Friday, May 26, 2017

Summer Break Day 1

Hi , my name is Addison. I just finished 1st grade. I'm teaching a hex bug to go through a maze.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Happy birthday Ethan!

 Our baby turned two today!  This boy is definitely not a baby anymore.  Scoring in the 98th percentile for both weight and height, he weighs in at only about 5 pounds under his 5.5 year old sister.  But like his doctor says, "at least he's proportional". :)

We had fun celebrating Ethan today.  The stuffed animal birthday welcome committee has become a tradition over the last couple of years.  Addison was excited to help us place all of the friends in the hallway last night after we put Ethan to bed.  He was pleased to see them when he came out and was quick to sit with them to pose for a picture.  Then he went back in his room to collect a few more toys that had been excluded and added them to the pile.

 Blueberry pancakes were for breakfast.  He knew exactly what to do with those candles.  All the "hide it under a bushel...No!" practice really paid off.

 If you've spent any time with Ethan lately you've concluded that he excels at anything physical but speaking actual intelligible words is not yet his forte.  We were delighted to hear "I two!" exclaimed at various points throughout the day.  First Steps speech therapy for the win!

After a trip to Build-A-Bear and Chuck-E-Cheese this morning and an all-out nap protest this afternoon, we ventured north to Grandma and Grandpa Gafford's house to have a birthday party with some of Ethan's best friends.... Grandma, Grandpa, Aunt Gayla, and Great-great-aunts Fannie and Martha.
 Thank you pinterest for the monkey birthday cake inspiration...

 He had a lot of fun opening up all his birthday presents, but it got a little more fun after he opened up his Melissa and Doug Construction Worker outfit... (Grandpa was still cutting off tags at this point...)

Make a wish!

He quickly discovered that his construction vest had perfect pockets for carrying some of his new treasures.  He did a quick show-and-tell with Aunt Fannie.

And then Aunt Martha.

We had a fun day celebrating our birthday boy today.  So thankful for every ounce of him and the joy that he brings to our family.  We love you so much Ethan!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Next Stop: Kindergarten!

Our big girl got just a bit bigger today!  This was her last day of pre-K and graduation this evening.  I asked her this morning if she was sad that today was her last day.  Her response: "No, I've been waiting for this day my whole entire life!"  I don't think she meant for it to sound the way it did... at least not this early in her education career.  She has loved every minute of the year with her two fantastic teachers.

Addison with Ms. Holly

Addison with Ms. Michelle

(Can you tell it was Red, White, and Blue day at school today?)

Here are some of my favorites from tonight's graduation...

On the way home we were talking about how she's a kindergartener now.  "Mom, am I kindergartening next week?"  "No kiddo, no kindergartening until August.  Sorry."

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

 The kids are in bed sleeping.  The mess from the day is (mostly) cleaned up.  My belly is full of warm apple crisp and vanilla ice cream.  And I'm sitting here unloading my camera of the pictures from today.  We are a blessed family.  Though this year has been full of trials and disappointments, though this month has been full of germs and sickness, we are a blessed family.  God is so good.  Even when He makes us wait on Him.  Even when times are difficult.  God is good.  All the time.  God has continually shown us his GOODNESS, and BLESSING, and LOVE this season and we must remember it, even on the tough days... especially on the tough days.

Here are some pictures of our blessings...

 The kids looking beautiful and handsome on Christmas Eve before heading into church.

Last night we thought our little drama queen would enjoy acting out the Christmas story as a family.  In case you missed the video we posted on Facebook last night, you can watch it here.  When we made the video I originally had no intention of it being something we would post online; I just thought it would be something Addison would like watching.  But once we saw it, it was just so perfect and special and beautiful we couldn't help but post it for others to see.  There are so many little things about it that I adore.  I'm so glad we did it and I look forward to making new versions in future years.

Some of you are aware that our dog Allie is probably in her final phase of life.  She's been having health issues and an actual diagnosis will cost hundreds of dollars (maybe more) that we just can't afford right now.  She's 10 1/2 and has lived a long wonderful life with us.  It's been tough watching her struggle and feeling the weight of the decisions we have ahead of us.  But today our blessing was that Christmas brought out the puppy in Allie.  A side of her that we haven't seen in a long time.  She was all over the kids' stockings.  She was going to town on that Busy Bone we gave her.  And she didn't once walk away from the festivities to beg us for a bowl of water.  You may not realize how much of a miracle that was.  But believe me, it was.

Though her face looks like we've asked her to smile for the camera (and therefore she's making a weird face), Addison was SUPER excited about the Anna and Elsa dolls that came from Santa.  These two will be attached to her hip for the next month at least.

Ethan got a musical zoo train from Santa.  Sissy was a big help in opening his presents.

Trying out the Little Einsteins globe.  "We can go anywhere with Rocket!"

Ethan is opening up some new plates and bowls and Allie is secretly wondering if there's any water for her to drink out of them. :)

Addison just tested out Ethan's Jack-in-the-box.  That little thing has given those two a lot of laughs today.

Checking out Ethan's new firetruck.

Really happy girl to have her very own Kindle!  Just what she wanted! 

This was a different kind of Christmas for us this year.  Different, but not bad.  Different, and in many ways perhaps better.  We've witnessed incredible generosity from many friends and also some we don't even know.  People, whose obedience to God's call have made impossible things possible for us.  For that we are humbled and eternally grateful.  Thank you God, and thank you to the many who have abundantly blessed us this past month.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Garden Factory

 Grandpa took the "big kids" to The Garden Factory Friday afternoon while the babies napped.  The kids had all kinds of fun on the rides.  It has been so fun to see Addison and Brogan bond this week!  Thanks for thinking to bring your camera, Brianne!

Thanksgiving: to travel or not to travel?

 We almost didn't get to go.  In the week leading up to our planned trip to New York to spend Thanksgiving with my family Ethan came down with a case of the dreaded Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease which he picked up in the church nursery.  If you know anything about HFMD, you know it's incredibly contagious.  The problem is, it's most contagious before you know you've got it.  As soon as we knew what we were dealing with we sent Addison away to Grandma and Grandpa Gafford's house to try to limit her exposure.  We thought just maybe we could get away without her catching it.  But then we got the call on Saturday night that she'd gotten sick and was running a fever.  Oh great, here we go.  At this point, we didn't really need to worry about Ethan sharing HFMD with his cousins over Thanksgiving, but if Addison was getting it, maybe we were going to need to cancel our trip.  On Sunday she continued feeling ill and running a fever all day but still hadn't broken out in any blisters.  Shortly before bedtime however, her fever broke and she was returning to her normal perky chatty self.  And still no blisters.  Hmmm....  What are the odds that she got sick exactly 3 days after Ethan with something different than what he had.  Surely the blisters were on their way still.  We had been planning on leaving on Tuesday morning.  There's no way we should still make this trip and risk infecting the cousins with this virus.

All the while at the same time we were (and still are) having issues with our dog Allie.  She can not seem to satisfy her thirst for water and consequently is needing to go out at least hourly.  After a urinalysis and bloodwork last Saturday, the vet had no explanation for her behavior.  Our plan had been for her to stay at our house and have some friends come let her out periodically.  That's not really going to be a practical solution for a dog that needs to go out HOURLY.   Neither is making a 9.5 hour roadtrip with the dog.  What to do?

Monday morning I stepped out of bed into a puddle of dog pee.  Great, Allie had an accident in the night. Ugh.  I cleaned up the mess with our trusty Spot Bot and while dumping out the dirty water some of it spilled on my pants and shoe.  Gross.  I then went up to get Ethan out of bed and he had completely soaked through his diaper and pajamas.  Great, more pee.  Addison woke up still fever and blister free and with an interest in eating (which she hadn't had in about 36 hours).  Unfortunately after 3 bites of Rice Krispies she threw up all over the kitchen floor.  Come on!  It's not even 9:00!  I couldn't for the life of me figure out what Addison was dealing with.  Aside from the complete lack of blisters, her symptoms had been just like Ethan's.  But where are the blasted blisters?!?   And why is my dog peeing so much?!  I just want to spend Thanksgiving with my family, why on Earth does it feel like we're just not supposed to go?

Tuesday morning I finally got to talk to a nurse on the phone about Addison and she convinced me that it was highly unlikely that Addison had the same thing as Ethan and she must have just had some other bug.  She'd been fever free since Sunday night and her appetite was back and she'd been keeping food down.  David's parents (bless their hearts!) volunteered to take on the burden of Allie so that we could go.  Unbelievable.  After all of that, we were actually going to be able to make it to my parents' house!

So we left bright and early Wednesday morning and drove ALL DAY until we pulled into my parents' driveway around 5:30, just in time for dinner.  The kids were amazing the whole way.  I seriously can't believe how well Ethan did riding in the car for so long.  What a good boy!

We had such a great time.  David asked me along the way what I was looking forward to the most and my answer was: laughing.  I really, really just needed to laugh.  I got to do a lot of that this weekend.  It felt so good.

I didn't take very many pictures since I was too busy laughing, but here are just a few...

For some reason Addison was determined to be able to eat her turkey off the bone.  So we obliged.  In the end she determined it was just too hot that way so we pulled it off the bone anyway. :)

Ethan snuggled up with Uncle Matt to read a book.

We were able to sneak in a super quick visit with Addison's birth parents Josh and Nicole (and future brother Caleb!).  It's always fun to see them; just wish Addison hadn't been so exhausted from all the fun she'd been having with her cousins. :)

It was a fabulous break away from reality for a few days.  The only thing that could have made it better is if my older brother Mike and kids could have joined us as well.  They were missed indeed!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fall Foliage and Friends

 The fall colors are quite vibrant this week and when we were blessed with a beautiful day yesterday with not-too-cold temperatures we decided it would be a great idea to grab some of our favorite friends and head to Holliday Park for a little photo shoot.  I think this might have to be an annual tradition.  We did the same thing two years ago with Addison but somehow missed it last year due to a sleep-deprived mom brain I guess. 

 Addison and Ethan with their favorite little baby buddy, Jackson.

 Mommy is almost too short to do this pose...

Thanks Beth and Dylan for snapping a few pictures for us!  We would have invited you to come along even if we didn't require your assistance. :-)  We just love your company!