Monday, April 29, 2013

Weekend In Review: Time with Friends!

This weekend was filled with good, quality time with friends! Saturday morning one of my very best friends, Lindsey (who is having her third little boy) was having a baby shower in NWA, and it was amazing, you have to click HERE and see some of the pics, it was such a cute shower, Jenna and the other hostesses did awesome!

Our friend Stephanie drove up to see Lindsey with me and what fun it was to catch up...it'd been way too long since we'd all seen each other face to face, so it was quite a treat! Both mine and Stephanie's husband's stayed home with the three little boys we each have and covered down on the home front, "thanks honey" you got big points this weekend! Steph and I enjoyed the uninterrupted conversation for the six plus hours that we were in the car together (going up and coming back), ahhhh to have time to think, process and discuss disciplinary issues with the kids, life with our husbands, trips that we're going to be taking and just visit, was oh so therapeutic! Thanks Steph for being such a great co-pilot and for helping with Ava Jane, who I must say is quite the little traveler, she hardly made a peep the whole day, she is adorable and oh so precious!! Steph, let's do another road trip soon!!
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Then Sunday, Adam and I headed up to the hospital to see some friends who've recently adopted a set of twins. The first thing I said when I got to hold that sweet little fella, was "you have certainly been prayed over". To be apart of praying for Carol and John, and getting to watch upclose as they walked this road that God has planned for them, has been such a priviledge for us. It is amazing to see God in the details, to watch Him orchestrate the path for their family and what a thrill it will be as we get to see these two precious blessings get to come home and start this life that God has ordained for them! I've said it before, and I'll say it again, these kids are getting such an amazing family, anyone would want to be apart of it, but how fortunate that Violet and William get to be the lucky ones! You can read the beginning of God's story for these sweet little ones HERE. There's such potential in them, such greatness, I can't wait to watch and see what the Lord does in and through these babies and this family!
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Friday, April 26, 2013

Spring Time Pictures

Yesterday I got some pictures of all the kids. I need to send out a big "Thank You" to Mrs. Linda for letting me use her backyard...the rock fountain and the koi fish were quite the hit! I think we got a few good ones! Here's a little snippet of them.

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Peyton 1
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Lawson 2
Emerson 5
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Emerson 2
Ava Jane 1
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Are they not precious?! My heart just swells when I look at them! God has richly blessed us, and we are grateful! The actual taking of the pictures was crazy (with the whining and wanting what another one had, wanting to splash in the water or, screaming from seeing a bunch of ants--Mrs. Linda, again I'm sorry we interrupted your quiet moment of gardening) but as I sit here looking back at these pictures, I'm filled with such love towards them...and to think that's just a tiny amount of the love that God has for us when He thinks about us!! How humbling? How truly incredible?!

"How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!" 1 John 3:1

Monday, April 22, 2013

Weekend In Review: Walkin' and Fishin'

This weekend was BEAUTIFUL! Oh my goodness, it was fabulous and we got to enjoy a lot of out door time.

Bright and early Saturday morning we got to enjoy the Heart Walk with the American Heart Association out at Burns Park. We were "Team Ava Jane" and enjoyed walking in her honor. It was amazing how many people were out there and not only that, but how many kids have CHD (Congenital Heart Defects) I talked to a Mom who has a 15 and 13 year old who both had pulmonary valves missing and each have had three open heart surgeries and are looking at having to have replacements every few years for the rest of their lives, their particular defects aren't supposed to be hereditary but both her kids have the same defects.
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There were just so many families, walking for their loved ones, truly, so many people are effected!
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The Heart Walk was a 3 mile route that took us beside the Arkansas River, it was beautiful that morning!
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The 3 miles got the best of this little guy...thankfully he has a good Daddy to carry him in!
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As we've learned more about Ava Jane's defect and researched more about it, its unbelievable how many people are effected by heart defects (and or heart diseases). Congenital heart disease refers to problems of the heart and major arteries that are present at birth. Those problems can relate to: heart structure, such as abnormal openings in heart walls, irregular heart rhythm, and heart muscle deterioration. While heart defect is the most common birth defect, affecting one in every 100 newborns, the chance of survival is high. Advances in interventional cardiology have played an important role in increased survival rates, and for that we are so grateful!

A baby's heart begins to develop at conception, but is completely formed by 8 weeks into the pregnancy. Congenital heart defects happen during these crucial first 8 weeks of the baby's development. Specific steps must take place in order for the heart to form correctly. Ava Jane had a defect (Coarctation of her aorta) that caused too little blood to travel to the rest of her body. This defect was a result of the narrowing in her aorta that prevented the proper amount of blood from traveling to her extremities to meet all her needs.

As we've heard stories and kept up with others who are dealing with multiple heart defects, we are just so grateful that God protected this sweet girl and saved us from experiencing "sorrow upon sorrow". One of the Doctors in our Pediatric Clinic has a daughter, who even in the past week has been struggling with her own heart defects, they are quite serious and they thought they might have lost her at one point, but I am happy to say that she is on the mend today and her parents have been living examples of walking by faith and not sight! If you'd like to read Brooklyn's story you can follow it here.

I loved walking in her honor!
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Afterward they had fun bounce houses for the kids to enjoy, DJ's playing music and people dancing the YMCA...it was a fun morning!
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Poor Ava Jane couldn't make it the whole time, she passed out in Daddy's arms!
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We also took the boys fishing out at Maumelle Park. We had a picnic with G-Dad and Gigi and just enjoyed the wonderful Spring time weather!
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Emerson wants to be a big boy like his brothers..."I can do it...I can do it!"
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Peyton caught 4 of these little Brim...he thought it was awesome!
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G-Dad helping Lawson
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And it wouldn't be a good outing with the kids if no one got hurt...poor Emerson bit the concrete really hard! He is so tough though!
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Friday, April 19, 2013

Life and Backwards Planning

To say this past week was busy is a severe under statement, it was a lot of fun, but it was fast and furious!

I had my hair done and asked Emily to try curling my very thick, straight hair to see if she could get it to hold (and she did) I enjoyed it and thought it turned out pretty cute...I've worn it curled a couple times last week, but haven't gotten it down real fast yet, its taking some practice!
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I've begun to realize my life demands backwards planning...I CANNOT go to bed without first making a fairly detailed outline for my next day. If I don't, then I inevitably forget something when I leave my house and end up wasting time having to back track...you know how it is, I can't leave without someone's blanket, or wipes, a kids backpack or lunch, the pile of laundry that needs to go the cleaners has to be put in my car the night before and it has to sit in my passenger front seat and keep me company or else I'll forget about it! Or most days lately, my list of things to remember, when I'm putting my four kids in the car, has been 2 sets of cleats, 2 baseball gloves, 2 bats, hats, as well as snacks and drinks for the several hours of practices. Be still my heart, aren't they so cute!
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I have to keep a running list of things I need to buy or pick up in the "notes" portion of my phone, without that I'd be a lost lady!! I've found that if I don't have a running list to look at, of things I "need to do next", then I waste time trying to figure out what I need to be doing!

Literally on days when the kids are at MDO I map out my morning in as orderly a fashion a possible, usually its according to a.)whatever time the store opens or b.)I try and go to the furtherest place and work my way back toward the school. On mornings like last week I woke up at 5am to have my quiet time, dressed and fed all four kids and took them all to school by 8am because Adam had to be out of town for work; I ran to Kroger's, came home, unloaded and put it all away, went to prayer group, made a stop at Walgreens, Khols, Home Depot, Mardels and Hobby Lobby all by 11:45. I grabbed a CFA sandwich and scarfed it down then flew through Tuesday Morning, TJ Maxx and headed up to Caroline's Consignment. In order to not be running back and forth it required me to pre-think everything I needed to put in my car when I left my house for the second time that morning (at a mere 9:15! Geesh!)

Backwards planning...it's what's for dinner (and breakfast, lunch, snack time....anytime really!) I am not perfect at it, (I won't ever be) but I am learning the dance of planning and remembering, but mostly anticipating. With kids in this phase of life, I often feel like I'm running a three ring circus, and it seems I can't get ahead of the game. To stay on top of it all requires quite a bit of endurance and stamina...and honestly, sometimes it just runs out!

Like one day last week I decided to enjoy the beautiful spring weather and make a stop at a park on our way home...it's nice that I had previously anticipated a day like this having bought pre-packaged snacks (of goldfish and cheezits) as well as a box of capri suns that were just waiting in the back of the Suburban for just a time as this! I love being flexible and doing spur of the moment things, but with kids, it often doesn't feel "spontaneous" because there's usually so much to remember to pack! I loved swinging with the boys and watching them run and play! Then there's those real life moments with boys, when you're without a restroom close by and you realize, it's really quite simple for boys!!
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And this little lady just snoozed the whole time...man I love her!
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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Field Trip...

Peyton was super excited to be a "bus rider" today. His Kindergarten class went to the zoo today (along with pretty much every other Kindergarten class in the LRSD, I am not exaggerating everyone from Little Rock, along with Bismarck schools and several others, were there, it was crazy)! Literally, children.were.everywhere!!
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Since my Mother In Law had the other three kiddos I was freed up to simply enjoy being with him and his friend Bo. I had a great time visiting with Bo's Mom and Aunt too...one of us almost took out several small children when the stroller started rolling down a slight incline...I won't say who though!
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My cute little penguin, talking to a real penguin...
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This exhibit was by far his favorite!
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We saw several animals, though many...actually most, were not in their cage/exhibit. Honestly it seemed that some of the animals looked like they may be on their last leg, which was really sad! And several of the cages had notes that said something to the effect of "we are receiving medical assistance" one of which was due to arthritis, super sad! Peyton kept asking "where are the animals?" It is the zoo, so we were expecting to see more, I just kept saying they were resting.

Here's some of what we saw...
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Just looking in on "the daddy lion".
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Watching the Gorilla's...they are just so huge and massive! Glad there is a high wall separating us and them!!
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And these alligators...they didn't move a muscle, they didn't blink their eyes and I couldn't see them breathing either...Rachel commented that they could just as well be plastic cause we wouldn't know the difference! Ha!
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We rode the train, both boys thought it was "so awesome!"
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They had some beautiful flowers, I thought this one was interesting, a flower bed made from an old bed frame.
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We had fun doing something a little out of the ordinary. We had a great time, just being together, he held my hand and wanted to walk that way for a while, which was a treat for me! He was thrilled to know that I was checking him out early and taking him home with me after our picnic lunch! I love making memories!
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CARTI: Festival of Trees

This past week was filled with wonderful events that all benefited CARTI. CARTI, is THE cancer treatment facility that provides hope and he...