31 August 2007

drumroll please...

here is the finished sofa sleeper, with two handsome models (yes, that is the look of Walker coming down with something, hoping, hoping, hoping its not croup...or strangely-swollen-tonsil disease again either)
here's a reminder of the before picture
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Slide Show

Wilson & Muskoka

I came into the livingroom to find these two last night while we were getting dinner ready.

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29 August 2007

a little mommy guilt...

as I was finishing some laundry, I told Wilson to stay on Muskoka's bed (he was knocking over my beautifully folded piles). After putting some things away, and starting another load, I found him asleep. I quickly moved him to our bed (after taking a picture), at which time he quickly woke up and informed me that he would NOT be going back to sleep. He hopped out of our bed and went to the living room. I decided to capitalize on his time sulking on the couch and loaded up the dishwasher.
And this is how I found him. Poor kid.
Many parents extol the wonder-drug benadryl for its sleep-inducing power. Usually my kids get crazy. Today, crabby was a better word. Wilson is recovering from croup. He went to the ER Sunday pm and I took him back to the doc yesterday. He is now on a steriod and has two allergy prescriptions. We are considering becoming pharmaceutical reps to make some extra money on the side. All we have to do is open our kitchen cupboard and start selling. I have two allergy prescriptions. Brad has two allergy scripts and as well as two asthma scripts, plus one for heartburn or something. Allegra, Claritin, Zrytec, Singulair x2, Flonase x2...any interested buyers out there? I think we have refills for everything.

You know this is a joke right. Just a shameless way of explaining my poor parenting skills as I try to get my "chores" done around the house. Maybe I should just let him watch more TV!!!!
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feeling blessed...

Thanks Dad and Sandy for the pralines from Mackinac, yet another unexpected surprise in the mail. We truly appreciate all the efforts, big and small, to keep us connected from a distance. Whether it is a trip to visit us, or a crazy text message forward in the early morning, its good to have loving family around (even if not in proximity). Thank goodness for cell phones, and the internet which make it so easy to connect affordably! Can I get an Amen??
These two pics are of the German hutch and buffet that our friends Trent and Faith "gave" us. I felt a little guilty on the receiving end, so we made a deal that whoever leaves Fort Sill first gets dibs on them. They had been in their garage for nearly 3 years, so Faith was happy to find someone to love them, and I do. Brad...not so much, but he knows I like them. They are quite beautiful.
And here is the "EGG" that Brad's former section chief is letting Brad drive for the next 4-8 months. Shane is in training in San Antonio through December and then onto Georgia from there for another 4 months. We have already enjoyed having a second car around here. And Brad has been able to pick up another medic that recently moved in around the corner who has also been sharing a car with his wife.

It is hard at times to be far from family. Especially when Wilson asks if we can get money out of the bank to go to Michigan. A wedding rolls around and the sacrifice hits home even harder. Then seeing pics of the babies getting so big, and "missing out" on all of that. NONETHELESS, God reminds us that we are doing the right thing.

A day like yesterday rolls around and every blessing floods my mind repeatedly. Not all the stuff that is pictured, but all the family and friendships that are represented by the stuff. We are loved and blessed. God brought us here to love and bless others as well. Without filling three screens with all the info about yesterday, I'll try to give you a snapshot. (Ok, really it started months ago, and then again on Monday night through yesterday morning.) We were asked to help watch some children of a lady that was in the hospital. Her husband is in training here and they have been having marital "issues." Lots of he said, she said stuff. (That, in itself is a big reminder of how blessed we are.) Its a mess, all around a big, fat mess. Ok, I can't even begin to explain it all but that the day ended with exhaustion. The good kind, where you know you were doing good even though it was exhausting. I am proud of my husband and the integrity that he displays, not only toward our family, but in this situation as well. He called this guy up and told him to "man up" and take care of his boys. He saw him again later and said, "This isn't about what's going on between you and your wife, its about your children. They need their dad, especially now."

Oh my gosh, I love this man. You tell him, Brad. You fight the good fight, you tell that guy to take care of his family. And with exhaustion, I crawled into bed and thought, I am blessed and I am loved. Our family is in good health, we have a home that we love, friends that we can call for help. We are learning the difference between helping and enabling; learning where to draw the line so our family isn't neglected for the sake of "helping others." Its tricky, but exciting to know that God is using us and growing us. We are happy to be on our journey together, so happy to be able to share it with you all as well.

One more thing, as I was driving home from my friend's Arbonne party last night (with one eye looking twenty years younger than the other) there was the most beautiful harvest moon. I think that is what they call the big, fat, orange moon that is just over the horizon. I felt as if it was a little present hung there just for me by my Creator. Just a gift to say, "I love you, I appreciate your willingness to help today." I wanted to take a pic with my phone, but the person behind seemed in a rush and you know cell phone cameras aren't that great. So I had to store it in my brain.

I hope you take a few minutes today, to think about ALL of your many blessings. Its so easy to get caught up in what we are lacking or wanting, but truly, we are all so blessed. Sorry to ramble. Brad will kill me when he sees how long this is....

26 August 2007

Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge

Love the timer feature...we found a little lizard on the rock that Wilson is standing on in this pic.

the black spec in the distance (above Wilson's head) is a buffalo

this is at the top of Mt. Scott. When we started driving up, we had no idea how narrow and long a drive it would be, but it was worth it. What a beautiful view...Wilson was a little nervous to let go of anyone's hand or walk near the "edge."
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25 August 2007

cutie wrestle fest...

before we left for Dallas to pick Yaya up last week, I wanted to snap a few pics of our cuties...which quickly turned into wrestle mania as they were on the air mattress (future guests please note we will have a sofa sleeper for you)...

Wilson is pretty good about letting Walker "beat him up." Big brother also LOVES to wear matching outfits. Brad claims that he hated it as a child, but maybe he just says that now and he begged to match his brother(s) as often as Wilson wants to match Walker...
We are heading out to the Wildlife Refuge again today, hoping to have Yaya catch some good pics of the whole fam. Whether that works or not, I am sure we will have a fun day. Its always a good time to get out and enjoy the nature (especially now that we know where to find it!)

some of the projects, projects, projects

Yaya "sewing" with her helper, Wilson. I guess he wants to be Vern Yip. He had to ask about every part of the sewing machine this morning...but almost caused injury when he "helped" with the foot pedal from under the table..OOOPS...Order has NOT yet returned to our home, but I thought I would let you see some of our many projects... We recovered the corkboard in the kitchen...
... lengthened the boys' curtains with Cars fabric...
...divided our curtains and found a coordinating valance (so we didn't have to make one) at Big Lots for $2.50...
...and Yaya made Muskoka an upgraded dog bed (its not finished in this pic, but you get the idea)... this one wasn't on MY list, but what are you gonna do???

23 August 2007

before I get any more "hate email"...

Sorry the Yaya pics have been delayed, we have been busy working on projects, projects, projects...I will include pics of the projects after the final clean-up and order has returned to our home...

the $10 sofa sleeper we are slipcovering (with a very handsome model)

Its taking longer than we planned because Walker insists on helping with the sewing...he wants to be the next Ty Pennington (minus the DUI)...the fabric is chocolate brown, and yes that is chocolate on Walker's face...by the way, it was $1 a yard fabric!!!

even Muskoka is tired out (and sleeping on our fabric)

21 August 2007

now that he's walking...

he is also climbing...ON EVERYTHING. The other night Brad discovered him on Wilson's stool in the bathroom trying to brush his teeth (which he loves doing.) Thankfully he hasn't fallen and perhaps he'll start a lifelong habit of good oral health!

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I told you he likes tomatoes...

Walker happily chowing on a slice of one of Great Grandma's fresh tomatoes. They are all gone now, but we did enjoy them...especially this guy

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Wilson's First Day...

...its back to the grueling grindstone for Wilson! He is attending TALK again for the 2nd year. Its a once weekly group speech therapy class that is 2 and 1/2 hours long. He really likes it. He wouldn't even let me walk him into his classroom this morning (they have a drop-off program). I guess that means we are raising an independent, adventurous little man, but I wouldn't have minded if he acted like he needed me a little bit...at least he let me kiss him good-bye in front of his teacher! (Those days are probably numbered right?)

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20 August 2007

prayer request

This time we are asking for your prayers for someone else...

Many of you have heard that Brad's Aunt Linda was recently diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. Aunt Linda is a young, healthy, active mother of 5 (the oldest is in college, the youngest is 13-ish). She's never been a smoker and we aren't aware of a family history of this sort of thing. So its pretty much been a shocker for them and as a result a ripple effect for the rest of the family.

When you think of it in the days and weeks to come, please pray for Aunt Linda and Uncle David and thier children. My heart is especially heavy for Uncle David as he is the rock and anchor for his family. Please pray that God would meet his needs, physically and spiritually; that men would rise up around him and lift him in prayer. They have a strong faith which is evidenced in this portion of an email we recently recieved from them:

David & I had read this morning Psalm 143 and I loved verses 8-11 and wanted to share them with you.
"Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Showme the way I should to, for to you I lift up my soul. Rescue me from my enemies, O Lord, for I hide myself in you. Teach me to do your will for you ARE my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground. For your name's sake, O Lord, preserve my life; in your righteousnesss, bring me out of trouble."

We appreciate your prayers for Brad's grandparents, Charles & Irena, as well as his parents, Dennis & Cindy. We are praying that the bulk of encouragement is directly from scripture as it is unchanging and unfailing...to stand on God's Word, which cannot be shaken is the best way to stand.

Thanks! We will periodically update you on their progress. They are in the very early stages of this journey...

15 August 2007

those came from where?

Wilson LOVES to get packages in the mail. Generally we have a good idea of what is inside. Today Wilson anxiously waited to see what was in the package from Great Grandma Rose. Its not that often that we get something from her and usually I know its coming, so I was pretty curious myself. Who would've guessed...tomatoes from her garden. Quite honestly it brought tears to my eyes. Grandma is pretty frugal and she spent 9 bucks to send me five fresh tomatoes. Needless to say, I feel a little pressure to use them well. I'm thinking of googling a recipe for a tomato salad. Panera Bread used to have something like that, so I am sure there must be a worthy recipe online.

Great Granny has been there for me, more times than I could ever count. And when I lived in town, I NEVER left her house empty-handed. Maybe tomatoes, maybe jam, sometimes peanut butter or even some store-bought something or other that she just didn't like but had a coupon for... And of course, you know Wilson and I lived with her and Gramps while Brad was in training. I am sure I drove her nuts sometimes (and she me), but we also grew even closer than before. It has been hard to be so far away (from everyone) at times, but I am thankful that we were so close before. No matter how far away you move, you are still close to family...and apparently you still get fresh tomatoes. Who knew the US Postal Service could ship tomatoes without making a mess?

If you have a fantastic suggestion for using my special tomatoes, let me know. You just can't buy good ones, you know? Walker and I are probably most excited, Walker adores tomatoes, if they are on the table, that is all he wants!
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14 August 2007

look what we found...

The Wildlife Refuge is a short drive from our house. We knew it was there, but this is the first time we went out to see it....we're sort of disappointed that we didn't find it sooner. But with the triple digits just arriving, I think we have plenty of time to explore. We are excited to go back out there soon...the best part...its FREE!!