Thursday, December 25, 2008

All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth


Peter lost one if his front teeth a couple of weeks ago, the same night his magical elf came. He lost his other front tooth last night, so he had a visit from both Santa and the tooth fairy. He likes for his magical creatures to come in pairs. I will post more about Christmas later. The kids are having one of the best Christmases. They are having so much fun! Merry Christmas everyone!!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!



Merry Christmas everyone! I know we are going to have a great Christmas. The kids are SO excited. Peter can hardly stand it. He woke up this morning and said that he wishes we were in China so we would be going to bed soon. Ben is also trying to figure out how to make the time go by quickly. We have to go get a ham for work and a few other errands and Derek will be home early today. I have everything that I need for Christmas! I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

One Year, One Month, and One Day



I'm a month and a day late to celebrate "gotcha day" but we have a lot to celebrate. We recently had a medical scare with Ava and we just found out that she is ok. She had an MRI of her brain in November because of her physical/developmental delays and they found a cyst on her cerebellum. The radiology report said that the cyst was having a mass effect and we were sent to see a neurosurgeon, but it took ~6 weeks before we were able to see him. That was a long, worry filled 6 weeks!! We finally saw the neurosurgeon last week and he said that it was a small cyst and that it was not affecting her and that we would get another MRI in a year to make sure it isn't getting bigger (he doesn't think that it will). He said that a lot of people are walking around with cysts like these and don't know it unless they happen to have an MRI for another reason. I am so thankful that she is not going to have BRAIN SURGERY!!! She has had enough surgery in her 4 years!! We are so thankful that we are lucky enough to be this sweet, loving little girl's parents. Thanks to everyone for all of your thoughts and prayers. This has been a difficult time for us and it was so nice to know that there were people out there thinking and praying for us. Keep her in your prayers. She has come a long way, but she also has a lot of catching up to do.



It is nice to have such great news during this time of year. Not only do we celebrate Christmas this time of year, but we also have three December birthdays in our family. Peter turned 6 on the 12th and he had a penguin, winter wonderland birthday. He picked out his cup cakes and he helped me decorate the dining room into Winter Wonderland...he was so excited! We started the celebration at The Varsity and had hot dogs and onion rings and then headed to our house for present opening and cake. He was so funny during his present opening...he didn't act excited about any present he opened, but he really loves all of them. His favorite present was Martian Matter (he has been making martians every day!), but he has played with everything he got. Peter is one of the happiest people I know!

Bring on the grease!

Welcome to Winter Wonderland
The Birthday Boys


Grandaddy celebrated his 75th birthday!!!

I'm also going to post some pictures of the Secret Santa Shop at the boy's school. Every year the kids get an opportunity to shop for their friends and family. Kids can come in with any amount of money and buy gifts. I helped one little boy buy 9 gifts for five dollars. It is such a fun experience for the kids and they feel so good about picking out presents for their family. It was also a fun experience for all of the helper elves that got to help the kids and wrap their presents. The mom who was in charge of this no longer has kids at the school so this was her last year and she has passed the Head Elf job to me. This is what will be keeping me busy shopping at the after Christmas sales coming up and wrapping presents throughout the year.

All of the gifts

The first group of shoppers

Elves Yasna and Karen

Elves turning the shop back in to the science lab

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving



The kids have been keeping us busy lately. Here are some pictures of the last couple of weeks.


Parents were asked to read to Peter's kindergarten class one day. Peter was so excited that I came to read.


This is Ben after his hip hop performance at school. Here he is with two of his best friends, Blake and Leo.


Ava's pre-k class gave a performance for Thanksgiving.


The next four pictures are from our Cub Scout field trip to the police station...the boys LOVED it!







Here is Peter at Race for Education Day at school. This was during our week of sickness. Peter was just getting over his cold and Ava and Ben are sick at home.



I just added this because it is so cute.



Here is a video from Ben's hip hop performance to "Beat It" and a video of Ava's class Thanksgiving show. I couldn't get them to up load onto blogger so I here are links to the videos on You tube. Please keep Ava in your prayers. We see the neurosurgeon Dec. 8th.






Monday, November 3, 2008

Not sure if this counts

Ava slept in her bed last night...yipee! But does it count if I slept in it too? Anyway, I may do this for a couple of days and then stop. I will have to stop soon though because my back was killing me this morning. The box spring and mattress are from the bed Derek and I slept in until we got a king size bed, which we didn't get until after Peter was born. I can't believe that we use to sleep in a double bed. Of course, that was before we had visitors in the night.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Look who's in a "big girl bed" now!


Well, we will see how it works. Ava slept with her foster grandparents before we adopted her so to keep her from having so many changes at first we had her sleep with us. We were not going to have her in our bed too long but when we visited our social worker, she said not to push putting her into her own bed. She said it could take up to a year. Well, here we are a year later. We have had a toddler bed set up in her room and I think she has slept in it for about an hour this whole year. We lay down with her every night in our bed for a little while so we decided that to get her into her own room we needed a bigger bed. This bed was one of Ava's aunts when she was a little girl. She was so excited the whole time we were putting it all together. Now let's see if she sleeps in it!

Look who's in a

Saturday, November 1, 2008

St. Peter and Halloween



Every year at the boy's school, the kids in the kindergarten class dress up as saints for All Saints Day. They all have to memorize a couple of lines about their saint. Peter decided to be St Peter. The video at the end of this post is Peter reciting his lines and his best friend, Luke.

Here are some trick or treating pix too. We go every year to Michael and Lisa's house to trick or treat. We missed last year though because we left for China on Oct. 31st. We always have a lot of fun with all of them and their family. This was Ava's first year trick or treating...she had a lot of fun. We missed y'all, Eleanor and LilyKate!

Dorothy and the Wicked Witch


Iron Man (Travis), Bumble Bee (Matthew), Scream (Ben), Sharpay (Morgan), Jango Fett (Peter), Dorothy (Ava), Wicked Witch (Elphaba), Dora (Jackie)


Peter and Morgan....Peter always has so much fun with Morgan


Everyone in action


One of the houses had this "vomit pumpkin" - it was a big hit with our crew


Checking out all of the goods


Worn out



video

Thanks, Magi!


I am horrible at things like this but my super blogger sister, Magi, "tagged me" so I guess I will give it a try. I'm sure she will be surprised that I did it.

1. I am horrible at this because there is not much that I don't share with people. Unfortunately, I probably tell people too much about myself. But, I have this thing about putting things in writing...I can always deny I've said something, but it is hard to deny what is in black and white. In fact, I've given advice to people (mostly my younger sister) against writing personal letters to address issues.

2. Okay, here it goes, and yes, I'm counting the above comment as number one. On the first day of my physiology class in college (one of many...colleges not physiology classes), when filling out the obligatory informational index card, I wrote on mine that I use to be male. I always hated trying to come up with something interesting about myself. The professor never said anything to me about it, but he taught physiology not anatomy...maybe he wasn't sure.

3. I love to read! This is really no secret to anyone who knows me. I read almost every night before I go to sleep regardless of what time it is, how sick I am, or even how bad what I am reading is. I don't think of this as any great thing...I have wasted a lot of my life reading bad books. But, I hate it when people say that they don't read because they don't have time or really anything because they don't have time. It is not a time thing it is a choice thing. Maybe you just prefer to have a restful night sleep and that is ok.

4. I spent a considerable percentage of my life (it will take several more years of aging for it not to be considerable) in college. I went to FSU, UF, Gulf Coast Community College (actually graduated), beauty school (one in Panama City, but graduated from one in Hammond, LA...sorry don't remember the name of either), and finally Auburn University. I goofed off at FSU and UF, but I went back to school (Auburn) at 24, and after 7 years, I finally finished. I have my bachelors and doctorate from Auburn, so it was seven straight years...not seven goofing off years. After seven years at Auburn, I am definitely an Auburn fan. War Eagle!

5. I am in a group of women called the Pink Ladies. After graduating from Auburn, Derek and I both did residencies in Memphis, TN. I was at the VA hospital and was one of 7 female residents. We had the best time together. Six of us have kept in touch and have made a point of getting together every year. We are all great friends and email almost on a daily basis.

6. I met my husband in pharmacy school. We got married three days after we graduated with our B.S. After our honeymoon of camping our way up to Maine, I moved into his lovely trailor where we lived until we finished our graduate program. I should clarify that at Auburn, most of the trailor parks are filled with college students (It is Alabama!!). Anyway, it was a very economical way to live while in school. Derek and I sometimes joke about how much money we would have if we still lived there!

7. I have three sisters and none of us live near each other, not even in the same state. I would love for us to be able to live near each other and have our children grow up together.

Okay, done! Now I have to tag some people. Sorry!
1. Kati
2. Jessica
3. Pam
4. Kathleen
5. Susan
6. Susan
7. I don't even know 7 people to tag!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Tacky Day


Yesterday was tacky day at school yesterday for the boys. They were so excited they actually got up right away to put their clothes on.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Yes, this house is available.


But please give me several house warning before you come to look at it. I talked to two of my sisters on the phone yesterday and they were trying to compete with me over whose house was the worst so I told them I would send them a picture of just my living room. I would try to explain some of it, like why Ava has on feety pajamas (that aren't hers) at 3:00 in the afternoon, but it would take too long. So there, Magi and Jessica, beat that!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Halloween

Ben is Scream fourth from left, Peter is Jango Fett second from right next to his friend, Sponge Bob (Luke)


Rocker Girl

I am sitting in my living room surrounded by stuff...stuff is EVERYWHERE! My house is a complete disaster area and I am not exaggerating. There is not a room in the house that is not a wreck. From where I sit, I even see clothes creeping out of the laundry room. So, instead of cleaning all of it up, I am here blogging. I guess that is one way to get me to blog...make the house too unbearable to clean. We have had a whirlwind weekend which led to the disaster. It started on Friday with Ava's MRI. She had an MRI scheduled for Friday at 1:00. I called them the day before because they had left me a message asking about metal in her body. I told them that I was pretty sure that she didn't, she did have open heart surgery in China but she had an echo done after we got home. Anyway, when we got there they contacted the cardiologist to get the echo results, but then decided they still wanted to do an x-ray to make sure there was no metal. I was happy to do the x-ray...I really wanted to make sure she had no metal in her body before they put her into a giant magnet! During all of this waiting, Ava was not very cooperative with the nurse so we decided to have them give her some Versed before they tried to put in the IV, which turned out to be an excellent idea!!! It was very hard for them to find a vein for the IV and she was not happy, but she would have been hysterical if she had not had the Versed and she would also remember it (thank God for the amnesia effect!). While we were there I asked them if we could get the Chinese rate. Before we adopted Ava, she had a CT of her head done and we had to pay for it. It was all of $26!!! I think that we might have spent that much Friday in parking and coffee at the hospital!! We did not pick a good year for a high deductible insurance plan, our out of pocket medical expenses this year have reached my residency salary!! Oh well, it is just money, we'll catch up eventually and thank goodness we are able to do all that we can to help our sweet girl.

Well, when we got home Friday night, Derek watched our "drunk" daughter while I went to Mother/Son Game Night at the boy's school. It was a costume game night so we had to get dressed up. Peter was Jango Fett from Star Wars, Ben was Bloody Scream and I dressed as the Wicked Witch of the West (Elphaba)...unfortunately, no pix from that night. We had a lot of fun. Friday night was the beginning of the house disaster project.

Saturday was another dress up day!!! Peter's best friend, Luke, had a birthday party with a costume parade and then trunk or treating at their church. On our way to Luke's house we stopped by Derek's parent's house where Peter and Granddaddy Chapman have been growing a pumpkin for months. We had a great time at Luke's party and the kids also had fun trunk or treating. This was Ava's first Halloween experience and she clung to me for most of the evening. Near the end, she finally let some people put candy in her "pumpkin" (actually a hello kitty bucket). More mess made today...no cleaning.

Sunday was another crazy day. I didn't prepare too well for my sunday school lesson (I read it on the way to the party yesterday), so I got on the internet early and looked up some stuff. Teaching the high school class is a little more challenging than the 5 and under group I'm use to!! After church, we had a quick lunch because I had to get back up to church to help decorate for Family Fun Night (FFN). Before heading back to church, I had Derek taste test my chili for tonight's chili cook off to see if I needed to add anything. I also took a few pix of Derek and the kids carving the HUGE pumpkin. I found out while decorating that one of the comittees I am on at church was meeting at 5pm (FFN starts at 6), so I rush to get home at 4 to give Derek time to go get donuts (he is in charge of the donut eating contest) and quickly make my witch cookies. He gets home in time for me to go back up to the church (the kitchen is a disaster after chili making and witch cookie creating). My meeting was longer than expected so I didn't make it back home so thankfully Derek go everyone dressed and met me up there.

FFN was a lot of fun though. The boys both won the pumpkin carving contest. Ben won for scariest pumpkin and Peter won for largest pumpkin (they each carved a side on the huge pumpkin) and I took home the third place price for my chili - woohoo! Ava was a little clingy, but she had a lot of fun too! Anyway, I had to drag everyone out of bed this morning to get ready for school (including myself) and now I am sitting here in a total disaster area!




Peter doing what he does best - supervising!


Ben doing some detail work with his pocket knife

Peter posing with his alien pumpkin



Ben posing with his Screem pumpkin


Ava loves to put on this mask


The boys love their sister

The final product on display




The Costume Parade

Peter as Jango Fett


Ava the Rocker Girl (she wouldn't go alone)


Ben as a Sith Apprentice


Peggy and Marilynn (Susan) with the puppies (LilyKate and Eleanor)


Maddie Minnie Mouse and her dad, Billy


Here is a video of Ava rocking out to her adoring fans.




video