Friday, April 30, 2010

McWane Science Center

We traveled to Birmingham to get Will's non-load bearing casts removed and get his walking casts put on, so I decided we might as well make a school day out of it and plan a field trip! :) We went to the McWane Science Center and had a blast!!

Here are some of the activities from the main level:

And now I have proof that I have chaos-makers:

I have to jump in and say that every time Nathan ran off, we found him here:

On the lower level, they had a water set-up where we could touch sharks and stingrays. Will has always been afraid to touch the water animals in exhibits like this, so I was really proud of him when he finally did it that day!!

Witt - on the other hand - had no problems touching! I don't think this picture does justice to how far down in the tank his left hand was, but I think you can see that I had a firm grip on him! He was almost swimming with the sharks! LOL!

On the second level there were weather exhibits, dinosaurs exhibits, and more.

We didn't have time to make it to the 3rd level. We will definitely be going back to this place!!

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Thursday, April 29, 2010

Eat Cake! :)

Apparently I left my birthday cake unsupervised for too long. LOL!

And yes, that's a set of 3 and a set of 5 candles, but I'm still 28 years old (again).

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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

You Say It's Your Birthday?

It's my birthday, too! :)

Off to make my birthday cake with three little boys!!!

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Down the Ramp

Friday, April 16, 2010

Will's Home!

I'll write more about the hospital stay later, but just wanted to let everyone know that Will is home from his surgery and doing well. He's in good spirits and enjoying his wheelchair. :)

Thanks to everyone for the prayers, thoughts, cards, packages, and support! It has been wonderful to have such loving people surround us!! Thank you all!

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I'm a Cloud!!!

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Monday, April 12, 2010

We All Live in a Yellow Submarine

Will, age 7 1/2:

A couple cute mispronunciations that I've been meaning to write down for quite some time:

"Fravorite" for favorite

"Renember" for remember

When asking about how I met Jeff, he questioned, "Mom, have you met many men, but they just didn't fit in your heart?" Translation: Do you have friends that are men, but you didn't fall in love with them?

Nathan, age 4 1/2:

"Mommy, you don't need a truck anymore. You need a MONSTER truck!"

"It's not yellow! It's GOLDEN!! We all live in a golden submarine... golden submarine..."

Witt, almost 3 years:

"Yay-yo Suh-marine... Yay-yo Suh-marine" (Yellow Submarine)

At a red light in the car, "Green Green... GO! GO! GO!" over and over again until the light changes. :)

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Surgery Decision

Life has been extremely busy lately. It seems like I've barely had time to breathe. We've had our second Open House on our old house, Spring is the busy season for Jeff's work, PT appointments for Will, Cub Scouts, blah blah blah blah BLAH. Just everything.

Anyway, that's not what this post is about. My brain is going in a million directions lately.

After MUCH deliberation and prayer, we have decided to go ahead with the surgery on Will's Achilles tendons. We've been given a top-notch pediatric orthopedist at a top-notch Children's Hospital. Plus, after 6 weeks of physical therapy and high-top boots we've seen no improvement. As soon as those shoes come off - he's right back on his tip tip tip toes.

I was very reluctant to tell Will he was having the surgery. He's a "dweller" and a worrier. My first instinct was to tell him on our way to the Hospital, but Jeff said no. LOL! And I'm glad he did. :) Will has heard us talking about casts and wheelchairs, so he knew something was going on, but just not exactly what.

Last week I told him that since his legs won't let him walk flat-footed that the doctors are going to help him with that by lengthening his tendons (and showed him what that was). I told him that we'd spend the night in a children's hospital, too. His first question was, "Is it going to HURT?!!!" I told him, "Yes, it would hurt afterward." He wouldn't even let me try to explain myself before he started getting really upset with, "I DON'T WANT TO GO!!!"

I calmed him down and explain that it would hurt the way a bruise does. That a bruise takes several days to heal, but that this would take a few weeks to heal and eventually wouldn't hurt at all. I explained that he'd be in casts for a few weeks and asked, "Remember when Nathan had a cast? His was blue and orange. What color would you like?" This put a "fun" spin on the conversation and at first he said purple, but then he decided he wanted "black like Hiro." We talked a little bit about having the Cub Scouts write their names on his cast, but he really didn't know what to think about that. :) Then I told him that he'd get to ride around in a child-sized wheel chair for awhile and he thought that was pretty cool.

So for now, he's ok with it. He's told everyone at church that he'd be in a wheelchair soon and wanted them to know because they might not recognize him. :) He did a really good job explaining what's going to happen to the people that asked him about it, so I think he has the perfect amount of information without going into detail about the specifics of the surgery. I really thought he would get more into the questions about the incision, blood, and how the doctors were going to do the surgery.

The surgery this Thursday in Birmingham and if all goes well, he'll be released on Friday. Jeff and I will stay in his room with him. Our other two boys will be with my in-laws.

We're trying to get everything ready for two weeks of non-load-bearing casts. I'm doing lots of grocery shopping tomorrow (with extra "treats" thrown in) . Jeff will be building a ramp for the front stairs soon. We're rearranging furniture so the pull-out couch will be near the tv and I've got a 4-disc set of Inspector Gadget coming from Netflix. I've requested the Cub Scouts and Bible classes send Will get well cards so he gets something in the mail, too. :) As for school, I've scheduled 7 days off if we need them, but I think he'll be fine doing school as there won't be much else to do.

Jeff will be traveling back to Georgia for a week shortly after the surgery, but I think that will be good for me so I don't feel obligated to cook a big meal and have the house clean every day before he's home for work. My plan is just to let everything else go except for the necessities. Life will be slow as far as things to do, but busy as far as taking care of and giving attention to the kiddos - especially Will.

By the time he's out of casts, the nice weather will be here to stay (with little rain) and he'll be able to play through the summer and be ready for soccer in the fall. We're also planning to have the Cub Scouts come camp in our back field at the end of May. Lots of fun stuff to look forward to, but we just have to get through the next 5 - 6 weeks.

Please say a prayer for Will, his recovery, and the doctors, too - especially the anesthesiologist, as the biggest complications would come from that; Will has never been put to sleep before. (Side note: The surgery is actually out-patient, but since he's a child they'll keep him for 23 hours. There are no major blood vessels in the surgery area, so there won't be a lot of blood and even if the tendon was cut in half, they say it can be sewn back together. So there are generally few complications from the surgery itself and if there are any they are fixable.)

Thanks for the prayers and I'll try to update once we're back in town.

Now, I must go clean my house, do the mountain of laundry, make lunch, figure out what I need grocery wise for the next two weeks, plan our meals, break up an argument between the boys, make the beds, kiss a boo-boo, get some packages wrapped for the post office and find time for a shower while the boys bang on the door asking if they can dig holes in the yard or make their beds into slides. LOL! A mother's work is never done.

And if you made it to the end of this post, I give you two stars and a happy face sticker. :)

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Alabama Chicken & Egg Festival

April 10, 2010

Yes. There is a festival celebrating chickens & eggs in North Alabama. :)

There are LOTS of chicken farmers here. Jeff's family and extended family alone raise close to 80,000 chickens at a time. Each year in early Spring there is a festival of vendors, food, rides, and games. Yes, there is an egg toss! :)

This was my first year attending and we had a lot of fun for the short time we were there. I came home with some wonderful homemade sourdough bread from a local vendor, too! YUM! I always love shopping at these types of festivals.

Jeff's mom and Aunt Debbie helped me with the boys as we made our way through the festivities. First things first, though... the boys had to ride the train around the fairgrounds! :)

Eventually we had to split up because of time constraints, so I don't really have many pictures of Will. He went with Aunt Debbie and the two little ones went with my MIL and me.

And the four of us went to see some of the animals first.

But those smiles didn't last long... below Nathan is probably thinking, "Mom, I thought you said there'd be tractors!! Where are the tractors??"

So, we made our way to the tractor display area.

And of course you can't just LOOK at tractors, you've at least gotta try out the seat. ;)

And wave then wave to make sure everyone sees you.

Nathan really is so comfortable on such a big piece of machinery. Here is at 4 years old, looking like he's 16 and knowing what he's doing. :) I swear this boy will be using Papaw's riding lawnmower before he's 10. LOL!

And then, of course, Little Bit has to try the same tractor out, too. :)

And then Nathan had to try out some more:

One of the owners (an older gentleman) came over and asked Nathan if he was a farm boy. :) I think his shirt says it all, don't you?

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Monday, April 5, 2010

Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day

A friend of mine is holding a giveaway for this highly recommended cook book... head on over to Happy at Home to enter!!

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Thursday, April 1, 2010


PBSKids is having a story writing contest and Will was very excited to join. He is a FANTASTIC story teller and has been for quite some time. I think the earliest one I actually recorded though, was when he was 4 years old. Here's a short vlog of one from when he was 5.

And now he's 7! Where has the time gone??? ... but that's a different post in itself. :)

To prepare for this contest, we talked about the parts of a story. The characters are introduced in the beginning, something exciting happens (like a problem) in the middle-ish section, and then the problem is solved at the end.

His brain works faster than his hand can write, so he told the story and I typed it out. Then, I found the word limit for his age group was only 200 words. Let me tell ya, we had to CUT and CUT and CUT some more!!! His original story was much more involved than the submitted story, but what can ya do? Ya gotta follow the rules, right? :)

So without further ado... here is ONE TRAIN DAY completely written and illustrated by Will (you can click on the pictures to get a closer look if you like):

Once there was a forgotten train station. It was covered with dirt, ivy, and strawberry bushes. It was discovered when a man ran into the chimney while plowing!

The old station was cleaned up and a driver, Samuel, was hired. Samuel's steam engine, Angel, and her coach, Alex, run the station now. There is also a breakdown train, Donald, in case of trouble.

One day, the Electric Crew came to fix the shed lantern because the wires were cut. They boarded the coach. Angel began huffing and chuffing until they were moving out slowly and steadily.

They were having a wonderful ride until Samuel saw logs on the tracks! He quickly screeched the brakes on. Angel stopped an inch from the logs!

Angel put Alex onto a siding and then hitched up to Donald. She pushed and steamed behind Donald, shifting him into place. There were nine logs on the tracks and Donald could lift three at a time so it only took minutes to clear the tracks.

After the logs were gone, Donald was returned and Angel coupled with Alex again. They got to the shed before dark and the Electric Crew was able to fix the lantern wires.


Final word count? 200.

Pretty good, huh? :)

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