Thursday, November 30, 2006

Quote from Akeelah and the Bee

This was incorrectly attributed to Nelson Mandela in the movie but is actually by Marianne Williamson (not one of my favorite people, but I love the quote):

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same."

Movie Night

We watched two movies today....a big luxury! I had an OB appt so we got school done this morning and the older girls were supposed to go to Grandma's while I went with Kaedy to the OB. Grandma forgot we were coming and wasn't there when I got there, so we all headed over to the OB. Emily was very upset about this, so, to get her to stop crying, I promised we could watch a movie when we got home.

We watched Akeelah and the Bee when we got home. Then we made dinner, cleaned up and watched The Grinch (the Jim Carrey one). The girls were so thrilled to watch TWO movies on the SAME day WITH Mommy! WOWEE!!

I really loved one of them and didn't like the other one at all. Can you guess which was which?

Here are a few clues:
1. I hadn't seen either of them before
2. The one I would consider slightly offensive, was the one I loved.
3. I don't get all the hype about the other one AT ALL.
4. I barely made it through the one I didn't like.
5. As much as I disliked that one, I loved the other one, and can't wait to watch it again!


Okay, the one I loved is: Akeelah and the Bee.
I couldn't hardly stand The Grinch! UGH! I'll take the old one any day!

(And the offensive part of Akeelah and the Bee? Just a little of the language. Brittany and Emily didn't even catch it at all, except the guy spelling out "B U T T" but I thought that was hysterical! Once we get the TV Guardian, it will be a perfect movie!)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

For Trivial Pursuit Fans

Michael and I love Trivial Pursuit. We own nearly every edition that has ever come out of the game. Our newest one and our newest favorite is the 80s edition...it is totally tubular! :-)

Anyway, since we love playing so much, the girls have always wanted to play with us. I came up with an idea a few years ago that was really great and then I forgot about it for awhile. I am just getting back into doing it, and I thought I'd share it with you!

I make cards for the girls with the things they are learning in school. I change the categories a little to suit us (and of course, with all our different versions of TP, some of them have slightly different categories anyway)

Here is an example of a card for Britty:
Geography: What is the capital of North Carolina?
Entertainment: What was the name of the team in High School Musical?
History: What was King Tut's real name?
Science: What is photosynthesis?
Sports/Leisure: What game uses a shuttlecock?
Wildcard: What is 11x99?

And a card for Emily:
Geography: What is the name of our county?
Entertainment: What is Diego's sister's name?
History: Who was our first president?
Science: What are the four seasons?
Sports/Leisure: What do you need to play tennis?
Wildcard: What rhymes with room?

If you keep a stack of index cards with your school stuff, you can make a card every day or once a week, or whatever works for you, and you will have enough to play a game when you get a chance! When I run out of cards, or don't have any made, we try to think of the questions off the top of our head. It's not quite as easy, but it still works!

Reader's Digest Article on Will Smith

This is a great article about Will Smith. I am a big fan of most of his movies and I loved reading this article. Now I want to have a chance to just chat with him!

http://www.rd.com/content/openContent.do?contentId=31133&pageIndex=0

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Border Sauce Funnies

I have been collecting these to put on my blog for awhile and finally had a minute to do it...these are my favorite taco bell border sauce sayings:



Friday, November 24, 2006

Prayers for friend, please!

My friend Denise's daughter was viciously attacked by a pit bull today and has a lot of damage to both of her arms including nerve damage to one of them. Please keep Joylyn in your prayers and pray for a quick and complete recovery for both of her arms! We love you Joylyn and we're thinking of you!

She is the one in the red shirt in this pic from a few years ago.

Pics of girls playing

For some reason I can't get my film loop to post on this blog tonight. So, to see our most recent pics, including Kaedra's first ride on a trike and her first trip to a park, click here.... http://invite.filmloop.com/x?9lX/KvM/GTmfXN9/dOzq9k0KqSyx8CXK

Ronald McDonald House

Well one of the things I was thankful for this season was the Ronald McDonald House, so I can use that as my Thanksgiving post. ;-)

The Kansas City RMH is very very nice. It borders on amazing. I was not expecting anything like it. It is a cross between an apartment building and a dorm. We had a large room with two double beds (the kind that you can "dial" your sleep comfort level), a desk, a rocking chair (Thank you Lord!!!! (I specifically asked Him for one!)) and a nice sized bathroom. We were on the third floor, which also had a shared small sitting area where you could play games or do a puzzle.

On the first floor there was a large kitchen with 4 different work station areas - each with a sink, dishwasher, stove, oven, toaster and microwave. There were two large refrigerators and a huge pantry that were all fully stocked. You are invited to use any of the food to make whatever you want, whenever you want. They also have different charities that come in every night and make dinner for everyone. They also had two large grills on the patio that you were free to use. (they also had private pantries for each room where you could keep your own food and refrigerators to keep personal food)

They have a living room area with a TV, 4 computers, and tables to play games on. They had a few sitting areas where you could chat with people, if you wanted. On the basement level, they had a ping pong table, fussball, pool, a workout room, crafts, a large toy area, another TV with kids videos and laundry facilities, if you needed them.

It is a very secure building...you are only allowed in and out with a special computer coded key and noone is allowed to walk around without a special hospital-style band that you can't take off until you leave. It is also very clean and well kept. It is really a very, very nice facility.

However, one of my most favorite parts of the Ronald McDonald house was the Ronald Mcdonald Living Room in the hospital itself. When Kaedra was in surgery we were invited to go into the "living room" which was a series of rooms and a kitchen which were set up like a nice house. (it sort of reminded me of a nursing home) There was a TV in the main room and a small table in the kitchen. People cooked meals at lunchtime and dinnertime for the people waiting there and they also had a small frig and stocked pantry as well. There were a few small rooms that you could use to nap in between 11am and 5pm and for overnights in between 7pm and 9am. I used the rooms for both purposes! They let you use the rooms on an "as needed" basis overnight and they determine how important it is for you to be there, before they determine who gets the rooms. I just barely eeked in because Kaedy was doing so well!

Anyway, Michael and I were so grateful for the RMH and the RM Living Room and all they did for us. It is a WONDERFUL charity and it was such a blessing for us. It was so nice not to have to worry about where we would stay and what we would eat for the whole time. What a weight off our minds! They do ask for a small donation ($10) per night, but wow! do you get your money's worth! We are collecting pop tops for them, if you could, please save your pop tops and give them to us, we will get them all to them! (we were already doing this through 4H, but now we are REALLY on a mission!) Thank you so much!!

Here is a link to the opening of the KC RMH http://www.rmhc.com/rmhc/index/news/events/kansas_city_house.html

Sunday, November 19, 2006

We're Baaaaaack!

We are back from Kansas City. Kaedra's surgeries went well...the tubes went in her ears with no problems and her rods were each expanded one notch, making her approximately 1cm taller (at least on one side). She was in ICU for almost exactly 23 hours and we were let go straight from there. Hopefully next time she won't have to go to ICU at all. (she was just in there since she is a "vent baby.") She was feeling great within 4 hours of the surgery and would have been up and running around except they had IVs in both of her feet, so she had to be confined to our laps or the crib. She wasn't too thrilled with that, but she was more patient than I expected. They gave her pain meds for the trip home, so she slept most of the 4 hours. She was thrilled to be home again, especially to see Emily who she repeatedly hugged and kissed for about 30 minutes. (to the delight of Emily, of course, who was just happy not to be getting hit!)

The trip went well, no problems. The Ronald McDonald house was very nice and such a blessing. They are definitely our charity of choice now, especially after having used their services. I will probably blog an entire blog just on that, so I'll leave more info for then.

Thanks for the prayers!

Ethan Update

It’s official—you’re starting your third trimester and well on your way to delivery day!

Your Baby: As growth continues, your baby weighs in at over 2 pounds (1 kg). And because his body is more developed, measurement no longer goes from rump to crown, but from tip to toe—about 15 inches (38cm)! Your baby can suck his thumb now, which is actually a good thing! It helps calm him, while also helping to strengthen jaw muscles and encourage the suckling reflex. Your baby can even cry now, but you won’t be able to hear him.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Adios

Well, we are on our way out of town in the morning. Kaedra has two appointments tomorrow, two appointments on Thursday, including an MRI, and her surgery is on Friday morning. We should be back Saturday afternoon if everything goes as planned!

Please keep us and Kaedy-bug in your prayers for the next few days. Sherria and Britty are going up with me tomorrow and coming back on Thursday night. Michael is coming up on Thursday night and staying with me til we come home. It is going to be a busy few days and I am nervous about the Ronald McDonald house. I have never stayed there before and just don't know what to expect. I guess my biggest worry is my "morning" sickness since we can't have any food in our rooms. (The reason I am up right now is because I am feeling sick and have to eat. And it's 11:15pm. Nowhere near morning!) Just pray for EVERYTHING to go well, please!

We do have internet access at the Ronald McDonald house, so I will hopefully be able to update y'all. If not, I will call Brandi and she will update you. :-) Besides I need to call her on Thursday for Tori's B'day! HAPPY BIRTHDAY TORI!!!

Friday, November 10, 2006

New way to teach long division

Britty has been struggling with long division for 2 years. She is really good at math, but gets very confused when it comes to long division! It is frustrating for both of us. I decided to take a few days off of "regular" math and just spend time on division. I researched a different way to teach it, and I found a COMPLETELY different way - one that she likes and it works great!!! It takes all the guess work out of the equation (lol) and that is the main thing that was causing Britty problems.

The new way is called Double Division.
Here is the web site http://www.doubledivision.org/

Check it out! I am even using it, now, although I can do some of the steps in my head, so it doesn't take quite so much paper or time. :-) Britty will probably be able to do more in her head, soon, as soon as she gets the hang of it.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Another controversial health issue

I promise, I am NOT looking for these issues. They just keep ending up in my lap.

This is an article about keeping severely disabled children small to help their caretakers. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/15517226/from/ET/

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Kaedy's Birthday Cake

Apple Bundt Cake - DEEEEEEEEEELIcious!!!
This was great as a b'day cake, but would also be good as a breakfast bread.

Ingredients:
2 cups white sugar
1 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup orange juice
2 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped nuts
Confectioner's sugar
2 cups diced, peeled apples
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Directions:

To Make Filling: Combine the diced apples, 1 tablespoon white sugar, and cinnamon. Set filling aside.

To Make Cake: Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Beat 2 cups white sugar, oil, orange juice, vanilla, and eggs at high speed. Stir in sifted ingredients. Fold in nuts. Pour 1/3 of the batter into a greased Bundt or tube pan. Add alternate layers of filling and batter, ending with batter.

Bake at 350 degrees F for 55 to 60 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly touched. Remove cake from the pan while hot. Cool the cake, and sprinkle with confectioners' sugar. (I forgot the confectioners' sugar and we didn't miss it at all!!)

Kaedra's actual birthday

Monday, November 06, 2006

Kaedra b'day party pics!

Quality of Life debate

Quality of life: This is a topic near and dear to our hearts.

Before she was trach'd, our doctor was told that he should think about taking Kaedy's case, because "it probably wasn't worth it."

Several times in the first few weeks we were told that Kaedra would probably not make it, and, if she did, her life would never be good. We were told she would be a dwarf, that she would never be able to breathe on her own, that her scoliosis was so severe she would not be able to walk, etc, etc.

My favorite comment, though, was made by my darling hubby. Kaedra was two weeks old and we were at a "round table discussion" with all of her doctors, nurses, speech therapists, respiratory therapists, etc. Michael asked when we would be able to bring Kaedy home and the doctor in charge told him "You have NO idea what you are getting yourself into." Michael had a flash of anger and told him, "You're right, we should just sell her." Everyone but the doctor laughed nervously but I think it gave them a reality check....what was our alternative?

From the moment she was conceived, we were in for the long haul. We don't care what that long haul consists of.

A few months later there was talk of institutionalizing her. I can't tell you how much it broke my heart to hear that there were even institutions that would take babies like Kaedy - that they would not be home with their families!

Today is her two year birthday. If you have met her, or even if you have seen her pictures, there is no question that she has a spectacular quality of life. She is the happiest child I have ever seen. She loves everyone and loves to be the life of the party. And, even before she was off the vent for most of the day, she was able to play and climb and go to church and make friends and all the other things that make a child's life good! Now she is talking, she is off of the vent almost all day (yesterday was 11 1/2 hours!), running around the house and getting into everything!

Looking back, it makes me sick to think that medical people didn't think her life was "worth it." Our doctor has mentioned taking her to see those doctors, but, to be honest, I don't know if I can stomach it. Maybe we will send them video. ;-)

Anyway, this is the article that got me to blogging on this. There is a big debate going on in the UK about euthanasia for babies with no quality of life.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/medicine/story/0,,1940510,00.html

Here is a quote from the article: "The college says the Nuffield's working group should "think more radically about non-resuscitation, withdrawal of treatment decisions, the best-interests test and active euthanasia as they are means of widening the management options available to the sickest of newborns"."

Think of this: Kaedra was once considered the "sickest of newborns."

Happy 2nd Birthday precious girl!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Great news story!

Try this link first
if it doesn't work...
Click here and go to the videos
Watch "Miracle Baby gives Quadripilegic Hope at 41. Of course I am bawling,
so grab your kleenexes first! :-)

Hallelujah Festival and Kaedy's first Haircut

update

We've had an eventful few weeks, here are some updates:

Kaedra updates:
1. She is off of her vent almost every day, almost for the entire time she is awake. She seems to have "off" days every once in awhile, where she won't come off as well, but on the whole, she is usually off.
2. Because of the above, she has been very busy finding all the non-child-proofed areas of the house.
3. She grabbed a curling iron and burnt her hand last Friday night while we were getting ready for a Hallelujah party. The girls went to the Hallelujah party (thanks to Ria!) but Michael and I stayed home with Kaedra and her hand hurt her all night long. :-( She was MUCH better after about 24 hours.
4. She is actually putting food in her mouth. She started having her own plate again (for awhile she would just throw her plate on the ground) the night Ashton brought dinner and she wanted her own fork to go with it. She speared her food that night and was so proud of herself. Since then, she has been putting food in her mouth and tasting it. She really seems to like ketchup and ranch! LOL. Anyway, it is GREAT progress for us, we just need her to chew and swallow now!
5. Her talking is taking off by leaps and bounds! We have been working to get her to transition from sign language to the spoken word and she is learning more everyday. We are working with her speech therapist, and we are going to be doing a program called "Target Words" (I think that's what it is called).
6. Her 2nd birthday is Monday! I can't believe she is already 2! She is acting like a toddler more and more everyday. She is such a little girl! She loves to run up to Daddy when he gets home and yell, "Daddy!" and he picks her up and she hugs him. It is the cutest thing!!
7. Her surgery is in Kansas City on November 17th. We need to be there the 15th for doctor appointments. She is scheduled to have her ribs expanded and tubes put in her ears. They are considering it day surgery so she will be released from the hospital 23 hours after her surgery.
8. We heard a rumor that they are doing the rib surgeries in Oklahoma City now!! This would be WONDERFUL for us! We are doing some more checking into it, although we will obviously still be going to KC for the upcoming surgery.
9. One of our nurses left for a better job, so we are without nursing on Wednesday and Sunday nights now. My first time "working" it was this Wednesday and it didn't go too well. (and neither did our Thursday day, as I was a walking zombie) Prayers there would be much appreciated! I have commissioned my angels to go and get nurses for Kaedra, so I am expecting a call from the nursing agency at any moment saying they have one or two!
10.Kaedra had her first haircut yesterday...Ashton came and did it. I will post pics on a separate post.

Brittany updates:
1. Brittany is going on a mission trip in July! She is so excited! It is an 8 day trip to Nuevo Laredo and they will be putting on a VBS for the children down there. She has wanted to go on a mission trip for years and she is finally old enough! (and this is our church's first kids' trip anyway) I wish I could go with her, but with the new baby and Kaedra still needing mommy, this year won't be the one I chaperone. On the way home, they will be stopping in San Antonio and going to Six Flags.
2. She is such a sweet, wonderful, smart, funny young lady. I can't believe how much she has grown up. The two of us together - we end up laughing and laughing and having such a great time. We went on a date a few weeks ago to buy her new clothes and it was sooo much fun! And she is a big help around the house, too, and with Kaedra. In fact, besides Michael, Sherria and myself, she is the only one who can fully take care of Kaedra. (well I am not counting the nurses!)

Emily updates:
1. hmmmmmm not much to update with Emily. Her personality is showing more and more and she has tendencies of a drama queen. We are working hard to curb those. Anyone have any ideas? I have never had a child like that, so I am unsure what to do (besides pray!)
2. She is doing kindergarten, but not very regularly. It is a good thing we homeschool, because she is not ready for a sit down and listen kind of day yet. She needs a little more freedom in her day, which works well with being at home. She is doing fairly well with her reading, but she is just not all that interested in learning yet. I hate to stop reading to her, but maybe she needs incentive? LOL.
3. On the positive side, she is very sweet and cuddly and loves one on one time. And, as long as Kaedra is not beating up on her, they play well together and that takes up most of their days.

Ethan updates:
1. no updates on Ethan! But there hasn't been anymore spotting or cramping, so that is great! I am just thanking God that sickness has been taken away from the midst of me. Hallelujah!

Michael updates:
1. The silly retail season has started, so I see my hubby less and less all the time. His store is doing great, though! Drug Warehouse closed across the street from him and his store bought all those prescriptions. He has seen a HUGE increase in profit since they closed and they are talking about his store going 24 hours. He wishes they wouldn't, because it will affect our bonus, but once it got going, it could do really well.
2. Of course he is THRILLED about having a boy! I had to laugh because last night he asked when we were going to put Ethan in school so he could play football. (sound familiar, Alison?) I told him Ethan could play for the Jaguars (a homeschool team) but he said he wants him to play for the "big" schools! LOL. He was just joking with me, so it was very cute.
3. His boss is going to let him have Friday & Saturday off of the week of the surgery! I will have to go up for a few days without him, but he can come up Thursday night. HALLELUJAH! Thank you Lord!!

Kahri updates:
1. hmmmmmm any updates with me? I don't think so! Besides everything that is affecting everyone else and mentioned above, my life is the same, I guess. I don't want to "trip on my lip" so I have to be careful what I say! I will just say, "I am an overcomer by the words of my mouth and the Blood of the Lamb." I got to go back to church last Sunday and I was soo happy to hear the Word and be among all the great folks at church! It was definitely uplifting. :-)