Thursday, March 27, 2008

Magical Party

It was 5 years ago today that my sweet little He-Man made his first appearance. His birth story is a favorite of mine for many reasons but since Ray has given me a little trouble about being so nostalgic, especially with my montage of slow music and fades, I decided not to go the usual birth-day route. Instead, I put together a little clip from his birthday party.

Normally, I post very little from birthday parties for fear of hurting feelings of anyone who isn't invited. This year, however, my skin is a little thicker and I've come to realize that most other people I know have pretty thick skin, too! Therefore, I'm posting more pics than I've done in the past.

So we decided on a Disney World theme this year. He-Man was allowed to invite friends based on our usual rule of thumb....5 years old = 5 friends on the invitation list. And as I mentioned in another post with more time and money, I could really go all-out with my ideas BUT with limited amounts of both, we end up paring things down just a bit. HOWEVER, I think we pulled off a pretty decent time for all the kiddos!

5:30 - 6:00 - big kids help little kids make magic wands and mouse ear hats for the parade.

6:00 - Disney parade and dancing to Hakuna Matata (you HAVE to watch all the way to the end of the montage so you can see this. It is worth it, I promise!)

6:15 - pizza and "hidden Mickey" cheese!!!

6:30 - gifts!!!

6:45 - decorate own cupcakes (a la Garden Grill -- our fave EPCOT Center restaurant!) and fudgecicles! I couldn't find any Mickeys on a stick so these were 2nd best....

7:15 - "fireworks" (party confetti poppers) and party favors (Diz-themed kites)

All in all, a great evening!

Happy Birthday He-Man! You are one of the most genuinely sweet and loving people I've ever known and with those gorgeous eyes, perfect smile and incredible brains, I'm quite certain God has huge plans for you!

I LOVE YOU, SWEETIE!!!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Montage

You know you love a good montage by Stacy :)

Jackson - Update & PRAISES

Thanks for praying, y'all! Keep it up!
From Mom Tracie:
I know that good news travels fast and so many of you may have already heard the latest reports about Jackson. We all arrived back in the states on Friday night, and Jackson was admitted to UAB Children's Hospital under the care of a neurologist and his team. After a late night of blood tests and muscle checks, we found out Saturday morning that Jackson's CK Test (the muscle enzyme test that was in the 6,000s the day before we left Vienna) was down to 650, just slightly higher than the normal level of 150.
Saturday morning the doctors evaluated Jackson, and they are convinced that it is not a degenerative muscle disease or a chronic auto-immune disease. They suspect that this is Benign Parainfectious Myocitis, which means that there was some type of infection, probably a virus, that caused Jackson's muscles to become inflamed, and that it is a temporary response which will eventually get better. The doctor said that often this particular illness targets the lower extremities, and in Jackson's case his quads, hamstrings, and psoas (which is a muscle that runs from his low back into his legs). These muscles are all very painful and also tight, so Jackson has pain walking and walks slightly bent over and on his toes.
The doctors don't want to repeat any of the countless viral and blood tests that were run on Jackson in Vienna, but they want to do an MRI to look at his muscles and to see the nature of the inflammation. Apparently, if it is Benign Infectious Myocitis, then the inflammation will look a certain way on the MRI. So rather than waiting in the hospital over the weekend until a pediatric MRI is able to be scheduled, they went ahead and sent us to _____ for a few days until they call with an appointment to come back for the MRI and a meeting with the doctors. If they confirm that this is what is going on, then they will just keep Jackson on Motrin for pain relief and send him to physical therapy until his muscles are better and working properly again. We aren't sure how long this process will take, but please pray that we will all be able to return to Romania together, as Robert will have to return on March xxth.
Already, we are seeing amazing improvements in Jackson's ability to walk and his pain level. We had a wonderful time yesterday returning to our home to see family and friends, and it was such a great distraction for Jackson as he was spoiled with every Easter candy and toy that a little boy could ever want. He even went on an Easter Egg hunt through the yard with the help of our friends. He is like looking at a different child altogether.
We will let you know how the MRI next week goes, but it looks like things are going to be ok, and I wish you could all know how we feel. On the way home from the hospital, Robert and I couldn't help but just pray and sing and thank God for the way that He has cared for us these last few weeks. From the amazing support network of our family, friends, and colleagues, to the kindest people that we met along the way in our travels, to the healing that we are still witnessing right before our eyes- we are overwhelmed. We have had cars loaned to us, money donated, prayer meetings held, and family make sacrifices of travel and time. We have treasured your e-mails, felt your prayers, and in the middle of wondering if our little boy would ever walk again, we felt hope. I am crying just to think of all of the love that has been shown to our family. Here it is early on Easter morning, and we are so acutely aware of the love of Christ, who is both powerful enough to overcome sin and death and also to heal our sweet Jackson.
In Him, Tracie

Monday, March 17, 2008

Alabama Wildlife


Four ball practices at four different times in three different locations. A little wild but not too bad.

Ray's, Rocky's, and He-Man's practices lasted so long that they didn't get home until after 8PM. How thankful we are that we can sleep late tomorrow. Especially because today's adventures involved not only ball practice but also walking through at least a mile of Alabama woodlands on a field trip. We are all so pooped.

Speaking of pooped, we all learned a new poop word today. He-Man says he now knows 3 words for poop... Poo, dung, and the new one, scat.

AND to continue that subject...

Captain did the duty (doody??) on the pot again today. This time was the most efficient of the events so I'm feeling very good about it all!

Today's field trip yielded some pretty cool pics. Most were taken by Ray but I took a few, too so that she would be in some of them.

Please De-Lurk - You Know My Thoughts - What Are Yours?

What would it take to get you dear readers to click on this link, read the article, and then comment on it here at the blog?

You guys are notoriously lurky on these juicy topics and I want to figure out a way to get your fingers to do some talking. SURELY these articles I post here stimiulate some sort of thought and emotion, right?

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Technology & Tornadoes

Yeah, it's awesome we have the ability to see this amazing event occur live. And it's cool to have the ability to edit and post online for the world within a couple of hours of its occurence.

But the coolest thing?

Psalm 135:
6 The Lord does whatever pleases him
throughout all heaven and earth,
and on the seas and in their depths.
7 He causes the clouds to rise over the whole earth.
He sends the lightning with the rain
and releases the wind from his storehouses.
(NLT)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Brothers & Sisters In Christ, Please Take A Moment

It's Official!

We've got the vacation house booked and plans are starting to roll right along! Only 327 days to go!

For any other Disney World trip planners, you GOTTA do the TGM site. I promise I don't get a dime for promoting this...I just really love it so much! (I'm considering checking into being a website affilliate, though. I just don't think I have enough readers to warrant their signing with me.)

Anyway, here's the way to save $ at the TGM site:

AVP (Automated Vacation Planner) Preview Tour at http://tourguidemike.com/tour/index.asp
Type "HE7KD-8GA" in the Promotional Code section of the purchase page and save $3 off the normal purchase price of $21.95!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Steph, This One's For You

File this one away in your "random" spot.

I really don't even know what to say about it. Way too bizarre for me!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

This Post

A post called "Multiplication" by a gal named Jenni, was of great encourgement to me today. I thought I'd share it with you.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Cataloging Current Chaos & Contemplations

Alphabetically.

Alabama lawmakers. Ugh. I can think of another "C" word (notice the alliteration of the title?) that could describe a bunch of them. It's definition is "not straight; bent."

Ball season. It is SO upon us. Thank you, God for sending the much-needed rain that has allowed us a slower start than originally scheduled. We'll be ready for a full line-up soon but right now, having each of the 4 kids practicing only once a week instead of twice, has been really nice! Stay tuned for what I hope will be really great ball videos and pictures.

Birthday parties. If I had more time and money I could probably come up with a few incredibly cool ideas but with a tight budget and even tighter calendar, the planning required for the March 27, May 7, May 29, and June 22 events is a little cheated sometimes. Captain's 1st bday party was with very little fanfare, poor fella. I think the other 4 might get mutually themed events...all motivated by a certain mouse we'll be visiting in February 2009. We are now in countdown mode so I think the kids would enjoy some Diz-themed celebrations. But not just a Princess or Mickey thing! No, I'm thinking something specifically related to our favorite things on our previous DW trip. Hmmm...

Blogs. Adding lots to my reader lately. Watch the sidebar because most will probably make it there in the near future.

Houses. I have a folder of online bookmarks for 12 houses. These are the ones we are interested in seriously considering once ours sells. Unfortunately, one of these 12 became a "pending" status this week. I guess that's OK, though because it's a different one that actually has my heart-rate speeding a little when I think about it.

Kids. Mine are awesome and amazing. Sometimes, in between the rebellion and disobedience, the fussing and fighting, the name-calling and hitting, my kids will laugh and play with each other and obey simple commands. Sometimes they will do what they need to do without being told. Sometimes they are fall-out-of-my-chair funny! Sometimes I look at them when they don't know it, and I just stare and smile because I can't believe how gorgeous and wonderful they are.

Living with parents. It's still good but it's still not home.

"Preparing For Adolescence." - This is a class I am teaching to 6th grade girls at the church. It's one of those classes where parents have to sign a permission slip. It's one of those classes where I had to meet with parents before we started. It's one of those classes where students are allowed to write anonymous questions and put them in a box. Yeah.

Reality TV - We're too interested in too many of these silly shows. But they are SO much fun. Project Runway was great and I will miss watching it. The Biggest Loser is new to our schedule this year and was only added because of Bama's Roger Shultz. We are now REALLY loving it and hope Rog goes all the way! It makes me want to exercise, which is a good thing but I often find myself eating uce cream while I watch it! Survivor is still an old standby. We haven't let the kids watch it this year, though. I don't have a favorite yet. American Idol is great, of course. I had high hopes for David Arculetta (sp?) but tonight's bombing worries me. Jason Castro is gorgeous. I don't mean that in a lustful way but in a way that means I truly think he's beautiful. I like looking at him like I like looking at sunsets. The Apprentice is another new one we added to our viewing list. It almost didn't make it because we were unsure we'd like it but it's been very enjoyable. I don't know if we'll watch it when the Celebrity season is over. I don't know if we'd enjoy watching regular people. (as an aside - is anyone watching Breaking Bad?? It's not a reality show but... anyone see it? It's horribly, and I mean HORRIBLY as in a bad-way, fascinating.)

Ron Paul. I am sad he won't be our Prez and will miss his campaign (this girl ROCKS!!!).

Teething. 12 teeth in Captain's little mouth now. T W E L V E ! He's not even 13 months old (will be on the 13th, though! YIKES!) These four molars have been tough but we're nearing the end. Two nights ago was restless. Last night was better but not perfectly sound. Tonight is lots of drool but a happy mood.

TGM - As mentioned in the Birthday Parties entry, we're in the early but serious stages of officially planning our next Family Disney World vacation (with Henry's family.) Even though I stuck my nose in the accomodations-planning portion for a short period of time, I have since given all authority of that responsibility to Pa Trippe. I know he will do a fantastic job in that department and I'd much rather focus on the itinerary portion of the trip. Too soon? NO WAY! Farnsworth and I do a bang-up job of this and with the wisdom of Tour Guide Mike, we are certainly expecting another smooth, relaxed, fully-packed, but well-rested vacation.

Time For A New One?

If you're needing a new nursing bra, here's a great opportunity to get a great one for yourself while donating some money to a great cause!

I love Bravado! bras and love Dr. Jack Newman so this charitable effort is very worth my involvement.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Wish I Had More Time

There are lots of issues I'd love to sift through in my head and heart by writing more deeply here on my blog. Unfortunately, this season in life isn't that conducive. Even now, I'm typing with my right hand only while sitting with a sleeping one-year-old draped over my left shoulder and my left hand comforting his back. Today has been another clingy one but hopefully the 4th of his first round of molars will be completely through within the next day or so (making a total of 12 teeth!) I feel quite sure if I tried passing him to someone else or tried putting him on the bed, he'd be awake & grumpy for sure. These teething naps just aren't very deep.

Soooo, I'm typing this little bit now and reading through my blog reader while I have a moment. It was the reading of this post over at Amy's Humble Musings that prompted me to even write now. I love writing about subjects near to my heart (like Amy's that was SO well-done!!!) but my chunks of time for coherent thought are much slimmer than my waistline. That's why I've resorted to so many links lately.

As I watch the clock march forward, I'm struggling with "just" sitting here knowing the kitchen needs cleaning, I have schoolwork to grade, a shower to take, and grocery list to make. But this baby REALLY needs this overdue nap. And the rest of us REALLY need to make sure he gets it before church.

Oh goodie! He-Man just brought me my very loud cell phone screaming out Toby Mac's Boomin' ringtone. (Missed the call, though. Sorry whoever that was!) That means I'm no longer holding a napper, I'm comforting a nursing teether. Gotta change these cool ringtones to something not so....boomin'.

I am so impressed with how much I typed this time! Y'all better comment so I know it was worth it!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Painful Laughter

Did anyone else double over in painful, gut-splitting, throat-sore-ing, tear-rolling laughter Saturday night when watching this clip?

Thank goodness we could pause it during the pain!

ETA: embedded video

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Tornatows

If you Google "tornatow", my blog is the first English-speaking one to come up! I actually get a bunch of hits from this. What a stat!

I talked to a friend from P'ville today that was witness to the twister that hit there a couple of weeks ago. She explained, in response to my question, that they do INDEED sound like trains. I asked if it sounded like, the "woo woo" of a train whistle or if it was a "chugga chugga" sound. I wasn't being smart alecky but wanted to know what sound meant "Run for cover!"

Her description said that it was like the low "whoooo whoooo" of a train bearing down on you. Gave me the willies. Please, Lord, I don't need to hear it in person.

Hope Monday doesn't bring us any reason to write more about tornatows.

SCORE!

3 things worth a little "whoo hoo" and exclamation mark over the past few days:

--43 great items of clothing for $41 during 75% off day at my fave consignment sale!
--all kids did great at first day of ball practices!
--nearly 100 people (at least 92) saw our showing of The Business of Being Born Tuesday night!



The blog has been really difficult to maintain these days. Thanks for checking in with it anyway! Maybe I'll have bigger chunks of time and attention in the near future.