Thursday, September 30, 2010

Laura at Four Months and Now

Somehow, I never managed to post Laura's 4 month pictures. And, since this is now my form of scrapbooking, I must include them.

Laura had her cardiology checkup yesterday and that went well. There is no further deterioration of the heart so things are stable, waiting for the surgery.

Here are some pictures from a month ago:

This has become the accepted form of comfort: two fingers

She is always a very happy baby, which is so nice considering her unhappy condition.

Baby feet are so sweet, especially when they are peeking out from under the nursing cover. I must get a picture of that sometime.

At a picnic one afternoon -- not the happiest of looks though.

Our first family picture since Laura was born!!! YAY!!!

Me and my sweet baby! I said something about "my daughters" today and it made me so happy thinking I actually have two girls!!!

Christina knitted her a beautiful "Bog Jacket" for fall and winter. Note: these pictures were a month ago when she was chubbier. She's skinnier now.

Sweet baby hair which is as wild as ever, just longer.

Doctor appointments seem to rule our schedule -- five this week and five next week (not all are for Laura). I think I want to take one week before surgery and schedule NOTHING! :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Our Busy Weekend

Here we are at the other end of a very, very busy weekend. Michael's mom and sister flew in to attend the 2010 True Woman conference with me downtown at the convention center. Michael had to go to Chicago to participate at a conference of his own. My mom and sister flew to Long Island for the weekend. Between all of that, we've been making multiple trips to the airport!

The conference was wonderful!! I am so glad I had the opportunity to attend. I've come back encouraged and refreshed. There were many wonderful speakers, including Nancy Leigh DeMoss, Janet Parshall, Mary Kassian, and Joni Erickson Tada. It was just nice to be with 6,100 other like-minded women.

I also enjoyed the band they organized to be there, headed by Keith and Kristyn Getty. I had never heard of them before but really enjoyed their music.

Everyone really enjoyed hearing from Joni Erickson Tada, who had to speak via video because of her current struggles with breast cancer.

Laura behaved herself and endured the three days of the conference.

Add ImageHalf an hour after we got home, we headed across the street for a very cool birthday party!!! It was a carnival theme and we all had fun.

Aunt Nicole with Laura:

It was great to see our nephew, Niko, and our niece, Stella, and of course Nicole and Mom L. (and Joe too!!!)

Here are the cousins in their new Ponca City, OK t-shirts.

Grandma with Laura:

David and Stella are just about the same size, even though they are a year apart!

We celebrated James' 6th birthday while the family was here:

Lots of fun and lots of food!!!

And now we are settling back into real life, which is almost as busy.

Laura has gained 3 ounces over the weekend which is good news since last week she weighed in less than she had a month ago. Right now she is 10 pounds 1 ounce and 5 months today. I still have to post her 4 month pictures, and I guess I better take some 5 month ones!

Laura also sprouted a tooth this weekend! Way to go Laura! Now she is sleeping better and eating better.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Studying Massachusetts

We studied Massachusetts the week before our vacation. Once again, we had a lot of fun. The little boys made ship hats to go with the Mayflower story. The older kids did silhouette pictures, which is something that was popular in time gone by.

We had a proper Massachusetts dinner with Boston Baked Beans and Boston Brown Bread. We also made chocolate chip cookies because they were first made there. We learned about cranberries and intended to drink cranberry juice with our dinner, but I forgot to mix it up.

Some of the books we read:

M is for Mayflower

The Sign of the Beaver
Johnny Tremain

Johnny Tremain was a book we listened to during our vacation on car trips and at home. It was such a great, dramatic book. It tells the story of a young silversmith apprentice in Boston in the days just leading up to the Revolutionary War. I was captivated by it, and the kids enjoyed it too. I think since it was such a long book, it was nice to have it on tape.

The kids are collecting postcards from each state and so far we have some from ME and MA. It's very fun to see them posted up in our schoolroom.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Andrew's Birthday

Andrew's 8th birthday fell on the second day of our vacation.

The coolest thing ever was Andrew's second butterfly hatching for his birthday.

He went on his traditional breakfast out with Dad and then came home to open cards and presents.

Three special boys!!

Then we all went out to let the butterfly go. Unlike the last one, this one flew off right away.

High up into the sky....
In the evening we had all the neighborhood friends over for cupcakes and ice-cream.

Andrew loved having everyone over.

And a few of us adults were present too.

One year ago on Andrew's birthday we announced to the kids that they were going to have a new brother or sister. This year on Andrew's birthday we found out the disturbing news about Laura's heart problems. Hopefully next birthday will bring a much healthier little Laura!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

What We Did on 9/11/10

Last Saturday we attended a wonderful parade in Zionsville. The theme was "Heroes" which was appropriate for something held on 9/11.

The kids were very excited and ready for candy. :)

Here's Laura with her silly grin, decked out in her newly knitted cardigan.

After waiting for more than an hour, the parade finally came down the street! Very appropriate to begin with all the firetrucks.

There were many tributes to 9/11:

And there was even a pipe band! Andrew told me later that when he saw them he "almost cried because it made him miss Scotland."

After we ate our picnic lunch we let the kids each choose one ride in the Lions Park carnival.

Rachel and Andrew loved the swings:

James used will power and resisted all the fancy rides to wait for a ride on a sweet little pony:

I think we looked a sight: umpteen balloons and almost umpteen children walking through the park.

It was a great outing for our staycation.

Today we started our first week of Homeschool Group. The kids loved their classes, which include German, Science Dissection, Gym, and various other things.

Laura also started her first physical therapy. She did a good job, and hopefully this will help her gain some muscle strength.

We are looking forward to a visit from Michael's mom and sister and her family next week!!! All the ladies are going to the True Woman conference, Michael is headed to Chicago for another conference, and somewhere in between we are going to enjoy each other's company!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Back to the Grind

Vacation (or Staycation) is over and we are back to the grind. So much so that there isn't a moment to stop and breath. Between homeschooling, feeding and clothing 7 people, medicating 4 of them, and trying to keep up with all my other responsibilities, life is CRAZY just now.

I have so many pictures to post, so hopefully I'll get the chance. Here we are on the last night of our vacation, eating a picnic dinner on the Circle downtown.

And then, as a big treat to end the vacation, we all went on a carriage ride!! It was so much fun, and hopefully will be very memorable. Thirty minutes of riding slowly over the streets of downtown imagining times gone by.

We all loved it!!!
Tomorrow begins our homeschool group and Laura's physical therapy. I have this feeling that I need to cram my entire fall into one month since September was taken up with vacation and November will be taken up with hospital stays. Oh the joys of a busy family!!! :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Laura's Hospital Stay

I am so behind on posting. This is our vacation so we've been doing various things and I've been taking pictures and just haven't posted yet. Oh well. At least we are having fun and taking pictures. :)

Here are some photos from Laura's hospital stay. The rooms were very nice, and Laura had a hospital crib instead of a bed.

The hospital brought in toys for her to use (and even gave her several free toys). She LOVED this fisher price toy (and I think Michael wants to get her one).

She had to be monitored the whole time, so there were lots of wires, a red light, and a small unit we could take on a walk:

The kids came for a visit:

Look who is happy to be going home!!!

Laura's been doing well with her meds. She takes 3 meds each day (some twice a day) and hates them. She gets most of it down though. The next checkup with our pediatrician will be in two weeks and with the cardiologist in 3 weeks. At that time we'll get another echo and we'll see how the meds are working.

I've been reflecting on how perfect Laura's name is for her. Laura means "victorious" and Elizabeth means "consecrated to God." We do pray that she will come through these troubles victorious, but more than that, victorious in spirit. And, as her parents, we have committed her to the Lord's hand to do with as He pleases.

One of our pastor friends, who visited us in the hospital, shared some verses from Isaiah 49: Can a nursing mother forget her child? No. But more than that, God will not forget you. He has inscribed you on the palm of his hands. This is a special reminder that God does not forget us but sees exactly what is happening in our lives right now and is orchestrating it for His glory and our good.

In the mean time I'm very behind on my email and other such things. I'm not even really supposed to be doing much on the internet on vacation, but our plans have pretty much gone to the wind. We made it over to Dayton on Monday last week to see the Air Force Museum -- so awesome!!! Then, we had a lovely picnic at the Art Museum gardens on Sunday afternoon. Today we enjoyed Conner Prairie all to ourselves!!! I think there were only 15 other people there the whole time we were!!