Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas 2010

Picture Joy Christmas
Personalize the christmas season with Christmas photo cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


I vividly remember this time of year as a child. Our mailman would deliver the JCPenney's catalog to our mailbox and I LOVED going through the catalog and circling all the toys that I was putting on my Christmas list. This year, the kids have really gotten into the catalogs that have come through the mail, too. I think that we've just about gotten them all...Toys R Us, Walmart, Target, Pottery Barn, LL Bean, Hallmark, American Girl, Build A Bear (I just love the little Rudolph and Clarice reindeer that they are featuring), Lifeway, and the list goes on and on. I have found my kids looking at all of the toys in the catalogs, sharing the ones that catch their eyes, and they've even circled some of the toys that they would like to receive as gifts.

Then last week, we received the catalog for World Vision. And this catalog puts everything into perspective. In a season of spending, it takes so little to help someone less fortunate. For instance, $30 will buy a family 5 ducks to provide eggs for years; $100 will give 2 or more families a goat and 2 chickens that will provide eggs, milk, and meat; $18 will cover the cost of a mosquito net for a family to help prevent malaria; and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Gifts of animals, protection for girls and women, comfort and warmth, clean water, food, nutrition, and medical care can impact the lives of so many. And, it only takes so little.  

If you've ever been around our children when they pray, you might hear a prayer for "Shella". Shella is a little girl that has been part of our family since the twins turned five. That summer, Jason had been reading The Hole in Our Gospel by Rich Stearns, the President of World Vision. The book really convicted us to consider what we could do as a family to help a child...which led us to Shella. Shella is a beautiful little Haitian girl who happens to share the same birthday as Joshua and Abby Kate (July 6, 2004). Through World Vision, our family has been taking care of Shella for the past 18 months. Not a day goes by that our children don't pray for her. I doubt we'll ever even meet her this side of heaven, but Shella has made a tremendous difference in our lives. I hope we've been able to make a difference in hers.

I hesitate to post this here for fear that it might come across as boasting. That's definitely not my intention. But I want everyone to know how easy it is to make a difference in the life of a less fortunate child. We believe in the mission of World Vision. This holiday season, I'm looking forward to starting a new tradition with my family. One that involves an entirely different catalog for us to circle. It's things like this that help us keep our perspective during the holiday season.

Monday, October 25, 2010

All Wrapped Up

I love getting a glimpse into the pictures of the past. This is a picture of Jason when he was a little guy right out of the bath tub. I'm not sure how old Jason is in this pic, but he sure is cute all swaddled up in his towel! And how about that wallpaper? Gotta love the 70's!

The other night, Jackson was wrapped up after his bath and I snapped this picture of him. I love the similarities between these two pictures of my little guys!

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Today marks an important milestone in our house. Two years ago today, Jason and I gave our son his first of countless injections for a growth hormone deficiency. Joshua was born 7 weeks prematurely and only weighed 2 pounds, 5 ounces at birth. Praise God that he was only small! We were blessed by the outpouring of love and support from our family and friends, the NICU nurses, and our neonatologists. Joshua came home 31 days later weighing a very small 3 pounds, and 12 ounces. Over the years, he grew and got bigger. He didn't let anything get in his way. He was still on the small side, but he was still growing. We noticed at around age two, that he had stopped growing in height. We were aware of the situation and watched it very closely. When we returned to our doctor's for Joshua's 3 year well child visit, we realized that he had not grown at all during his second year.

We made the first of many trips down to Birmingham in January of 2008. Joshua was so excited about "seeing the BOY" at the office. The "boy" was the doctor and he quickly won over the hearts of all the nurses in the office. At his first visit, he weighed in at 25.9 pounds and measured 35 inches in height. They also took a bone x-ray to see the "age of his bones". At the visit, Joshua was 3 years and 6 months old. His bone age was 2 years and 8 months old. This was a good thing, in that it meant that he still had growing room within his bones. We returned for a visit that July, hoping to see some growth. He had barely grown an inch. Our endocrinologist thought it best to go forward with more testing. Over the next few months, Joshua had a 3 hour IV test where they drew 7 vials of blood looking for a spike in his ISG1, but it only spiked 1 point higher than what they were looking for one time. He failed the test and the doctors told us that he was growth hormone deficient.

In order for Joshua to grow, he now takes a daily injection of medicine. He will continue taking these injections until he reaches an average adult male height. On October 21, 2008, Joshua received his first injection. There were days of anticipation, lots of tears, and lots of hurt feelings. Its been two years now, and we still have days of anticipation, tears, and hurt feelings. There have been times where it has been harder than others and then there are the times where it is not that big of a deal. Throughout all of it, Joshua has been such a trooper!

We are so pleased with the results that we have seen so far. Within 4 months, Joshua had a growth of 1 and 1/2 inches placing him on the growth chart for the first time ever! He was barely on the chart at .8th percentile, but he was on the chart. That day in the doctor's office, I had tears of joy! 6 months later, Joshua had another growth of 1 and 1/2 inches and he measured at 39 inches. He measured at the  1.6th percetile. He also weighed in at 30 pounds. He was in the .42 percentile and it was the first time to be on the growth chart for weight.

Our last couple of visits have shown more growth. When we started this process Joshua was only 35 inches tall. This past August, he measured in at 42.4 inches - the 5th percentile and his weight jumped from 25.9 pounds to 38.1 pounds - the 7th percentile! We couldn't be any prouder of our little big guy! Joshua you are "strong and courageous" and we pray that you will "not be afraid" because our God is with you each and every day.

October 2008

October 2008

We've had our easypod device from day one. Jason and I got a quick how-to lesson from a registered nurse and we were sent on our way. Over our time of use, we've only dropped the pod once (and it broke), we've left it about 3 times when out of town at families or friends houses and had to turn around to go back and get it, completely destroyed a vial of medicine, and had to rescue lots of needles that "messed up" in the device. We have to mix his new vials when they come in, keep up with ordering his medicine and keeping extra batteries, needles, alcohol prep pads and a sharps container on hand at all times. We also keep a pair of tweezers handy for those stray needles that occur ever so often. Due to the amount of detail that goes into his injections, only a few family members know how to administer his injections. The night before my surgery, Jason had to give a quick tutorial to one of our family friends because our plans fell through when Joshua had an asthmatic like attack. She was great and followed the instructions perfectly! This is our nightly routine. We look forward to Saturdays, because that is the night that we have "off". Joshua was happy to let me photo document his nighttime routine.

Our pod is kept in the fridge. We have to get it out and let it sit for about 5 minutes before putting in the needle for injection. 

Cleaning the area with an alcohol wipe. I cleaned the area up after snapping this picture.

Waiting for the green light. I love that he can't see the needle with this device. Unfortunately, he can feel it. 

Almost done!

Trying to put on a brave face for mom, but we're all done!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

My Family

My Family ~ 10/10/10

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Catching the Cardinals

A few weeks back, we headed over to Atlanta to catch a Cardinal's game. With Atlanta being so close, we always try and head over when the Cardinal's are in town. We enjoyed seeing our friends Corey and Alisha and staying with them through the weekend. Friday night, Jason was able to head out to see the Avett Brothers in concert with two of his friends. I'm really looking forward to seeing them again in concert here in a few weeks.

We were able to get "All You Can Eat" tickets to the game. I really wasn't sure if we would eat our ticket's worth, but I have to say that they probably came out losing money on our party of 5. Joshua, Abby Kate and Jackson kept the place busy with countless drinks, peanuts, nachos, and minute maid ice cream. We had a blast and enjoyed a day at the ballpark. Unfortunately, the Cardinals came out losing, but we still enjoyed catching one last game for the season.

On our way out of the park, I could instantly tell that it was about to come a downpour. We had a bit of a hike ahead of us, and the rain came down! Joshua and I took off running and Jason picked up Abby Kate and Jackson in his arms and carried them while he was running to the van. We all soaked, but what a memory it made!

View of the field from our seats!

Such an intense little baseball fan!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Sneaky Sleeping Swimmers

Over Labor Day weekend, our crew of 5 headed up to Nashville for some family celebrations. We surprised my mom with a birthday party after spending the afternoon at a baby shower for my cousin and his wife. After we all had some cake and we were getting ready for our ride home, I saw Jackson climbing up on the counter. I did what any good mother would do and I got my camera and began snapping pictures of my little guy.

The kids were exhausted from the excitement of the day. I always get a good laugh out of seeing the way our kids fall asleep. They looked so uncomfortable, but were so tired that they slept the whole way home.

Jason was preaching on Sunday, so we drove back up to Nashville on Monday to spend the day with family. We were so excited to swim one last time out at Aunt Pam's house. This was the first time that I actually got in the pool water since my surgery. The wind was really chilly, but we enjoyed our time out at the pool. The kids have come so far this summer in their swimming. I know that they had a lot of time to practice while they stayed with my parents after my surgery. I am amazed that our babies can now swim and jump into the pool all by themselves.

And of course, Joshua always gets so cold when swimming. I always seem to find him bundled up in a towel by the pool....

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Flag Football

This year, Joshua wanted to play flag football. If you know Joshua, then you know that he is one ball obsessed kid! He's always had a ball in his hands. He also never stops throwing or hitting ball in the house. He's broken glass with a baseball, one of my coffee tables has a big nick in it from one of his balls knocking over a picture and the picture nicked the table, and of course, if you've been over to our house, then you've probably been hit in the head with one of his balls. I've lost count on the number of times that my son has hit me with a ball..... "Ball throwing, hitting, rolling, tossing, etc." is one rule that we just don't see to eye to eye on.

So when we asked Joshua about playing football, he jumped at the opportunity. We love the Tennessee Vols, Titans, and the Colts (because of Peyton, of course). Joshua is eager to go to any ball game and he has been to quite a few Vols and Titans games over the years. When it came time to request numbers for our football jerseys, he asked to be #5 (in honor of Albert Pujols, of course) and is wearing his #5 proudly.

Joshua is a Mustang and has really enjoyed playing football with his teammates. I love it that Jason is out there with him as one of his coaches. He is one of the smallest guys out there, but he is all heart. He plays on the offensive line and defensive end. He is so proud of his "high knees" drill he learned in practice and is always looking forward to his practices or games. Who would've ever guessed that our little small 2 pounder would be playing on the offensive line and as defensive end? We are so proud of you, Joshua!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Some of My Favorites

Last Monday, my sweet momma celebrated her birthday! We were able to plan a surprise party for her the Saturday before and I think that we succeeded in our plans. Jason was able to put together a video for her party and so we were able to get our hands on some old photos and scan them in to the computer. I just love these pictures of my momma and me. She is so beautiful and such a great mother and grandmother.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Sleepers and Rounders

A few weeks ago, I took the kids over to Atlanta to visit our friends, Corey and Alisha. We were so excited to visit and help celebrate Will's 4th birthday. We had so much fun catching up and then spending Sunday afternoon at the Braves game. I think it was one of the hottest days spent at the ballpark for me in quite awhile. I can remember one other game that was hotter - St. Louis in September! I don't think that I'll ever forget that game. Anyways, we had so much fun!

I always love watching the kids sleep. I really got tickled when I came down to bed and found the kids asleep like this...

I love this picture!

Joshua looks like one confused baseball fan with that Braves cap and Cardinals shirt.

At the end of the game, we all headed down to the field and waited in line to run the bases. This is the first time that we've been able to run the bases at an MLB ballpark. The boys had so much fun! Abby Kate was not really interested in running the bases, so she just stayed with me. I did find it funny that Jackson had to be "guided" back onto the dirt several times. He was really drawn to the grass.

Jackson and Joshua waiting to round the bases!

Joshua rounding the bases at Turner Field

Jackson rounding the bases at Turner Field