My "better half". An amazing husband, father and my best friend. He loves his kids, God, fast cars and dirt bikes. He is the most wonderful person I know!
My first born. The best big brother ever and the comedian of the family. With a heart of gold, he loves to ski, play sports and video games. He may be the oldest, but he will always be my baby!
Our six year old with a passion for singing and dancing. A little princess for sure. She knows what she wants and is determined to get it. She loves her babies, brothers and her daddy. She is a master at Guitar Hero and she already knows how to use a screwdriver. We are so proud of her, she is our little angel!
Our very smart five year old who loves his mommy. He loves to snuggle and play on the computer.You will find him sucking his thumb and carrying his blue blankie everywhere he goes. An I-phone expert and a professional "plasma" car driver, he is a lover of food and all things electronic. What a sweet little blessing he is to our family!
I am blessed with a wonderful husband of five years and three amazing children. I am a RN but have decided to stay home and raise my children. I love shopping, the color pink, reading a good book, anything with polka dots, the Lord, diet cokes, reality tv, the beach, decorating my house, taking pictures and always looking at life with the glass half full. I love my life and my family, God has definitely been good to me!!!
If you are reading this and you have the time, please say a prayer for our neighbor and friend who is losing her battle with ovarian cancer. I just found out that things are really bad so John and I are going to visit her this evening at Hospice. We were expecting her to come home from Hospice this week but things took a turn for the worse and it looks like she will not be coming home after all. My heart is breaking and my eyes are filled with tears as I write this post. I just feel so bad for her family. She is married with two children. One is getting ready to graduate from college and one lives at home and has special needs. I am particular concerned about him and how he will handle this. One day she is a college professor teaching English at a local college and the next she is diagnosed with Ovarian Cancer. It just doesn't seem fair. For the last five years she has battled this disease and has put up a good fight. I hate cancer and what it does to the people that we care for and love. Please if you don't mind, say a prayer for her and for her family. Thank you!
Jesus please be with her and her family, wrap your arms around them and carry them through this difficult time in their life.
Yesterday was Brennan's 18 month old check up. He is doing great weighing in at a whopping 27 pounds (the same as his two year old sister), and 33 1/4 inches in height. Brennan was not too happy about seeing the Doctor, he is still not fond of NEW people, although he is at least letting his DAD hold him more often.lol..The whole time while we were at the Dr's office Brennan was playing a game on my I- phone. He knows how to pull the game up and play it. It is quite amazing actually at his age to be able to do this. The Dr. kept saying, " He is really smart".
Of course I already knew that-ha! He loves to lay on the floor and play with my phone, it teaches him his numbers, shapes and colors so I guess it is okay. He has just started to try and count. He can say "two" and "six"and he knows what order they go in. His vocabulary is just now starting to expand, it seems like he says a new word every day. His latest is saying "yes" he says "ya" for yes, it is so cute! He also likes to sing and dance with his sister, who knows, maybe they will be the next "Osmonds".
He also enjoys playing ball outside in the yard. John stands at the bottom of our yard and kicks the ball up to him and he throws it back. He runs all over the yard with the ball, he is definitely full of energy. I wish I had a picture of this, but he is also infatuated with toothbrushes and shoes. Funny,hu? He loves to brush his teeth and he runs off with it so I wont take it away. He also loves shoes, not wearing them, just carrying them around. It is no suprise to see him walking around with a shoe in his hand. He will sit in his room and pull ALL of his shoes from his bin and just play with them. I wish I would have known this before we invested in a train table, kitchen, slide..etc...a shoe is a lot simpler not to mention CHEAP!!!
We recently bought a sandbox and he will play in that for a little while, until he realizes that he can escape and run like a wild man EVERYWHERE. We do not have a fence up yet (working on it) so we have to chase him the whole time we are outside. He is definitely the ring leader of the two . He does what he is not supposed to do and Miss Ayla follows right behind him. Like the time that I went to the bathroom for ONE minute and when I came out the patio door was opened and Brennan had led his sister out to the backyard (in shirts and diapers only) and onto the slide. My heart almost stopped beating because they could have went out into the road so needless to say we now have a lock at the top of the door. He is a "boy" in all sense of the word, he runs, jumps and climbs on everything. I can not for the life of me get him to stop jumping on the couch. Everyone said just wait until he falls, he will not do it again. Yeah right, he has had numerous bumps and bruises and he is still going strong. Oh, yeah he has just started to throw little temper tantrums when he gets upset. It is so funny and it lasts for a total of thirty seconds so I just laugh.
At the end of the day, he is the most amazing, loving and sweetest baby ever! He loves to cuddle and always wants to be on your lap. He still sucks his thumb when he is tired and sleeps with his blue blankie. He sleeps all night from 8pm until 8 or 9 am the next morning. Thank you Lord!!! I am so sad that he will not be a "baby" for much longer. I can hardly think about it without getting upset. He is our last "baby" and I want him to stay that way just a little while longer. He is so, so sweet, I can't even begin to tell you how sweet he is............
Just don't force him to ride in a car with a woman driver and everything will be okay!!
Ayla had her eye appointment yesterday and it actually went pretty well for a change. She only cried a little and when she started, we would give her suckers and stickers and it worked like a charm. The doctor was actually able to do a complete eye exam and a slit eye exam to check for arthritis. At all of her other appointments, we have had to come back and do the slit eye exam separate because she was so upset and not cooperating. Her slit eye exam showed no arthritis in her eyes.. yeah!!! That was great news!!
He was also impressed on how well Ayla has been doing with her glasses and how her eyes are not crossing at all anymore!!! After saying that, he decided to increase her prescription (for her glasses). I was confused because she IS doing well and NOT crossing her eyes anymore and asked why, was it because her vision was getting worse? He explained to me that yes she is doing well but you have to keep increasing the prescription, or strength of the glasses as a preventive measure. Her eyes could get use to the strength of her glasses now and start crossing again. So we avoid this by increasing the strength of her glasses. He said that it had nothing to do with her vision and that if her eyes didn't cross then she wouldn't have glasses AT ALL. He also told me that she will eventually outgrow this, so we just wait and see how it works out!! It would be so nice if she didn't need her glasses by the time she starts school. That is still four years away, so I am praying that her eyes will be okay by then. I was glad to hear that she doesn't have trouble with her vision per say.
Overall it was a good day with good news. That is a nice change to say the least! Trust me I needed good news because I have been extremely sick all week. I have had the worse cold/sore throat in my life. I haven't been able to sleep for three nights now. Ayla woke up this morning sneezing and with a runny nose. I am praying that she does not get as sick as I have been. With her immune system compromised, when she gets sick it is a lot worse than a "healthy" child getting sick. It also affects her joints and causes her arthritis to flare, which just makes for a miserable time all around. This is why it is so important to try and keep her as healthy as we can. I know when Kaleb was a baby, I didn't think twice about a cold, it was no big deal. With Ayla it is totally opposite, a cold could be very bad and could quickly turn into something much more significant. So if you know us and you think we go off of the deep end about Ayla getting sick, it is not because we are crazy its just because her getting sick could cause a huge setback for her. The first label on her medicine (methotrexate) reads, "Avoid Sick People". That is kind of funny, but we are doing the best we can do and trying to lead a normal life for her as well. We realize that we can not keep her in the house all day everyday nor do we want to, but we can avoid certain situations like going to church during flu season for example (which I hate by the way) but it will get better and she will get better so until then we just have to be careful!!!
Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you that Ayla started driving lessons EARLY!!! I mean, this is Just her size, right? Who knows, maybe she will be able to teach her big brother K how to drive ha!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Last week we packed up and headed out of town to go visit our very dear friends that live in Indiana. The "girls" Ella and Makena had their third birthday so we were all able to go and celebrate it with them. I have to tell you about this birthday party, because it was so awesome!! It was a tea party/princess/fairy party and all of the girls had their pettiskirts on and the cutest flower headbands. The owner and lady in charge of the party painted all of the girls faces, (all except for Ayla I must add, she did not want her face painted) and it was so cute. She put sparkles in their hair and on their arms and the girls just loved it!!
After that, everyone sat down at the long table for their "tea party", which was actually lemonade. They all had their own plates with tea cups and there were little pitchers of lemonade and sprite that they could pour themselves.
Ayla loved pouring her "tea" which she called "teat" for some reason. She must have had fifty cups because she just sat there and poured her "teat" the whole time. This was her favorite thing to do!
When we first got to the party, Ayla refused to put her skirt on but after a little convincing from Mama Sandy, she finally put it on!
They brought out four courses of food for the girls. They put them on little platters so they could get whatever they wanted. They had a variety of sandwhiches brought out first followed by vegetables and dip, then fruit and dip, then little cookies and brownies.
and as if this wasn't enough, they then had the most delicious marshmallow pops with sprinkles. They are marshmallows dipped in melted frosting and then dipped in sprinkles..yummy!!! These were a huge hit and everyone loved them. We are definitely going to try and make these at home. It couldn't be that hard, right?
After the marshmallow pops, each girl had their own individual cake. They were little fairies with the cake part being their skirt. So cute!!
This party was so cute and so much fun!! I would have never thought of anything like that! All of the girls had so much fun including the beautiful birthday girls Ella and Makena. They are the sweetest, cutest and most loving little "twins" you will ever meet! When Ayla first saw them she said, "there are two of them", it was cute! We are so happy that we were invited to share this special day with the twins and with our friends whom I consider "family".
Here is the beautiful birthday girl Makena (I think)
and the other beautiful birthday girl, Ella!!!!
Happy third birthday girls, we love you and are so glad we were able to share this day with you!!!!
I hope everyone had a nice Easter Sunday! Since Ayla had her injection Saturday night, we did not go to church in the morning. The medicine makes her feel lousy on Sunday and she cries a lot so we decided to keep her home. Last Saturday she was actually up from 2-4am after her injection with an upset tummy. We are also trying to wait until flu season is over as well because her immune system is down and I don't want to take any chances on getting her sick We waited until after breakfast and then the kids realized that the "Easter Bunny" did indeed pay them a visit They were so excited and they loved everything
Kaleb especially enjoyed the money, I tunes card and the never ending stash of candy that was left for him!!!
as usual, Brennan liked his Thomas the Train Book
and Ayla liked her tutu or "princess skirt" as she would say that was attached to her easter basket...aww...how cute!!
When the kids woke up this morning, I read the Easter Story to them. I tried to explain everything to Ayla but I think next year she may understand a little better. Our family was over and we all ate dinner and spent time together. It was a good day, I hope everyone had a great day celebrating "Our Risen Lord". I am so thankful for our wonderful Lord and Savior who died and rose again so that we may be free from our sin!! Happy Easter everyone!!
I know I have mentioned before how much Ayla loves to sing. Now I have proof!! I have a few videos of her singing Jesus loves me, Twinkle Twinkle little star, and her ABC'S. There is a second Jesus loves me video and apparently there is a second verse (although it sounds like chinese to me) and apparently Ayla knows it. I am going to try and find it and type out the words.
Every night before she goes to bed we sing Jesus loves me, twinkle twinkle little star, He's got the whole world in his hands (which takes forever because we have to sing EVERYONE'S name), This little light of mine and sometimes Oh, how I love Jesus and I have decided to follow Jesus. Ayla has a toddler bible song dvd which she loves. It stays on in her room all day and all night. She takes a nap with it on and she sleeps with it on. For some reason she calls it "the girls". I was just telling John that I do now know what we will do when this dvd bites the dust.
Okay, here is the Next American Idol!!
First song JESUS LOVES ME
Second song TWINKLE, TWINKLE LITTLE STAR
Third song ABC'S
This is the second verse of JESUS LOVES ME
"Jesus Loves me He who died Heaven's gates are open wide He will wash away my sin, And let this little child come in"
There is "lots of love" in this house!! Ayla and Brennan are just now getting to the age where they are starting to play together more often. Ayla loves her little brother so much, she is kissing and hugging him all of the time. Brennan is just now starting to return her hugs and kisses and Ayla loves that! Of course she is a little mommy to him just like she is to all of her babies. She helps me feed him, she breaks everything into little pieces and gives it to him. She likes to give him his sippy cups and bottles. When I put him down for naps she always says, "Ayla loves you Brennan". It is so darn cute! I am so glad the hitting stage is over. Well at least FOR NOW!!
Hi everyone, I wanted you to know about this publication I’m a part of called Serious.Life Magazine. They just published a new issue today, and I am in their Featured Blog Directory. It’s a very high quality magazine, If you enjoy reading, (and even if you don't), Im sure you will really like it!! The magazine includes a lot of great content from bloggers you’ll appreciate, as well as great features, photos and other content. The magazine is owned and published by a WONDERFUL family who have seven kids, three adopted and one who has Leukemia (http://www.riggsfamilyblog.com/). The magazine gives away a bunch of ads to charities and ministries. Besides great articles on interesting people, there is a lot about family, adoption, personal finance, spiritual life, humor… all sorts of “life” topics. Again, the subscription is FREE, and I know you’ll enjoy the magazine, so take a minute to check it out and sign up to get future issues. http://www.seriouslifemagazine.com/
We took the kids to an Easter Egg Hunt this weekend. The hospital that John works for (and where I previously worked) has one every year at a local park. We took Ayla last year and she enjoyed it, so we decided to take both of the kids this year. We convinced Kaleb to go with us this year and I am so glad that we did. He was a HUGE help with Brennan, he is such a good big brother! My niece Angel was in from Michigan, so she got to go with us as well! At Last year's Easter Egg Hunt, Ayla was around 18 months and Brennan was around four months, so he stayed home with grandma. Yeah, they are 14 months apart (not a good idea people!!) HA! Just playing, I love my babies very much!! I found these first two pictures from last year's Easter Egg Hunt. Look how much Ayla has grown in one year. It almost brought me to tears to see how big she is getting. She is so tall now, everyone thinks she is already three!!
Last years pictures.................
And here are the pictures from this year...........
When Brennan discovered that there was candy inside the eggs, he was no longer interested in picking up any other eggs, he carried that one piece of chocolate around the rest of the time, it was so funny. After it was over, Brennan's basket had more eggs than Ayla's. Kaleb and I were impressed at first, but then John fessed up and told us that he had put the eggs in Brennan's basket. Oh, well, he still had fun. And as you can see so did Ayla. If you notice in the background of this picture, you can see Ayla in front of a little boy, she was going around putting eggs in the other kids baskets..ha... I guarantee that if she knew there was candy inside she wouldn't be so eager to share!! Awe...isn't she so sweet. Kaleb was nice enough to take Ayla and John took Brennan so I could take pictures. Kaleb kept trying to convince Ayla that she should put the eggs in her OWN basket..lol....
After they were finished with the eggs, look at the excitement on Ayla's face
When she realized that she got to do this................
She was so excited, this was the first time either one of them has been inside one of these inflatables. They both had a good afternoon. We are going to another Easter Egg Hunt this weekend so they should be pro's!!
So until then ..........................
PEACE OUT everyone from my adorable niece, Angel (before she fell and was covered with mud..ha!)
We will see you later!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Hi, this blog was initially started to document my daughter's trials and triumphs as she lives and copes with an auto immune disease, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. Although I often update on Ayla's condition, this blog has become our "family blog" as well. Ayla was diagnosed at the age of 18 months old, she is now six and we are still fighting this battle. She is on naproxen and weekly injections of Methotrexate (a chemotherapy drug) and Enbrel. If you are new to this blog, please start at the beginning to read about Ayla's initial diagnosis. I am very hopeful that we are going to defeat this and that she will lead a healthy, active life. I tell her all the time that she is my little warrior. She is so brave and I love her so much. I appreciate any and all of your prayers.
Isaiah 41:10 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand."