Sunday, May 2, 2010

March Madness

March was quite the month for us.  Here's how it played out...

It started out fun.  Seth and his buddy Alex decided to do a comedy act for the school talent show.  I helped them with their jokes, and they ended up getting a lot of laughs!  It turns out that Seth has quite the sense of humor.  In first grade he received the 'best sense of humor' award at the end of the year, and we were so shocked!  But now we can really see why.  He enjoys making other people laugh.  We loved seeing his confidence on stage.  They did a really great job.


On the first Saturday of March, Shane took Seth, Luke, and Seth's friend, Grant, to Home Depot for kids project day.  They made weather vanes and were so proud of them.



But their fun day quickly turned into a bummer of a day when they got back home and started painting their weather vanes in the garage.  Shane bent down to pick up a screw and heard a pop in his knee.  That was the beginning of a very long season of doctor visits, surgeries, rehab visits, and medical bills.  Shane was in a lot of pain those first few days.  His knee swelled up really bad and he couldn't even straighten it.  An MRI quickly revealed that he had a torn meniscus.  His other knee had been giving him problems since he tore it on a ski trip in '99 and had it surgically repaired.  So the doctor decided to scan that one too, which showed a torn patella tendon and chronic tendonitis.  So before we knew it, Shane was scheduled for double knee surgery.

In the meantime, Spring Break came without consideration of Shane's injuries.  But luckily, Grammy and Pops drove into town and saved the day (or the week, really!)  The kids absolutely loved spending time with them.  They went to the zoo, the butterfly garden, the park, and made lots of shopping trips.  Here are a few pictures of that week from Grammy's camera.



When Spring Break was over, Grammy and Pops went to Houston to visit some friends.  But before heading back home they came back to help us out while Shane had his surgery.  We were so very thankful for their help.  Here are Shane's before-and-after shots.



The surgery went better than expected.  They were able to easily repair the patella tendon in his left knee and do some blood injections for the tendonitis.  That knee healed really quickly and was back at 100% in no time.  The plan for his right knee changed during surgery when the doctor realized he could actually repair the meniscus instead of removing it as planned.  This was great news, but it did require a much longer recovery time than expected, keeping him in a brace and on crutches until May 6.  In the end, we were really thankful he was able to get everything fixed!

And then before we knew it, Spring was here!  And with Spring came more snow!  But that didn't stop Mommy and Kallie from our first pedicures of the season!

first day of spring


A belated February post...

I am THREE months behind on this blog.  Geez Louise, I don't know why I can't keep up!!

So here we go...

Here are the kids on Valentine's Day with their treats that I set out for them that morning.  We love holidays!  This was an early morning picture which is why they still have cute sleepy faces.


Seth dressed up as Henry Ford for the 3rd grade wax museum at school.  They had "buttons" (stickers) on their hands, and when you pushed it they began their speeches.  The library was filled with characters, and Seth did a great job!  We were very impressed with his memorization skills.


This is Kallie in her Valentine's program at school.  I was sitting right up front, and so she looked right at me and sang all of her songs to me.  Oh, it was so, so sweet.  Kallie absolutely loves being on stage.  She loves to sing and and perform.  And she loves doing special things for Mommy.  The second picture is from her party at school - she's showing me the Valentines she got from her friends.



Seth had a party too.  Here he is pretending to be excited about his Valentines.


I know I've already blogged about the snow, but it really was incredible to have so much snow in Texas.  It was so much fun for the kids, but I can honestly say I would not want to live somewhere with a lot of snow.  What a mess!



I got to go with Seth on his third grade field trip to the museum.  It was fun to see him with his friends. 


That's it for February!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

A barking fish??

I mentioned before that I had the opportunity to direct our kids choir at church for a special Christmas Eve presentation they did in our service that night. I think I also mentioned that they stole my heart. I knew I was hooked.

On Wednesday, I announced to them that we would be doing a summer musical (eeeeeeeeee!!!!!!) called Under God's Sea in 3D. I introduced the first song this week, Joyful Noise, which talks all about how the creatures of the sea praise the Lord.

I'm a firm believer in understanding what you're singing about, and it seemed pretty logical to me that elementary school kids probably couldn't explain how a seahorse could possibly praise the Lord. And honestly, I'm not sure that I had ever really thought about it before Wednesday.

So I started reading in the Psalms, and came across Psalm 69:34, where it says "Let heaven and earth praise him, the seas and all that move in them." Bingo!

But still I knew they would wonder HOW. So I asked them if they'd ever seen a fish jump out of the water and start barking and running around. They laughed. :) God made fish to swim and He made dogs to bark. And when God's creation does what He created it to do, He is praised.

God created us to love Him. To know Him. To serve and obey Him. And when we do what He created us to do, He is praised.

What a simple yet profound lesson for these sweet kids (and us!) to learn. I always knew creation glorified God simply because He created it, but to think that with every wiggle of its tail a fish praises the Lord is such an amazing thing.

I want my life to be that way. With every word, every movement, every thought ... praising my Creator by being who He created me to be.

Bloggy Catch-Up ~ July '09 to January '10

I know I said I wasn't going to put pressure on myself to blog every single thing, but I do want to fill in the gaps just a little bit. I did take a SEVEN month break! So here goes...

Shane went to Africa in July, and while he was there Nana and Papa came out to Texas! They arrived on July 4th and we spent the evening at one of our local festivals eating lots of yummy food, playing games and watching fireworks. The kids absolutely LOVE spending time with them.


While they were here Nana took Kallie to the American Girl store and bought her a doll for her birthday (which wasn't until September, but it was a good excuse to go!) Kallie loves her doll, Kit. Nana has since made them lots of matching clothes.


Here's Papa and Luke at the Rainforest Cafe.


A few weeks after they left, we packed up and headed to Florida for vacation! God has been so good to us, and even though we are what seems like a million miles away from our families, we seem to get to see them enough to have wonderful memories and sweet relationships. We got to spend lots of time with cousins, and I'm so thankful that my kids get to enjoy them a few times a year! Hannah and Charis are such sweet girls and we love watching them grow.


The kids enjoyed the beach of course! We couldn't ask for a better place to visit. Nana and Papa's house is so much fun! Grammy and Pops spoil them too.


But I would definitely say that the highlight of our vacation was getting to spend a whole week at Disney!!!!! We usually just go visit family when we're on vacation, and while that is wonderful, we never go anywhere just-the-five-of-us. We just hate wasting time that we could spend with family. But this year we decided it was definitely time. And it was AMAZING. We totally wore ourselves out, but it was sooooooo worth it. We did everything - all the parks, character meals, extra magic hours, parades, fireworks, a Disney resort ... it really was a magical vacation.

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As soon as we got back from Florida it was time for school to start! This year Seth started 3rd grade and Kallie started kindergarten. I can't believe we have two kids in school! We all walked to school together on the first day. They were both so excited, but especially Kallie. We could tell she was really going to love it, and we were right. Her birthday is September 16th, so she is one of the oldest in her class. She waited such a long time for this day!


Kallie celebrated her 6th birthday in September, and we had a little after-school surprise party for her. She is such a joy. I remember the day we found out we were having a little girl. I was so incredibly happy and overwhelmed with excitement. Kallie has a huge heart, a sweet smile, a silly laugh, and a childlike innocence about her that is just precious. She is not into 'things', she doesn't care if the plans change, she doesn't really care what anyone thinks, she just wants to love and to be loved. And she wants to enjoy everything in the process.



She started ballet this year and really seems to be enjoying it. We had made it an entire year without a broken arm and decided it was safe to try something a little active. We also hoped that it would encourage a little grace and coordination, because boy does she need some of that!


Seth picked up a new activity as well and started flag football. Daddy helped out with a little of the coaching. The 'Texas Tornadoes' didn't exactly pull off a ton of wins, but they definitely had fun and didn't stress about it. Seth thinks he'd like to play football again next year. Daddy thinks he may have the skills to be a decent quarterback ... we'll see!   


Luke started preschool again, and this year he's in Mrs. Brenda's 3-year-old class. Luke absolutely loves the social interaction and we feel very blessed to have such a wonderful school he can enjoy while Mommy gets a little work done!


October was a fun month for us! Of course the kids love pumpkins, dressing up, and our church's Trunk-or-Treat. And I loved leading our ladies retreat where we learned about how we are treasured to God!




We spent Thanksgiving with sweet friends and even cooked all of the food ourselves! And over the break Shane tiled our entryway and did a fabulous job. Now if we could only get to work on the other 999 jobs on our home improvement to-do list.


Christmas was absolutely wonderful! We had our Christmas Eve service at church, and one of the highlights for me was getting to direct our kids choir. Seth read part of the Christmas story and Kallie sang a little solo. Those kids captured my heart. I loved every second of it. As soon as the service was over we hopped in the car to head to Florida! It snowed in Texas on Christmas Eve and getting out of town was a little more hazardous than expected, but we made it! The kids opened presents at our house that morning and then had about 4 more Christmases in Florida with family. I don't think they even know that Christmas is just one single day. It lasted about a week for us!




Papa is the best Santa EVER! And I don't think any of the kids cried this year.


The Taylor/Johns talent show has become an annual event. I wish I could say that the quality of this event is going up every year, but alas, it is not. Fun? Yes. Well-rehearsed? Not so much. The "matching" Christmas pajamas are less-and-less matching every year too. Oh well, we loved every second of it all!



I think the highlight of the trip for Shane and Seth was getting to go see FSU in the Gator Bowl. It was Bobby Bowden's last game and Seth's first college game. I think he is hooked.


While the boys were at the game, the rest of the family scattered in a bunch of different directions leaving Mom and me at home with Kallie and Luke. We decided we weren't going to just sit around, and so on New Year's Eve we spontaneously decided to drive to Orlando and spend New Year's Day at Disney World! We both love adventure and how can you go wrong with Disney?! Luckily, the park was pretty empty and we walked right onto most of the rides.

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Whew, I guess that's one way to blog...cramming 7 months into one post! Life is so full. It's not without its challenges and struggles, and actually it's pretty crazy and exhausting at times, but we've learned that time spent loving on our family is time we'll never regret. The Lord is good, and we are so grateful for His blessings.

Friday, February 12, 2010

TWELVE-AND-A-HALF inches !!!

Can you believe we got that much snow in Texas? I grew up with snow. We lived in Florida but went skiing every year. My kids, on the other hand, haven't seen a significant snowfall since they were very little. (Actually, Luke has never seen it now that I think about it!) Needless to say, they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. We were a little unprepared in the snow gear department. Kallie had on a raincoat. Seth wrapped a bandana around his head. Luke wore my mittens. But they didn't care. They played with the neighbors for hours. Luke would come in periodically, hand me his gloves (which meant he wanted me to put them in the dryer) and then he'd run into the bathroom and run his hands under warm sink water. kidsinthesnow

School was canceled today and Kallie was devastated. She loves school, especially when there's a party, and today was going to be their Valentine's party. She keeps asking me if there's school tomorrow, and I don't have the heart to tell her she has three more days at home.

Kallie had some bloodwork done on Wednesday. She's been unusually tired lately with lots of sore throats and tummy aches. The tests all came back normal. I think 35 hours a week of kindergarten is just a lot for a little girl. We may have to push bedtime up a little for her body to keep up. Kallie was showing Luke the little dot on her arm where they took her blood and he said, "Kallie, I like your bloodwork!" Sweet Luke. He is complimenting everything these days. Mommy, I like your hair...Mommy, I like your feet...Mommy, I like your house. Tonight he asked for the book, "Guess How Much I Love You" at bedtime. He has been especially mushy-gushy lately and I love it.

Well, I'm not totally sure how I'm going to do with keeping up with this blog, but I think I'm just going to give myself permission to not be perfect about it. To not have to include every picture, every story, and every event. We'll just see how that works!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Back from a looooooong bloggy break...

Maybe. I've said before that blogging and I have a love/hate relationship. I absolutely love to go back and read the posts I've written. I love that my parents and other friends who are far, far away can see what's going on in our lives. But it's so blasted hard to keep up with this thing! I think I'm going to give it another attempt though. So if you're reading this, maybe you should leave me a note of encouragement in the comments. Yes, I'm shamelessly asking you to beg me to start blogging again.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Seth! (oh, and Happy Father's Day to Daddy too!)

Seth's birthday fell on Father's Day this year! I have tons of birthday pictures to share, so I think I'll start with the Father's Day pictures. My kids have no idea how blessed they are to have Shane for their Daddy. He loves being a Daddy so much.


The kids made him this giant card and each drew a "Daddy and Me" picture on the front for him. Luke's is on the left and Daddy looks a little like Jabba the Hut, and then Luke is above him sliding down a slide. Kallie's picture is in the middle. She and Daddy have on crowns and their castle is above them. And then Seth's is on the right and is just a perfect little picture of how they really look. It's so funny because each picture is a perfect representation of their individual personalities. (You can click on the picture to make it bigger.)


Seth turned 8 this year! It is hard to believe that 8 years ago I was holding a sweet baby boy in my arms and trying to figure this whole mom-thing out! He has been such a joy.

He wanted a mountain bike for his birthday (you know, one with gears and fancy tires, etc.) But they are not cheap. Shane got one last year and wanted Seth to have one so that they could go riding together. It was a lot more than we would normally spend on a birthday, so Shane saved his money that the church had given him for Pastor Appreciation Sunday and bought Seth a bike. Isn't he a sweet Daddy?


Seth decided he wanted a "bike-riding party" for his birthday this year. (Isn't that cute??) So we invited a bunch of friends to the park for bike riding, water balloons & a picnic.



Of course Shane was right in the middle of the fun...


This next picture makes me laugh! I love how the little boys are looking at Seth and his friends like "they are soooo cool!"



I really don't know that there are words to describe how hot it was that day. You'd have to live in Texas to really understand. The boys were so sweaty, dirty and gross! And they loved every second of it!! Kallie, on the other hand, was not enjoying the yuckiness of it all and wimped out on us pretty fast. Here she is sitting with my friend Amanda and pouting because the boys threw water balloons at her...


The little boys were just as gross (probably grosser actually!) and little Wesley was even crawling all over the dirt and gravel...


All in all, it really was the perfect boy party. Next time though, maybe the girls should just stay home and let Daddy take care of it!!