Monday, November 26, 2012

iDate #3

After two not-so-great dates, we opted for something much less organized.  This time, we took our list of questions and headed to McAlister's.  We love McAlister's because it isn't loud and chaotic.  It is a great place to have a conversation. And of course, they have fantastic tea and cookies!  It didn't hurt that we had a coupon for free food!  :)  We also caught a movie at the $2 theater and then warmed up with some hot chocolate.  Perfect!

Unfortunately, I threw away my date cards before doing this blog post, so I don't have the questions to post.  The questions this time were all about the future.  It was nice to talk about the things that we would like to do as a couple and as a family.

Jon and I, both, thoroughly enjoyed the iDate challenge!  It was fun to have Jon plan dates, be able to talk and spend time out without the kids.  We really make an effort to get out and go on dates fairly regularly.  It is so much easier since Ben and Abby are old enough to stay home with Luke!  At one time in our lives we rarely ever got out by ourselves.  Ugh...those were some rough times!  Thankfully it was only for a season and we are where we are now!

Now we just have to cross our fingers and hope we won the big grand prize!  We will find out soon!


Not living near any of our families definitely has some disadvantages.  One of which is that it makes getting together for holidays much more difficult.  Yes, it makes the times together that much more fun and special, but it takes a lot more planning.  This past year Jon's side of the family all moved to Louisiana.  Instead of either group traveling so far, we opted to meet halfway in Texarkana, Texas.  It is a little bit unconventional to spend Thanksgiving at a hotel and eat at a restaurant, but that's not what Thanksgiving is about anyway!  It was nice for everyone to be together!

I made some yummy treats to enjoy while hanging out at the hotel.  They were delicious, if I may say so myself.

(I made individual trifles in mason jars.  Death By Chocolate and a pumpkin spice trifle.)

Thanksgiving wouldn't be complete without watching the Lions lose some Lions football!

We played lots of games together which meant there was a lot of laughter!

Luke wasn't much into playing games, but he was all about getting to go swimming!

Thanksgiving dinner was served at Cracker Barrel.  The wait was long,
but it was fun to watch the kids play together and just sit out on the porch and enjoy each other and the beautiful day that it was!
I couldn't resist taking a picture of my breakfast.  I have a lot of Texan friends that I thought would appreciate this!

Luke loved playing with Toby during our visit!

Look at these two little monkeys!

(Unfortunately, I didn't get any group pictures.)

We had a really great time visiting with all of the Grief's!  I'm so glad we were all able to get together!

What am I thankful for this year?  I am thankful for so much!  I am SO blessed!!  I am thankful to serve a God that loves me no matter what.  I am thankful to have a husband that loves me and takes care of me and our family.  I am thankful for my three healthy, active children. I am thankful that I am able to be a stay at home mom.  I am thankful that my foot is on the road to recovery.  I could go on and on, but let's just say, I AM BLESSED!!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Cookies, Crafts & Laughter

While the cat's away, the mice will play, right?  Well, not really.  But we will have fun!  Jon had to go on a trip for work, so my friend, Heather thought it would be fun to bake cookies.  She needed to make them for Thanksgiving anyway.  So, she drug all of her supplies over to my house and made cookies with Abby and Luke.  (I opted to stay off of my feet and just watch.)

Luke really loved helping, for a little while, anyway.  Abby loved it!

Could these two little bakers be any cuter?!?!

It was a process with MANY steps!

Oh. My. Goodness! 

These have to be the cutest cookies EVER!!

This is what I worked on while Heather and the kids were making cookies.  Isn't he adorable?! My sweet friend, Kasi, gave me the idea and most off the supplies.  I love him!  We are heading to Texas to meet Jon's family for Thanksgiving and I'm pretty sure this little guy is going to go along with us and decorate our hotel room!

We had a super fun day laughing, baking, laughing, crafting, get the idea. (:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Freezer Meals

Like most women, I have been completely sucked in to Pinterest! It is one of my favorite things these days!  Thankfully I have had to spend a lot of time off of my feet, so I haven't felt quite as guilty about spending so much time browsing.  One of my favorite things about Pinterest is that I can use it to make my weekly dinner menus.  I recently discovered and had to try some freezer meal  planning.  I found these recipes and couldn't wait to get started!

I spent about an hour and a half in the kitchen preparing, packing and cleaning the kitchen.  It truly doesn't get much better than that!

I am excited to have five meals ready to go into the crockpot!  I can't wait to give all of these meals a try!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Foot Update

I know, I know...I said I wouldn't do these very often anymore.  However, it has been six weeks and I am thrilled with how my scar is healing!

Isn't it beautiful?!

I's just me.  I am pleased with how it is looking, though.  My doctor says that in 4-6 months you won't even be able to see it.  Pretty amazing!

I would love to say that I am pain free and doing great, but that just isn't the case.  The healing and recovery continue...Physical therapy has begun, so hopefully things will start to improve. Here's hoping!

Marching Band Banquet

Along with the end of marching band season came the band banquet.  It was fun to see all of the kids dressed up for a fun night of reflection and recognition.

The fearless leaders!  Mr. Claussen and Ms. Benford.  Amazing people!!

Ben received a special award from "his senior" and section leader, Michael.  I don't know what Ben is going do without Michael next year!  He will be greatly missed!

We are all sad that marching band is over, however, now the real countdown to Ireland begins!

Fall Fun

Abby took the camera and chased her adorable little subject around and captured some cute pictures.  (And some cool ones too!)

Veteran's Day

Ben marched in the Veteran's Day parade.  Abby, Luke and I went to watch.

Abby and Luke enjoyed hanging out with Deborah's baby, Ty.  (Deborah, Jay and Emma were there too, but I don't think they made it into a picture.  Sorry!!)

Luke loved waving at all of the Veteran's!  I think they liked him and his American flag shirt!  He ended up with lots of candy!

The marching band was asked to perform the Star Spangled Banner at a Veteran's Day ceremony at Golden Corral.  It was pretty neat seeing all of those proud men who fought for our country at one time or another.

This 94 year old man spoke about his time in Pearl Harbor.  He was there during the bombing.  Listening to him speak about his experience was heart stirring!  Made me teary.  

I am so thankful for all of the men and women that have served and fought for our country!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Tubes: Round 2

I should have known that I would have a child with ear issues.  As a little girl, I had chronic ear infections.  My mom tells me that I had so many ear infections that the doctor said that if I had one more, that I was going to have to get tubes.  The funny thing is I didn't have another one until I was about 27!  At that point...I wasn't getting tubes.  But it makes sense that at least one of my three children would have issues like I did.  Unfortunately, Luke's ear infections didn't stop with the threat of tubes.  I wasn't thrilled about the thought of my baby having surgery, especially at the age of 22 months, but I was happy with the thought of some relief for him.  (And me!)  You can read about Luke's first round of tubes here

Thankfully, Luke's first set of tubes lasted two and a half years!  We never anticipate that they would last that long!  However, we went to the doctor regularly to have them checked and to have hearing tests to make sure everything looked good and was in good working order.  And they were.  Up until mid-September.  I took Luke in for his normal check up and hearing test.  While sitting in the room with him for his hearing test, I knew things weren't going great.  I could see the lady administering the hearing test looking at Luke for a response and he wasn't giving her one.  After the test, she informed me that he didn't do so hot, that there could be some fluid in there making him not hear so well.  After talking to the doctor,  he confirmed that Luke failed his hearing test and had fluid in both ears and that one of the tubes was completely non-functional.  It then made sense why Luke wouldn't let me touch his ears and why he was always talking so loud.  Instead of waiting 3 months to go back, the doctor wanted to see him back in 6 weeks.  I knew something was definitely going to have to happen.

In the next 6 weeks, Luke ended up losing one of his tubes.  That was fine since 1. it was the non-functional one.  And 2.  he had an appointment in a few days.  When we went to see the doctor after 6 weeks, he discovered that the remaining tube was no longer functional.  It was time to remove the one and put in a new set.  Great...

Jon and I didn't make a big deal to Luke about having surgery.  We just told him we were going to see Dr. Sawyer to get some new tubes in his ears.  I'm not sure what Luke thought.  He was fine up until the point that we had to go into a room with a bed and he had to change into a special gown. Then, to make matters worse, he had to take medicine (goofy juice (:)!  This boy does NOT like to take medicine!

He did, finally, chill out.  It helped that Disney Junior was on!

He even let us put him on the bed to be rolled away to surgery without a single tear!
I wonder how I could get some of that "goofy juice" at my house!

Luke did a great job!  Surgery went well.  Dr. Sawyer also cauterized some spots in Luke's nose so that he wouldn't get bloody noses like he has been.  It took a long time for Luke to wake up, but once he did he was ready to go!  No dilly-dallying for this boy!

Luke has some super special friends that brought surprises over!

Miss Emily brought over an Angry Birds game.  Luke loves to play on her phone, plus she has little brothers, so she knew Luke would love it.

And he did!

Miss Heather came over later that night to bring Luke some awesome Corvette Hotwheels!
She may have stolen a smooch or two too!  :)

I was looking forward to a day of Luke being sleepy and chilled out.  HA!  That didn't happen!  Once he woke up at the hospital he was raring to go!  He didn't even take a nap that day!  That's ok, I'm just happy that everything went well and that he was able to bounce back without any issues.  I am so thankful that the Lord has given people the knowledge to make things to make life better.  Ear infections are NO fun!  Now we are just praying that the tubes work well and for a long time!