Monday, April 28, 2008

2007 - Year in Review - June

June. The start of summer. For us, it was a busy, busy month. It began with Preschool Day Camp. Cluelessly, I volunteered to "teach" the school-aged kids, the kids of the workers of our Preschool Day Camp. Clueless, because the week following Preschool Summer Day Camp, our family would be going on our first Family Mission Trip.
The team from our church consisted of families of all shapes and sizes. We had couples go. We had families with both parents and all their children go. We had moms go with one or two of their children. We had grandparents go with their grandchildren. Everyone just wanted to go.
We went to Cleveland, Ohio to work with a new church plant. Our team was to do an Upward basketball and cheerleading camp. The location for the camp was at an inner-city elementary school in the heart of Cleveland. I'm talking inner, inner-city. The majority of camp time was spent on the blacktop parking lot of a school. And I'm here to tell you, that God showed up on that blacktop.
It was such an awesome experience, and I can still see the faces of those little boys that I got to hang out with that week. One of my favorite memories was looking at my little 3 yr. old daughter, with gray dirt all over her face, sitting in a group of kids, most whom did not have her skin color. And she was sitting there singing praise songs to Jesus. In an inner-city elementary school that we weren't even sure would be available for us to use.
There wasn't much time for sightseeing, but we were able to go to Lake Erie one day and witness a beautiful sunset.
Lots of fun times in Cleveland, Ohio that week. Like most mission trips, it was draining, exhausting, fulfilling and memorable, all at the same time.

2007 - Year in Review - May

May got us outdoors and we went to a new local park that has great hiking trails. We sort of went into this trail blind, not really knowing how long it was. There were numbered signs that we followed to make sure that we did not lose our way. (I'm not much of a snake person, so my biggest fear was that there would be little, or big, slithery creatures along our path. Thankfully no anaconda sightings on this visit.) You could tell that the trails were new, but everything was marked well enough that we made it out alive. I would not recommend going on a trail unless you know how long it is. (I will add a footnote here that I was alone with the kids, not with my Eagle Scout husband.)

2007 - Year in Review - April

April brought us Easter fun and baseball. We had our annual family easter egg hunt and egg decorating at my sister-in-law's house. It always bring back memories of when the boys were little and we would go to the community egg hunts.
Oh how I hated the community egg hunts. You know the kind. There is a HUGE field of eggs, all filled with nutritious candy, and hundreds upon hundreds of children vying for a spot at the starting gate. All of a sudden, someone who apparently does not have children, yells GO and the stampede is on. My boys had not developed the competitive gene at this young age, and they would stand at the starting line, frozen. No movement. And as a parent, you have to stand there helplessly watching all of the eggs being sucked up like there were hundreds of Dysons on the field.
We participated in all varieties of egg hunts before we wised up. There were those where they would have the fields segregated by age, the ones where you would bring a certain number of eggs with you for the hunt, and then tell the kids you can only pick up 12 eggs. Yeah right. Like that really works in a free-for-all. There's always those parents that want little Susie to get all that she can, completely ignoring the rules.
I can't remember what year we had the revelation to no longer participate in the stampede hunts, and to just have our own. Not sure if the kids like it since it's usually only with one cousin (this year we had friends come to our house for Easter also, so that added to the numbers) but I sure am glad that we started a new tradition.
Enough ranting about plastic eggs. Our other fun event of April was minor league baseball. Our local team had a promotion last year (I think they have it again this year) called "Small Fry of the Game". You could enter online for a chance to be picked as Small Fry and you would get a ticket to the game and get a chance to be on the field for player introductions. I'm all about some free tickets, so I entered C & G into the contest, and they were chosen to participate early in the season. Now I did have to purchase tickets for the rest of us, but anything is plenty. They were introduced on the field, and then stood under the Golden Arches as the players ran out on the field. It was a neat experience for them, and we got to enjoy a beautiful night at the ballpark, complete with hot dogs and fireworks.

2007 - Year in Review - March cont.

In keeping with the Tarheels theme, we were able to see our UNC boys practice session in Winston-Salem prior to a round in the NCAA tournament. (I can't remember now which round this was.)

Practice sessions are cool because you can sit where ever you want, and get lots of great pics. Of course there was a dunking display at the end!

One of our other experiences during March was learning to fish. One of our church members has a pond that they allowed us to fish in. This was great for learning because once you put your line in the water, you would begin to get a bite. The boys enjoyed it, and A got to use her Cinderalla fishing pole.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

2007 - Year in Review - March

March Madness. Words that ACC fans love to hear. We live in the heart of ACC country. I could travel 45 minutes west, and be on the campus of Wake Forest University. I could travel 45 minutes east, and be on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. (On my way to Chapel Hill, I will pass by Duke University, but I refuse to acknowledge that.

In our house, we love the Carolina Tarheels. I mean, we LOVE the Tarheels. And when you LOVE the Tarheels, you don't love Duke. At all.

We always have March Madness night at our Awana club, and in 2007 we went all out for our costume. We don't celebrate Halloween, so my kids very rarely get to dress up. I decided to put forth some effort and the above pic is what happened.

The boys had a great time, and C & G won prizes for their grades. N decided he didn't want to wear his "wig" so he wasn't the grand prize winner for 1st grade. He learned that Mama knows best and he chose to go all out in 2008 so he could win a prize.

2007 - Year in Review - February

February is birthday month #1 in our house. L's b-day is Groundhog's Day and C's is four days later.

C turned 12 in 2007 and the present of the year was an authentic Steve Smith jersey. (Another of our loves is the Carolina Panthers! We're still waiting on a Super Bowl championship, but hopefully it won't be too much longer.)
C is such a sweet boy and my lunch buddy. He and I get to have special time together some weeks on Thursday, when L has the day off. He's the kid who never complains no matter how much time I take in the store or library, and I reward him with food. We normally go to eat at a sit-down restaurant, (you know the kind without drive-thrus or human habitrails) and just spend some time together chowing on some good food. His favorite restaurant is called The Brick Oven and has wonderful subs and hot chips. He has decided that they have the best ranch dressing on the planet. Their sweet tea is not that shabby either.
He is as smart as anyone I know and has a memory the size of Africa. He's such a great big brother and protector (maybe a little irritating at times) and one of my favorite people in the world. He loves to act and sing and uses those things to minister at church.
I love my C.

2007 - Year in Review - January

I've decided that I will post a review of 2007 as I begin this site. I'm hoping to post pics from each month.

January normally finds us in the middle of our Upward basketball season. I LOVE UPWARD. Go here to read more about it. In 2007, we were a part of four teams. I coached a 3rd/4th grade girls team, my husband coached a 3rd/4th grade boys team, of which G was a player. Then N was on a 1st/2nd grade team and C was on a 5th/6th grade team. A was pretty much the mascot for all. I don't really have any decent pics from the season, but a great time was had by all. Our Saturdays were long, but we were together having fun!

January also brought us a little snow. Not much, but enough for a pic. As best as I can remember, this was A's first snow!

Monday, April 21, 2008

My Girl!

A is such a special girl. One day I will post her journey on this site, but I have documented most of it on her CaringBridge site.

The nutshell version: A was born on September 11, 2003. In May, 2005 we learned that she had been born with congenital scoliosis. (Not the preteen adolesence scoliosis, but the "my spine looks like a puzzle" scoliosis.)

Many times when describing her condition to people, I say this: Basically, there is an area of her spine that did not form properly. She has two triangle shaped vertabrae, and three that are one big glob. Not very technical, or even medical terms, but it gets the point across. The x-rays early on did remind me of a bunch of puzzle pieces.

After a long journey along the way, A had surgery on January 8th to install a VEPTR. You can read about the device here:
You know, when I read other blogs about families who are dealing with cancer, and so many other issues with their children, I am praising God for scoliosis. I hate it for my girl, but wow, couldn't it be soooo much worse.
In November, 2007, A said this:
"Mommy, when God made me, He didn't have any straight pieces left, so he just used curvy pieces."
Thank you God for curvy pieces.

You know you are in the South........

You know you are in the South when you are in W*l-M*rt (for the 5th time of the week) and you hear this announcement over the PA system.

ATTENTION W*L-M*RT CUSTOMERS: There is a CAMOFLAUGE colored Chevy in the parking lot with it's lights on.

My word. Camoflauge colored Chevy.

Where can I get one?