Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween 2012

The weather tried to mess with Halloween 2012.  Yesterday we had several inches of snow, and today it is very cold, drizzly and just yucky halloween weather.  Last night via facebook several creative friends had the idea to have an indoor pizza party/trick or treat event in the church fellowship hall.

It was such a fun night at church!  Check out David and his Superman twin!!!  I love this picture:)

My pictures are out of order, but this morning the public school was on a two hour delay due to the icy roads so my boys came to preschool with us for a little bit.  David was in heaven and Kyle was my helper.  Cinderella Hope loved having her brothers at her school:)
I have two of the most awesome preschool classes.  Here we are reading the book Five Little Pumpkins before our party today.  I absoluely love teaching.  Hope insisted that I dress up today so I pulled out Ashley's poodle skirt that I borrowed for last year and put it on. she said that I looked like a princess:)
Tonight for the impromptu party at church, Hope wore her warmer strawberry costume from Brooklyn.  I love this sweet little strawberry even if she changed her costume a million times and threw a total fit over a pair of tights:)
The Robinson kiddos heading out to church.  Kyle was the  Red Man, David was Superman, and Hope was our little strawberry:)
Sweet Kelsey and Hope at church. 
Our attempt at a group picture!  Hope is behind the angel with sweet Gracie Dimit.  Hope has warmed up to sweet Gracie and she even let her....
take her around the room trick or treating to all the parents.  Thank you Gracie for being such a sweet soul to my shy little strawberry:)

Despite Hurricane Sandy trying to scare us into staying home we had a great day at preschool with our friends and tonight at church.  We are so blessed to live in this community. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

"Hurricane" Sandy

I cannot believe an October blog post includes snow pictures of my kiddos, but because of Hurricane Sandy we had several inches of cold, wet snow dumped on us here in southwest Virginia. 

My children were so excited to see their first snow of the year and I  bundled them up for a quick trip outside to play.  It was super cold and windy so Hope and David were outside for just a few minutes and Kyle did not even make it 30 minutes. 
Hope loves her bunny hat so much that she hopped around in the snow.  It took me longer to get them ready then they were actually outside, but who cares when you look this cute!!!
I cannot believe during a fall hurricane we actually got snow!!!
Their one and only trip down the hill.  The wind coming off of the golf course was pretty brutal so I enticed them back inside by offering to bake cupcakes with them!! 

It was really a great day to be lazy and enjoy time together.  We cooked, did puzzles, watched some TV, and just enjoyed a pj day at home.  The snow even made us reschedule Hope's halloween party at school today!  We are so thankful for the power that has stayed on and that it appears that the wind has calmed down this evening. 

Tomorrow for halloween we received an email from our town asking families to reconsider traditional trick or treating due to the cold and snow.  Tomorrow instead of going door to door several friends from church have thrown together an indoor trick or treating family night with pizza and candy in the church fellowship hall tomorrow night.  I am so thankful to not have to brave the cold and snow to celebrate!  A warm and cozy fellowship hall with friends and pizza sounds pretty good to this Momma tonight!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sandy, Night of Laughter, and Leaves

One of the last things we did as a "normal" family last year before cancer came tumbling into our lives,  was to play in the leaves and take pictures.  I said I was not going to do it again this year, and I meant it. 

Then Saturday my kids raked up some leaves and started having a ball in them. 
Kyle then asked me if I was going to get my camera because they are used to me taking lots of pictures:)  I then ran inside and grabbed my camera and started clicking.  Cancer took my baby's kidney and adrenal gland, made us go through the trauma of chemo and radiation, and tried to take our peace.  By darn cancer is not going to make me miss pictures like the one above:)

I love this picture because Saturday it was truly warm enough to run around outside barefoot.  Today; however, Hurricane Sandy has hit us and we are in the 30's and it is snowing.  This weather is mind blogging and to think that we could get a foot of snow tonight!  We will see what the weather holds for us tomorrow!
I love capturing her sweet and natural smile. She is going through a phase where her smiles look pasted on, but in this picture she was laughing at the boys and did not realize I was even clicking away.  

This past weekend was awesome.  Saturday Mike and Kyle spent several hours at a swim meet. I stayed home with Hope and David and we crafted some, and just hung out.  Lazy Saturdays at home are precious gifts and we love them so much.  I am a crafting whiz these days with my Cricut and a basket full of vinyl. 

Saturday night we went over to a friend's house with three other families.  Between the four families there were too many kids to count, a fabulous meal, adult conversations where we laughed so hard our bellies hurt, and a dessert that I am still thinking about.  I love when we can get together with friends and laugh about life, marriage, and our kids.  We are so blessed to have some great christian friends in our lives to parent with and navigate life with.  After the craziness of the past few weeks it felt so good to laugh so loudly!

Maybe tomorrow I will be able to post some snow pictures??!! 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Halloween Fun (Sort Of)

It is that time of year....

and because of the Connor's beautiful pumpkin patch we have gorgeous pumpkins that look like this.
For the last several years Ashley and I have carved pumpkins with the kids.  This year we tried really hard.
We cut holes out of the top....
scooped some guts out and it just made our hearts hurt.  This is one of the last fun activities that we did before the world fell apart last year.  IT just brought back too many memories so we put the pumpkins back out on the porch uncarved.  The kids did not even get into it.  I guess certain things will always trigger the trauma of last fall:(  Stupid cancer.
Then seeing these sweet faces all dressed up for Halloween makes us all smile so much.  David is certainly dressed appropriately in his Superman costume because he has had superman bravery to fight the cancer as hard as he has.  He will always be my superman!!
This little lady is growing up so fast and tonight she wanted to be Belle with a little makeup on:)
Our fuzzy-headed Superman ready for the school monster mash.  When it was actually time to head to the school for the monster mash, he was over it and both he and Hope took off their costumes and chose to stay home and enjoy the sunshine on our playground. 
Our sweet little Belle.  May she love reading like Belle does in the movie Beauty and the Beast! May she always also remember that she is a princess of the most high God and that he is enthralled with her beauty:)
Sweet sweet kisses on the cheek:)  These two may fight at times, but they have the sweetest sibling bond. 
Slow dancing in the leaves...:) 

This has been a rough week emotionally on this Momma.  Right when we got back from Mike's Dad's funeral we got a message on our voice mail from David's kidney doctor that was not great.  Instead of his kidney functioning at 82% this blood test that had a several week turnaround shows that his kidney is only functioning at 47%.  Not at all the news we wanted to hear but we trust God to intervene and we have turned his kidney over to Him.   Please add David's kidney to your prayer list.  We will now have to watch for protein in his urine, blood pressure, and sudden weight gains during his monthly clinic visit from now on.  Those will be signs that his kidney is not functioning well:( 

This weekend we are looking forward to resting, catching up, and some social time with good friends.  Happy Weekend!

Thursday, October 25, 2012


This week has been hard on this Momma.  My body has just not quite caught up from the nasty food poisoning that we had last week.  Between the sickness and all that traveling this Momma is ready for the weekend.  The kids are feeling it to and it was an early bedtime for them tonight. 

Tonight I am feeling so thankful for educators.  We had both boys' parent conferences tonight and we are so pleased with both of their progress in the classroom.  Listening to David's teachers talk about his strengths and weaknesses blew me away.  Basically last year he was so sick that he did a little work at UVa but it was all Ipad based learning.  He did very little paper and pencil traditional work at UVA with his two teachers there and to see his journal full of his big handwriting was so sweet to me tonight.  We are so thankful for God for blessing him with the gift of resiliency and for all the wonderful educators who are involved with him.

Today I got a huge lump in my throat at preschool when I was pulling out my folder with all the thanksgiving crafts in it.  Those crafts and things are the last thing I remember at preschool before our world fell apart.  This time of year is really bringing a lot of the bad memories back to me, but I know that God got us through last November and he will get us through this November:) 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Down Syndrome Buddy Walk 2012

For You Created
My Inmost Being
You knit me
in my mother's womb.
I praise you
because I am fearfully
And wonderfully made.
Your works
are wonderful,
I know that
full well.
Psalm 139:13-14

Thank you for another beautiful and wonderful day to gather with our friends for the 6th annual Down Syndrome Buddy Walk.

Hot Saturday Night Date

Last night David and I had a hot date to a local worship experience called Encounter.  We have gone as a family the last few years, but last night Kyle was not feeling great, Mike was feeling yucky and Hope needed an early bedtime.  So David and I loaded up and went out on the town. 

I will admit that yesterday I had a terrible attitude.  Mike and I have both felt a little like Job from the bible yesterday and we are feeling tested right now.  I felt defeated and for the first time EVER in the last year I wondered "why us?"  I was overwhelmed at all the school work my kids are facing this week, lesson planning for me, the piles of laundry that were everywhere and I had no energy to deal with any of it.  We are feeling physically better but we are both super weak.

So last night even though I did not feel the greatest to head out on the town, I went anyway and I am so glad I did.  They sang David's favorite song "How He Loves Us" and overall the whole event was awesome.  David made me stay for the entire two hours he was loving it so much.  It was an awesome night after our crazy week to get my praise on with my favorite 8 year old!

One of the songs that the band Burnt Offering sang last night was Your Love Never Fails.  We sing it a lot at church, but I got a huge lump in my throat singing the part that says "You make all things work together for my good."  I forget that our God is the God of the universe who has a much better perspective on our lives and he can take things like cancer, sudden death of a parent, tornados, and yes even food poisoning and turn it into good.  This side of heaven sad and bad things like that do not always make sense in the here and now, but to our awesome God He can work all things together for our good. 

Yesterday I allowed self pity and frustration to overwhelm me instead of remembering that His love never fails. Even when we are watching our child endure chemotherapy, hugging the toilet during the food poisoning or burying a parent unexpectedly His love never ever fails.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.  Enjoy this awesome song that reminds us all that there will be tough patches in life but his joy comes in the morning. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Arkansas Part 2

Blessedly I am blogging from home this time!  We arrived home last night and I almost cried when we pulled up to our house.  I have never in my life been so happy to be home. 

Here are some more pictures from our week in Arkansas.  It is still hard to believe that Opa is gone, but we are so happy he is free from his earthly body and is with Jesus. 

Daniel (Mike's brother), their mother Cathy, and Mike.  I also think it is hilarious that David snuck into the picture!!  He is something else:)
David loves the story of David and Goliath from the bible and found the book version of the story and helped himself to read it during the family meal.  Our David has certainly battled his share of Goliaths in his life. 
Another big group picture!  The lady on the left is Cathy's sister Sylvia and her daughters Vanessa (in the orange shirt) and Bridget in the black.  Vanessa is married to Lance (tall guy in the orange) and they have two kiddos Anneke and Austin.  Her other daughter Bridget is a school teacher in Crosset and has a cute little guy, Blake.  Cathy and Sylvia have another sister that lives in Holland where they are originally from.  Sylvia had two girls and Cathy had two boys:)
This is a picture of the Robinson side of the family.  This is a picture of Opa's only sister, Melanie and her two kiddos Jake and Rebecca.  Rebecca and her husband Randall have two little girls Sarah and Aubrey and they are expecting another little girl, Zoe soon.  Jake is married to Courtney and they live in Springfield, Missouri. 
This was taken after the graveside and our sweet little girl checking out the cemetary.  This was towards the end of the day and her hairbow was long gone, her dress was wrinkled and she had ripped off her lacy socks:)
This picture is precious to me.  David was obsessed with the two military men and he wanted to salute to look like them:)  Our kids really handled all the traveling and craziness very well.  We were so proud of them.
A beautiful scene from the graveside service.  Opa was very proud that he served his country. 
We were so appreciative of these two young men who came to play taps at the service. 
This is Mike's oldest nephew Andrew who is a sophomore in high school.  Hope warmed up to him so he was able to hold her for most of the group pictures:) when I first came into the Robinson family Andrew was only 18 months old. 

Blessedly we are home and recovering from the nastiness that Mike and I have been battling.  We have no energy and still cannot eat but we are hopeful with rest and Gatorade that we will turn the corner soon.  We are so thankful that David and our other kiddos did not get this. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Arkansas Part 1

This has been an emotionally and physically exhausting week, but it was wonderful to reunite with so many of Mike's family in Arkansas.  We all met in Crossett the town that Mike and his brother Daniel grew up.  There are so many pictures we want to share, so today as we are finally traveling home I am sharing part 1 of our pictures. 

This picture melts my heart.  Here is Mike thanking the military men who came to do Taps at the graveside service for his Dad.  His Dad served two years in the army. 
Here is Michael and David with his Dad's only sister, Melanie. 
Group shot of our family, Daniel and Pam and their three boys, and Mike's mom Cathy.  Cathy now lives in Texas but she travelled to Crossett to be there for her boys and to see her grandchildren. 
Mike and the boys looking at peaceful Opa.  He knew the Lord and he is in a much better place now.
David was so fascinated with Opa in his casket that he laid down on a pew and tried to look like him!  This boy provides us comic relief always when we need it. 
Our sweet three!
Mike's best friend from growing up Chuck drove 6 hours from Dallas to be see Mike.  It was great to see Chuck and how wonderful a friend he was to drive that far:)
We all gathered at Cathy's sisters house, Sylvia.  There were lots of kids in that house that night and here are Daniel and Pam's boys with Kyle. 
David giving Oma  a warm welcome!
Mike's cousin, Vanessa has two cuties and Hope had fun playing with Anneke. 

We all kept saying how great it was to get together we just hated that it took a funeral for it all to happen.  This was the first parent we have had to bury and it was truly heartbreaking for Mike.  His Dad instilled a strong work ethic in him and taught him to always do the right thing.  Mike will miss his Dad but we are all thankful he is in a better place. 

I still have so much to share from this week.  But for now, I am thankful for time with family, time to honor a man who taught my husband how to work hard, and for Jesus who has prepared a place in heaven for all who know him.  What comfort at that graveside service when our hearts were breaking that Opa is truly free from his earthly body and he is with Jesus. 

Sadly our trip home has been extremely eventful.  We left after the meal at the church Wednesday night around 7.  We drove through the Mississippi delta and drove through a scary and awful storm.  Mike's phone went off saying that we were in a tornado warning.  There was no safe place to stop and we had to plow ahead to get to safety.  It was so scary.

We then found a hotel in Memphis to stop for the night.  We had not been settled in an hour or so when Mike and I both got violently ill. Yesterday we had to stay an extra day in Memphis for Mike and I to get care at a local ER and to recover.  We both were diagnosed with food poisoning and I had the extra fun of a urinary tract infection.  We are limping home now ready to see our house and our own bed.  God has been with us in many regards and He once again got us through the scary storms in Mississippi and landed us in a awesome hotel room right down the street from a nice hospital. 

It has been an emotional and hard week but once again God's hand has guided us through the storms of the week.  Blessed be the name of the Lord.