Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Scare with Brooke

About 2 or 3 weeks ago I was washing the dishes and got a call from the school nurse at Brooke's school. She told me that the teachers had told her that Brooke had been acting different for the past few weeks, and they didnt think that much about it but that day Brooke had had an incident where she "blanked out" and for a few minutes they couldnt get through to her. Then she messed all over herself and when she "came to" she didnt seem to know what had just happened. They told me I should probably call her dr and get an appt. So the next day Arnold took her in and they did a few little things with her and said it sounded like seizure activity and she would need to get an EEG.


So the wed before Christmas she was set up for the test, at the Catawba Imaging Center. They told us that she needed to stay up the whole night before, so she would be drowsy for the test. Out of our three children, we knew she would be the easiest to get her to do that, but we knew it would still be a really rough night. So Arnold decided to be the one to stay up with her-- hes a night owl anyway-- and I slept and got up early to take Brooke to the test. Arnold said she did alright they played and built block towers and watched PBS kids :P The next morning we left out early and I took her. It was me, her, and the nurse in this big dark room with a bed. Just sitting in there made me tired! Brooke laid down and the nurse started hooking all the electrode things up to her head. Brooke was so brave, I was proud of her. They monitored her for a little bit while awake, and had her look at some flashing lights and images. Then she fell asleep and we watched her sleep for about an hour. During that hour I saw her feet twitch alot, and she swung her arm out, and her mouth moved a little. But she didnt have a seizure while asleep, which I guess is good news. They told me they would send off the results and video to Baptist and have the results back in aweek or two.




The other night we missed a voicemail while we were eating dinner. It was Brookes dr telling us that the results were back already and we needed to call back the next day. Boy what iwent through the next morning trying to get in touch with them-- Im seriously considering switching drs! Anyway, he finally called me and we said that BRookes EEG had come back abnormal. He said that they showed unusual spikes and lows in her brain wave activity in the right quadrant. It was especially noticeable while she was sleep. The dr said we needed to refer her to a pediatric Neurologist. I had had a few friends tell me that they have some great ones in Concord, so I told him thats what I preferred. They said to expect a call in about a week, setting up an appointment. At the appointment, I am told that they will run a few more test, try to determine if the blanking out spells are related to the EEG findings, and from there see if she needs a brain MRI or might need meds. It looks like seizures/epilepsy as of now but we arent totally sure. I dont know much about that, But ive been trying to learn alot online and through friends who have been thru it before.

I havent noticed a LOT of unusual behavior from Brooke at home, but I have noticed more accidents that normal. She has been very good about going to the potty ever since she was potty trained, and then all of a sudden i noticed that she was changing her panties alot. She has also fallen several times, like she tripped for no reason, its hard to explain. I dont see that as very normal, considering theres never anything around her her to trip on or anything.


So as of now we are playing the waiting game. I want to get this over with, get to the neurologist and hopefuly have them tell me some good news! I feel so helpless just wondering and imagining all the scenarios of what could be going on. I know thats not good, and I should try not to think about it. Easier said than done, though. For now the drs said she shouldnt be doing any climbing or any activities where she might blank out and risk falling and hurting herself. Most of you know how active Brooke is-- that child does NOT sit still, so thats going to be a challege. But I know somehow everything will be ok. It seems like we have had a lot of health scares in the past year in a half and Im not quite sure why Its all happening. But I know we will praise God in this storm, and I know that God works everything in life together for the greater good! And that is quite comforting to think about.

I just wanted to take a minute and say THANK YOU to all the people who have sent messages, texts, FB comments, called, or anything like that, to check on us, and for all the prayers for Brooke. It means the world to me. I dont want to get all mushy, but it seriously means so much to me to know that I have friends and family that support us and check to see how we are doing. I have had so many offers to watch the other kids while we have to go to these appts in Concord, and just reassuring words when I need them the most. So thank you. As a parent its a horrible feeling having to hear the words "abnormal test" results about your child. You immediately become protective and worried and just find it so unfair that your child would have to go thru anything tough in life. Im just glad this was foun so early, so hopefully Brooke can get great care, and everything be ok!



***Sorry so Long!!***




Brooke getting her EEG

Living Without Internet!!!

Oh yeah, it was horrible!!!

About 3 weeks ago our netbook quit working, because of an internal wiring problem, where our AC adapter wouldnt work with it anymore. And wouldnt you know, we threw out the receipt? IT would have still been under warrenty thru best buy and we could have gotten it worked on. Oh well. What do you expect from a $280 netbook? I know they arent built to last! Arnold said we would never get anything like that again. Good concept, but not for us.


Anyway, I was without internet for 3 weeks because of that! Yes, i freely admit that I am addicted to the internet. I love to blog (as you can tell) and get on FB (and I know I post way too many pics and update my status alot and it probably bugs a lot of people but what can I say-- Im a SAHM-- i get bored sometimes! ;-) And it was tough not being able to pay bills online and check the bank account and weather and all that good stuff. You really start to rely on technology more than you think! I mostly missed talking to my friends, and my forums!



So Arnold had decided to sell a bunch of his old music stuff on Ebay and said that if he made enough we would look into getting a new computer. And I am happy to say that we got one this past Monday!!!! We got an HP laptop from Best Buy and yeah we spent a little money but it seems to be built to last, its pretty nice and a LOT bigger than that netbook we had! I am getting used to it still, and I had a LOT Of catching up to do when I got back online again. So thats why Im updating the blog so much in one day, I have to get caught back up! MISSED YOU GUYS!!! :)

Snow!!!

I knew they were calling for snow on the weekend of Christmas but I didnt know whether to believe it or not. And then it snowed on Christmas! That made it so muh more extra special, especially for the kids. They ran outside right away and were trying to catch the flake on their tongues :) I was shocked how much we got, it snowed ALL day and night! Thankfully Walgreens was open on Christmas so i ran in and bought some things from the freezer section to hold us over for a few days. Seems like a lot of other people had the same idea b/c it was packed in there! Anyway, we took the kids outside to play in it the next day. They were all bundled up. Rachel had gotten a cute snowsuit from her Aunt Jenn for Christmas, so that was right in time! She loved it but kept falling over in the snow and getting frustrated, so we gave up and went in. The kids would have stayed out all day if we had let them! I am the kind of person who hates snow.. well the part of being stuck inside. I felt so restless for those 2 days! But thankfully we were able to get out and go to Hickory on Monday, when Arnold had one last vacation day left. We did a little shopping and had lunch. There is still snow on the ground at our house but its starting to slowly melt away because its been pretty sunny the past few days.



Heres one Pic-- Ill upload more Later!

Christmas 2010

I Cant believe Christmas of 2010 has already come and gone! We had a great one, though. On Christmas eve we went over to the inlaws house and had lunch with them. my MIL cooks a big meal w/ ham, turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, mac & cheese, rolls, and lots of desserts. Its so yummy! Rachel definately enjoyed the cake, as you can see in the pics :) That was our Jesus Birthday Cake. After lunch we opened gifts. I got a sweater in my favorite color (green) a Visa GIftcard, and a Lynyrd Skynyrd throw blanket. Yes im such a nerd but i love it! Its red, white and blue, and totally redneck, but its so soft and ive loved cuddling up to it :) The kids got a TON of stuff as usual.. lots of clothes, pjs, shoes, toys, etc. Caleb got Iron Man action figures and a dress up set w/ a mask and he was ELATED. He is so hooked on Iron Man right now. I think that was his favorite things from Christmas.. out of everything! We hung around for the afternoon and then drove to church.



We went to the Christmas eve service at our new Church (Christ Church- Fairgrove Campus) We went to the 5pm service. Like usual, it was a great service, with a great message and awesome music! My mom and GRandpa joined us.. I think they liked it but the modern (LOUD) music takes some getting used to ;-) Dad didnt come b/c he recently had knee surgery and didnt want to get in the crowds.



That evening we went to Mom and Dads for dinner.. mom made her traditional lasanga dinner.. yum! THey gave the kids one gift that night-- Caleb got a big Lincoln Logs set, Brooke got a doll, and Rachel got a doll, also.


The next morning the kids got up and saw what Santa had brought.. A kitchen set for the girls, and a Batman playset for Caleb. They also got lots of other things and were opening them up fast! After that we all drove back to Mom and Dads and had breakfast with them then opened gifts. We did Christmas morning w/ them this year because my brother came in late the night before. He works at the Biltmore house and the holidays are a busy time for them. From my parents I got a new coat, scarf, perfume, a bracelet, some makeup and a Ocharleys Giftcard. The kids got a bunch of new stuff including a Leapster which Brooke LOVES and wont put down! They also contributed money to their college accounts, which is AWESOME. Thanks mom and dad! :) We were surprised to see the snow falling outside! I dont remember a real White Christmas in my whole life! Later that day we went home and then were stuck at home for a few days because of the snow. At least the kids had a lot of new toys to play with!







Rachel is 18 Months Old!

On the 18th of this past month, Rachel turned 18 months old! I cant believe it. She is now out of that "baby stage" I guess, and moving onto full-blown toddler-hood. I hate it in a way because I know she is my last baby and I want to enjoy every moment I have left with a "baby" in the house.

But anyway, she is such a sweetheart, and getting such a great personality already. We say she is our comedic relief, she is always doing something funny. She gets excited and throws her arms up and says "YAY!" ALthough her favorite word to everything is still "No!" :) She likes to "shush" people and high-five them. And her new word is "MINE!" She will take things and put them under her arm and proclaim that its HERS and run off.. so cute :) She is going thru that stage where she is terrified of strangers. She was even scared to see her Uncle Alex at Christmas because she doesnt get to see him very much.


At her 18 month appt the other day she was 27.9 lbs and 33 inches. She is definately trying to catch up w/ her brother and sister! ;-) She is in the 90-some percentile for height and weight. She had her exam and the dr said everything looks great :)


Here are a few recent pics of Rachel. And yes we are STILL waiting on her hair to grow out.. I hate how it resembles a mullet but its our little joke now :) I have lots of bows waiting for her to wear when she has enough hair to stick them in!



Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Happy Birthday!!!



Just wanted to wish my neice, Rebekah a very happy birthday! Today she turns 6 years old! She is a beautiful, spunky girly and Im lucky to be her Aunt. She also is very beautiful and her blonde curls are to die for, seriously, her hair is adorable :) She had her bday party this past Sunday at the Science Center, and the kids had a blast. The pic I posted was this past summer, at Chuck E Cheese. We love you Bekah!!

Christmas Traditions!!




I just love this time of year! Seriously, I feel like a kid again. Christmas is so fun when you have kids. Just seeing them light up over things and talk about upcoming Events. I honestly think I saw Brooke have a spastic shaking attack one time when we were talking about Christmas :)


Anyway, I was thinking yesterday about some of the Christmas traditions that we have done in the past and hope to do again this year-- And trying to find some new ideas to do with the kids, too. I remember always having wonderful Christmases growing up and being so excited the month of December. I want to provide the same kind of excitement for my kids, too!


So here is a list of some of our traditions or what I hope to start doing:



~The week of Thanksgiving or before we put up the tree and everyone helps decorate it. We listen to Christmas music while doing so (usually the Trans-Siberian Orchestra!)


~Speaking of the TSO, we used to have a tradition of going to their concert every year (we started that when Arnold and I were dating) But now finding sitters for 3 kids all night is really, REALLY tough. Especially when they come to town on weeknights-- hate that!


~New Ornaments every year- Arnold and I pick out new ornaments for the kids and each other every year. We like to have something new to add to the tree every year and the kids get excited. Last year we did our first "family" ornament, which was 3 little turtles in santa hats.. If you know our turtle joke in the family, its cute! ;-)


~We go driving to see the Christmas lights. I love all the huge places like Tanglewood, but at this age and stage in life I dont care for listening to kids whine for several hrs in the car. So we found this place in Morganton, which isnt too far from where we live. They have this thing to drive thru and there are lights displays set up, and you can roll down your windows and there are even music/sound with some of them. The kids love it!


~Can't forget all the Christmas specials! We have to watch "The Grinch", "Muppet Christmas Carol" and "Charlie Brown Christmas" every year, and who could forget the "Christmas Story"?? I remember watching that every year at my grandparents' house when we were over there for Christmas eve. we also love some of the more modern movies out, like "Elf" and "Christmas with the Kranks."


~Gingerbread house!! We tried to build our first one WITH the kids helping this year, and Id love to have said it was fun, but it was a disaster! Arnold was getting frustrated and the icing ended up hardening and our house fell apart! Brooke even went to school telling everyone "her house fell down" Haha! :) so no Gingerbread house this year-- I might stick to decorating Gingerbread PEOPLE instead ;-)



~Girls' Christmas Get Together!! Every year me and few of my best friends get together one evening in December to have our get-together for Christmas. We trade off houses every year. We all bring finger foods and desserts to share. We usually watch a movie or play a game, and eat, and exchange Christmas gifts. We are doing ours' this year at Jackies house on the 19th :)


~Christmas Eve Service at Church-- Every year growing up we went to the Christmas eve service at church. Since getting married, Arnold and i have still been going w/ my parents to their church. We go and they of course have all the Christmas hymns, christmas story, and do the candles, too. This year we might attend our new church's service if its at a good time.


~Christmas Time w/ the Familes-- Every year on Christmas eve we go to Arnold's parents house and his mom makes a big Christmas lunch. Then we all open gifts, and watch Christmas specials, and just hang out around the house. Then that night is Church, and over to my parents' house for lasanga dinner, and opening gifts. Christmas morning we spend here at home w/ the kids and open their gifts from us and Santa. and then the next day or two we head to my GRandpa's house for the big family get-together w/ everyone on my Mom's side of the family.


~Santa! We put out cookies the night before, for Santa. And he leaves the big gift and the stockings for the kids. Even Arnold and I have our stockings hung up, too ;-) The kids went for the first time this year to sit on his lap, in past years they were too scared!!






This year I hope to start the tradition of a birthday cake for Jesus! I am a horrible cook so I might just buy a cake.. is that horrible?! Then we will sing Happy Birthday to Jesus and eat the cake :) Cant decide if we want to have it for Christmas morning breakfast, or what ;-)

Monday, December 6, 2010

It Snowed!!






Yes, I was totally shocked to see it, especially this early in the year, but it SNOWED here in NC this past Saturday! I heard it had done a little something that morning, but we missed it. Then later that afternoon we were on our way to a birthday party and it started snowing while we were driving! The kids were so so excited, and stayed glued to the windows watching it fall. Ok, so I was a little excited myself! I am not huge on snow, and especially hate cold weather. But LOVE to watch it fall! Its so beautiful and calm. By the time we got to the party it had really picked up and was falling pretty heavily. the snowflakes were huge, too! Brooke jumped out of the van and stuck her tongue out to catch some falling snowflakes :) Rachel looked pretty impressed, too. This is the 2nd snow she has seen but last year she was way too young to even care! :)



Anyway, about the Birthday party-- we went to one at Foothills Gymnastics. I had been to a few parties at Little Gym before they closed, but never this other place. It was awesome! Arnold and I went in with the kids, and walked around to the different things. Even the adults were getting into the jumping and playing :) There was this huge foam pit that you could jump into from a long trampoline- sort of thing. Arnold jumped in with the big kids.. he said it was so hard to get out! Brooke even lost her sock in there-- Im sure its gone for good :-P They had a blast jumping around and getting alot of energy out. Then we went into the party room for food and cake. I looked at a few brochures while we were there and Im seriously thinking about having one of the kids' bday parties there next year! I know, i cant believe Im thinking that far ahead. But it would be an awesome party for them. They do classes there, too, and Id love to look into that sometime.

Breakfast with Santa

The kids had gone to a VBS over the summer, at my friend's Joanne and Mandy's church. Since they were on the mailing list, we got sent these things in the mail about a "Breakfast with Santa" coming up. I thought that sounded pretty fun and decided to take the kids. I really was hoping they would cooperate because in the past they had been scared of Santa!

So anyway, we got ready Sat. morning and headed to the church. We had breakfast that some church members had made-- eggs, bacon, grits, toast, and pancakes.. all the good stuff! then We got in line to let the kids sit on Santa's lap. Brooke was really ready to go but Caleb kept saying he was scared and didnt want to. With a lot of persuading from Arnold, he finally decided to go, as long as he could go with Brooke. They sat on his lap and Santa asked them what they wanted for Christmas and Brooke said "a baby doll!" and caleb said "Spiderman!!" He kept repeating that too.. haha. So after a few pics they got off his lap.. and we tried Rachel. Before Arnold even sat her down she started crying, so we didnt even bother! Maybe next year ;-) Thanks to Mandy for getting the great pic of Brooke and Caleb :)


After that the kids listened to the Christmas Story being read, and then they were going to do a craft. Arnold wasnt feeling too well on his stomach from earlier, so we decided to go on home. We also dropped our camera on the floor while we were there and broke it.. of course, just our luck. This is the second one we've lost since Summer.. thankfully this one was an old one with a cracked screen anyway that Arnolds parents gave us until we get our new one (I cant WAIT to get our new one, and will definately have to keep it away from the kids ;-) Anyway, the breakfast with Santa was awesome and I hope they do it again next year!







Natalie's Birthday Dinner

This past Friday was my good friend Natalie's 26th birthday. She had a birthday dinner at Ruby Tuesdays that night. It just ended up being 4 of us, but it was really fun. She said she had this "little black dress" that she really wanted to wear, so she asked us all to dress up... Well I usually hate dressing up. I mean, its nice, but I never find anything that looks good on me! I was able to scrounge up this nice black top that i like, and some nice jeans.. did my hair and wore a bunch of jewelry-- Told Natalie thats as fancy as she was getting! ;-) I got to dinner first and put our name on the list.. it was about a 20 min wait, and it was COLD!! And of course there was no seating inside to wait, so I was shivering outside. Soon Natalie and the others showed up, and we went in to eat. Natalie made us wear the silly party headbands.. everyone was looking at us when we went in.. I even heard one person say "She must be getting married!!" Haha, and our waitress got a kick out of it. We had an extra one b/c someone didnt show up, so we asked our waitress to wear it, and she did! She was a trooper.. she ended up getting a good tip ;-) Anyway, i felt silly because here we are out for a nice dinner and I ordered a cheeseburger. But in my defense I hadnt eaten much lunch that day and it looked GOOD on the menu! :) Of course I got asked along w/ everyone else id Id like a drink.. I havent drank in probably 2 years. Mostly because of my meds Im on now that cant mix w/ alcohol, but Ive recently given it up for other personal reasons. The sweet tea was good though! ;-) I stayed till we were done eating then went home.. They were going to have an "after party"but there wasnt much Id be able to do ;-) Arnold was a sweetheart, he had had a rough day at work that day and still said he didnt mind watching the kids while i went out. Happy Birthday Natalie!! :)






Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Mall Get-Together

I have come to look forward to Wednesdays. Not only do I have our marriage class that night, but every Wed morning I get together with a few friends at the mall and we walk laps, talk, shop, and then let the kids play at the playarea. Today we had a small group compared to some weeks, but thats all good! Amy and her sister Katie were able to join us this week, which they usually arent able to because Amy has been so busy.

We did a few laps and like usual Caleb kept getting in the way of the strollers and I kept accidentally running over his feet :P Poor guy. When Lauryn showed up with sweet little Grayson, Rachel was happy.. she kept leaning ahead in her stroller to try to see him in his. Thats her "boyfriend." :) Eventually we went downstairs and went to a few stores. I saw a few things I really wanted to get but didnt bring my money with me which was SMART because I am mostly done Christmas shopping already and shouldnt be tempted!

After awhile Amy and Katie had to leave, so Lauryn, Joanne and I headed to the playarea. The kids had a great time playing, Rachel loves that shes big enough to run around now with the other kids. This sweet little girl kept going over to Grayson and hugging him and patting his head! It was so adorable. Who wouldnt love little Grayson?! I think Rachel was a little jealous in all honesty.. she stayed at the other end of the play area ;-) No incidents today, like with Caleb shoving her down the slide like last time. Scary for a minute but pretty hilarious, too :)


And I remembered my camera this time, so i snapped a few pics! :)










Black Friday Shopping





Well I know I am crazy but I decided to go shopping on Black Friday this year. Its one of those things that most people either LOVE or HATE. I am kindof in the middle. I love the concept of awesome deals, and having a fun day with your friends. But I am absolutely in no way a fan of mornings, cold weather, or waiting in lines-- so you can see my delimma!


Anyway, i got myself all psyched up ahead of time and then the day before I really didnt want to go! But looking at the ads and seeing alot of things, and then remembering that I had told my Sister-in-law and my friend Natalie that I would go-- made me motivated.


Thanksgiving night we all came home from Mom and Dad's. The kids went to bed early that night b/c they had missed their naps. So i just chilled out for awhile, then went to bed around 9pm. Its hard for me to force myself to go to bed early but I was able to because the day had been so long and stressful already!! I ended up sleeping until just before 2 am. So i got around 5 hrs of sleep. Not TOO bad, but most people know that I dont do well on less than 8-9, Ive always been serious about my sleep! ;-)



I got up, got dressed warmly and had some cereal, even though it was technically in the middle of the night-- Arnold said I needed my energy. I dont drink coffee, never have, but I need me some caffeine to get thru the day. So I loaded a 2-liter of Dr Pepper in the van.. no lie :P I didnt even bother taking a cup with me, i knew I could chug if I needed to ;-) Anyway, I left the house and picked up my Sister-in-law at her house around 2:45 am. We headed up 70 all the way to Hickory-- ahh how calm it was out on the roads, and how fast that was about to change!



We headed to Kohls first because Jenn wanted some things there. I wanted a few things there but nothing I couldnt live without. So we end up having to park at the VERY end of the parking lot, I mean even in the extra parking lot they have for heavy traffic. Then we walk allll the way to the end of the shopping center, to the end of the line. And wouldnt you know it? It starts to rain. Not just a few drops but a downpour, and to make it worse the winds are going! Stupid me forgot to bring anything with a hood, OR an umbrella, so I am getting more and more soaked by the second, and cant see out of my glasses anymore. The girl in front of us handed over her umbrella and said I could use it-- who said theres no more random acts of kindness out there anymore?! So i figured we were off to a good start and it would be a pretty good day (hopefully) About 15 mins later the line started moving and we shoved our way thru the entrance and we were finally IN. I had this great idea to go ahead and head towards the checkout line while Jenn looked around, so that by the time she got up there i may be at the checkout. Turns out it moved pretty quickly and I was up there before she was done, so I just let a few people ahead of me. We left with her buying a few things and me buying NOTHING! but it was worth it not to wait.



Then we got out and were ready to get into the Target line-- they opened at 4am so they were our next step. My friend Natalie had been outside waiting since *get this* MIDNIGHT. She was almost at the front of the line! She told us to come over and cut in with her.. so we did. I didnt think it would be that big a deal, because everyone was doing it! (haha) And its not like we were after any big ticket items, so we werent hurting anyone, right? I saw a few questioning eyes watching us, but no one said anything. But then these women said OH NO THEY DIDNT!! And a cop came over and said LADIES YOU NEED TO MOVE TO THE END OF THE LINE!! Oh.. I am usually a very nice person (I guess it doesnt count this day since its so early and Im not a morning person!) But i said OH LIKE EVERYONE ELSE ISNT DOING IT TOO?! I DONT WANT ANYTHING THAT FUCKING BAD ANYWAY! and then as we walked to the end of the line i said THERES MORE TO LIFE PEOPLE!! So yeah.. I will duck my head in shame now, I am totally embarassed and ashamed for that-- especially in public! but it could have been a lot worse :) So anyway, we finally get into Target and I actually do grab a toy and a dvd this time, but once again, nothing was worth coming out there for! (In my opinion) SO we get into line and it has already wrapped around the store back to the kitchen section. I am starting to get hot at the point and peel off like 2 layers of clothing, because i am starting to feel faint. The line moves pretty quickly to my surprise. And Natalie ends up cutting in line w/ us near the checkout (which no one says anything about, although I was waiting for it!) And we all get checked out and back outside.




Now at this point Jenn wants to go into BestBuy for a printer and Ive head that its a madhouse in there, so Natalie and I decide to leave her and go to McDonalds to pick us up some breakfast (and bring Jenn back some coffee) We get back and Jenn has the LONGEST line to wait in, so Natalie and I sit out in the car for about an hour and wait. We went to highschool together and go way back so we had a lot to talk about.. I wish i could see her more often! Poor thing was almost falling asleep, but who could blame her, shed been awake for a whole day! After Jenn got done Nat dropped us off at my van and then she went home. Jenn and I went to ACMoore and looked around, Ireally wanted to get a Melissa and Doug set for Brooke but they werent letting you use the coupons that morning, so that was a bust. I did find a gingerbread house kit for cheap though, and a few ornaments. We got out of there and Jenn wanted to go home b/c she said she couldnt spend anymore money. So i took her home and got home by 7:30.. so not too bad! Thankfully my wonderful husband let me take a long nap later that morning, which I needed soo badly. I sound like such a wimp, I didnt even stay up all night like a lot of people-- But once again, i am SERIOUS about my sleep people!!!




Will I go back next year? Ah, ask me later.....

What I Am Thankful For!!!





Once again im lagging behind on my posts-- its so easy to get behind!!


With it being Thanksigiving recently I wanted to do my yearly "Thankful List."



THE THINGS IM THANKFUL FOR THIS YEAR


-God~ And everything he has done for me. This has been a VERY hard past year for me and I couldn't have gotten through it without Him. Good things can come through bad experiences, and that's definately what happened in my case! I have grown so much closer to the Lord and realized that everyday is precious.


*Arnold~ What can I say about my loveable, goofy husband? He is the man i dreamed of marrying, and more. We have had our hard times sure, but we now are learning how to work through anything that comes our way (Thanks to the marriage class!) I will be happy to call him my husband of 5 YEARS this coming January! :)


*My 3 Kids~ Brooke, Caleb and Rachel. Brooke is funny, outgoing and VERY independent. She'd stay outside all day if we let her. And the kid is so smart.. seriously :) Caleb is reserved, sensitive, and sweet (sound like anyone familiar?!) He is a cuddle bug, my little helper, and his facial expressions will crack you up anyday! And Rachel.. my sweet baby! She is full of joy, smiles, and spunk. The kid love to dance, and will always be my comedic relief :)


*The rest of my family-- They mean the world to me, too. My parents raised me well and taught me good values. They have been married over 38 yrs now! My "little" brother is now independent and off living in Asheville with a great job at the Biltmore House.


*My Church- We have recently swiched churches, and so far its one of the best decisions Ive made all year! We feel so welcome and alive there, and the pastor's messages are awesome and really relate to most people. Gotta love the modern music, too ;-)


*My Friends~ I have some of the best friends a girl could ask for! They are fun to be with, supportive, and good listeners. There are a select few that I am very very close to and probably know more about me than Arnold does! :)


*Arnold's Job-- I am so so thankful that Arnold has a wonderful job, even in this economy. He just celebrated his 10-year anniversary with the company! He is such a hard worker and provides for our family, so that I can be a Stay-At-Home-Mom to our children. I am so blessed.. staying at home with them is what I always hoped to do.



*Brooke's School & Teachers~ Brooke started preschool this year and its been the best experience for her! I had such a hard time letting her go the first day, but I knew she would do well! She has learned so much and made so many friends already. I couldnt have asked for better teachers for her, they seem to care about the students so much. I can only hope we are lucky enough that Caleb and Rachel get wonderful teachers when they start school, too.



*Two of my VERY BEST FRIENDS are having babies this next year! I am beyond thrilled for them.. this is something both of them have wanted for a long time. One is a first-time mom and one is having her second child. They will both be awesome moms! I love being able to watch them experience this and go through everything. Babies are such a gift! I cant wait to hold the babies and spoil them, although Arnold keeps reminding me that I will have to give them back ;-)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Southern Christmas Show!





A lot of you probably already know what the Southern Christmas show is, but for those who don't Ill try to explain it. Its held every year in Charlotte, at the old Merchandise Mart. They have the whole place decorated for Christmas and its so beautiful! When you come in there are Christmas tree displays, mantel displays, door displays and all these other things people designed and they were judged and won prizes. There are some very creative people out there, i was in awe at some of the displays! Then you walk thru the place and there are little shops, and booths EVERYWHERE. Like lines and lines and lines of it! Lets just say we walked thru it for 2 hours and didnt cover it all. All these vendors have things you can buy-- everything from ornaments, to pottery, to clothes, to foods, to jewelry.. its SO much stuff, seriously. The handmade stuff is the best, I love seeing all the things people come up with.



Now the not so awesome stuff-- it is PACKED. I mean literally, the wholet time you walk around you are basically always side by side or touching someone. Not good for people who are impatient or hate crowds.. which I am both but it wasnt that bad this year now that Im on anxiety meds ;-) The kids there were miserable... the lines for the bathrooms were so long and the kids had to wait. Id never ever take my kids, thankfully Arnold watched them.



Anyway, to make a POINT-- my mom and I go yearly now as a tradition. A little bonding time :) Mom came and picked me up this morning and we drove down, and parked. We had to walk a lot longer than last year. Then we walked around and we ended up buying a few things. Mom bought a few decorative things, and she bought her and I a scarf (but I have to wait till Christmas to get it ;-) And I found my dad a handmade pottery mug that said POP POP! Im so excited b/c thats what the kids call him, and I dont see many things with that name on it.. plus he drinks coffee, so I snagged that for him for Christmas :) We had a little fiasco while there-- Mom left one of her bags at a stand on accident and we were about to leave before we found out-- and we rushed back thru the crowds-- it took FOREVER to find this stand again, I was shoving my way thru people not being the nicest person, lol. The thing she had bought *was not* cheap and we were afraid it might get picked up. Well we got back and it was there, still in the exact place on the ground she left it! Now that was luck. Im so relieved we found it-- but didnt care for the scavanger hunt ;-) We definately got our exercise today.




We ended up walking around for 2 hrs or so, but still didnt see it all.. we decided to leave though, because it was already after 1:00. So after the long trek back to the car we drove to an Ocharleys and had lunch. Then mom drove back home and dropped me off. I found out that Arnold had taken the kids to Hickory Dickory Dock that morning to play, had to stop by walgreens and he bought the big kids a treat, took them to see their Grandparents, and then brought them home and put them all down for a nap! He deserves the Husband of the Year award for all that.. he is the best ever! :)

School Thanksgiving Lunch

Friday at Brooke's school they had a special Thanksgiving lunch, and all family members/friends who wanted to come eat with the kids could. So my mom said she would go w/ me and the kids. I told Brooke about it and she was so excited, we have only been once so far to see her for lunch since its hard taking Rachel in there and getting her to sit still!

Anyway, we got there at lunch-time and all the kids were already in line getting their food. They all had pilgrim hats on and were looking so cute! Brooke saw us and started smiling real big and waving.. I know I should enjoy it now b/c she will NOT like me just showing up and embarassing her years down the road :P For the meal they had turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and peas. I didnt take Rachel's stroller in so she sat on my lap and ate.. thankfully she did pretty good! Brooke sat across for all her "boyfriends" as she likes to call them, and they goofed off :P I told one of the little boy's moms that Brooke talks about him ALL the time!

After we ate Brooke asked her Grandma for icecream so she went up and bought her and Caleb some. A few of the kids didnt have their parents show up for the lunch and my mom bought them icecreams, too. I thought that was really sweet. I know not all parents can get there for lunches and other special school things and I always wonder if the kids feel left out, i hate that, but I totally understand.


The kids had also made special laminated placemats with a thanksgiving poem on them, and their painted handprint on it, looking like a turkey. They gave then out at the lunch. It was so cute, I already have it on the fridge. Im seriously going to run out of room for all of Brooke's artwork and stuff she does at school! Oh and she also got her school pictures back that day and I LOVED them... the outfit I picked out turned out nice in the picture and she smiled pretty :)





Rachel enjoying icecream with the big kids :)


Brooke and her best buddy, Malachi :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Marriage Class




I will be the first to admit that for the past year Arnold and I have had some problems. Not anything that most people would call HUGE or that we wouldnt eventually be able to get through, but its been a tough year. After going thru what I did last summer, I havent been the same since.. I have dealt with all the anxiety and we've had bills upon bills, along with the stresses of having 3 young children, under the age of 5! Thats enough to make anyone crazy ;-)


Anyway, I truly believe everything happens for a reason and this is proof-- one day we were having a big fight and hadn't spoken the entire day. Later that afternoon my Sister-in-law called me and said that she had heard of a marriage class being held at Christ Church- the Fairgrove campus. I asked Arnold if he would attend with me and he agreed. The course was called "Marriage on the ROCK."



We started 2 weeks ago, on Wed night. We found out that we would have 5 weeks of classes, every Wed. night at 6:30. Thankfully my inlaws said they would watch the kids for us while we went, and im so greatful for that. We were pretty apprehensive the first night.. we actually ended up knowing 2 of the couples there, so that made us feel a little more at ease. Turns out the people teaching the class was a couple that attends that church, and said they felt called to teach this after going thru problems themselves, and overcoming them and now they are stronger than ever. They are doing it totally free of charge and say they do it seasonally. I think that is SO awesome. And ive felt so blessed to be a part of it!



The first class went great, there were about 11 other couples in the class. They said to clarify this class was for ANYONE married, whether you are right at the brink of divorce or if you are newly married and everything is "peachy." There were people ranging in age from their 20s to their 50s. The couple married the least amount of time-- just married 2 months! :) And the couple married the longest time-- 26 years! So that proves a marriage can use some "help" no matter what stage you are at.


Anyway, the first class we got to know everyone, then watched a video. We are doing a video series, and its by some well-known preacher although I cant remember his name for anything right now!! The video went over "The most important issue of Marriage"-- and that is putting GOD in the center of your marriage! They said that so many people dont invite God into their marriage, and thats why marriages fall so quickly to temptations and problems and often times lead to divorce. After the video we talked together in small groups, and we had a sheet of questions to go over at home w/ our spouse.. kindof like homework ;-) We left feeling REALLY good about this class, and couldnt wait to return the next week.



The 2nd class I actually invited a friend and her husband to join it, and they were able to come so I am happy about that :) The 2nd class we watched a humorous video first, while everyone ate (they started bringing food since it was so close to dinner time) And then we watched the regular video, and go our questions. It was running late this time so we didnt do small groups.



Last night was our 3rd class. By now it just feels natual going, we have already gotten close to some of the people there! Everyone seems to wecoming and supportive, its great. Anyway, Arnold and I usually eat ahead of time, but last night we didnt so we ate the subs and chips they had there. We then went thru all the videos and questions. We dove into some pretty sensitive subjects last night that made me blush! But hey, its all part of marriage ;-) Last night we covered "His Needs" and next week we are going to cover "Her Needs." The leaders of the group said that HER NEEDS was going to take a lot longer to go over! ;-) I loved the lesson though, because it really gave me new insight into my husbands mind and how he thinks and feels. I hope to start applying these things right away!



Before the class I thought that alot of the stuff would be "duh" but thats not true-- we have learned so so much. Arnold and i have been doing our "homework", talking more to one another, and havent argued all week! We have learned to really respect one another and care more about each others' needs. We have given alot up already to make more time for each other. I am serious when I say that this class (along with a few other things going on lately) have helped our marriage tremendously. It came to us at JUST the right time. we only have 2 more classes left and I will be sad to see the class end. By the way-- for anyone interested in the classes, they said they will probably do another one next year! Id highly recommend it! :)





Just Wanted to Share-- Arnie and I on our Wedding Day :)

Who's Reading???

Just thought it would be interesting to see who reads this, even if just occasionally! So if you are reading this now... could you comment and let me know? Thanks :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Girl's Night!!


I always love to spend time w/ my girls Joanne and Jackie :) We had planned a Girls-night awhile back but some things came up, so we re-scheduled for last night.


Joanne came and picked me up, thank GOODNESS because i hate hate hate driving in the rain! If anything is worse than my regular driving, its my driving in the rain :-/ So anyway, we stopped by the store on the way to get some cookies, and ended up getting to Jackies house a little past 6:00. We were going to watch the movie "Grown Ups" that recently came out on video, but they were all out, so we looked thru Jackie's HUGE selection of dvds and just randomly picked one. We ended up watching "Christmas with the Kranks" which Joanne hadnt seen before. Ive seen it several times but it was just as funny watching it again! It got me even more in the Christmas mood! I cant wait to put out our Christmas decorations now. I still cant get over that its mid-November already, thats just crazy.



Anyway, we watched the movie while eating pizza and cookies. Had a few laughs. Felt good just to relax and spend time with friends-- it always puts me in a good mood. Thanks to my wonderful husband who watched the kids last night! He fed them dinner, gave them baths, and had them put to bed before I even got home, how awesome is that?! I love him so much :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

These Boots are Made for Walking!

Rachel has her first pair of boots, and I just had to share! Yesterday when we went to church she wore one of her cousin Bekah's old dresses that she had passed down to her (the same one she wore to my wedding!!) And i decided to put her in her little boots :) She didnt seem to mind them, had to get used to walking in them, though :)






What is it Mom???


My Beautiful Girl :)

Room Decorating

Since we finally moved Rachel into Brooke's room recently we decided to re-decorate the room and try to make it look nice. We have been thru ALOT with that room! It has had to be re-done scveral times. It was an "ocean life" room when it was Brookes nursery, then we redid it with a flower/butterflies theme, and now it is a theme w/ owls, birds, flowers, etc. I found the toddler bedding at Target earlier in the year and LOVED it, so i got it for Brooke. At Brookes birthday she got the matching wall decals from her buddy Izzy :) So we decided to put them up when we finally got the room re-painted. When Brooke was going through the terrible 2's and 3's she loved to be mischevious and mess with things when she was supposed to be taking her nap. So I would on various days find stuff like the border being pulled off the wall, toys and books torn up, and one day I lost it when she had colored all over EVERYTHING, the walls, windows.. oh it was awful.


So anyway, we decided to put up the wall decals this past weekend. They did not stick very well, which sucks, because they are so cute! There was a tree to make, and some birds, owls, flowers, leaves, etc. There were also a few "woodland creatures" like squirrels and a hedgehog. We also put up Brooke Hello Kitty and Barbie posters, and the board holding all the girls' hairbows (which I had no idea how many they had until I started putting them on that board!! I love to buy girly stuff! :) We cleaned the room very well, swept, mopped, and moved the furniture around. We moved some of the girls' toys in there since the living room has become overrun by toys!!! I cant wait for the day when there are no toys in there anymore. Anyway, the girls seem to love their new room and are still doing pretty well sharing a room.. they still love to have their nightly "chat" before falling asleep :) I hope sharing a room will make them close.




Brooke w/ her Wall Decals


The Matching Bedding












Blog Award!




Checked out my friend Amanda's blog the other day and she had gotten her blog award and decided to honor me with the blog award! Thank you so much! I love writing about my kids, myself and my day-t0-day experiences :) Writing is very therapuetic to me.


Check out Amandas blog about her very first home





And the rule is you chose someone else to award, so I choose Kelly! She recently started a blog and its about every day experiences with your kids, and she really tells it how it is! No sugar-coating it for her! She is a "Gushy Mom" hater! ;-) I love reading it every time she makes a new post :) So Kelly, if you would post something on your blog and keep the award going please!! :)



Visit Kelly's Blog at

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Kaitlyn's Minnie Mouse Party

Today we went to my friend Amy's daughter Kaitlyn's second birthday party! I cant believe she is 2 already, I still remember going to her 1st birthday party last year and I remember Rachel being a tiny baby back then, ah how time flies!

It was such nice weather today! couldnt ask for better weather for a party. We showed up a little late unfortunately. But we avoided the big line of people for the food, haha! They had hotdogs for lunch, and then we had cake, and it was SO good! Amy said a lady in Statesville made it, i might seriously have to think about using her for our next party. The theme of the party was Minnie Mouse, so thats what the cake was. Kait was so cute in her dress and minnie ears :) Amy had made Minnie Mouse cupcake pops, they were so cute. The kids had a great time playing outside on the swings, trampoline and bounce house. I got to see some people i hadnt seen in awhile, so thats always nice. They had a Minnie pinata and the kids got lots of goodies so they loved that :) Looks like Kait got a lot of nice gifts. All in all it was a great morning, and I want to thank Amy again for inviting us!!



Birthday Girl with her Cake








Hanging out on the Trampoline :)



Kids with the Pinata

2010 Christmas Card

Here is our 2010 Christmas Card! I am excited to get them in the mail sometime next week. Posted about it in my last blog, wanted to share!! :)


Procrastination and Christmas Shopping




I am a BIG TIME procrastinator, always have been. I was the student in school that would wait till the night before to write a paper or do a project. My parents hated that. To this day I will wait till last minute to do things.. sometimes it pays off though, I found Rachels halloween costume this year at the last minute for half off! (there was only one left so i was lucky!)


Anyway, christmas shopping is no exception. I usually wait till last minute. But this year I have got caught up with Deal-seeking.. its my new obsession. Through facebook and forums I am on, I have been lucky to find out about lots of good deals, anything from coupons, to discounts on stuff, to free shipping deals, and so on. So i have been ordering stuff online as I find good deals and I have gotten a LOT of my christmas shopping done already! I was shopping in October this year-- dont know if thats ever happened! I already found gifts for Brookes teachers, my parents and inlaws, my Sister-in-law, neice, and a bunch of things for the kids but Im not done shopping for them yet. I love finding packages sitting outside my house throughout the week and get to dig into them and see which gift came that day :) Not to mention thanks to my friend Sarah and a deal she shared I now have all my Christmas cards ordered and they will be shipped to me next week! :)




The other day I had heard about a deal they were doing at this store in Hickory, called Tuesday Morning. They had put a lot of their toys on sale, and this weekend they were doing a deal of 50% off the sale price too, and i went in and got a wooden playkitchen for $25!!!!!!!! The same one is around $100 on Amazon! That is probably my best deal to date. I was so so so excited! I had been wanting to get the kids a new playkitchen b/c the one they have is plastic and they are always tearing it up b/c its so easy for the little doors to come off. Anyway, the kitchen is in the back of the van and I have to figure out where to store it but I am excited that we will have that for Christmas morning! Arnold has to put it together but I know he wont mind b/c he loves doing stuff like that :) Speaking of storage space, I am running out of room for gifts in my bedroom closet!!!!! Yikes.

Darn You Ihop!

Most everyone knows that Im pretty shy and reserved as a person.. Ok so I may talk your head off if I know you pretty well and feel comfortable around you, but for the most part Im calm, quiet and try to keep the peace.

Anyway, Thursday night we had to go to Kohls so we went to dinner at Ihop before. We used to go there a lot b/c we really like the food but havent gone lately because we realized its pretty expensive when you add in drinks and kids meals.. the kids are eating a lot more these days! :P

So we went in, got seated and everything was ok. Took awhile to get a waitress. Finally got our orders in and drinks. Thats when the bad service started. We ended up waiting 40 minutes for food! and it was simple stuff that shouldnt have taken anywhere near that long to prepare. They didnt even bring the kids' food out first.. so they were getting very grumpy and starting to whine and everyone was looking at us. I hate times like that when everyone shoots you the look like "calm down your kid" and you just cant because you've tried everything-- even to the point where your 16 mo old just ate a crayon but you looked the other way because it kept her quiet for 5 minutes (haha, i didnt know she had eaten some until after she did it, but at least its non-toxic!) We finally got our food and realized that we didnt have any silverware. Arnold was also missing his fries b/c they had decided to put onion rings on his plate instead, which he hates, so he wouldnt have taken them anyway! Not to mention Arnold hadnt gotten his drink refilled the whole time we had been seated.


I kept telling Arnold that we needed to say something but he wanted to lay low and "not cause a scene." But i couldnt stand the thought of paying nearly $30 for a meal there after that kind of service. So i went up to the desk, and talked to the manager. I was fired up and angry but of course when i got there to him became nervous and got my famous nervous rash, where i break out in red rashes all over my chest (I hate my rash, btw, it showed up in my wedding pics and i will forever remember how much i was shaking that day! it gets so bad that drs have asked me if i was having an allergic reaction! its not pretty!) Anyway, i talked to him and told him how horrible the service was, and he apologized and went off to talk to our waitress. She came and apologized and we ended up getting $8 off our meal! Not too bad, if i do say so myself. I am proud I didnt just sit there and "take it" when i was so unhappy.


I know a lot of people will think "big deal" over this but hey, its a big deal to me! A year ago i would never have had the nerve to talk to the manager. I guess I am growing up :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Rachel's 1st Night in her Room

We FINALLY got around to putting Rachel and Brooke in the same bedroom. We had decided a long time ago when I was pregnant that the girls would share a room. We only have 3 bedrooms, so we knew theyd have to anyway. For awhile Rachel slept in her bassinet, then after that we kindof concocted a redneck bedroom in the hallway, with roomdividers and a pack-n-play, haha and thats where Rachel has been sleeping for the past several months. We had been working on cleaning out Brookes room and getting it re-decorated. Arnold painted the walls pink and my friend Natalie got her the wall decals at Target for her bday that match the new bedding we got Brooke. It has owls, birds, mushrooms, stuff like that. Anyway, its really cute! We havent finished the room but we decided to go ahead and move Rachel in anyway. When we first put her in the crib she looked really uspet and worried but she had stopped crying by the time we left the room. We kept the door cracked and from the living room Arnold and I could hear Rachel and Brooke "talking" to each other, it was really sweet :) Brooke really kept her entertained. I was afraid theyd never go to bed, but Arnold checked on them later and they were both fast asleep! AND rachel slept the whole night! So Id call that a success! I just hope it keeps up. This is wonderful so far b/c now we can clean the hallway out!





Please dont leave me!!!



Is this her way of flipping me off?! I guess ill never know






Maybe this wont be so bad...








Had to get one of Brooke too :)