Friday, December 31, 2010

And the winner is...

Can you believe it's the end of 2010?  I'm just now used to writing /10 on my checks!  And now, it's almost time for 2011.  Remember when we thought people would have space cars, silver clothes, and floating houses by now?  Gosh, what else will we be wrong about?
I'm so excited to start a new year.  I am so happy we have new calendars (LOVE a fresh, new calendar to write in!) and a fresh start.  We can have new hopes and dreams, plans and goals, and we all need a do-over. :)
I already have a new picture calendar to hang in my laundry room with precious pictures and beautiful quotes-Mary Engelbreit!  It comes with a little handy pocket calendar that I *heart*!  I can't wait, heehee.  My desk calendar that keeps my life in order is a school year calendar (July 2010-June 2011), so I don't get to start it over.  I like that it continues, since I put all our appointments in it, and I'd just have to rewrite them!

We have made it thus far with Mary Claire's arm.  She was getting pretty sad this morning, crying over her arm, not wanting a sling or for it to be broken.  It's just hit her that she won't be able to play at Ethan's birthday party next Saturday at Boingo Bounce.  And that she can't go to dance.  And that P.E. isn't going to be nearly as fun.  Recess will be spent walking around. : (  I tried to cheer her up and told her we needed to thank God it wasn't worse, but it's hard to find some positives for her to recognize and appreciate.

Today is my mom's birthday.  Happy Birthday, Mom!  Everyone thinks she gets a great birthday every year, and parties, since it's on New Year's Eve, but she says it's not the case.  She does have a party to go to tonight, but she said she'll only stay till eleven to see the ball drop in New York.  
Mom and Dad came over last night for dinner (remember that yummy roast beef I got ready?  It came in handy! And she brought her Five Fork Pie-Mary Claire gave it five forks for it's yummy taste!)  And today we met mom and dad for lunch at Cancun, a local Mexican restaurant.  Their salsa is so wonderful!  (I think we ate five or six bowls full)  
We'd gotten her a Arkansas lottery card to add to her birthday card for today.  We've only had the lottery here for a little over a year, and we've never played.  (I got a card too-the funding goes to Arkansas scholarships, which I benefited from years ago!)  Anyway, we picked a Monopoly card for her, and she won $5!  She said she'd cash it in for another card to try again.  It's really fun to try, and I can see how it'd be addictive!  I won nothing, but the back says there's a 1: 3.58 chance of winning-pretty good odds! (of course, that's including the ones where you get reimbursed for playing)

Ok, today's the day!  I entered everyone who commented from Christmas to now into the list randomizer, and one person had commented twice, so I entered them twice!  Then I clicked "Randomize", and...the (number one spot or)
winner is...Sandra!
I'll go back and see what she wanted on her acrylic tumbler so I can get busy on it!  I've also got a couple of blankets to finish for a friend.  I have finished digitizing the designs, but I'm short a USB jumpdrive to get them over to the sewing machine.  I'll have to run get one!  Is Wal-Mart open tonight?  I just love going!  Weird, but I have weirder issues. : )

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Not So Humerus

Gosh.  All I can say is that when you have a really warm day, and tell your kids to get dressed, to go OUT and play, maybe you should think first.  Think of all the mayhem that could break loose.  Think of the accidents they could have on bikes and play equipment.  Think of broken windows, light fixtures knocked crooked, vans scratched by bike handles, and bent golf clubs.  And how about a broken humerus?  Then maybe you'll keep them under lock and key in their rooms.  With no exercise or fresh air.

But, I did quite the opposite.  When I heard it was going to be 64 degrees (in December!) today, I yelled up for them to make their beds, and get on some play outside clothes!  I was so excited!  They'd been kicking a ball around inside, making up goalie rules, and generally pounding each other, and they sooo needed a day outside.  I got a roast ready for the crock pot, and thought to myself what a great day it was going to be!

Then Mary Claire came in crying.  It sounded little enough not to panic over, so I didn't.  Then she came in my room, with her white face, pale bluish lips, and her arm hanging.  She said she'd broken her arm (on Play Outside Day!), and she couldn't move it.  I set her down, ran to see why Ethan was screaming (please, please don't let it be another broken bone!).   (Just a previous booboo dirty with bacteria from all the outside playing.  Am I a total moron for letting my kids go outside?)
Ches was getting ready to go for a bike ride in the amazing weather, and I told him that I thought her arm was broke, and that I'd try to schedule an appointment, and to come back in an hour.
I called the doctor's office, and they told us to come right in, no appointment needed.  Umm..I needed time to wash my hair, but no.  I got around, took her (and the boys!) in, and made it to the xray lab before Ches caught up with us.  We learned that she'd broken her upper arm, pretty close to her shoulder.  The curvy line at the top is called the growth plate, and the fracture was very close to it.  The orthopaedic surgeon we saw later this afternoon said she didn't need surgery (he was disappointed-ha!), but it was considered a growth plate fracture.  He said if she stayed calm and sedate, we could try a sling.  We need to re-xray it in ten days to see if it's moved, or if it's still stable.  If the "ice cream" on the top of the bone doesn't move, it'll heal fine (the chances of it moving after ten days of stability is small).  If the "ice cream" starts to fall off to the side, she'll need a cast to keep it more stable.

I have to say, I had no idea when I got up this morning how this day would go!  I guess we really should be thankful for each day-it could've gone totally differently.  That's what I think families going through really awful days must think.  (And why, oh why, do these things always happen when I have bad hair?  When she swallowed a penny in kindergarten, to see how it'd feel, I had bad hair, no make-up, Ethan had no shoes, and I'd left his baby bag at home-I thought I was just picking up a girl with a tummy-ache at school-and we got checked into the hospital for surgery after seeing the doctor, and a gastroenterologist-I do have an interesting life.  (Her blood sugar went low, and she couldn't eat for the pain and stuck penny in her esophagus.  I gave her some glucose gel, it lubed up the penny, and it went on through!  She felt better all of a sudden, we re-xrayed at the hospital, and it had gone into her stomach.  FYI-if it makes it through the esophageal sphincter, it'll make it all the way through.)

We finally had lunch around 2:40-I was starving!  And we came home, she had her medicine (Tylenol with codeine), and she hated the taste.  I'm sure they make it taste nasty so the kids won't want more!
She's had another dose tonight, and she's resting relatively comfortably now.  I helped her go to the bathroom, get her jammies on, settled her with a pillow under her arm, then read to her.  I love my baby girl-I didn't realize how independent she'd become until she wasn't anymore.  She's so worried about school, about how to get her pants up, how to eat and write, how to control the pain.  I worry for her too.  I want to be all positive for her, but I'd be really nervous too!  It's her upper arm, so she can write, but doesn't have a very wide range of motion.  Bless her heart-could she please catch a break?
I think back now to all the times I called her diabetes our third child, and now I regret it-maybe I have my four kids. : (  I guess we don't get to pick our kids-God picks for us.  I can say it's taught me a lot of patience and understanding, but I can't say I'd pick that one again.
Here's my baby in her "sling":
How she really feels.

When I asked her to smile for me.  She's a brave soul.  This is one more thing she can weather.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Hide and Seek

Such a relaxing morning-I love when we have some T-i-M-E here.  I got to sit and watch tv for a little while with Mary Claire-her blood sugar was high, and she was crying-her teeth hurt!  She went to the orthodontist yesterday, and they put on new connecting rubber bands (turquoise this month!), and new springs to push her front teeth even farther from the back teeth (to make room for the teeth that are coming).  She's also got two upper teeth loose (how to explain..maybe her 7th and 8th teeth?).  She's just at that age-it's hard.  I felt sorry for her, so we sat and I rubbed her back.  She just needed time and attention.  It really is better than medicine (I know-it's what I love too!) : )
Then we played some hide-and-seek, and Ethan was looking in the refrigerator and oven for us (he obviously doesn't have a good sense of spatial depth/size-I'm WAY too huge to fit in there!), plus hahaha-it was so funny!  We did laundry, folded, put away, played Criss-Cross-Crash (they had a car championship, and the winner got a Barbie trophy!), made beds, picked out clothes for today, played Barbies (in her big new house), and took Kelly to adopt a pet at the shelter.  Such a sweet morning.
Then, it got busier!  We had lunch, and got ready to go north to Missouri.  Ches' mom had given us babysitting for his birthday, and we were going out! : )  We drove up, stayed a while to visit, then went to a matinee to see The Fighter.  It was good, but not as good as True Grit.  I'm a sissy, maybe?  Maybe if there'd been less fighting? heehee  I've decided AMy Adams is quite the actress.  If she can go from Enchanted princess (loved that!) to foul-mouthed tough girl in The Fighter, she's a real actress with grit!
I have so much to say, but my computer says otherwise.  It's down to 8% power-I do this every night!-and it says I have to hurry up.
Don't forget our little contest-comment with the color/words you want on your very own monogrammed acrylic tumbler! : )

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy Birthday, Sweet Ethan

Yesterday was my sweet baby's birthday-and he turned a great big FOUR!  He told me he isn't a baby anymore. : (  It makes me sad, since I like to call him my baby.  I mean, he is, but he isn't.  I can't believe it's gone so fast!  I hear that all the time-even from parents of kids going off to college, but time really does get sucked up in a vacuum-we don't even know where it goes!  Into baths, bedtimes, teeth-brushing, story reading, car playing, movie watching, outside playing, bike riding, yada, yada, yada-and life happens! : )

We took our little "big" boy out for his birthday.  We always let the kids pick where they want to eat for their special day.  Ethan picked Fun City (he's pretty smart that way).  It's a fun land of pizza, climbing stuff, arcade games, and mini golf.  We got 80 tokens, and used every one!  They golfed, ordered too much pizza, ran around like crazy, and even had cupcakes.  Here are some pictures:

I got my sweetie and his Beary matching overalls!  So precious.  Wish they made them in bigger sizes.

He finally got his new *green* bike!

And he rode off through the house..guess he can ride it! : )

Clay with a helmet playing a 3D game

Playing a water-shooting game

His favorite spot-the junk you buy with your tickets!

This pizza is making me thirsty!

He actually got a hole-in-one at the end on this one!

He wanted a big 4 on his cupcake!

He couldn't be happier to be four!
And a flashback to December 27, 2006.  I'd had some contractions on Christmas, but I'd really wanted to make it past Jesus' birthday.  I wanted them to both have their own special day.  I knew if I made it to Dec. 27th (a Wednesday) to my scheduled appointment, and was dilated, I'd have a c-section and see my baby!  I was so excited.  I was dilated to a 3+, so my doctor told me that things were going to go fast.  I was taken downstairs, got my iv, an epidural, and before long, Ethan was here!  I'd never had an epidural or a c-section, and the biggest surprise was that I couldn't walk-it takes stomach muscles to walk-yikes!  We did fine, I was just so thankful!

Mom brought the kids to see baby Ethan.

He was so tiny!

And then he began to are my three cuties-Ethan's first Easter!  I could just eat them up! : )
Ethan had a sweet fourth birthday, and Ches even took him to Wal-Mart (for the second time yesterday!) to get MORE cars and a carrying case-it's super cool: opens on both sides, shaped like a wheel, and there's a neat silver wheel that spins on the front!  He's totally happy.  He is so blessed to have a daddy who absolutely adores him!  He also got a Trio construction building set and the rest of the Speed Racer set of cars (from eBay-you can get anything!).  Bless that child, and keep him safe.  His love of all things high and fast scares me!

I got an answer to the letter I sent to Great Wall of China Adoptions.  It wasn't the answer I was looking for, but at least the international adoptions consultant responded.  There is currently a fifty-four month wait.  (Yes, they put it in months..maybe to sound shorter?)  Holy Cow.  She also added that by then, Ches will be too old for us to adopt from there, and suggested we adopt from a less-stringent country and gave me the web address for a sister-agency.  So, you need to get on a waiting list even before you decide you want a child, much less encounter infertility! Ha.  I think I hear God talking.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Contest Continues!

Christmas was wonderful-family, games (we played a great game of Monopoly!), good food, playing with new toys, sewing, heehee.  What a day!  What did you do?

I have to review whenever I finally upload pictures from my camera-I remember what we've been up to!  I forgot to post our finished gingerbread cookies-we only found red squeezy frosting at Wal-Mart, so we used it, plus some white we made with confectioners sugar and milk (2.5 cups sugar to 3 T. milk)-it set up stiff too!
Yes, I see the spotty brown bananas up there too-I was going to make banana bread.. Ok, so we had tons of white frosting, and the kids had lost interest, so I did the last couple of cookies with big smears & zigzags of white frosting, don't look at those.

I have to say, they ate the smears of white frosting first-they were so thick with frosting!
On Christmas Eve, we went to the Children's Mass at church.  There was a year where I was making dinner for everyone, and it got crazy and stressful, and I couldn't figure out how we were going to make it to church plus get dinner on the table for guests (and we were trying to get pregnant I might add-with Ethan-and it didn't go well that month!), and it was the worst Christmas-Ches was MaD we didn't make it to church, and we vowed to never miss church on Christmas again.  We changed our plans up, we make Christmas DAY dinner, or we have pizza on Christmas Eve.  It has realigned our priorities, and I'm glad he put his foot down (he very rarely does this, so I listened!).  I think when your kids are young, you are still figuring out how to make it all work.  By the time they are older, you have a plan, and small things get easier.
We made it to Children's Mass, and the kids chose to not be shepherds and angels this year.  They are getting so big!  It was fine with me, I'm sure they'll join in next year again.
Here they are after Mass, our annual picture:
Mary Claire sat up so nicely, and Clay always wants to be right with Ethan, so it makes her look older!  Something else to work on for next year!  Last year we got a family picture, but we can skip one year. : )
We saw some friends after church (with grown kids), and the mom told me that I hadn't changed a bit since she met me (she just needs new glasses, I'm sure), and then her husband told me that you wouldn't even know I'd had three kids, and then she said, "4" to him, and I corrected and said, "3", and she said four again.  I can't decide what to make of that.  She got our Christmas picture card (with three kids), but Ches thinks maybe she means he's the fourth kid.  Of course to me it's cryptic, and means one of my babies in Heaven.  I could've added them all up and corrected again, but I didn't.  Some times you have to shut up and let go.  (Life Lesson 18)

One of our "make life easier on Christmas Eve" resolutions this year was to make dinner reservations-out.  We all went to PF Chang's for dinner (it was crowded! so I think other people have our idea? or we just caught on to theirs?), and it was wonderful!  Ethan was kinda walking/climbing around our booth-he was so hyper and excited for Christmas!  We couldn't get super mad-it was Christmas Eve!
Then we came back, and had ice cream cake for Ches' birthday.  Since we'd spent the day out alone on his actual birthday, we hadn't celebrated with the kids yet.  We like to do both for them.  Even on their birthday, we let them pick somewhere to eat, and that's usually separate from their parties.
Here's our birthday man:
Ethan couldn't take time to take off his coat-there was a cake on the counter!
Speaking of birthdays, Ethan's is on Monday!  He got his first card in the mail from his great-great aunt and uncle-they NeVeR forget my kids' birthdays, and we take pictures of them opening their cards and mail them pictures and thank you notes!  We love them soo much! : )
Big Four-Year-Old! (on Monday!)
And then, they stayed up late watching A Christmas Story (we knew they wouldn't sleep in their beds early anyway-they'd just play that rubber ball game of getting up fifteen times, so we let them stay up till almost ten!)

And Christmas!  They woke up around 2am, Ches sent them back to bed, then they got up around 6:30-good enough for me.  We got Ches up, and he video'd, and I took a couple pictures.  It's so much more fun to put down the camera, open, untie, add batteries, unscrew, add batteries, put together, add batteries, cut tape, pull things from stiff plastic, and add batteries!  Seriously, I went to Sam's on Thursday just to buy batteries-a big package of AA, and a mixed set of all sizes (including AA).  Guess what we don't have enough of?  Yep, AA.  We have to get more to make sure everyone's things work at once!  We were "sharing" to let everyone get a turn with their toys!
Ethan playing with Criss-Cross-Crash, his M&M's and opening his gum!

Did a pink bomb explode?  That little heart tin is my gift card from Brighton! : )  Can you see my new pans over to the right?

Thanks for taking a minute to smile!

And then yesterday morning, I remembered that my sister-in-law had asked for some towels..and I hadn't made them yet!  I got out my embroidery machine and hauled it up to my desk.  In transit, I accidentally hit the USB jump drive, bent it, and the little USB part (pretty integral to it communicating the designs with my sewing machine), broke off!  I was sad.  All those designs, fonts, etc. were gone.  I couldn't access the drive with the plug-thing broken off!  So, I sat and did two new designs for her: a lower case T (from my new baby alphabet!) in a double-frame, and the Love design (redone, so not exactly the same).  Then I started sewing in between making dressing, taking pictures, and getting ready!  The little T kept giving me trouble-the stitches were so tight and close together, the bobbin thread kept stressing out and breaking-good thing I didn't. : )  They are fine, and done! : )  She didn't look at them on Christmas, but I hope she likes them anyway-they took me almost four hours!  Maybe I need more practice.

Oh, I forgot-Ches and Mary Claire got their eyes checked on Friday (Mary Claire has to get her eyes dilated every year to have the blood vessels checked), and Ches needs driving glasses, I think he's farsighted?  He reads fine, but has trouble seeing far away.  I told him to wait so I could pick out his glasses! : )  I want cute rectangle ones-he'll be adorable in them!
Speaking of her yucky diabetes, she's been high!  I know, I know, it's the food.  But, I changed her site this morning, and she's still high.  It's so hard to get it right-especially on holidays!  She got lots of non-candy in her stocking: gum packs, chocolate-covered pretzels, juice, fruit snacks, Ken clothes, a movie, Build-a-Bear panties and purse, chapstick, new toothbrush head (she has a special toothbrush for her braces!), and yes, one "candy": an M&M tube.  I really think it's all the desserts and extras.  I'm praying we'll pull it together in the next day-she's high and irritable! (and it's contagious!)

**Don't forget to leave a comment to win our contest for a monogrammed acrylic tumbler to be given away on December 31st!  I have found a site that will randomize a winner based on an uploaded list.  It generates a drawing (or winner) for me, so it's fair!  All you have to do is leave a comment with your name, the color cup you want and what it should say (name, letter, quote, etc.).  How easy is that? : )

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, Friends!  It is Christmas Day, but I wanted to take a minute to wish you a wonderful giving season, AND give you something!  I'm in a giving mood, got new Gingher scissors for appliqueing (thanks, Ches!), and I'll do a random drawing for a new acrylic monogrammed tumbler.  Just leave your comment/name below with what color/words you'd like, and I'll announce the winner on December 31st (I can't exactly monogram it today!) heehee

In the meantime, you can enjoy another goofy post with us! : )
This is the man who came to see us today!  He left great joy in our house : )

Ethan helping sift confectioners sugar for frosting.

Loves turning that crank!

We let them open one more gift on Christmas Eve-pajamas!

He got Woody (he's wearing out Buzz!)

I didn't know if he'd be too old, but he ran upstairs to put on the shirt I made him.  Think the design is a little small?  We all have a learning curve. : )

And then he wanted to look in the mirror, and get his double-barrel shotgun (I told him Woody has a small gun!)

Daddy got her Justice jammy pants, and I added a peace sign and her name. : )

Among other things I did yesterday..I made Sissy a bow to match her dress!  I started with these.

Made a star-she says she needs her bows to be smaller. : ('s finished!  She did take it off once in church, but then put it back on.  My little girl is getting big.
I'll add a couple more of the kids at church last night later.  I must get my groove on and get ready to go to my mom's house!  Love you, Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Moving Pictures

Mary Claire "borrowed" my camera today!  There were lots of pictures taken around her room.  You get the pleasure of just one. : )  (We made this leash yesterday.)

And here is Clay opening his first present of the Atari game/joystick with 12 games.  Just plug-n-play!  Our plan was two-fold: one, they have something to play with this week, and two, it leaves the focus on Saturday on Jesus and His birthday! : )

 Mary Claire was so excited to open her Strawberry Shortcake Berry Cafe.  (and she's still playing with it!)  Ethan got a Thomas train set that is easy to set up (i.e. no lost pieces or need for me to rebuild it).  They were all so cute and happy.  Makes me want to do it one day at a time!
And yesterday afternoon we went to see Santa Claus!  This is the same Santa that the kids saw when they were little-he's the best! : )
And just one more thing..I've been devouring these amazing yummy things at Arby's lately (chocolate turnovers!), they are like the apple, but filled with melty chocolate and topped with hardened chocolate.  I know they aren't really that healthy, but Y-U-M-M-Y!  I decided to make them (a little bit healthier? I mean they are smaller, so it's technically fewer calories.)
You start with a can of croissants, separate them, then add mini chocolate chips to the dough (try to aim for the middle so they don't all fall out and get hard on your baking sheet!)
Then roll them up, and curl the ends a little (to look more French.)

Then, when they come out, you can either spread melted chocolate (I didn't have time), or just add some chocolate chips!
And (not quite Arby's, but)..Yummy! (They took a little longer to bake-almost 16 minutes instead of 10-12.)
We've had a great day today!  Mom watched the kids so Ches and I could see a movie marathon! (ThRee: True Grit, Little Fockers, and Love & Other Drugs!)  I recommend the first two, but the third..not so much.  We also ate at Bonefish Grill (the Jen's Jamaican Coconut Pie was wonderful! and warm..), and had some time to shop a little.  We are so done, but when you have time, you seem to find new stuff...

Ps.  Just a question.  I got a Christmas card from someone I don't know, addressed to me, my address, etc.  It's a picture card, and I've never seen these people (or their cute kids!) in my life.  Should I write back (send a card?), and tell them they might have the wrong Holly Jones?  Or just leave it?  She might send me cards every year, and then they'll wonder why I didn't reply the first year.  Hmm.. Thoughts?