Friday, November 30, 2007

A big couple of weeks....

There has been way too much going on lately, so this will probably be a really long blog. We'll start with Thanksgiving. I have great in-laws that take my kids for a couple of nights so that we can prepare for Thanksgiving. We have it at our house and ended up with about 23 people. We always have plenty of fixin's including a fried turkey, roasted turkey, and smoked turkey...
Olivia loved her Thanksgiving meal!

We had a few special guests in from out of state. My brother-in-law's sister, Kelly made it in from North Carolina and my cousin, Christy came in from Florida. The kids always love seeing her.

Jack, Brooklyn, and Cousin Christy playing cars.

This is always the scene after dinner is done. The gamblers play poker downstairs and the rest of us play board games upstairs.

After everyone left, the kids and I loaded up our stuff and went back to Dunlap with my parents. We left Zac with the mess. I got up at 4:00 am to do the Black Friday shopping. Zac joined us later in the evening after going to the state football playoffs - his yearly tradition. While at mom and dad's, we celebrated my mom's birthday. My niece, Emmy, and nephew, Tyler, made grandma a cake and cookies in their Easy Bake Oven. They were delicious!
There is always so much fun stuff to keep everyone entertained at Grandma and Grandpa's house. The kids ransacked the cupboards and found all the plastic cups and built towers.

Once Emmy and Tyler arrived for the party, everyone took turns bowling them down. Sorry about the bad pictures, I love my new camera, but always forget to put the flash up!

On Saturday, all the runners in the famly braved the cold and ran the FOLEPI race in East Peoria. This included Zac, mom, uncle Dave, cousin Christy, brother-in-law Brian, and his sister, Kelly. Everyone seemed to have a good run. Glad I'm not part of that crew, though!

We decided to make the most of this holiday season and decorate for Christmas on Monday. Last year wasn't the most pleasant experience which is a story in itself. We vowed to make this a better one. So we all loaded up in the car to go get our tree! Well, we picked the perfect one and asked the man to drill a hole in the bottom to fit it onto our tree stand. No problem, but not until tomorrow. Jack completely lost it and we experienced a huge tantrum. Needless to say, I didn't get any pictures of our happy little family getting the tree.

The nice man delivered it Tuesday and Brooklyn and I carried it downstairs. We decorated when Jack got home and all's well the ends well. I totally understand why people choose to get artificial trees. I now think Olivia is allergic to the tree, so she will stay out of the downstairs for a while.

Last, but not least, I took Olivia to her 15 month check-up. She's up to a whopping 19 lbs. 7.5 oz. and 30 in. long. She got to switch from her Pediasure to whole milk which will be nice on the budget. We are also trying to stop her Prevacid for acid reflux. She got 5 shots, which she was less than thrilled about, but hopefully will keep her healthy! A good report overall to end a good couple of weeks! Until next time...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A long week...

I feel like this week is never going to end. I am going on a bus trip with my sister on Saturday to do some shopping in Chicago. This will be the most adult interaction I have had in a long time and I can't wait! I'm leaving the two big kids with Zac and taking Olivia to my parents house. It never fails. When there is something to look forward to, it takes forever to get here.

So, as I was talking to my mom on the phone for a whole 10 minutes, here is what my children were doing:
Jack spilled half a jar of applesauce on the tablecloth and proceeded to lick it off. He went to change his shirt.
Jack decided his applesauce that made it in the bowl needed some extra sweetness. He climbed up on the counter to get the sugar. We are out of sugar so he opted for powdered sugar (which he thought was flour).
Jack and Brooklyn covered themselves with "flour" because they wanted to look like snowmen.
Brooklyn thought the "flour" tasted great. Jack was totally grossed out by this.
They both had to change shirts.
Zac wonders why I have so much trouble keeping up on the laundry. We'd only been home from school for 15 minutes at the most and went through 3 shirts. As I type this, Jack is running around the living room squirting a spray bottle of water saying it's raining in here. Nice.

One of my favorite things about people with Down syndrome is their eyes. Aren't they amazing. Just wanted to share.

We were having a fun afternoon so I thought I would take some pictures of the girls playing.

Then, Brooklyn decided she didn't want her picture taken anymore. How can a 3 year old be so moody. The teen years are going to be very interesting!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Time change, nice people, Olivia's hangout, etc...

We just had to share the nice thing that happened to us the other day. Brooklyn, Olivia, and I were at WalMart doing our shopping before we went to pick up Jack at school. We got in the long checkout line and, low and behold, Brookyn had to go potty. She said she could hold it while we checked out and then we rushed over to the bathroom. Now, as much as I appreciate a clean bathroom, we have never, or at least almost never, been able to go at WalMart because they are ALWAYS cleaning it. So, we headed out. I was saying nasty things about WalMart's clean bathrooms in my head when a lady stopped us to give Brooklyn a quarter to get a treat out of the machine for being so good in line! Wasn't that the nicest thing! Brooklyn's face just lit up and it really made her day, and I forgot all about the bathroom thing. Yes, just a quarter. But that huge piece of green apple bubblegum for Brooklyn, priceless.

On another note, here is what the time change is doing to people in our house. This is Brooklyn on Monday night at 5:30. She ended up sleeping through the night, but the kids - all of them - have been getting up as early as 4:45. This doesn't work for me. If I'm lucky, Zac hasn't left for his run or for the weightroom, and he will hang out with them, but if I want a happy house, he goes on his way and I drag myself out of bed. Why can't this be me at 5:30 in the evening?

Here's what the other two do to pass their time. They hang out in laundry baskets and watch TV.

Or Olivia hangs out under her exersaucer. She climbs in one end and rolls around under there for a while.

Monday, November 12, 2007

"Free Service. Lifetime Guarantee."

I was reading through my 2005 Daily Guidpost devotionals the other night and came across one that I needed to pass along. The story was about a woman who, back in the day, would always hang dry her laundry outside. Her husband loved the smell of the fresh white shirts he would wear to work every day. Even when she was awkardly pregnant, she would carry her laundry basket outside and hang the clothes trying to make sure they didn't fall in the wet soil under the clothesline. One day as she was making lunch in the kitchen, she heard the wind snap the clothesline. The clothes fell right onto the ground. She pulled on her rubber boots and grabbed the clothes basket and headed back outside. She was frightened by the telephone repairman as he came around the corner.
"Saw the whole thing happen, ma'am, so I came down the pole to give you a hand. Free service and lifetime guarantee!" Within a few minutes and a few tools later, the clothesline was fixed.
So the moral of the story is that this repairman so unselfishly gave his time to help a stranger in need. God's promise is free service with a lifetime guarantee. He always knows when we need Him and is able to help put together the broken pieces in our lives.
Whether it be our best friends, a complete stranger, a nurse or doctor, or a handy dandy repairman, He has sent us so many angels when we least expect it, but need it most. Isn't that the coolest way to think about it? Have a great day!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A totally random thought to share

Blogs are supposed to be about random information, right? So, I learned the most interesting thing the other day from Jack's kindergarten class. They are working on an M&M unit at school and he brought home the M&M bag. Did you know that if you put an M&M in a glass of water, within about 8-10 minutes the "m" floats up to the top?!? It was totally cool. Jack liked it, too. I can't believe in all my years as an M&M eater, that I was not aware of this. Anyway, this will give you something to do with all those leftover M&M's from Halloween! Have a good one.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Fall is here!

Okay - so I finally splurged and got a new camera. Hopefully this will keep me on my toes and I'll update this blog often. I'm having trouble getting any "good" pictures of Brooklyn. She's at that age where she either has no clothes on or she is obnoxiously posing for the camera. I'll keep working.

We took Olivia out to enjoy the leaves. She took it all in. It's so sad to see how excited she gets when she goes outside. She just doesn't get out much! Anyway, she loved the leaves!

Isn't there just something so sweet about a sleeping baby sucking their thumb. Olivia is our first "thumb sucker" so I probably don't know what I'm in for. She doesn't do it often, so I was happy to catch this on film. you think we'll ever get rid of that oxygen???

Zac built Jack a toolbench for his birthday. He made this doll for Brooklyn. She named it Robot Brooklyn and carried around with her everywhere on Saturday and most of Sunday. She fed it, put it down for naps, and even rocked the piece of wood. It was rather entertaining. I have no clue where Robot Brooklyn is now, but she sure did enjoy her over the weekend!

Jack is getting so big. Ever since school started, he has gotten so grown up. Don't get me wrong - he still has his moments of the typical 6-year-old meltdowns, but for the most part, I love this age.

However, I am waiting for the school to call and say that there's been a broken bone. The child has no fears. We've had to set limits as to how high he can climb the tree in the front yard and we've discussed how it's probably not a good idea to walk up the rainbow bars at school with no hands anymore. It didn't work out really well the first time he did it. Boys....