Tuesday, November 29, 2011

step back, scrooge

trout is slowly becoming himself again.  his spirits are lifted...no thanks to this cone that he has to wear.

the kids and i call him melman...after the ocd/hypocondriac/cone wearing giraffe from the madagascar movies.  chad calls him "cone-man the barbarian."

regardless of what we call him...he can't see anything.  he runs into everything from the walls...to the couch...to the cabinets.  last night, he knocked annslee down with the cone.

it was an accident, of course.

my girl got her permanent cast yesterday.  after much debate...she landed on blue.  i think it is an excellent choice.

i was really pushing for red...since red would look best with her christmas dress, but she was pretty sure about this blue color.  i already have plans for a white paint pen and some snow flake designs...but for now, we are letting it shine in all it's pretty, blue spendor.

and don't even get me started on the ungly, sharpie marker, 1st grade signiture possibilities.  that's just gonna totally throw off my snow flake design.

last night...we finally had a pleasant, celebrate-the-holiday sort of evening.

it was tree-getting day.

get ready for some christmas magic, kids.  and don't even think about trying to bring me down with any "humbug" attitude.

the good Lord must have been smiling down on us...because this outing could not have gone any better if santa, himself had shown up.

kermit came along...which was fine by me.  he's way better company than mario, luigi and the ds.

aiden got to sport her dress coat.  the first year she got this coat...i never let her wear it because i was completely against it getting dirty.  that resulted in her wearing it only once...to some dressy event that i can't even remember.  now...i let her wear it whenever she wants.  and do you know what?  that thing never seems to really get dirty.  (lesson to self.)

true to form...chase accidently knocked the tree we were testing over when he tried to climb it.

chad was abviously out of control during that moment.

the good news is that it didn't fall on anyone.

and also true to form...aiden found her charlie brown rescue tree.  this one was really cute and only $16...so naturally, i tried to talk chad into getting it for her room.

he put the cabosh on that idea with the whole "fire hazard" reasoning.

why must he always be thinking clearly?

annslee stopped to smell the poisonous flowers.

what is this backwards peace sign, anyway?  i don't really get it.  does it still mean "peace" to whoever you are signing it to...or does it mean "peace to the person it's pointing toward?"  (in this case, colt is saying "peace to himself.")  or is it the new way that kids give their parents the bird without us realizing what's happening?

at this point, i can't be sure.

i just know all the kids are doing it these days.

we had to pull a fast one to get annslee out of there without this guy.

she toted him all over the store.  i still don't know how we avoided a tantrum.  it must have been that whole, "God smiling down on us" thing.

this year colt became a real helper with roping the tree to the top of the truck.

that's a right of passage for a boy.

and that speck of light in the sky...


that would be my favorite moon...in my favorite waxing or waning cresent form.

i was a huge help by sitting in the car, where it was warm, with the other 3 kids while they got the tree situated.

this morning actually provided a nice sight.  trout got to take a little break from the cone to enjoy a dog bone.  this was a sight for sore eyes.

look at how much they had to shave of his stomach.  his insiscion is all the way from his chest to his hips.

poor guy.

we finally got the furniture re-arranged and the tree perfectly placed.

"little full.

lotta sap."

for our anniversary, we splurged on this advent lodge.  in the next few days, i'm printing out a bunch of christmas, family activities...like making paper snow flakes, reading a christmas story together, carol at the neighbor's house (yeah...no one is gonna really be on board with that one), and going to look at lights.  i will put one behind each door and they will open 1 each day until christmas.

step back, scrooge.

the fog is beginning to lift...

and i'm back in celebratory business.

last night, as chad was tucking the kids in...he was giving them Bible character quizzes.  he asked, "who used a sling shot in the Bible?"

chase triumphantly replied...




Sunday, November 27, 2011

november 27, 2011

to say that we've had a rough week is an understatement.  well...if we are measuring things based on whether or not we have a roof over our heads and food to eat...then we are doing swimmingly.  however, if we are judging based on small, little, stressful, very expensive joy stealers...then i'm your girl.

chad always says that trials come in threes.

i've always dismissed his pessimism and replaced it with my "always-willing-to-look-at-the-brightside/celebrate-the-small-moments-of-life-in-grandiose-ways-even-if-it-is-raining-on-us-as-we-tie-the-christmas-tree-to-the-top-of-the-roof-of-the-car" attitude.  after all...twinkly lights are in our near future.  and twinkly lights can fix anything.

accept when it's me against the house...as it usually is, these days.

my children take after their father and somehow didn't get my flare for the dramatic and magic.

colt usually gets frustrated right out of the gate.  and it's usually for a good reason...like aj making a scene and knocking a whole line of christmas trees over like dominoes...while everyone in the vicinity looks at us with that "wow...those parents have totally lost control of their lives" glare.  chase is usually running into walls and isle displays because he just could not abandon mario and luigi in their time of need on the ds screen to do something as trivial as pick out a tree.  aiden is usually trying hard to help...but gets distracted with the poor, little, charlie brown tree that is covered in mud and is already too far gone to nurse back to help and starts crying when we explain why we can't take it home.  and then there's annslee.  while she is busy knocking down things...she is screaming "me" and throwing herself on the ground out of frustration that we don't understand what it is, exactly, that she is wanting.

you will have to excuse me.

my  flare for positivity is slowly being replaced with a feeling of...


whatever the feeling is called when you want to go to bed...pull the covers up over your head...and not wake up until the new year offers the promise and hope of a new beginning.

what happened to the joy...the hope...the magic of it all?

we went to celebrate thanksgiving at mom and dad's.  we got there super late due to a sibling squabble and the big girl's arm hurting her something fierce.

but when i saw these two lovely ladies...it sort of felt like thanksgiving.

my girl just wasn't up to par.

and quite frankly...after spending the previous evening in the ER and (not) sleeping with her arm resting on top of my body all night and therefore trying not to move at all...neither was i.

we had to jet before i even got to look through a black friday ad with mom and honey because i left her pain medicine at home and she was in tears by dessert.

now...i'm thankful and all...

but i'm not gonna lie.

i wasn't terribly sad to see this day end.

even though i wasn't shopping tomorrow, as planned...

friday was going to be a new day.  a fresh start.

not so...my friends.

trout ended up having to have emergency surgery during the middle of the night because he had eaten a ton of dirt and it ended up forming a hard blockage that got stuck in his intestines and caused them to start twisting like a balloon animal.  if we would have waited any longer to take him in...he would have died.

our choice was...so the surgery...or put him down.  the vet was able to open him up, remove the blockage, and put his intestines back together.  he should be fine.  however, that drained our adoption fund and the kids can forget about college...but...



we will just make the best of things and head on down to the mall of the mainland "cheap seats" movie theater to take annslee to her very first movie...the muppets.

this will be a wonderful family experience...filled with love and the wonder that only movie theater popcorn can bring.

note to self...once the twizzlers are gone...annslee is, most definitely, NOT ready for the movie theater.

at one point, she tried to scale the seat in front of us while screaming as i tried to pry her grip from the seat.  apparently...she thought the kid in front of us had her twizzlers.


this morning...i woke up alone, and on the couch.  aiden has completely taken over our bed.  (her concern for falling out of her twin bed and onto her arm seems fair enough...and my resolve for anything other than letting her sleep in our bed is tired.)  chad had to head to church early, for work and i am waiting on a call from the vet so we can go pick up trout.

that's when i groggily looked at my phone and saw the date.

november 27th.

our 12th wedding anniversary.

do i dare hope for a day of loving celebration?

i'm a little cynical, at this point.


so...currently, the kids and i are watching a christmas movie on the hallmark channel.  the mom in the movie blurted out something about her son not believing in santa claus anymore and i started yelling and screaming, "OWWWW...OOOOOHHHHH...OWWWWWWWW...I JUST GOT A PAIN...OWWWWW!!!"
while grabbing my chest.  (in hind-sight...i probably could have come up with something better.)

that's when aiden thought i was having a heart attack.

i was just trying to block out the "anta-say ot-nay eing-bay eal-ray" talk.

colton caught it and calmly said, "i think she's just having a seizure" trying to make them feel better about the possible heart attack.

i looked at him...like..."REALLY????"

and said...

"i'm not having a seizure."


happy thanksgiving.

merry christmas.

happy  anniversary.

and happy whatever else is going on. 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

happy thanksgiving, friends

yesterday, we packed up and headed to the woodlands for the day. we were meeting ben and dea (my best from high school), their kids...and ian (another friend from high school) at fuddruckers for lunch.

i just love it when my old friend's kids and my kids play together.  there is just something very comforting about that sight.

dea's daughter, audrey is only 5 weeks older than aiden...but look how much taller she is.  she is super model material.

annslee and croix look like they could be fraternal twins, i think.  which is strange...seeing that dea and i look nothing alike and chad and ben look nothing alike.  but...none-the-less...these two look oddly similar.

croix does have big blue eyes and annslee does have big brown eyes...

but besides that fact...

these two girls were each other's first friend.

i love that.

take a good look at this play fort.  the monkey bars that are to the right, and just out of frame...well...i'm in a fight with those mean things.

evidently, aiden got up her nerve to try to cross those monkey bars herself and darn it...if they didn't get the best of her.  right in front of are eyes...her hand slipped and she fell to the ground.  i heard her scream and i saw her awkwardly grab her arm and try to scramble to her feet.  only she couldn't get up.  it was in that split second...as i saw her daddy run to her...as i darted out the back door to meet them...as i heard her cries, that my "mommy voice" whispered, "it's broken."

we layed her down on the couch and began to work as the team that we are.  as my good friends from high school grabbed ice packs and offered promises of ice cream, chad checked where the closest ER clinics (with radiologists present) were located and i held my girl.

ben and dea kept the other kids, ian opened the car door for me to load her in her seat, and chad gathered all of our stuff.

i told colton to help watch his brother and sister and he nodded as i kissed his forehead i and knew that he was the best man for the job.

at the hospital...they knew it was broken as soon as we walked in the door.  i know this...because i overheard the triage nurse tell the doctor before he walked in the room.

my girl was a trooper.  i don't think i would have handled things near as well as she did.

she cried, yes...but she never complained.

today, i woke up with my girl snuggled next to me in my bed and i was profoundly thankful for what we have.

when she needed it...we had an amazing hospital emergency room to take her to; we had a nice doctor from texas childrens hospital, who knew exactly what he was doing; we had instant care from old friends to watch our other three children; we had a car to drive us home; we had a comfortable, warm house to come home to; we have pharmacies on every corner to fill prescriptions so that she could sleep; and we have countless options of orthopedics to make her cast.  she even has color choices.  a sure sign that we have excess.

yes...my girl's arm will be fine.

but i can't help but think about all the children out there today...(who if this happened to them...where they live...and with their circumstances)...wouldn't be.

happy thanksgiving, friends.

Monday, November 21, 2011

do enjoy your monday

it's monday morning...and the thanksgiving holiday has officially begun.  or began.  is it begun or began?  i don't even know.

that means all of the lovies are home with me...lounging on the couch...watching disney channel...eating waffles...sipping hot chocolate...complaining about having to let the dog out...and talking about being bored.  and it's only 10 am.

i'm in a fight with the video games.

i am toying with the idea of getting rid of all of them.

they are kid stealers.

the boys actually try to quietly sneak off...slinking into the rooms upstairs that house the wii and playstation to be left alone to their choice of meaningless entertainment.  in there, they don't have to answer my questions...perform helpful tasks for me (like taking the dog out)...or possibly color with their sisters.  i guess i can understand it.  after typing it out...i can see where they would be a little less-than-thrilled with the daily activities around here.  that leads me to a question and possible project.  how can i make our home fun and entertaining for the almost 11 year old boy down to the 2 year old girl without becoming a superhero princess who hosts tea/superbowl parties?

presently...i don't have an answer...but i think it may involve snacks.  and lots of them.


thursday night...colt was in the fifth grade play.  he wasn't totally in to it.  but he did participate.  he just didn't look too thrilled to be doing so.

another sign and symptom of him getting older.


friday, i got to tag along with chase on the third grade field trip.  we went to moody gardens in galveston.  here we got to go to the rainforest...which was right up chase's ally.

he wasn't as excited about the butterflies as i was...

but who wouldn't be thrilled about these white-faced monkeys playing at their feet?

there is just something about hanging vines that screams "CHASE!!"

on sunday, we actually got to go to a church plant in town that is a part of the houston church planting network.  it is called neartown church and they meet in the ymca on pease street.  chad has been training the planter and it was refreshing to get to feel a part of a church plant again.  i have come to realize that i have a heart for church planting...just like my husband.  the worship is usually done with donated, duct taped together equipment and musicians that may hit a flat note every now and then...but the chords and words are played and sung with such honesty and love for Jesus that you get wrapped in His love and completely taken away with awe and appreciation and love for Him in response to His love for us.  Communion is set out and you can't wait to get to it because you want nothing more than to show Him that you remember what He did for you by allowing His body to be broken and His blood spilled for you on the cross.  And the message is simple.  Not just the spoken message from the pastor, but the almost tangible love and community among the 100 or so members who have come together to love God and learn about Him.  i felt welcomed and wanted and so did my children.  chad and i smiled at each other during the service and the boys listened as we occasionally rubbed their backs.  and at the end of the service, chase leaned over and talked to chad about being ready to trust Jesus with his life.  and that's what you call a Spirit filled time together.

a church plant is where chad and i met, fell in love, and also where our first two children experienced a church family for the first time.  it feels like home to me.

if you are not a part of a church...i encourage you to seek out a church plant in your area.  even if you aren't a church-type of person...chances are...you won't be disappointed.  these are there for people just like you and me.


after that, the girls and i hit a birthday party which resulted in two tuckered-out babes.

a sleeping baby in a bonnet????  what is sweeter than that, i ask?

unless it's a sleeping baby in a bonnet with long eyelashes dusting her cheeks.

and after everyone was in bed, i took care of myself.

i'm slowly savoring mockingjay...the 3rd and last book in the hunger games series.  don't even get me started on the way that this series relates to our broken world today and where we may be headed.  it really is brilliant.  especially the first book.  my jaw was hanging open half the time and my mind reeled at how the "this would never happen thoughts" slowly broke into the "we are not far from this reality."


just look at how this cat taunts trout.  he's peacefully sleeping and clickety cat sits just out of his reach waiting to pounce.

today, the view from my desk makes me especially happy.

my grandpa's hand-written song lyrics and dress hat, an old world war II compass...pointing towards home, our family captured last december, an angel in prayer over our family and one in celebration all become the familiar sights that point my heart in the right direction every day.

on a completely different note...i have been hired by a friend to come and photograph the buddy walk event in houston.  this is to raise funds and awareness for down syndrome.  i was planning to walk for her daughter, scarlett...but now i will take pictures.  i was secretly walking for an unknown little girl in an orphanage in ukraine who could, quite possibly, be our daughter as well.  but i'll take pictures for her instead.  and we can just keep that little nugget of information tucked snug away in my heart for the time being.

please do enjoy your monday, friends.

and welcome kathy k.  what a sweet, sweet message i received from you the other day.

(i didn't intend for that to rhyme.  i just got lucky.)