Monday, January 31, 2011

Elmo Videos

I know I promised these a while ago, but it took a long time to get a good video of his moves.  It never all came together in one video, so that's why you've got three.  I know the first one is dark, but he does his leg up the best it that one, so I included it anyway.  I hope you enjoy them. It makes me smile every time!  I am amazed that he can spin around that much and not fall down more often.  And check out his new Packer gear.  The shirts arrived yesterday (Thank you Nana Sharon!!  She went to 6 stores for us!) and both Travis and Justin wanted their new shirts on over their other shirts.

Friday, January 28, 2011


Here's some of what's been happening around here:
  1. Justin got fitted for new orthotics.  They should be here in a week or two.  Then the hunt for shoes begins again!
  2. Travis learned to tie his shoes!  He's been doing great, but this week it finally all worked together and he has been getting them tied every time.
  3. Justin improves his walking all the time.  This week Miss Caroline said she told Justin it was time to go so he got out of his little chair and headed out the door.  Usually he reaches up for her to carry him, but not anymore!  She was a little sad...  I am really excited now that he can walk in and out of the house from the car so I don't have to make so many trips with groceries and other items.
  4. We have been working diligently on some fitness resolutions and Randy has been running and hitting the gym and I am increasing the number of workouts per week.  Until the VCR ate my aerobics tape yesterday.  Poor Randy had to spend his evening dismantling the silly thing.  I am scared to try it again so I just went to the gym this morning.
  5. Justin has been doing lots more unprompted signs.  He chooses to say something rather than always needing to be asked a question.  Unfortunately, his favorite unprompted sign is "stop".  He has decided that he doesn't like the car music so he tells me to stop it every day.  So sometimes we do and sometimes we don't.  And we are listening to a book instead.  That seems to help.
  6. There's a new DS support group starting in our area and there is a meeting tonight.  It's a kids' play area so that's a good sign that at least there will be some small kids.  We are anxious to hear what it's all about.
  7. Travis and I watched the movie "ET" yesterday for the first time.  Wow, that brings back some memories!  Travis asked questions the entire time and his biggest concern at the end was what happened to the men in the tube who fell off the van when they were escaping with ET.  He doesn't like loose ends of stories.  No artistic license for him!  It was really fun though.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


I have never been much of a resolution-maker.  When there is something I want to change about myself or a project I choose to tackle, I do it, no matter what time of year it is.  But last year I decided to try and see what I could accomplish given the time of an entire year.  I had read a book that recounted the story of a woman who became a Christian and chose to memorize one verse of scripture a day.  For three years.  The first three years of her life as a Christian she filled her mind with over 1,000 verses of scripture.  That really made me think about the priorities I set and so I decided to choose one or two things to do in each of several areas to make new habits or goals.  Last year I told you that I chose to read Moby Dick (I finally finished!!)   I also made Ephesians my focus of study and I read it through at least every month, often more that that, and I memorized the "Armor of God" verses from chapter 6.   There were several others, and like I said, some went better than others...

This year I think my view is lofty.  God is still working on that contentment thing.  It seems like so many of the contentment verses in the Bible focus on physical needs.  That is one area that I really don't struggle in very much.  I have never wanted a bigger house (more to clean - Ugh!) a newer car, nicer clothes, or more money.  But there are so many other unquantifiable desires that pull and stretch at my contentment: healing from illness, a reconciled relationship, an uncomplicated holiday season.  Those are some of the things that steal my focus and cause me to forget my have and to wallow in my want.   I was cleaning this morning and I was thinking about the verses in Philippians where Paul talks about contentment (4:11-13).  He says he is content, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want.  He says that he can be content even when his desires are unfulfilled.  Just wanting something.  Anything.  It just hit me in a different way this morning.  It's like God was reminding me that there were some major things that Paul really wanted that he wasn't getting and it wasn't just about a new pair of sandals!  That whole thorn thing was a big deal to Paul and God said no, but I don't think it ever stopped being a want.

I serve a big God.  He can do great things.  I have seen it in the past.  I am going remember to keep looking for it in the future.  Today.  Tomorrow.  This year.

Jeremiah 33:3  "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Justin decided he wanted to wear Nana's hat today.  I like the look myself!  Especially the purple flower!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Therapy Update

Justin is doing even better than we could have thought and so I wanted to share some of his accomplishments:

Speech:  He said the word "ball" last week!  He has said it before, but he usually has to "warm up", meaning he babbles a string of random consonants before he gets to the point and says the word.  But now Miss Sarah asked him what a ball is and he said "bal bal" eight away!  (I use one "l" because the end of the word is less pronounced than the beginning.)  He is doing better at making more sounds.  We are working on the sounds animals make and the "vroom" of cars and trucks.  Imitation is the key to this, and he is very willing to imitate.  Still no "mama" though...sigh...

PT:  Justin wowed Miss Penny yesterday when he wanted to play with a balloon on a string and it was swinging and when is came towards him he grabbed it the first pass!  He did it all but a couple of times the whole time they were playing.  They are working on jumping and this is more inconsistent.  Some days he won't bend his legs for her and other days he does great.  They are working on short stairs and he is doing fabulous lowering himself very controlled-like for walking down stairs.  He is getting fit for new orthotics later this month and then we'll get new shoes which should help.  Today at the museum he was trying to stand on a small round mat and it was just soft enough for him to be unsteady as he tried to stand and he took several nose dives trying to straighten up.  But he kept trying, which is the most encouraging.

OT:  Justin got an old K-gun for Christmas.  It is a rubber gun that you squeeze and it shoots ping pong balls.  He and Miss Caroline shoot the balls down the hallway and then Justin gets on the scooter board on his stomach and scoots down the hallway to get them.  He cackles so loud we can hear him out in the waiting area!  He is also doing some sorting:  matching small blocks and plastic bears in egg containers with colored stickers on the bottom.  He actually enjoys this activity and picks it out of the cabinet.  They are working more on cutting and he does awesome cutting on a thick black line.  He doesn't deviate at all!  He is just very strong with his cuts and getting him to release and move the scissors to cut again is a challenge.  And risky for the person holding the paper!  I nearly lost a finger cutting loops off our countdown-to-Christmas chain!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Free Day

Yesterday was Meat Day and so today was supposed to be cooking day.  I had lots of plans for meat to prepare, but my mom's friend, Sharon, came down from Wisconsin to visit and she helped me cook everything yesterday.  And she said it was fun!

So last night as we switched off the porch light after another successful Meat Day I realized that we had no plans for today.  No therapy.  No errands.  No appointments or obligations.  What were we going to do???

These days come so very rarely that I couldn't bear to let the day be ordinary.  Sometimes it's nice to be, but since we were home for Meat Day yesterday I decided that out was better for this occasion.  This day called for our first trip to the Houston Children's Museum.  Randy and I have been to the museum (ironically enough!) for one of the Evening with Genetics seminars, but this was the kids first go-around.

First we played some "bumper skeeball"  (My name, not theirs.  It was something about angles and bouncing things off other thing to get them into holes.  All educational and stuff...)

Travis built a ramp for balls to drop.

The boys did some driving.

We watched ping pong balls get sucked up into a tube and come down another tube across the room.  A favorite activity!

We tried to build a bridge.  We drown our person trying to cross.  I hope the next person got him to safety!

We took some silly pictures.

This was trying to get the ping pong ball from the bottom to the top without dropping it through a hole.  Travis did it twice without dropping it through ever!  I was very impressed!  I think they must go through lots of ping pong balls here.

This is way cool!  Learning about pulleys and how it makes lifting things easier.  I got my workout heaving the boys up and down.  This was Justin's favorite thing!

Telephone Man!!  He is truly made from old telephones and cords.  It is a sight to see.

We knocked down the arch, but I couldn't rebuild it without help, so we left it a big pile of rubble.  Justin enjoyed trying to lift them, without much success.

We build half a house.  That's all the big boards we could find.  Justin's cheese face cracks me up!

We planted some rice.

And the Great Wall of China.  Travis thought it was the walls of Jericho.

These are boxes to stick your hands in and feel what is inside.  Justin is at perfect peeking height.

And then he got tired and laid down.  Too cute.

We ended the morning outing with lunch with Daddy at Chick-fil-A since his office right nearby the museum.  I liked that best of all! It was a wonderful treat for the whole family!  I wish we had more free days, but since we don't, we plan to savor them as best we can. 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Funny Therapy Moment

On Tuesday at therapy I was talking with Melissa on our way out the door and I heard someone reading a book.  I knew there was only one other mother in the waiting room, and no other children but mine.    It turns out that Justin had convinced the one person in the waiting room to read him Green Eggs and Ham and he was sucking his thumb and enjoying the story.  I apologized profusely and gathered our things to leave.  Travis said, "See you tomorrow!"  The woman said, " I'll see you next Tuesday."  To which Travis replied, "  Well how come?  We come three days a week!"  The poor lady said apologetically, "We only come on Tuesdays, but we're trying to come another day too."  That seemed to placate Travis and we made it out the door without further incident.  And Melissa and Miss Penny were rolling on the floor laughing hysterically!  Doesn't everyone live at therapy?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Every Emotion

This year did not start how I thought it would start.  I love new beginnings!  I cracked open our new Chick-fil-A calender and hung it on the refrigerator.  I made my resolutions and typed them very neatly on a fresh sheet of paper and slid it into the front pocket of my binder.  I was ready with my plan of how to accomplish my goals.  One of my goals involved getting to bed by 10:30 pm (since I wake up at 5 am) and did you know that the very best college bowl games don't finish until well past that time?  And they put the very best bowl games on during the first two weeks of the year?  It took all of one day to ruin the early-to-bed plan.  But instead of scrapping the plan, I revamped it and decided that if it involves football or dates with Randy, I can go past 10:30.  A fair compromise I think!

Then Monday it was back to the doctor with my mom and my babysitters (Me-Me and Pop) got sick so I had to find a sub at the last minute.  I ended up taking them to my sweet friend, Glenda's, house.  It was her birthday and I didn't know it!  I felt terrible!  And then Justin had 5 dirty diapers for her to change during the 4 hours the boys were there.  Then I felt worse!  But instead she offered me a cup of tea, which always makes things better, and the end of the day was so much better than the front.

And then my friend died.  Not completely unexpected, but sad anyway.  Actually, three members of our church died within a week.  I didn't want to open any e-mail from our church's prayer chain because it seemed like every one contained bad news!  God made a way for me to get to see Rita one more time before she died and I thank God for that.  It was so precious and I think that was the best hour I spent this week.

I had to work the end of the week and I got to take some of my friends to Costa Rica to visit one of our missionaries there.  It's a treat getting to serve people I know.  I've had my cousin unexpectedly on a flight to Honduras once, plus my college Spanish professor, and a high school friend.  Plus Miss Honduras and President Bush Senior.  I got a deck of cards out of that one.

It's been up and down for the first week of 2011.  No doubt.  But the boys are still healthy and silly.  Randy still has a job.  My mom is hanging in there with chemo.  God is still God.   I chose to focus on Him.

 And now it's time for bed!

(P.S. Only 70 pages left in Moby Dick!)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

December Prayer Request Follow Up/ January Requests

Another year over!  Whew!  It's been another roller coaster, but not quite such high peaks and sudden drops.  Maybe it's the past preparing us for the present.   At least some I am sure.   Such a comfort!

  • My mom's chemo:  She is doing really well with it.  Her hair is gone of course, and she is very tired, especially the day after treatment.  She is achy and stiff.  But she is able to live and play with us, which is wonderful.  The boys like having her here with us.  We went to the doctor yesterday and the doctor was pleased with her progress.  She has the rest of this month of this round of treatment before she moves on to the next.  We will be able to go to Mireille's baby shower next month, which is a huge boost for her.  That will be a good treat.
  • Health:  So great!  We have been good for a few weeks and are holding strong.
  • Decisions:  Still working through some of these, but getting some great guidance.  Thanks!
  • Justin's continued success in therapy:  He is doing really well and making great strides in all three areas.  We pray that he is encourages and pushed to keep making good progress.
  • Continued health through the winter:  This is Houston's coldest month (relatively speaking!) and there are lots of germs out there.  I think Justin is finally back at a good place that he can fight things off, which really helps.
  • Gearing up for more potty training:  Justin is doing wonderfully with this in the evenings before bath and he really hates diapers so when he turns 3 I am going to try to attack this head-on and see where it gets us.  I don't want him to be turned off and refuse to go, so pray for his head to be in the right place to make this an easy process.
Thank you and Happy New year!