Monday, January 30, 2012

An Update

Lately, I have been getting some questions on how Sophie Kate has been doing since her surgery last October.  If you'll remember, she had some tendons released in her hamstrings and hips and she was in a brace for 8 weeks.  I realize that I haven't spoken much about it since the initial weeks right after surgery.  She is doing really well and the surgery has definitely helped the flexibility in her legs and hips.  Only time will tell if it ends up being enough to allow her hips to develop normally, that kind of change takes a year or more before we may see results.

Sophie Kate with two of her cousins, Emma Claire and Olivia...

Sophie Kate is back in school now and she is loving it.  She is getting back to all her normal activities and is getting to be with her friends again.  Her nurse is coming and staying with her as well.  

We are still seeing doctors regularly and in fact just saw two of them last week, her neurologist and her rehab doctor.  We are increasing and adding in some meds in order to help control her seizures and her muscle tightness. The doctors and I seem to be more of a team these days.  I find that they are laying out 3 or 4 options for us to choose from.  We discuss the good, the bad and the ugly about all of them and then ultimately it is our decision which direction we go in.  I like that, we know her better than they do and we are the ones that have to live with those decisions not them.

At four years old, Sophie Kate is in size 6 clothes.  She is so tall and we are constantly having to readjust her wheelchair to accommodate those long legs.  She has completely outgrown the ottoman we have used for so long for dressing her, giving water and meds, etc.  It is amazing to look back and see how far we have come with this girl of ours.  Ephesians 3:20 "Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us."  
     She continues to right our world with her smiles.  

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Guns and Stuff

Raising two girls with my mom, dad was always the lone Y chromosome surrounded by a sea of estrogen.  Bless him, he didn't stand a chance against my mom, my sister and me.  Ever the outdoors man, he could always be found hunting, off roadin' or out in his shed tinkering on something that irritated my mother, ha ha.    

Well these days, with four grandsons, he's experiencing some sweet rewards.  The grandsons are into shooting guns and traipsing through the woods, two of my dad's favorite things.  They don't have to beg their PawPaw to go out to the woods with them.  He's with them every step of the way as they learn to handle a gun and fire their first shots.

They come through the door asking to see some of his knives or a few of the guns in his collection and of course he always obliges.  He has a rifle picked out to give each one of them and they always want to see, just see the one they will have one day.

Learning to handle a bow...

and then showing his brother...

A boy can never have too many men in their life that care this much, that want to spend time with them, that love this deeply and are worthy to be looked up to like this...

Remember how I said I'm a daddy's girl a while back...yeah, well I still am and this makes me smile. Thanks for checking in on us.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Welcoming in 2012

Today's post begins with an update on our community:

Terrible storms and tornados came through our part of Alabama last night.  We are ok, but hearing those awful sirens go off again after the devastation left by the April 27th tornados was scary to say the least.  Last night's tornado struck our small town and the small towns that surround us.  Houses were taken off their foundations, lives were lost and families were left standing in the aftermath of it's vicious path.  The news reporters say the damage isn't as widespread as it was on April 27th, but it is just as bad.  I have to agree, seeing a house reduced to a pile of rubble is unreal, whether there are 3 of them or 300. I can't imagine what it's like if the house is your own. Once again our community is called to action and once again we will rise to the occasion.  Please pray for those affected and the families of those who lost their lives.

Now back to our regularly scheduled blog post:

Seriously y'all I can't believe I can't get finished with Christmas break.  It's going to be Spring Break before it's all done.  Still at my parent's house, this is how we said goodbye to 2011 and ushered in 2012...

They really were having fun, I promise...
 (and yes, SK is wearing her pajama pants)

There were s'mores...


and swings...


and fire sittin'...

Oh yes and then there was this...

See, it's all fun and games on the zip line until...

someone gets stuck on the zip line.

Here's where Grey vows to never do the zip line again...
Whenever I see a picture of Sophie Kate like the one below, I always wonder who it is she's looking at.  Who is the recipient of that sweet face?  They are mighty lucky, whoever they are.

It's probably one of them...

I miss being in the woods with them.  There are no phones or video games to distract us, no TV or chores begging for our attention.  Our main responsibility is tending the fire, keeping the s'mores coming and telling ghost stories once the sun goes down.  It was a good day.  

Thursday, January 19, 2012

An Unexpected Day

One day last week, I had the privilege of spending an entire day alone with my oldest son.  We actually started out at the doctor but it wasn't because he was sick.  There were some shots he had to get before entering 6th grade and I was being really on top of things so I found myself at the doctor for a well visit with my eleven year old son.  It was first thing in the morning after everyone else was dropped off at school so I thought it would be the perfect day for "just us."

After we got that doctor thing out of the way, we went to Target so he could spend some of his saved up gift cards and then we headed over to Game Stop where he bought a new video game.  Cooper is the penny pincher of the group. Jacob and Grey spend it as soon as they get it, but Cooper holds on to every this was a pretty big day for him.  In fact after we left Game Stop still with gift cards and money to spare, he declared he was done spending money for the day.  I guess he just couldn't bare to let another cent go, ha ha.

We had lunch together and even had time for a Yogurt Mountain run before we had to pick SK up from her nurse's house.  I don't get much one on one time with the boys. Now we spend a lot of time together but it's mostly together as a family not necessarily just one of us and one of them, so this was a very special day.  

While at lunch, Cooper was asking me things about when he was a know, special memories I had and things like that.  One thing you should know about Cooper is that he can be very emotional, just like his mama.  We talked about a lot of stuff but when I started telling him about the day he was born and how I felt and all the precious little things he used to do around the house, he started to tear up.  Well, that in turn caused me to tear up and I said to him, "Why are we doing this?  We don't have to do this to ourselves, you know?"  He said, "Yeah you're right.  Let's wait until we get home, I can cry there."  

That response may sound strange to some, but I'm glad he feels that way about home.  I want this to be a safe place for him and his brothers and sister.  I want them to feel protected here.  I want this to be a place where he can ask questions and express his feelings in a respectful way of course.  I never want him to think he has to be something he's not for anyone, but you know, some days you just feel like you can't do anything right.  It just may be a day where things don't go his way and I want him to always know when he walks through the door of his home that he's in a safe place.  A place free of judgement and full of love.  

If he tells me of a situation at school or has a question about anything, we are going to talk about it and go to the Bible and find out what God has to say about it.  I don't want him to believe in what he believes in because his parents do.  I want him to be able to stand firm in his own decision to follow Christ.  In choosing not to take the Lord's name in vain, I don't want him to say it's because my parent's told me not too.  I want it to be because it's a choice he has made based on his convictions and his relationship with his Savior, not because mommy and daddy say so.  Now certainly he can see by our behavior and we can and are called to model that for him, but we are transitioning from "because we said so" to let's see what God has to say concerning that subject.

He's eleven and we only have seven more years until he graduates High School.  It takes my breath away that we are on the "short side" of time left with him regularly in our home and under our roof.  1 Peter 3:15 says, "but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence." 

It's not going to be enough for him to say because my mom and dad believe and that's what they told me to do.  Father God, I pray Your protection on his heart that he will continue to seek Your truths, and that he will stand firm in Your Word and not be swayed back and forth by the ever changing winds of this earthly life.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Last Stop

The last stop on our Christmas tour of homes was my cousin's house. Yes, it is January 16, 2012 and I am still talking about Christmas.  Are y'all sick of it yet?  No? Good answer.  It's true that my children have far too many consecutive days of present opening around Christmas, but it sure was fun while it lasted.

Sophie Kate and her cousins...


It's so nice to get together and see everyone, SK and I just like to visit.  Sister likes to be around some girls for a change too, ha ha.

Here are more pictures of my girl during our week long adventure at my parent's house over Christmas break...

 Duchess loved snuggling with SK on her blanket...
 (Daddy can I get a dog?)

 SK's classic half smile...

I know what you're thinking.  Where are all the pictures of the boys?  
Well, they are a lot harder to keep up with at PawPaw and Mimi's house than SK is.  They are usually outside either riding bikes, off playing with their cousins, or out back in the woods.  
Believe me, I would much rather be chasing SK around trying to get a picture of her with her boots on out in the woods with her brothers and cousins.    
That smile though, speaks volumes.  It tells me she feels good, it tells me she's comfortable, it tells me "I'm happy mama, it's gonna be ok."  

Well, I think I'm officially done with Christmas and now we can move on to New Year's, ha ha.  Stay close there's more to come including Grey getting stuck 20 feet in the air on the zip line...good times.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Taking Christmas on the Road

Our Christmas tour of homes took us to my parent's house the day after Christmas.  My sister and her family live close by so we get to see everyone when we visit.  It didn't take long for us to get into the presents once we got there...

After the craziness of all the present opening is over we have Christmas dinner.  My mom prepares every one's favorites...cornbread dressing, twice baked potato casserole, turkey, ham and lots of other goodies.  It's a carbohydrate lovers dream.

 My mom's Christmas table

I can't believe I'm not done with Christmas yet.  We have one more stop on our tour of homes, stay tuned.