Thursday, November 26, 2009

Gobble Gobble

We made Fruit Turkeys on Thanksgiving. It was a blast for the whole family. I got the idea from Trisha at Because I Said So. I think we might have started a new tradition.

Thursday Thanks Tank #113

Thankfulness is something I strive for every Thursday. Each Thursday I make a list of my thankful thoughts. I spend time throughout my day appreciating the little and big things in my life. Thanksgiving is an extra special time to be thankful. Everyone is doing it.

Instead of making a list of all of the wonderful things in my life, let me just tell you about my Thanksgiving day and all of the things that made it special. I am thankful for this day.

1. My husband cooking breakfast. He made sausage and biscuits and biscuits and gravy.
2. Sleeping In. My husband got up, greeted the kids, made breakfast, and let me sleep.
3. The Macy's Day Parade. Watching it brings me a simple joy.
4. Snuggling with all four of my kids on the couch while watching the parade.
5. Having my parents here with us.
6. Making Fruit Turkeys with my kids.
7. Delicious food.
8. Hearing my family share their thankful thoughts at dinner.
9. Bedtime stories with my little girl.
10. Watching a movie with the family after dinner.
11. Homemade Apple Pie

We had a wonderful day. I am thankful for my family and was delightful having fun together today.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Lost in Translation

This past weekend, my husband and I went to the Coast without the kids. We met some friends of ours there. It was fantastic.

As I headed out of town, I realized that I had forgotten my hat. The NW Coast is cold and windy. I had to have a hat. I sent a text to my friend asking her if she could bring a hat for me. We texted each other back and forth but didn't realize we were miscommunicating.

Here's a rough idea of the texts.

Could you bring a toboggan because I forgot to get mine.
Toboggan??? Like, for the snow?
LOL!!! My ears get really cold when it is windy.

When we got together at our final destination, my friend asked me why I asked for a toboggan. She said she thought I wanted her to bring a sled.

I googled toboggan.

One of the definitions of toboggan:
In Southern American English, Appalachian English, toboggan refers to a type of hat. This is sometimes shortened to boggan.

Oh my, we laughed SO hard. In fact, I am still chuckling about it.

At the same time, I am reminded that my experiences color my world view. My past and my upbringing contribute to how I understand the world around me and maybe even how I respond to others.

Neither my friend nor I were wrong. We were just using two different definitions of the same word.

We had an entire conversation, albeit through text, thinking we were talking about the same thing when we weren't.

I am reminded that I do not always know how others think or feel. I want to be more aware and open to considering other people and what it's like to be in their shoes. I want to try to recognize that being from another part of town or another region of the country may affect communication or my ability to immediately relate. I want to be more aware of others and spend less time making assumptions that they understand where I am coming from.

I am going to wear my toboggan more often, as a simple reminder that, "Perspective is Reality" and I don't always know the perspective of the people around me.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thursday Thanks Tank #112

Each Thursday I make a list of my thankful thoughts. I spend time throughout my day appreciating the little and big things in my life. My posted list gives you a glimpse of my thankful heart.

My heart is full of thankfulness this week.

I am thankful for:

1. My parents: They are here visiting. It is such fun to have them with us.
2. My daughter: She turned two on Tuesday. She is everything sweet to me.
3. My boys: They melt my heart sometimes. They did that this week as they loved on their sister.
4. My husband: He inspires me. He compliments me. He keeps me going.
5. Chocolate cake: Oh, the cake my mom and I made was so yummy.
6. Gingerbread lattes: I have had quite a few lately.
7. My kids' school: I am pleased with what my kids are learning. I am thrilled with how attentive the school is being with my son's allergy and his asthma.
8. Positive Conferences: I had my 2nd son's conference today (his teacher was sick during the scheduled time). Both conferences were wonderful. I am so encouraged.
9. Friends: I am blessed by friends that love me and my kids.
10. The weekend: This one is going to be a good one. I am so ready.

I am thankful for my family.
Here's the latest photo from my daughter's birthday:

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

My Sweet Girl

My sweet baby girl turned 2 yesterday.

She added sweetness and lots of pink to our house. Her brothers have adored her since the day she arrived.

2007- peaceful and sweet

2008- first thing in the morning on her birthday

2009- just after waking on her birthday

The boys love birthdays. They are very excited about celebrating their sister's birthday. We are going to to do that today.

The boys have been teaching her to hold up 2 fingers and say 2. They can't wait to have cake. My oldest and youngest boy complained about the Tinker Bell decorations. (My 4 year old: "I like her birthday but I don't like princess stuff.") My 2nd son made her a card, which made me smile (and grabbed at my heart a bit).

Here's the front of the card.

More pictures of my sweet birthday girl coming soon!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Regret, Revelation, and Hope

I am home. Two children are with me. But, I feel alone. I am isolated, desperate for peace.

I should be full of honor and praise this morning.

I am full of regret.

My heart's cry found comfort this morning in these words: "Draw near to God and he will draw near to you." (James 4:8)

Comfort, relief and revelation are poured on my soul.

God is with me but I am still responsible for my failures.
God is with me.

Even in the desert that I pull myself through, He is with me.
His companionship hugs my hardened heart.

I press on. I have no choice but to continue through my day.

I choose to cling to the promises that give me hope.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Enjoy Life: Nut-Free and Delicious

My family has been loving Enjoy Life products lately.

Enjoy Life products are free of the eight most common allergens. They contain no: wheat, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, soy, fish or shell fish. They are also made without casein, potato, sesame and sulfites.

I am impressed with their standards. If you deal with food allergies, I'd recommend checking them out:
They also have a wonderful blog:

Now let me tell you what we tried out.

A few months ago, I was contacted by Enjoy Life and asked I would be interested in sampling some Enjoy Life Granola products. They sent my family 3 packages of granola: Cranberry Crunch, Very Berry Crunch, and Cinnamon Crunch.

The kids couldn't wait to try them out. We had them the afternoon they arrived. When I explained they were nut-free, my son that has a peanut allergy was really excited.

He tried them all out.

His favorite was the Very Berry Crunch. Out of my three boys, 2 of them loved the granola. Both my husband and I enjoyed it too. I just snacked on it plain, right out of the bag. I think it would be wonderful mixed in yogurt. My third son enjoyed it the most, I think. In fact, he preferred it over the sugary cereals I offered him the next day. He had a bowl of granola in milk.

This week, I received some Enjoy Life Boom Choco Boom bars that I won from an Allergy Twitter Party.

Again, my son was thrilled to get a treat that was allergy friendly.

I made him share with his brothers.

They all really liked the candy bars. My boys each had a favorite bar.
It worked out perfectly because we had 3 varieties: Boom Choco Boom: Dairy Free Rice Milk Bar, Boom Choco Boom: Dairy Free Rice Milk Bar, and Boom Choco Boom: Dark Chocolate Bar.

I was not surprised that they each preferred something different.

I was surprised by how good the candy bars tasted. The part I couldn't get over was the dairy free. Dairy free chocolate? Oh, but it was really good. My favorite is the dark chocolate bar.

These products were wonderful. I know we will get them again. They are available at several local groceries stores and they can be bought online.

If you deal with food allergies (or even if you don't), I'd suggest checking them out.

If you want to check out some other wonderful food related posts, including some delicious recipes, head over to Ann Kroeker's blog for Food on Fridays.

Latest on Sarah

I just got this update. Please keep praying for Sarah. I appreciate it tremendously.

We are all home.
"Good" news is that the laryngeal cleft (hole in the airway) that was
repaired on Sept 21 is healing nicely.

Sarah's air pipe and voice box is very inflammed. The doctors do not know why. The doctor ran lots of tests: numerous blood tests, urine test, fluid from both lungs, and cultures/tests from the air pipe. We won't get the results from the tests until Monday and some of the test will take a week. So, they can't treat it until they know what it is. Something is going on, but they don't know what. So, we are all home.

Thank you for your prayers.

John & Carrie

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Pray for Sarah

Please pray for my 3 year old niece Sarah. She had surgery 7 weeks ago to fix a hole in her airway. (Here's the post about that surgery: September 21.) The recovery hasn't gone as they had hoped it would. They believe she is still aspirating. My sister's email below explains everything. Please pray for them. Pray for Sarah, the doctors, the surgery this Friday and my sister, Carrie, her husband John and their little boy Matt.

Thanks so much.
Jane Anne

Here's John and Carrie's message-

Since we had such a good response to this method:

Guy Version: Sarah's recovery hasn't gone as well as the doctors had expected. She will have surgery again on Friday. Please pray that the doctor finds something.

Girl Version: Many of you have asked how Sarah's recovery has been. We haven't sent out an update because we really didn't know what to tell people. The past 7 weeks since her surgery, it has been cold and flu and H1N1 flu season. So, how do you know when your child is sick as in normal child sick like most children are right now with the cold or flu or H1N1 flu and how do you know when it is post surgery related? That is the question that even her doctors had all agreed was hard to define. But now that 7 weeks have past and all "normal sickness" treatment methods have been tried, all doctors (her primary care doctor and her pediatric ENT--Ear Nose Throat doctor that did the surgery) agree that what has been going on with Sarah is not the normal sicknesses that have been going around.

She has not been 100% healthy since her surgery. Some days are better than others, but she hasn't had a symptom free week. She has coughs, sore throat, and other cold-like symptoms. The major thing that really concerns all the doctors is that once a week Sarah has been getting a fever. Not a high fever, but I learned today from the ENT that Sarah getting a weekly fever is actually more troubling than just getting a high fever. Previously, her primary care doctor prescribed antibiotics to see if that would help, but Sarah still got a fever while on the antibiotics and after she was off of them--telling the doctors that this isn't a normal sickness.

She has been monitored closely by her doctors in the past 7 weeks. After getting another fever yesterday, per the primary doctor, I called the ENT who wanted to see her immediately. Today Sarah went to Johns Hopkins and saw the ENT. The ENT is very concerned about Sarah and her poor recovery. With the ongoing fevers, there is a good chance that Sarah is still aspirating. The ENT again brought up that Sarah was in an extreme amount of pain while in the hospital that really concerned the doctors. At this point, she doesn't know what is wrong, but definitely said something is very wrong. She had Sarah have x-rays done today--chest x-rays and throat x-rays. I realized how concerned the doctor is when she said she wants to do surgery on Friday (less than 48 hours).

On Friday, Nov 13, Sarah will have surgery. They will do a bronchoscopy and laryngoscopy (basically putting a camera down her air pipe to look at everything from the previous surgery to fix the hole in her airway (laryngeal cleft). If the doctor finds something wrong, then she will come out and talk to us about it and then go back in and fix it. Depending on what she finds will determine how long of a hospital stay it will be.

PLEASE pray that the doctor will find something wrong on Friday so that she can fix it. Perhaps, that sounds wrong, but even the doctor said that if she didn't find anything we'd be worse off because we would still need to figure out what is wrong with Sarah, because something is very wrong. No news isn't good news, when you need to figure out what is wrong so that you can fix it. Sarah's health has been worse the past 7 weeks than before the surgery. The doctor did have a few theories of what could be going on/what complications could have happened but we won't know anything for sure until surgery on Friday.

We have to be at Johns Hopkins at 9 am on Friday and the surgery will start at 11 am.

Please, please pray that the doctor finds something so that Sarah can get better. Also, please pray for Sarah--after all that my sweet little 3 year old has been through the past 2 years, she hates doctors, hospitals and anything medical.

Wordless Wednesday: Brings Tears To My Eyes

Veterans Day is Just Another Day

Just Another Day

I asked my husband last night what he thought about Veterans Day and he said, "It's just another day." I woke up thinking about his words, his service, and that part of our lives that seems like a lifetime ago.

Veterans Day may seem like just another day because it is hard to celebrate. For my husband it may seem like just another day because he doesn't get the day off from work.

I don't want it to be just like every other day. I want it to mean more.

Here's what I am going to do for Veterans Day:

I'll talk to my kids. My husband was in the Army for 10 years. He has been out of the Army for a little over 2 years. My oldest was 6 when he got out and my youngest wasn't even born. They won't remember his Army days. The deployment year that tore my oldest up emotionally won't leave a lasting impression on him. He worried about Daddy getting hurt in Iraq. Now, he quizzes Daddy about the bad guys and getting shot at. He talks about it with the enthusiasm of a boy that loves Star Wars battles. Today I will tell my kids about what Daddy did in the Army. I will show the kids pictures of Daddy in uniform. I'll share with my kids how proud and thankful I am for my husband's service.

I'll tell my husband how much I appreciate him. I will never forget our Army days. He worked hard. He put in long hours and days. He went on a remote tour to Korea and a deployment to Iraq. He served faithfully. He enjoyed the Army. He made a difference to many soldiers.

I will pray. I will thank God for the people that have served and are serving. I will honor them by praying for them. So many veterans have lasting issues due to their service. I will pray for their peace of mind. I will pray for the men and women that are serving now. I will pray for their safety and strength. I will pray for those that are separated from their families. I will pray for the families and soldiers at Fort Hood.

Today is another day for me to do more of what I could do everyday. It is another day to appreciate my husband, honor him in front of my kids, and thank God for how hard he works.

Today is just another Veterans Day. It is another day to pray for the men and women that have served in the military and are currently serving.

Monday, November 09, 2009

If I could do it all over again...

If I could do the 80's all over again... I wouldn't.

But, I sure had fun partying like it was the 80's.

My husband and I went to an 80's party this weekend to celebrate Jill turning 30.
It was such a fun party!

My husband was Robert Palmer and I was a girl from the "Addicted to Love" video. I was trying to be serious like an "Addicted to Love Girl". (See my previous post to see an image from that video.)

Here's me with the birthday girl.

Here are some of my favorite photos:

Here's another one of my husband and I at the party. We are obviously "addicted to love".


Be sure to stop by her blog, Barnes Yard, to wish her happy birthday (her birthday is this Wednesday) and to see more 80's party photos.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Friday Flashback: 1986

I was in 8th grade from 1986-1987.

This is my 8th grade photo.

I sure must have gone through a lot of hairspray in the 80's.

Tonight, my friend Jill is having an 80's party to celebrate her 30th birthday.

In 1986, the song "Addicted to Love" by Robert Palmer was released.

Guess who my husband and I are dressing as?

Oh, boy, I am going to have fun putting on makeup tonight!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Thursday Thanks #111

Each Thursday I make a list of my thankful thoughts. I spend time throughout my day appreciating the little and big things in my life. My posted list gives you a glimpse of my thankful heart.

My Thursdays have been so busy lately that I find myself considering whether I should make my Thanks Tank list on Wednesday night so I can post the Thanks Tank list before the end of the day on Thursday. I decided that would ruin the point entirely for me. I'd rather spend my busy Thursday being thankful and posting a list just if I get to it.

Here's my list for today:

1. Comic Strips that make me feel normal:
(click the comic to see a larger version)

2. A SAFE Halloween: We had lots of cute kids and candy. We did not have any allergic reactions. I am very thankful.
Here's my boy, safely eating candy (love the smile with the mouthful!):

3. Hair that grows back: My husband gave my 4 year old a mohawk last night. I really think my son looks cute with a mohawk. That said, I am thankful his hair grows back. (This is his "Bad to the Bone" face.)

4. Friendship, laughter, and coffee: I had such a wonderful time with our friends this past weekend. We laughed (until I cried). We stayed up way too late at night. We got our first Gingerbread latte of the season.

5. A found ring.
6. My husband's hope in his favorite football team.
7. Going out with the girls.
8. A great report from my son's teacher.
9. Gingerbread lattes.
10. Encouragement from friends.

11. My husband not waking me up with his Halloween mask on.