Thursday, July 26, 2012

Gone, But Never Forgotten...

This somewhat blurry family photo was snapped with a cellphone back in the spring.  
That's my little brother, my mother, and me.  


Someone's missing...

This guy.


Can't help but wonder what it would be like to have him in our 2012 family photo...

Gone, but not forgotten.  Never forgotten.
Jan 29,1938-July 26, 1999



Just missin' my daddy today...

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Writer's Workshop--Going Back in Time...

This week's Writer's Workshop has me going back in time....to a July of the past.  The instructions given were:
Recycle a favorite post from July of any year that you have been blogging.
So...I hit the archives looking for July posts.  
2006---no July.  
What the heck??   
What was happening every July that kept me from posting on my blog?   I had to dig in the archives of my brain to figure out this mystery.

2006---This one is easy.  My little one was 7 months old.  He had spent a week of every month in the hospital from February to May due to heart rhythm problems.  He spent nearly the whole month of June and one week of July in the hospital.  Clearly, I was resting!

2007---I was ill.  Very ill.  So ill that I did not post on my blog at all.  Not once during the whole year.  When I finally broke down completely in August (thanks to total paralysis), my husband called 911 and after my first ambulance ride, I spent 4 days in ICU due to critically low potassium.  My levels were 1.3.  We're talking cardiac arrest levels, people.  We're talking intense pain and loss of function.  I have no idea why I am still alive.  The ER doctors had my potassium levels checked three times.  They couldn't believe it.  I suffered no permanent heart damage and no kidney damage.  I.am.so.stubborn.  (That's what no health insurance looks like.)

2008---We were testing and planning for my little one's upcoming heart surgery.  We traveled in February for testing/second opinion.  Full workup in February, local MRI in May, and in July, we traveled for second opinion testing/MRI.  We were also right in the middle of testing and evaluations with Early Intervention for Autism.  We started intense therapies in August.  

That brings us up to 2009.  Finally, a July post.  A few July posts.  I chose the one entitled, July Equals.......New Pediatric Residents.  I found it extremely fitting since all of my July history seems to be taken up by medical issues.  In this original post I wrote,

Anyway, I told the bouncie house story to the resident and she is looking at his medical chart on the computer, trying to sort out his CHD and the surgery he has had. She makes the statement that he should be okay since he's 'fixed'. Then she listens to his heart.

I don't think she was prepared for the 'Chitty, Chitty, Bang-Bang". And to be honest, I haven't thought to ask about the heart sounds since Eli had his surgery. I have no idea what it sounds like now. She handled it well, though. Then she stepped out to go over my list with her attending physician.  (Read more...

Just for kicks, I checked 2010.  I found this post.  An 'online friend' lost her battle with breast cancer.  I wrote this little story for her daughter.   I wrote,

The woman prayed and tried to understand God’s plan. She did not want to leave the man, her princess, and Eden. But, she trusted God and knew he would take care of her family. 

One late spring day she took God’s hand and went with Him to Heaven. It was a day to rejoice and a day to grieve. The world did not stop, so the woman’s family lived on without her, but forever in their hearts. (read more...)

And, finally....2011.  This is how I hope to spend the month of July for many years to come:

Wordless Wednesday---Loves the Water; Loves to Fly

 Thanks, MamaKat, for the trip down memory lane.  It's always good to remember, even if the memories are difficult ones.

 Need inspiration?  Visit MamaKat and join the Writer's Workshop.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Special Deliveries!

Yesterday was a fun day for my little one.  The mailman (err....lady) has been dropping off packages addressed to Eli left and right.  How exciting!  I have to admit to holding on to one package for a few days.  I wanted to get pictures when he opened the box.

So selfish of me, I know.  

However, if I hadn't done that, you wouldn't be able to share his joy through this post.  Both packages were totally unexpected and both pleased him immensely.

Eli opened this package first and transformed into Captain Eli.

Pretty sweet, huh?

His very own super hero cape!  Power Capes makes custom designed super hero capes.  Kids with Congenital Heart Disease can request a cape at no charge.  Did you see the 'Heart Heroes' patch?  Sort of like being a part of the Avengers or something---his very own super hero league, if you will.

I asked for a super hero pose:


Here's the back:

("E" for Eyijah.)  He's been calling himself Elijah lately.

Isn't this cape the cutest???  It is very well made and you can't really tell in the photo, but the big blue "E" is sparkly.

Anyone can purchase a Power Cape.  You can also make a donation to cover the cost of a Heart Hero cape.

After we finished posing for these photos, I pulled a surprise package from the porch.

He was intrigued.

And excited...

Downright mesmerized...

And.....then.... I lost him.

Of course, we had to build a knight immediately.  He was surprisingly capable.  And still so excited---he was practically bubbling with excitement.  

Look at that face!

This morning, he attempted this one totally on his own.

Whoa, buddy.  That is one seriously long leg!   :o)

I think he did an amazing job on his first solo Lego build.  Most importantly, so does he.
I saw him kissing this box AND this knight.  (He will probably kill me for this in a couple of years.)

SO happy.

He also shared the fun with his brother.  THAT was awesome.

A special thanks to Eli T. from Rhode Island for supplying my Eli with his first real Lego sets.  He is still playing with his mutant creation pictured above.

A special thanks to Power Capes and St. Charles Borromeo's 2012 Vacation Bible School children from Omaha, NE, who lovingly donated Eli's cape.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Writer's Workshop---I Am (a Poem)

I Am

I am emotional and creative
I wonder what life would be like with more than enough money
I hear soft cries of joy and contentment
I see azure blue waters
I want to redefine success
I am emotional and creative

I pretend to be outgoing and comfortable with myself
I feel moved by a sad story
I touch the rough sidewalk
I worry about the world in which my sons will grow old
I cry because time is slipping away
I am emotional and creative

I understand that God is the God of the Universe
I say everything happens for a reason
I dream of spending my days in a light-filled studio
I try to be a positive soul
I hope for years of good health
I am emotional and creative

Create your own 'I AM' poem here.

Visit Mama Kat  for Weekly Writing prompts.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesday--Tarred...

As in...I'm gonna need extra of this...

...thanks to the teens who hooted like owls all night, the grandbaby who grunted like a pig all night, and the husband who put up an amazing impersonation of Chewbacca all night.




*see the Redneck Dictionary for definition.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Fire Station Tour!

A small group of friends invited us to tag along on a tour of a local fire station today.  This fire station is brand new and really beautiful.

Not a description you would expect for a fire station, right??

Well, it was beautiful.  The polished concrete floors and the 1956 fire truck on display was the perfect setting for this small group of boys to explore.  They peeked in on the Chief's office (he was out in the garage), tried to find a cricket in the conference room/kitchen,  and examined the fire fighting equipment.

 (Pretty cool use of a water hose.)

This little guy wasn't feeling it.  He was a bit grumpy about the whole thing, which is not like him at all.   Plus, it was really hot.

He did a lot of sitting.  He was very quiet.

He didn't feel like posing for photos.

Little stinker.

Once we learned we could move out to the garage, all of the boys were excited.  Especially this guy:

This guy has been saying he wants to be a firefighter since he was a tiny tot.  He has never wavered.  He asked some great questions and learned that he can start volunteering at age eighteen.  Oh, happy day!   He learned a little bit about how to work the water on the trucks, what firefighters do every day, and even what the water hoses are made of--- a rubber lining with some type of cotton/nylon blend on the outside.  

He really wanted to know how much money firefighters make, but that question went unanswered.  (Mom block!!)

Who knows?  Maybe he will find out firsthand someday.

This little guy  tried his best to be a good sport:  

He climbed into the truck and posed for a couple more photos. 

He did a little groaning.

He even stretched out on the garage floor a couple of times.  (I didn't get pictures of that.)

Poor little guy.  The heat was just too much.

He snapped a rude goodbye to our friends, got into the car, and asked for a drink.  As soon as we walked into the house, he barfed everywhere.

He's all better now.

I think maybe we will go back again when it isn't so hot.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Beach Portraits!

While we were in Destin, Florida a month ago, we decided to try our hand at some DIY beach portraits.  We had a lot of fun snapping posed and candid shots.  The family portrait, however, was challenging.  We didn't think about a trip cord, so my dear husband took the job of running the long distance from camera to family for each photo.  I say long distance because, when you have a family of eight, you have to set the camera waaayyyyy back to get a good shot.  The poor man was exhausted, but you would never guess by looking at the portrait.

I used PicMonkey (it's free!) to edit the photos and had a lot of fun doing it.  It was pretty easy.   I'm not finished--I think we took about 200 photos in all.  I just wanted to share the best posed portraits with you all...my children!  From oldest to youngest:

I love how the portraits turned out!

Here are a couple with the baby grandson.  I'm shocked at how much he has grown and changed since these photos were taken!  He was just a little ball of pale mush back then.

Mom and baby:

Uncle Jack and baby:

(He is so good with the baby.)

You may remember the 'jumping photos' I shared.  (Those photos were original, unedited shots.)

Here are a couple of shots that we took before the jumping started:

So.... how do you like our DIY beach portraits?

Makes me yearn for the beach just looking at them...

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