Monday, August 25, 2008

Kellen's Top Ten

Meant to get this posted over the weekend, but we were busy, day and night, and I never got to it! Kellen had a great first week of school, and I asked her to compile a "top 10" list for me. Here goes, in no particular order.

Kellen's Top 10 Favorite Things About Her First Week of 1st Grade
10. Her sweet, sweet teacher
9. Her favorite classmates: Kate, Bella, Clara & Sophie
8. Her friend Cade who joined the school mid-week, even though he's not in her class
7. Choosing and buying lunch in the cafeteria
6. The Big Three: art, music and p.e.!
5. Earning iBucks for good behavior
4. Having her family come eat lunch with her at school
3. Having her own desk and cubby
2. Her new backpack and lunchbox
1. What would you expect???---Recess!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Close Call

After living in this house for 5 years, we had our first experience of "forehead meet rock fireplace". And leave it to a 3 year old boy to accomplish it! He was sitting on the arm of our big chair in the corner and somehow fell off. Peyton and Dawson were both back in the corner behind the chair, so who knows if they were accomplices! I was on the phone with my friend Angela, scheduling haircut appointments for everyone, when we both heard the screaming. I said, "Hold on, let me check----oh my goodness, there's blood!" and I hung up on her! I rushed him to the kitchen and put a towel to his head. The blood that had been gushing out suddenly stopped (thank you Jesus!), and I got a better look at it. To make a long story short, after much debating and calling our doctor, and Brian coming home to give his opinion, we opted not to go to the ER. We had some butterfly closures left over from when Peyton catapulted out of a spinning office chair last Thanksgiving, and so Brian fixed him up. Owen hasn't missed a beat the rest of the day and played with the best of them tonight when we had our friends Lon, Amy and Eli over for dinner. He's sure a tough little man! He also has good timing....we had carpet cleaners scheduled to come just 90 minutes later, so they cleaned up all the blood for me!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Verdict: Success!

Kellen this morning as she headed off to her first day. She really wanted to wear her new school shirt--she is so proud of it!
Another pose to show her new "big girl" backpack. She didn't need one for Kindergarten last year, so she just had a little one that she got when she was 2 yrs. old that we sometimes used for a diaper bag. She's very excited about this pink/cheetah one!

Kellen with one of her bestest friends for the last 5 years! She and Kate had a great day together!

So, Kellen declared today a success. We started this journey with a sweet time of family prayer for her, her teacher and her classmates last night before bedtime. Then we began the morning with Kellen's favorite blueberry muffins. All 6 of us went into the school (not normally allowed) to take her to the gym for their morning assembly. She sat in the bleachers with her great friend Kate and we said tear-free good-byes. I had printed off her day's schedule from her teacher's webpage so I was "following" her day as it progressed, bathing it in prayer all day.

Brian came home while the other kids were napping so I went to get Kellen by myself. She started talking the moment she hit the car and didn't stop until bedtime. She had a great day! Her first words were "I met a new friend today!" I said, "Great, what was her name?" She replied "Um, I forget." So they're best friends, already, can't you tell? ;-)

Some other favorite quotes of the ride home:

"They only give you 2 or 1 minutes to eat. I thought we'd get at least 10." Translation: she didn't finish her lunch in the allotted 20 minutes.

"I had chocolate milk. I almost chose white but then I changed my mind. If you had been there, would you have let me have chocolate?" Translation: "I love this freedom to choose for myself!"

"Did you know in Australia they have this thing in the water called the Great Reef Barrier?" Translation: she meant the Great Barrier Reef, but since Australia is the theme for all of 1st grade at her school, she'll have plenty of time to get the name right!

Two conversations tonight that made us crack up:

Me: "What did you do on the playground today?"
Kellen: "Play"
Me: "I mean, what did you DO?"
Kellen: "It's too hard to explain, Mom."

Brian: "What was your favorite thing about today?"
Kellen: "Coloring" (the girl LOVES art!)
Brian: "What was your least favorite thing about today?"
Kellen: "Coming home" (so, her first day was a success!)

Her teacher told them that the second day of school is even more fun than the first day, so Kellen is just as psyched for tomorrow!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

This Time It's For Real

Tomorrow my "first baby" will go to school for real. Kellen starts 1st grade. Unlike some parents, I never was sad for her to go to Kindergarten last year, I think because she just stayed at the same school where she attended pre-school, there were only 12 kids in her class, and she still went half-days three times a week. So tomorrow, as she heads off to 1st grade, it will be at a big school with grades 1-6, there will be about 25 kids in her class, and she'll be there all day, every day! Thankfully, I'm not really sad, but there is a little twinge of something inside of me just realizing that this is a turning point in our lives. But I know she will do great!
Kellen, on the other hand, doesn't have a twinge of any apprehension inside her! She is more excited than I ever could have imagined! She has been asking about Aug. 18th all summer! She's met her teacher twice and is very enamored by her already. She also has one of her best friends from church and one of her best friends from Kindergarten in her class. She even gets to share a table with her buddy from church. So that thrills her and provides a sense of comfort. At open house last week we bought her a school T-shirt, which she proudly insists on wearing tomorrow. The other thing she's super-excited about is getting to choose which days to bring a lunch and which days to eat what's on the menu. So far she thinks there are only two days in the first two weeks that she wants to bring her lunch! That may change a little once she sees and tastes what everything is like!
Anyway, I'll post something tomorrow with a report of her first day!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ode To Meatloaf

Oh, how I hate you
You make me want to lose it.
You crazy little "loaf of meat"
You are my greatest culprit!

Definition of culprit: someone who perpetrates wrongdoing. Kelly's conclusion: meatloaf is just wrong!!!

My poor husband just loves meatloaf, and unfortunately for him, I just don't make it too often. In fact, it's my go-to "Kelly's-out-of-town" meal. I make up the "loaf of meat" and put it in the fridge for him to bake. When I was out west a few weeks ago I left him said "loaf of meat", along with a pouch of instant mashed potatoes and a can of peas (Brian prefers not to cook, so I had to make it simple) He informed me the next day that the whole dinner was a hit with all five of them! Guilt trip! So, I promised I'd make it more often. Well, tonight provided an excellent opportunity----I'm not eating dinner at home tonight! I've got a girls' night out with some gal pals, so I joyfully made the fam a "loaf of meat", homemade mashed potatoes this time, and cooked carrots. Brian was a very happy man as he headed out the door with four kiddos in tow, on the way to the park! Now I get to go have some REAL food with my friends! ;-)

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Rub a Dub Dub, 4 Kids in a Tub

Until Dawson was about 6 months old, the other three kids always bathed together. Once Dawson was big enough to join them, Kellen "graduated" to showers, and Peyton quickly wanted to follow. So now every night the girls take their showers and the boys take a bath together. But, once in a blue moon they want to attempt to fit in the tub together, and of course have a blast! They did this recently and I just had to get a pic!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Dr. Appt. Update

Kellen and Peyton on the River Market Pig.

Owen playing in the fountains at Riverfront Park.

Dawson in the backpack on the pedestrian bridge over the Arkansas River.

As you can see, we fit some other things in during our 12 hour day in Little Rock. Did a little window shopping and ate lunch at Pei Wei, P.F. Chang's cheaper-but-still-delicious chain. It was cute seeing the kids eating their whole meal with chopsticks (except Dawson, of course, who just shoveled it in with his hands!) After the appointment, we went down to the river and walked around, crossed the pedestrian bridge, and played in the fountains and on the playground. We wanted to make it a fun day for the kids after dragging them for 4 hrs. in the car and 2 hrs. in the doctor's office!
Thank you all for your prayers today. We got lots of information, none of it ground-breaking, but still interesting. There's a lot to still sink in, so it's not like we've got an immediate solution, but I'm still glad we went.
Basically he narrowed down my options to a total ankle replacement or a fusion, ultimately recommending the replacement. He typically wants his patients older, but said he'd do it on me. The down-side is that it would only last 10 years, maybe 15, then the second replacement would only last about half that length of time. Then amputation is the only option. Of course in 10 years there could be technological developments that could help me. The other down-side is that our insurance doesn't cover replacements, so it would cost around $30,000! This physician would like to start using a new prosthesis for ankle replacements that will be available after the first of the year, so I probably would wait at least til then anyway, should we decide to go that route.
Fusion is still an option, but there are major arthritic complications and future surgeries and other probable joint problems from limping (in knees, hips, back, etc.) Either surgery would have a four month recovery time.
What we'd really love more than anything would be to see healing in my leg, rather than the current degeneration. We know our God is big and can do this! I confess even I, far too often, think "God won't heal me", but I know He also gives us the desires of our heart, and I truly DESIRE to be healed. If you think of us in prayer, this healing is what I would like you to pray for. Thanks.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Dr. Appt. Tomorrow

No appropriate pic for this post, and I didn't even really know what to title it. We would just like your prayers for a doctor's appointment tomorrow. We travel to Little Rock in the morning for me to see a foot & ankle orthopedic specialist. It's been 3 1/2 years since the car accident, and I am still in daily pain, still having to use the cane, still on narcotic pain meds, and still require help at home with the children and housework. For an extremely independent and formerly-active person, that's very depressing.
A couple years ago I saw the other main "foot & ankle guru" in Arkansas and she basically said she would do an ankle replacement when I was 50. So, we're now seeing the other specialist to see if he has any other solutions. I'm normally not an anxious or nervous person, but I think my uneasiness about tomorrow is the conflict between hope and disappointment. I want there to be an answer, yet in my heart of hearts I am trying not to really expect one. We've been told before that fusion surgery is a possible solution to pain relief, but then I would lose a lot of function (the ankle joint would be permanently "fused" at a right angle). Also, the results are typically short-lived and then amputation is the only other option. As you can see, there has not been any easy answer up to this point, so I'm not even really sure tomorrow is going to be worth our time, but on the other hand we want to exhaust all options, so here we go.... I'll post again tomorrow night with the results. In the meantime, please pray for us tomorrow.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

He's into everything...

...but can't get out! Dawson's latest accomplishments seem to deal with getting himself into predicaments that quickly bore him, yet he can't escape! One example is that he climbs up on the stepstools in the kids' bathroom, but hasn't learned how to step down! So if we hear crying down the hall, we know now that that's usually what it is! The other common occurance is shown in this picture. He loves to sit in Owen's dump truck, but then he's stuck and just cries and cries 'til one of us rescues him. When I entered the room to take this pic, I thought I'd get a good crying shot, but I guess he's so trained when he sees the camera, that he tried to break out a smile for me, even though he had really been mad about a half-second earlier! It was pretty funny!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Recipe Day!

Okay, here is an awesome, super-easy summer recipe that has been a hit every time I've made it. It's basically a layered ice cream cake made extra-easy by using ice cream sandwiches, and made extra-yummy with the addition of Oreos to the filling!

Oreo & Fudge Ice Cream Cake
from Kraft Food & Family

½ c. fudge ice cream topping, warmed
1 tub (8 oz) cool whip
1 pkg. (4 serving size) instant chocolate pudding
10 Oreos
12 vanilla ice cream sandwiches

Pour fudge into medium bowl. Stir in 1 c. of the cool whip with wire whisk until well blended. Add in dry pudding mix. Stir 2 min. or til well blended. (if mix is too thick to spread easily, stir in ¼ c. milk) Break Oreos roughly into chunks. Stir into pudding mixture. Arrange 4 of the sandwiches, sided by side, on a 24 x 12 inch piece of foil. Top with half the pudding mix. Repeat the layers. Top the pudding mixture with the remaining 4 sandwiches. Frost the top and sides with the remaining cool whip. Bring up the foil sides. Double fold top and ends to loosely seal the packet. Freeze at least 4 hours before serving. Let stand at room temperature to soften slightly before serving. Makes 12 servings.