Inclusion is such a buzz word these days but what does it really mean for David? So far, we have been blessed that David has been in an educational setting where he is truly "included". Basically that means that he has been for the last two years in a regular classroom with his friends. Yes, he has support people in place such as an occupational therapist, physical therapist, speech therapist, special ed teacher and such, but all these wonderful ladies help make a regular classroom work for David.

I pray for David as he gets older that these friends he is in class with will always love and accept him because they have been in class together since Pre-K. My prayer for David is just like any other mommy's prayer that my child is loved, accepted, and is learning at school despite the number of chromosomes he has:)

Unfortunately in my school days years ago, children with IEPs were not in typical classes and I did not get the precious opportunity to get to know a child like David because he/she never sat beside me in class. Hopefully David and Kyle's generation will be so much more tolerant and open-minded of others because of inclusion in their classrooms now:)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Flowing Along

Flowing along pretty much sums us up these days. We have had beautiful fall weather around here this week and I took the kids outside to play tonight and caught these fun pictures:)

Hope and I hosted our first playgroup here today and it was such fun-despite the fact that Hope slept through most of the playtime:) It was nice to sit and chat with some other moms and catch up. It has been four years since I was in a playgroup last. I was amazed this morning getting ready for everyone to come over. If you would have told me this time last year that I would be hosting playgroup for my daughter I would have laughed. But sure, enough that is what we did today. Life is always full of surprises-God likes to keep us on our toes:)

I LOVE the expressions on Hope and David's faces. He was singing her the bee song and she was loving his attention.

Kyle loving on Hope. They miss her so much when they are in school:)

Sweet girl

Hope is not quite ready for the bumbo seat yet, but I did try her in it yesterday just for fun.
Our Davey-he wears us out so much, but he makes life so much fun also.

Both boys are settling in to school and doing great. This week is such a relief from the stress of last week. I made chicken pot pie tonight for the family, and it was a HIT. I will post the recipe tomorrow-protein, lots of veggies in an easy to make casserole that everyone loved. I am so thrilled when I find stuff like that to make:)