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Friday, July 31, 2009

Proud of This Girl

(Warning: it's Kelvin)

One of the coolest (or cheesiest) things about being a parent is bragging about your kids. I can go on and on about how smart and witty Carleigh is. I will bore you to tears with Luke's latest antics and near death falls. Even though Cora is only a few months old I can make your eyes glaze over as I describe her newly developing dimples and ability to roll over.

Yes, I can brag about my kids. I am a proud daddy.

As parents we all have the same dreams for our children. We look into their eyes for the first time and tell them, "you are going to change the world". We look back on our own failures and regrets and believe this child will avoid all the pitfalls, we'll be sure of it. We say THIS! is the kid who WILL! change the world!
We are asked about Emma and too often everyone hears our standard reply, "Oh, she's doing OK...still making that gradual descent...hard to tell the difference from day to day...she's still eating, so we're happy about that..." Well let me tell everyone, I am beaming with pride for Emma's accomplishments. If you would oblige me for a minute I would like to do some bragging (this is the part where you say "OK", smile, and then start thinking about what you will cook for week...). Here is a partial list of accomplishments that Emma has done so far:

  • she said "A"

  • she climbed the stairs

  • she walked every day she could

  • she moved over 200 bikers to spend the day with her

  • she has touched a community

  • she has played in the Atlantic Ocean

  • when she could no longer walk, she crawled

  • she rode out a hurricane

  • she brought thousands of people together to love on one another at her benefit

  • she ate with a spoon

  • she has proven that our faith in Christ is not tested. It is fortified.

  • she rolled down the stairs

  • she has impacted generations within her family and church

  • she made a road trip across the country in a Prius

  • she has shown us we can do anything. Anything.

  • she walked along the Continental Divide

  • she has shown us we can endure anything. Anything, as long as we let Christ carry us.

  • she has played in the Gulf of Mexico

  • she spawned a charity to help ill children and cancer patients

  • oh, and I must mention, she said "daddy"

So, while some people are known around the world and change nothing, Emma has changed the world around her. She is a rich and wise soul, one which I strive to emulate. She is a world changer and I am so proud of her.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The much anticipated pics

So, I'm on the phone with one of my bestest friends in the whole wide world discussing how we are sooo excited about our upcoming trip which will unite our darling kiddos for several days of fun in the sun indoor, totally awesome water park resort, and my eldest comes running in the kitchen to tell me that my adorable doll baby who just turned 4 months old on Monday just rolled over! I told her she better be kidding because I'm supposed to witness those kinds of firsts! Much to my dismay, she was not kidding, and after I ran in the den to observe, I got to witness her second rollover in her whole little life from her tummy to her back! My dear friend got an earful of squeals and cheers from our end of the line. Will someone tell me how that happened so quickly please!?! I wanted Cora to stay tiny for at least a little while. She can't be rolling over already! I guess I need to get used to the fact that she is growing at super speeds, probably much quicker than my others, just so she can stay in the game.

Okay, now for the long awaited pictures of our new flooring. I'm only posting pics of the den, because the kitchen is still a bit incomplete. I am so excited I could, well, I'm just excited. Here's the den...

Daddy's chair and Emma's sweet!

Emma wasn't too interested in eating dinner tonight. These kind of days scare me. I don't like to see her like this. She has lost a couple of pounds and is no longer the chubby little toddler running around the house, squealing and having fun. She is now a sweet little doll who is fairly thin, lying in her chair, crying out in what seems like stomach pain. But how does one really know when that precious baby girl can't tell you? Carleigh asked me today if I wished Batten Disease only lasted for a day. I wish Batten Disease would just go away! One day I hope there will be a cure so no other little children will not have to go through the confusion of their minds and bodies shutting down.

Monday, July 27, 2009

4 months

It's amazing what can happen in 4 can lose or gain a few pounds, do a few projects around the house, go on a trip or two, organize a closet or room or two, and watch a doll baby grow like a weed! Today Cora is 4 months old!

Cora is the cah-utest little thing! She is mostly happy, smiling the majority of the time. She has discovered her hands and is very fond of her thumb, and this past week she discovered her little feet! Sooo fun to watch her. She is easily amused which makes the big kids happy. The other day she did the biggest (and first) belly laugh I've heard in a long time! You can't help but smile when you're around her.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

We've Got Wood!

I. LOVE. MY. NEW. FLOORS! We got home this evening after being away for the weekend while the flooring guys installed wood (laminate) floors throughout the bottom portion of our house!! I wanted to do the happy dance when we walked through the front door, and I saw the beautiful wood floors instead of the stained carpet I once had. What a great close to a wonderful weekend. We had a blast at our friend's condo in Rockport. Made me really miss the beach house though.

The only bad part about the new floors is that I'll be cleaning the entire house from top to bottom. It's a dust bowl around here. The walls, picture frames, bookcases, every nook and cranny is dusty from the tile being busted up and the sawdust from the wood. Oh well, it's worth it! I love these floors. Just be patient, the pictures are coming. Can't wait to post them.

Some more of my favorite pics of Emma. I can't believe last week marked a year when the doctor confirmed his suspicions that Emma had Infantile Batten Disease. It's amazing how quickly the disease has taken over our precious baby! These pictures are a sweet reminder of happier days for our little doll.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Today is Tuesday

I started this post yesterday. I'm always a day late and a dollar short...

Tomorrow is Wednesday, and the next day is Thursday...not just any Thursday though! It's the day we are getting new floors installed in our house! I am sooooo excited. We are slowly beginning to put our touch on this house we call home. Of course, Luke made his mark on almost the entire upstairs with crayon, pencil and marker almost immediately! I'll probably be spending a lot of time painting when school starts. I wish we could've gotten the floors a little sooner so Emma could have benefited from them. When she was losing her walking skills, there was a brief time she had a walker. She hated it at our house because she couldn't go anywhere on the carpet. She seemed to like it a little bit better at the rehab center though because the floors were hard and she could go faster.

One of my favorite pictures. Emma was so full of energy and spunk! She loved running around and would hardly ever stay still!

Emma not having so much fun in her walker

Sunday, July 19, 2009

One Awesome Woman

Hey folks, Kelvin here.

Well, it's late, the fam is asleep and I'm going cross-eyed from taking an Accounting exam, so I thought I would briefly remind the world what an incredibly awesome woman I have the privilege of doing life with...

Christy has the strength and resolve that we normally only read about in war-time history books. She has passion more common to Shakespeare than 21st century America. Her heart is rarely described from today's pulpits, but it is a mirror of Proverbs 31. She has multiplied her love as each child has arrived, so than none feel less than 100%. Her understanding of the sanctity and holiness of marriage is more profound daily, and it was tremendous 18 years ago. She is defined by her actions and not her words. She is more likely to have already prayed for a person than to tell them she will. Her prayer journals fill boxes. Her devotion to child is above reproach. She is the epitome of "behind every good man..." (even if he's not that good). Her husband is proud of all she does and who she is.

Did I mention she's a hottie?

O-h-h-h yea...let me tell you about it...uh...better not...goodnight...kelvin

Fun stuff

So, Kelvin and I get home today from our overnight without kids, and Luke says, "Well, I bet you enjoyed not hearing Carleigh and me not whining and complaining." I couldn't have said it better myself. We doubled over laughing. A few minutes later I was in the ER with Luke. Seems he didn't fair so well rough housing with our nephew yesterday afternoon. The xrays didn't show fractures to his wrist, but he's still crying with it tonight. I hope he's better tomorrow, or it's off to "Dr. Bones", aka the orthopedic, we go.

We had a great time at Kelvin's 20 year reunion. I still can't believe I'm saying that phrase...20 year reunion. The scarier thing is mine is only two years away! Carleigh was completely dumbfounded as to why we would possibly want to spend the night away without them. I explained to her that occasionally grown-ups like to spend time with other grown-ups without kids and that she would understand completely when she was a grown-up with kids one day! She just looked at me like I was half crazy. Half crazy I probably am...hope I don't find the other half! I was giddy this morning when I looked at the clock this morning and it was after 9! I don't remember the last time I slept so late!

I called the sitters this morning to check on the household and no one answered. I got a little bit nervous and called the church nursery. Yes, they were all there, safe and sound! Kuddos to the girls for getting the entire crew fed, dressed and to church this morning! I'm impressed! We have some of the best sitters around!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Emma at the doctor

Yesterday Emma went to see Dr. Zeller for a six month check-up. The last time he saw her was January. There wasn't much to say or change. I really like him. He is very compassionate..very willing to try whatever we find that might make Emma happier and more comfortable, and said as much. He even founded a camp for special needs kids. It's called Camp For All. He did order her an EEG to make sure the newest shaking activity is in fact seizures and not something else. He doesn't want to medicate her incorrectly. He also referred us to the geneticist he works with at Texas Children's Hospital so we can ask questions about Carleigh and Luke and, I guess Cora too, being tested to see if they are carriers for Batten Disease. I hope they aren't carriers. I would like for them not to have to worry about having children. I would like to have grandchildren some day.

Tonight begins Kelvin's 20 year reunion festivities. We just had his 10 year reunion! We blinked, and 10 years and 4 kids later, here we are again at another reunion. WOW!! I'm sure we'll have fun. We're even staying overnight tomorrow night without the kiddos in tow. Hee Hee!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Have you ever

Have you ever watched someone feed a baby? You know, the baby is in the high chair, and the person is in front of the high chair tray with the spoon and the food. It is hilarious to watch most people spoon feed a baby. Their mouths do the funniest things.

Have you ever wished on a star or seen one shoot across the sky? Luke's wish still hasn't come true...he wants a hamster. One less thing we need around here in my opinion. Which counts for more than one vote!

Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon? I couldn't resist.

Have you ever wished you drove a monster truck so you could drive right over the person who wasn't being very nice in traffic?

Have you ever called into a radio station and spoken to the DJ? I won tickets to Astroworld when I was in high school. Carleigh just called in to our Christian station the other day and asked for prayer for Emma.

Have you ever been so scared you could hear your heartbeat in your ears?

Have you ever felt like you were drowning and you weren't even in the water?

Have you ever gotten everything checked off your "to do" list?

Have you ever been so excited about something you couldn't sleep?

Have you ever said something wishing you could hit the delete button immediately?

Have you ever held someone as they passed from this life to the next?

Have you ever heard the first cry of a newborn baby and realized you had been holding your breath until you heard it?

Have you ever had such a good day you wished it would never end?

Have you ever wished you could hit rewind and go back to a happier day for your baby girl who is not so happy these days?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

What in the world?

In case you didn't recognize the one in the flower print, it's our wild boy, Luke! I think his older sister may have had something to do with this dress up party. I might add, he came down dressed as a burly pirate next. I just didn't get a picture of that costume change. There is never a dull moment! I love days like these.

Earlier today Emma's physical therapist, Becky was here. She's good about getting Luke and Carleigh to help her work with Emma. When the big kids and I walked through the door this afternoon, Becky said Emma settled down immediately. She seems to love the hustle and bustle of our household. Today Becky had the kids lying on the floor, and Emma would lay over them, stretching out her back, or Becky would take her legs and move them in a kicking motion on Calreigh's back to give her a karate chop massage. Emma liked it, and the big kids love to "help."
Emma always loved rollin around on the floor with her big brother and sister...

Monday, July 13, 2009

Monday Monday

We started the day with VBS. Carleigh was late due to piano lessons. She's learning a lot in piano. I hope she sticks with it. I would love to see her playing with the praise band or leading our family in Christmas carols one day.

Emma went to the denitst today. Although her teeth seem to be ground to little nubs to me, the dentist said they still look okay. He can definitely tell she does some major grinding, but said she would be okay for a while longer. He even said she has pretty teeth. Of course she does. She's a beautiful baby girl! So, it was a good visit. Dr. Traylor was very nice and attentive. Emma had a good experience at the dentist office today.

I put on a Baby Einstein video for Emma to listen to today, and it caught little miss Cora's attention too. She liked the puppets, but just about jumped out of her skin when one popped up unexpectedly. I thought I would see how she like the Bumbo chair since she has a little bit of head control.

I think she looks pretty good. She's loving the video.

Although she tolerated it, Emma didn't think the video or swallowing her bites was a very a good idea today. I hope tomorrow is better. She's breaking my heart.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Random Ponderings

How is it that on the same car rear window someone has the sticker "Save a horse, ride a cowboy" right next to a sticker of the Virgin Mary? And why are women so proud of their stinky attitudes that they would put a sticker on their car calling themselves a B***ch? I don't get it. Why do people have more pride in the brand of their car than themselves...would your grandma be proud of the "mean little kid peeing on whatever sticker" on the back of your vehicle? And really, who cares anyway? It's a car for crying out loud!

I'm getting a little gripy from the heat, I think. Maybe it's the lack of consistent sleep too. Or the realization that my baby girl is suffering and losing her sweet little life, and people are concerned with things like stupid stickers on the backs of their vehicles!

Moving on...
Cora is growing like a weed. She is so sweet! She has discovered her hands and have them in her mouth a lot. She smiles any time someone gives her any attention at all, and she is delightful about 99% of the time. The other 1% she is testing her voice to see how loudly she can scream. Sister has a very short fuse. She can go from a little fuss to a full blown blood curdling scream in no time flat! The big kids want to hold her all the time. She is a doll. Grammy and Papa kept Cora and Emma while Kelvin studied for finals and I took the big kids to a swimming party the other night...

We are enjoying summer break. The big kids have more VBS, bowling, and a water park this week. They are looking so forward to our vacation later on this summer, but we are having so much fun in the meantime. Carleigh is taking piano lessons, and next week Luke is going to a cooking camp! Can't wait to see what they learn. Tomorrow afternoon I plan on letting them help me mix the homemade ice cream ingredients and dump them in the ice cream maker. That should be a cool treat tomorrow evening!

Did I mention it was 108 degrees on our way home from the Texas hill country last weekend? When we stopped at a roadside park so I could change a dirty diaper, the car thermometer was reading over 125 degrees! I had to check to make sure my sandals weren't melting. My legs felt like they were on fire! I had hoped to get more swimming in this summer, but the water is so warm it feels like a hot tub. Ugh!
Here's a yummy recipe I found on a blog to cool your taste buds...

I have a tip for frappaccino lovers...
make a pot of your favorite coffee and freeze it into ice cube trays. When you'd like a cold frapp, Drop 10 frozen coffee cubes into the blender with 2 T. of chocolate syrup, and a cup of milk, blend until smooth!

Well, I think maybe everyone is finally tired enough to go to bed now, maybe. Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

not wordless Wednesday

I got the disc of the rest of our pictures! Yippee! Here are some of my favs...

And a couple more...

Luke says, "My cheeks hurt!"

This is VBS week at our church. Being a former choir director and all I thought it would be a good idea to help out with the music. Little did I know I would be getting a work-out every day too! Yesterday I wore a headset microphone so I wouldn't have to talk so loud above the music. Watch out, Brittney!...Spears, that is ;) The music is fun. I enjoy watching the kids get excited about singing and moving and praising the Lord. It's fun stuff. I will say I'm pretty darn pooped at the end of the 3 1/2 hours though.

It's looking pretty around my kitchen. We got our new counter tops installed yesterday. I loooove them! Pictures to come later. I just have to find the right drawer and cabinet knobs now.

Gotta go get ready for movin' and groovin' time at VBS!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy Independence Day

Hope you had a great 4th of July. We had a ball. We spent the weekend in Fredericksburg...such a great little family town! It's something right out of Southern Living magazine. I love it there. It's in the hill country of Texas and just delightful. Saturday morning at 8 was the children's parade. We made it just in time for Carleigh and Luke to push Emma in the stroller around the town square park a couple of times accompanied by the local old folks band. They each had on their homemade July 4th cute. We all sported our patriotic attire. The kids already have big ideas for how we're going to decorate for the parade next year. Fun stuff!

Whew! We made it! Look at our little darlings marching in the parade!

How cute is she!?


We had a great time with our new friends Saturday evening. Dinner was delicious, and the kids had a fantastic time with the water balloons.

Our Christian radio station talked about our "dependence" on God this week. You gotta witness here. Even though I might be a little upset at God for not working in Emma's life the way I would have Him, I'm so totally dependent on Him to get me through each day. There's no independence here. I don't want to do things on my own. I am truly grateful we live in this great country where so many have given so much for me to enjoy the freedoms I do and share with others what a wonderful God we serve. God Bless America!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Almost Wordless Wednesday

Here are only some of the precious pictures taken last week of our family. I'll post more when I get the disk...

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