Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas!

We figured out the slide show thing, so here it is! And here is my Christmas post:

Merry 2 days after Christmas! I have a few pictures to share…some from our home Christmas fun! I don’t have pictures of everything, but we have a really great time and our “new” Christmas traditions turned out GREAT!


It all began Friday night with our birthday party for Jesus. Katie and Noah picked out decorations, plates, etc. We had birthday cake, sang, blew out candles. For dinner we had made homemade pizzas together. It was a lot of fun and Katie and Noah were very excited. The feared question didn’t arise (how old is Jesus) so I didn’t have to answer that one this year! lol.
After we ate we read the Christmas story from their children’s Bible. Then we talked about why we are getting gifts for Christmas and why we are giving gifts. Then we all opened one present: each of us ended up with a game. We enjoyed spending time together playing the games as a family. Katie and Noah even pitched in to help Corey with Mario. Then it was leaving out a piece of cake to pretend that Santa ate, then to bed.


Noah was the first one up the next morning and he woke up Katie and the rest of the fun began!:
Katie got Baby Alive with a crib (her wanted gift), all her supplies for ballet/tap beginning in January (her need), and Cranium Cariboo (her gift to enjoy with the family). Baby Alive poops a LOT by the way, and we still don’t have extra diapers bc we haven’t been out yet! Cranium Cariboo is probably THE neatest and most fun kids game I have ever played! They get to use a key to open doors and find balls to drop in this chute that opens a treasure box…AND it is educational bc they have to match up characteristics on the doors to open them…anyway really fun, highly recommended!


Noah got his “transformer robots” that he asked for, a balance beam and tumbling mat to practice his tumbling (his need) and Cootie for the family to enjoy together. I have to say that Cootie is not nearly as fun as you remember it being, in fact it is a long tedious game! His tranformers are very loud but cool apparently according to Noah and Corey.


Corey got his Mario Galaxy game he desperately wanted. He has put in many hours of late night play so far. He also got a tool organizer chest thing (the something he needed) and a new boombox/charger for his Ipod (something the entire family will enjoy :), and did for the rest of the day listening to Christmas music!


I finally got my mixer! After resisting Corey’s pleads to open it all week, I got my KitchenAid mixer. It is white and I used it immediately by mixing up gingerbread cookies and two batches of suger cookies! I also got Cake Mania for the DS….a HIGHLY addictive game (my thing I wanted) and for my thing I need I got a cute apron (blue with cherries on it). The mixer is for the entire family to enjoy! And we will!!!!!


Each of them had giant stockings with other “stuff”….dress up outfit, some educational games, typical filler stuff.


Overall it was a great Christmas for us! We enjoyed it SO much!


The next few days were very busy, but we are all settled in again and the mess has been tamed.
I hope everyone had as wonderful a Christmas as us!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Merry Christmas Friends!


I have created a "digital" Christmas letter for you all! I got the idea from someone else's blog, so here it is:

http://creativecarriet.wordpress.com/

I hope you enjoy it! You can leave comments here!

Thanks!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Something serious, but not...

I have a warning for everyone reading this blog: Do not, I repeat, DO NOT buy Crayola Silly Scents crayons for anyone on your shopping list. Not unless you have an abnormal affection for the smell of dirt and old avon perfume.
I picked these up at Target to put in my kid's stockings. Well, I am battling a bad cold today and trying to rest all day. Needless to say as soon as I secured the front door, had all juice cups refilled and settled in with a blanket and closed my eyes I get screaming kids fighting and running to tell me that smoothie has been spilled all over the carpet.
So....we got a little Christmas surprise early. I went to the closet to take out a surprise to distract them for a while so I can rest. And boy was it a surprise! I expected things like red = strawberry, blue = blueberry, black = licorice, etc. Well...these "silly scents" have a totally different theme!
purple = pixie powder, pink = princess perfume, teal = sea serpent, green = alien armpit, and the ridiculousness goes on and on!
Anything "girly" sounding smells like old avon perfume. Anything "boy" sounding smells like dirt and avon from being in the box with the other ones. Noah only colored with them for about 30 seconds before he was putting the "stinky" crayons back in the box!
I don't know whose bright idea it was to have such horrible smells for crayons, but apparently they must have unearthed an antique supply of old lady's cologne, or else something went terribly wrong at the crayola factory and they decided to capitalize on it with a weird smell theme.
Anyway....don't buy it, unless it's for your GREAT grandmother's stocking!
I am really glad we didn't "open" those on Christmas morning! UGH! What a spoiler that would have been!

Monday, December 10, 2007

The Latest....

If this is the first time you are catching up with the Katie story, you must scroll down to Dec. 7th to read the whole thing from the beginning. I said that because there are a few people that I sent the story to who I know haven't had a chance to read it yet....

Katie had a great weekend with her glasses. She is so good and hasn't complained one time about wearing them. In fact, yesterday she put them on all by herself before she came out of her bedroom! She said, "The eye doctor said I must wear them all day!"

Today we will do our first patch therapy. I am sure it will go fine. I am going to print off some coloring pages for her to do...something "fun" the doctor said.

Noah already broke his pretend glasses! First of all, Saturday we were at Steak and Shake and he laid his down on the table, they got knocked off and kicked way up under a booth seat. So, I got down to fish them out. Then, yesterday in the car suddenly one of the ear pieces was completely bent! No idea how it happened! This leads me to another blessing! We are blessed and thankful that if one of our children needs glasses, that it is KATIE and not NOAH! ha ha. Do they make glasses out of rubber yet?

Katie has spent a majority of the morning sitting and looking at/reading books! I read one of her readers with her this morning and she was able to read it laying in the floor and I think she did better than normal! I will truly be able to tell when we get a brand new book.

I just put the strap on her glasses for tumbling today. At first they pushed all the way against her eyes so that wasn't good, but then we got it fixed. I am anxious to see if she does better on the balance beam today, but prepared if she doesn't....it won't be an overnight fix.

Anyway, thanks for keeping up with us! I will try to get a picture of Katie and Noah with their glasses (if we can fix his) to post soon.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Blessed again!

Katie's glasses came in YESTERDAY! It was supposed to take 5-7 business days. BLESSED AGAIN! I was on the phone waiting for a friend to come to the line and the eye dr. beeped in...needless to say my friend got "hung up on" before she even got to the phone. They said Katie's glasses are in...they are open till 6. It was 4:20 and I had JUST put bread in the oven and we were on a "must have a shower before we go out the door one more day" day. So....at five minutes till five Katie and I had both been bathed, dressed, the oven shut off (good luck bread!) and we were on our way! When we got there and they put the glasses on Katie, as I told my friend, it was no "Helen Keller" moment, but her eyes got really big and she got really close to the mirror to look at herself. She kept saying "I look SO cute!" (I think she may have heard that from me :)
Here is Katie in her new glasses! She kept making funny faces so this was the best we got...we were on our way out the door....
I think that these glasses just look like they were made for her! It's almost like she is finally herself...her personality is now complete! If you have been around Katie then you know what I am talking about when I say that....it just seems so natural!
I didn't even make it through the morning without another tearjerker though. This morning as I was getting her ready, I took off her glasses while she was standing in front of the mirror so I could brush her hair and pull it back. She squinted and looked in the mirror and said, "Mommy, I need my glasses back on...it looks like bumpy water!"
Katie has been seeing "bumpy water" as normal for as far as we know 5 years.....

There is no telling what she has missed....everything that she didn't look straight at apparently. We stopped by the in-laws on the way out of town to let them see her glasses. When she got out of the car she immediately looked into their flower bed up next to the house. There was a Brinks security sign on a post next to the house. It was white with blue writing against their basically whitish house. She said "What is THAT?!" They told her. I said, "How long has that been there?" Nana answered, "The whole time we have lived here." (since before she was born).....................

What an amazing and wonderful world for Katie to get to rediscover!
Keep her in your prayers as she continues to adjust and we do the patch therapy with her.

THANK YOU GOD FOR HELPING US HELP KATIE TO SEE!

(The bread didn't get done....oh well....)

Friday, December 7, 2007

Blessings....

I almost think I will not be able to explain this fully through a blog...but I am going to do my best....
Those of you who have known us for a long time know all this, but I am going to share a little background for anyone reading who doesn't....
Katie, our 5 year old daughter, has had a developmental delay with her gross motor skills from birth. She didn't crawl until 11-12 months and didn't walk until she was 17 months old. Her pediatrician didn't seem overly concerned (although she is quick to refer to any kind of blood test available-another story) but she did eventually refer us for physical therapy for her. She went for a month or so....was catching up somewhat....but still far behind her age group. She is also very big for her age, so it appeared to be even worse than it was...for a child that looked 2 years old to be barely walking. She is smart, was talking, mentally fine. Just confusing to us all around and frustrating.
It really broke my heart as a mom. Why was our little girl dealing with this? I prayed over it, I worried and cried over it....but we were in such a different season of our lives at that time. I was a full -time student...pregnant again...dealing with all kinds of things.
Eventually Katie caught up to be not that far behind. We figured and accepted that Katie is just Katie. She likes to walk slowly, she very very slowly and cautiously took steps one at a time on the same foot, didn't enjoy playground as much as she should...etc...just heartbreaking.
Side story ....at her 4 yr check up, she was slightly not perfect on one eye during her vision screening. They said follow up with an exam, but with the "over-cautiousness" of my pediatrician always reccomending some test or another I didn't ever get around to taking her. Katie is SO smart..already knowing all her letters and sounds at 3 years old, and in the earliest levels of reading at 4. I talked to her 3 yr pre-k teacher who agreed that Katie was doing GREAT in school and didn't seem to struggle with her sight at all, saw things fine in class, etc....plus we did not have vision insurance.
Fast-foward to Oct 2007. Katie is taking Tumbling classes....not doing so well as we expected. I mean I am proud of her because she has started turning foward rolls (a major feat), attempting the balance beam, being a real trooper. In our first year of homeschooling I had started noticing that Katie was having fine motor skill trouble as well. It was a struggle for her to concentrate on forming letters with a pencil and for putting little pegs in a hole. I just thought, well Katie will be a little behind with fine motor skills also.
Nov: 5 yr check up. Same results with the eye screening. For some reason (GOD!) I decide since it is the second time, we will take her for an exam.
Yesterday: Take Katie to the eye doctor. They spray her eyelids with this stuff that makes them relax the eye muslces so they cannot strain. I quickly notice during the exam as it was confirmed by the dr. Katie's vision is extremely bad. She basically sees in blur. Both eyes are very bad, and one is hardly being able to be used at all because she has overcompensated most likely for FIVE years!!!! She has no depth perception. She has no peripheral vision.
I asked the dr. knowing the answer, "Could this possibly affect her gross motor skills?"
The dr.'s answer brought me straight to tears: "OH ABSOLUTELY YES!"
She continued to say that it will also make them complain of headaches (check) and make them feel sleepy (double check!).
It all makes so much sense now. But I never would have thought that her delay in going up and down stairs, jumping, climbing on playground equipment, etc. was due to her sight, as much as it seems SO OBVIOUS now. And her tiredness....just everything. I might have thought of it had there been ANY other symptom (not learning letters, not recognizing objects, not being able to see things we saw) She was "seeing things" but just the way she had always seen them and was smart enough to adjust to that. Motor skills were the ONLY thing that she showed a delay in, which to anyone would seem to be a strenth/movement/confidence issue. Difficult to have confidence climbing a ladder with blurred vision and no depth perception!
At first I felt SO overwhelmed with guilt. But the dr. assured me that it is wonderful that I brought her in when we did because something can still be done about the one lazy eye and that she is just starting serious school so this is year.
As the day went on I went from guilt to complete and total overwhelming joy!
What a BLESSING! Katie, whom I have cried and worried over...who we had just accepted to be a little behind...is going to have a HEALING of sorts over this thing we weren't even thinking about anymore. And I am compelled and happy to give thanks where thanks is due, because I can't even tell you what a miracle this is for us. I really wasn't planning to take her for an exam. She didn't seem to show ANY symptoms at all with struggling with sight. She has dealt with it for so long that it is just normal for her. She doesn't struggle academically, has started reading by just getting by with her one eye. There was no sign that she would need glasses. I fully expected to get the same result as at the pediatrician: she is a little bad with distance. It was the opposite: Katie has trouble with closer distances. Which even further explains the particular issues she has (handwriting, pegboards, balance beams, steps, etc.)
We weren't worried over it anymore actually, we were past that point. I didn't even know that this was an area that was even "up" for a miracle anymore. But we were just dealt the biggest blessing of our lives!
GOD was in this from the beginning.
WHY didn't I take her last year? Because God's timing is PERFECT!
My husband and I have also been on a spritual journey the past 6 months in a new season of our lives....and if we had been given this miracle last year....we would have said Thank God, but not to the degree we can this year. God is real and in our lives as #1 priority to us now, and he knew that ALL HONOR would be given to him...in THIS year, at THIS TIME, and in THIS CIRCUMSTANCE.
I am just so thankful I can't express how much. We are excited to see in a few days when we get her glasses how the world is going to change for her. I am holding on to the faith that was poured out on us yesterday. I will not let it fade.
I know that Katie's first few days with "working eyes" will be an adjustment, but I am ready...SO ready to see how this changes her life. THANK YOU GOD!!!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Reality Check

I have recently had the priviledge of running across the blog of a wonderful and sweet family. I have added the link to the blog over on the side. They have an absolutely amazing story. They had planned to adopt a baby from Africa and through a very long process ended up with two beautiful 12 year olds, a boy, and a girl. The boy was born with a rare and serious heart condition that can never be fixed short of healing, but is a miracle walking that he has lived to be 12 in a place with no ability to really help him. Aries is the girl and she is very pretty and sweet. They are added to the family with 2 small children to make a family of four. The boy was called "darling boy" in his family, but now they have named him Emmanuel since he has joined their family.
The reason I am posting this, is that from what the mom has shared, this boy has great insight and feels a calling of God on his life to help his birth family/people who have so little. She wrote of a dream he had that was just heart-wrenching to read. It was about his family being desperate for food....you can click on the link to the right to read the story from today.
How easy it is to take things for granted. I mean, really...not to just be cliche, but how much food did I scrape off my plate last night? How many people in our country myself not excluded, deal with overweight issues? Kids in this country for the most part do not know what hunger really is. I feel "dying of thirst" but I should hesitate to even use those words!
It has become an ever-increasing feeling with my husband and I to want to DO something to help these people. And the people in our own communities as well....
I am enjoying reading this blog. It is a daily reality check for me....
Their story is amazing. If you begin reading in October you can see the journey that has brought them to where they are now. Simply amazing!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Random Questions....

If you are reading this and you have a blog.....have you seen the "random question" option in the "edit profile" menu? These are really and truly random questions....one so random I couldn't even quite understand what they were asking. People can see the question and answer if they click to view your entire profile and it is VERY amusing sometimes!
After a while you can check the box to "give me a new question" and save your profile so you get a new and exciting random question. You can click to view my profile to see the latest random question!
You can post YOUR answer to the random question as a comment here if you like! I love this kind of stuff! Have fun!