Thursday, December 27, 2007

Not as easy as I thought

We decided to try to go buy a really cute little outfit for the new baby today. Well who would have thought it would be so hard to find anything I just loved? After about 8 stores we came home with an A&M paci clip. haha I avoided the girl sections like the plague, but at Target they are all mixed in. It would have taken me about 2 seconds to find something for a girl. Without really looking I saw 3 things that were so cute! Ugh, that was the one time today I was a little down, to know I would never get the chance to buy that for my daughter. A niece someday probably, but never MY daughter. We will have to look at some more stores when we go to Austin or Houston next, because I am determined to find an adorable little boy outfit.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Vaughn #4 is a...

We had our ultrasound this afternoon. I actually was able to sleep last night which was nice, I didn't sleep a wink the night before we had ours with Brandt. We were going to take all 3 boys with us, but Brandt decided he wanted to play instead so we ended up only taking Brayden with us. It was nice to have a little special time with just him. Currently the baby is breeched, but the dr said almost all babies turn themselves. So we are praying ours turns as well. The feet were also crossed, so this made it really hard to see what we were having. We finally got it to shift around a little, and we are having boy number four. Wow, it is so weird to finally know what it is. We have the name narrowed down to 2 choices, but no clear winner yet. We are right at 21 weeks, so about 16 more weeks or so before we get to meet him. The range for babies at this stage is 7 ounces to 1 pound, and ours is 1 pound already. Another one on the big end...thankfully not a Laura B size baby though. haha Bry was 7 pounds 8 ounces, but he was 3 weeks early. It is nice that my babies come 3 weeks or more early, because I don't think I could do a 9 pound baby very easily. We are very excited, while I would have loved a girl, I am very happy to have another boy. Brandt was pretty upset, but once he realized a girl would want to watch princess movies, he didn't think another boy sounded so bad. haha

Monday, December 24, 2007

And the countdown is on...

Only 2 more days until our big ultrasound. I am so excited, and I can hardly wait. I would be happy with either a boy or a girl, but I am very anxious to find out which one we are having. This is our last baby, regardless of it's sex. We are 21 weeks today, this is by far the longest I have had to wait on finding out the sex. We are still clueless on names, and Dustin has no longer agreed to our boy name. Oh well, he hasn't ruled it out just doesn't want to commit to it yet. I have several good friends who are about to deliver their 3rd or 4th babies in the next few weeks, and I would ask that you pray for them to have healthy and safe deliveries.

Happy Christmas Eve!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Yikes, that hurts...

I went to the Emergency Room back on November 2nd when I started having all of the pain. We told them we had new insurance and wasn't sure how that worked. We were told we had a $100 copay, so we paid it then and I was seen. They didn't really do anything for me, since I am pregnant. They did a urine test, which I had the day before at my Ob/Gyn office. Then they did an ultrasound on my kidneys, which they did a week later at my Ob/Gyn's office. Well this week we got a bill from the hospital for another $907!!! I called and apparently we don't have a $100 copay, who knows where they made that up from. We have to pay our deductible first ($1250 and then we pay 30%). If the lady had said I don't know let me call and found this out I would never had agreed to go to the hospital. Especially since they didn't do anything for me anyways. Blah! So now we are left trying to figure out how to pay this right before Christmas. They will let you set it up on a 3 month payment plan, but I don't have an extra $300 a month for 3 months. If you can't pay in that 3 months, then they will give you the privelage of using their in-house financing of 22%!!! Can I tell you how frustrating this is!!! UGH!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

A few celebrities in the family...

This past Saturday we drove to my parents' house and went and watched them light the town tree and let the boys see Santa. Well the boys made the front page of the Lexington Leader today. If you scroll all the way down you'll see it, it is not the best picture, but hey they made the paper. lol

http://www.lexingtonleader.com/index.shtml

Another member of our family was also in the paper today:
We have had an unusual run with cats over the past year and a half. We had never owned a cat before, but when we moved to our house last year we have woods behind us. Brandt was sad about leaving his old house, so we got 2 wonderfully, amazing kittens for outside. I have never seen a better cat as either of these 2. They were brothers and raised by a family with small children. When we bathed them the 1st time they were so docile, my mother thought they had something wrong with them. Nope, just that sweet. Last fall, a stray cat came on our property and one of our kittens got into a fight with it. It wasn't a major one, but 2 days later and $500 later we lost him. His stomach had been punctured and it had filled with bacteria, and the vets were unable to help him. We were devestated, and the boys instisted our other cat would be very lonely without his brother, so we found another kitten at the animal shelter. We started keeping both cats inside over night and out to play during the day. After around 8 months, the kitten we got at the shelter decided she didn't like the litter box, no matter how clean it was, and would go on the floor right next to it. So she became a 100% outside cat, while Smokey still came inside 1/2 the time. This summer, we went to visit my parents for a weekend, and when we got home Smokey was gone. Cassie (our shelter cat) was still there, but we have not seen Smokey since then. He was a family member and extremely missed. Since then the boys have frequently talked about how much they miss the cats and how sad they are. Now we still have the outside cat, and she lets them pet her, but they can't hold her and cuddle like with Smokey or Rascal. Plus she is amazing at killing rodents and small snakes that she is our outside cat for good now. So for Christmas their grandparents bought them a new kitten from the animal shelter. Dustin and I went for several days without the boys looking to find just the right one. We found him on Monday afternoon, but because he was a stray he had a 72 hour wait period to allow the owners to come looking for him. His time was up yesterday and we went and signed all the papers. When we got there they told us the Eagle had taken pictures of him and he would be in the paper today. He is at the vet this morning getting fixed, and we get to bring him home tonight.

If you have today's Eagle he is on the front page of the Region section. Otherwise, here he is on the online version:
http://www.theeagle.com/local/A_cat_in_Santa_s_hat

Brandt wanted to name him Rudolph since he got him for Christmas, and Brayden wants to name him Sheepy Sheep. According to the article his name is Jingles. Hopefully, by tonight we'll have a name nailed down.

AND JINGLES IT IS!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Big Ultrasound Scheduled...

We were hoping to find out what we were having before Christmas, but our doctor had 2 meetings come up and is very busy the next few weeks. So Dec 26th at 3 pm we will have our big ultrasound. Instead of being 19 1/2 weeks when we find out like he had originally told us, we will be closer to 21 1/2 weeks. Oh well, all good things are worth the wait, right?!? At this point, I don't care if it is a boy or a girl, I just really want to know. We have pretty much decided on a boys name, but are undecided for a girl. So what are your favorite girl names? We haven't decided if it is a girl if she will have a "B" name as well, or if we will go with something completely different. Even if you mainly just lurk, I would love to hear your names.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Looking for a deal on Christmas Presents?

Every year I buy toys on clearance and then sell them on Ebay at Christmas time. With everything going on right now, I don't really have the time or energy to list them. It takes getting pictures, cropping, and sizing them. Then writing out the details, being pretty descriptive. Then finding a box that will fit, printing postage and then dropping it off at Fedex or USPS. Then hoping it arrives safely and quickly. Frankly I am exhausted just thinking about it. I thought about holding them until next year, but with the new baby coming we need to get these toys out of here desperately to make room. I have tons of boys and girls, all ages...not to mention small gifts and some big gifts.

All the toys are at least 50% off plus tax, the tax is just because I paid tax. If you buy a bunch, I can probably make a better deal. Feel free to pass this around, but I ask that you don't send strangers to my house, but if they are friends of yours they are welcome to come look as well.

Any questions, please let me know.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Late 2nd Birthday Bryson!!!

With everything that has been going on, I never posted the montage I made for Bryson's 2nd birthday! He turned 2 on November 5th. It is so hard to believe he is already 2. In the last 2 weeks he has really started talking. He is getting over a double ear infection, and he was actually able to tell me "momma, my ear hurt me". I was thankful I didn't have to guess what was wrong, he was big enough to tell me. Shocked, but thankful!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A Busy Week

Last Wednesday Dustin's grandfather passed away, and we started praying about how we could get back for the funeral, since we had just been up there less than 2 weeks before. God answered with a good friend giving us 2 buddy passes, which cost us round trip for both of us around $200. Then there was enough family there that we didn't need to rent a car, and we were able to stay with some friends of the family up there. So all in all it cost us around $300 to make the trip, God was in that for sure. It was really nice to get to see all of his family, we have a great time with them. We came back in the wee hours on Tuesday morning. Then Wednesday was Halloween and the boys were all superheroes (I'll post pics later). We drove an hour to see my parents' new house and took the boys trick or treating around there. It was a lot of fun. Brandt said this is the best night ever, well maybe after Christmas. lol He gets that from me, I LOVE Christmas! Then Thursday I went with Brandt's class and I took Brayden on a field trip to Dewberry Farms. It is really neat and about an hour and 15 minutes from their school. On the way there I started feeling bad, and by the time we left I was in excruciating pain. I drove about 20 minutes home and realized I couldn't drive any further. Thankfully, I had another parent with me, and she drove us the rest of the way. When we got back to Brandt's school Dustin was waiting to take me to the Dr. I hurt so bad I couldn't stand, sit, lay down, nothing. I was so miserable. My wonderful Dr fit me in, and gave me some vicodin, which is a wonderful drug. lol Because I am pregnant no one will do any scans on me to find out what is going on. They think it is either something to do with my kidneys or I have a herniated disc. So after a trip to the ER on Friday, there still is no diagnosis, but I am on bedrest, Vicodin, and a muscle relaxer. I have been feeling better, but today is pretty rough. It doesn't look like I am going to be able to work tomorrow again, and I hate using all my time up knowing I'll need it when the baby comes. I haven't been able to do anything, but Dustin has been great so far. Taking all the kids where they needed to go on Friday, making lunches, and dinner, doing the dishes, you name it. So if you would please pray for me, that this will heal on it's own since I still have 5 1/2 to 6 months before this baby gets here.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Another Angel in Heaven!

This afternoon Dustin's grandfather went home to be with the Lord. Yes, the grandfather who we just got back from Minneapolis from seeing. We hadn't seen him since Christmas and with the new baby coming we knew we wouldn't be able to see them until next Christmas, so we decided to make the trek. We left on Friday afternoon, and we got a call Monday he wasn't feeling well. Then a call early Tuesday they had taken him to the hospital and he had pneumonia. I just praise God we were just able to spend a wonderful week with them. We were able to take him to do all the things he loved that he hadn't been able to in over 2 years. He had pizza, a hamburger, Applebees, and breakfast at Perkins. The boys had a great time with him, and I am glad he is no longer suffering. I have no idea when the funeral will be, or even if we will be able to make it, since it is cross country and we just went. it is not a cheap trip, and financially I just don't see how it could work. We'll leave this in God's hands and if we are suppose to be there He will provide a way. Dustin even said he was so glad we just spent the week, and would have picked a week with him over the funeral any day. Here are a few pics from our trip. Please keep his wife Dora in your prayers, they had been married well over 60 years, and their 3 children: Yvonne, Karen, and Linda.

Brandt coming in and seeing him the 1st time.

Brayden's turn

Even Bryson wanted in on the action

His grandpa has a huge stash of candy, and he quickly discovered our boys sweet teeth. All week long this is the scene that was replayed over and over again in their living room.

This was Friday, right as we were leaving. This was the last picture taken.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Whew we made it!

Dustin's grandfather is 89 and not in the best of health. So last week we had Fall Break at school so we drove to Minneapolis for a visit with the kids' great-grandparents. It is 17 hours of actual driving time, and that is no easy task with an almost 2 yr old, 3 1/2 yr old, and a 5 yr old. We left Friday around 3, and drove until 3:30 that morning. We tried to stop earlier, but one hotel was full, and we decided to go onto Colleyville, KS. As we were pulling into town I got a sinking feeling in my gut. I was about 95% sure this was the town I saw on the news over the summer that had terrible flooding. Sure enough, every hotel in town was closed as they were rebuilding. You could see water lines almost to the roof on all the homes and businesses they hadn't started rebuilding yet. So we drove on. We finally got to another town that had room at the Super 8, but all they had was the most expensive suite left, but we were just ready for a hotel so we paid over $100 to stay...yikes! It did have a jacuzzi tub in the room that the boys got the biggest kick out of in the morning so it was worth it. We left around 11:30 and drove until we were about 2 1/2 hours outside of Minneapolis and stayed the night. Sunday we got up and met his grandparents after church. We had a little problem getting around where the bridge collapsed, since our directions took us right over that spot which is no longer there, but once we found our way around we were good. We had a nice visit, and they boys really had a great time getting to know their great-grandparents better. We took 1 day and took the boys to the Mall of America and we ate at the Rain Forest cafe, went to the Underground Aquarium, and they let them build their first ever Build-A-Bear. The rest of the time we mostly hung out with his grandparents and went to several Targets, my favorite store (who happens to be headquartered out of Minneapolis). His grandfather doesn't drive anymore and his grandmother never has, so they normally are stuck in their retirement apartment. We were able to take them to McDonalds to get a burger (one of his grandfathers favorites), AppleBees, Chuck E Cheese (his grandmother's idea), out for breakfast, to the grocery store, etc. It was a lot of fun. His grandmother turned 90 on Friday while we were there. It was neat to get to share that with her. She is still so spunky and full of life. Minus a tremor she is almost in perfect health, you would never guess she is 90. While we were there we got a call from a friend letting us know our school's Athletic Director had been killed in a car wreck. Zak was an amazing man, and is terribly missed....please keep praying for the school and his family (he has 4 kids from a Jr in High school to a 23 yr old). So we left Friday around 3 pm and decided to see how far we could go, since Zak's funeral was in College Station Sat at 10 am. We made the 17 hours worth of driving in 18 hours and got home at 9:10, by the time we changed we arrived at church with 1 minute to spare. We were exhausted, but excited to be home. We got a call Tuesday that his grandfather had to be taken to the hospital due to pneumonia, and should be released today. They didn't know if he would go home or to a nursing home. They were also going to set up the step down from hospice for him, not exactly sure what that means. So that makes our trip and time there that much more special.

I'll go through and post pictures later.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

COUPONING CLASS HAS BEEN SCHEDULED!!!

I am going to host a couponing/stockpiling class on Thursday, October 25th at 7:30 PM. It will be in the home of Lauren S., and there will be limited availability. Please let me know if you will be coming so I can email you directions, and get you on the list.

This should be fun!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Freaky!

Last night after Cubbies we went to eat dinner with a friend and his son. We went to the Wendy's that is attached to the gas station at WJB and Hwy 6. After we ate and we were walking back to the car a police officer walked up holding his baton. Brandt said "look a police officer", but the cop didn't respond at all. Most cops are extremely friendly to kids, so I thought that was weird and watched him. He walked in the gas station and locked the door behind him. At this point I was very intrigued about what was going on. The clerk was on the phone, and he had his hand on his hip, but I couldn't tell if it was his gun or not. The cop then got on the phone, and I am really perplexed about what is going on now. We are all in the van, but my window is rolled down and we are talking to our friend. 2 more cops show up, and one comes over to us and checks us out and then ask if we know anything about the robbery that just happened. That explains everything! How freaky is that, the gas station was robbed while we ate 10 feet away. I am just so thankful no one was hurt, and the robber stayed in the gas station, and didn't come into Wendys. Could you imagine the nightmares my kids would have had over that (not to mention myself). Ugh! I hope they find whoever did it!

Monday, September 24, 2007

God is good!

We put the boys to bed, and Brandt came up with about every known excuse to get out of bed. He came and told us the laundry room was making water noises. We told him to get in bed, and went and looked. Sure enough there was water everywhere. With some investigating we determined the light fixture was FULL of water. Praise God there wasn't a fire, or we weren't electrocuted when we turned the light on. We got that off, and turned all the water off in the upstairs bathroom. However, it was still leaking heavily. We decided to get our neighbor, Mr Armstrong, did I also mention he is my boss :o) . Can you believe he had the same issue at his house LAST week, so he knew what to look for. Unfortunately, his wasn't caught quickly and was a huge disaster. He went straight to our A/C vent upstairs and voila! It is filled with water and leaking. So they are up there trying to fix the problem without ruining the drywall downstairs. Can you believe the drywall was completely dry still...completely a God thing! Brandt caught it almost immediately from when it started. Who knows how long this is going to take, but I am so thankful we found the problem and Rob knows what to do since he just fixed his. Could you imagine if Brandt hadn't notified us and the drywall came crashing down in the middle of the night? It would have really really freaked me out. Please pray this goes quickly and smoothly.

9/24 Dinner for a good cause!

Here is an easy way to help fight childhood cancer. All day today, Chili's resturants nationwide are donating 100% of their profits to St. Jude's Hospital. If you are thinking of going out for food or just don't want to cook or you simply want to support the fight against childhood cancer, please consider eating at Chili's today!

http://www.stjude.org/corporate/0,2516,410_2034_23696,00.html

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Texas A&M vs Miami game

I thought this looked like a lot of fun:

What: Texas A&M vs. Miami football game televised at Kyle Field
Where: North-east corner of stadium ("the ZONE" seating) - game will be shown on the jumbo-tron.
When: Game starts at 6:45, gates should open around 6:15-ish,
Admission: Free (Concessions available)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Is this not the cutest pregnancy tummy ever?

Well we couldn't hide it any longer. I had to get out my maternity clothes last night, because my regular pants are just too uncomfortable! We told my boss today, who was thrilled for us. So tonight we told the boys and took them to McDonalds to celebrate. Brayden jumped up & down and yelled yay! Brandt was a little more subdued, but I heard him lean over to Bryson and tell him we were going to have a new baby. He has said how excited he is and happy he is to have a new baby. He then was talking about his sister. We kept telling him it could be a boy, and he said he knew, but he thinks it is a girl so that is why he said it. lol

A really funny story: we got home and Brandt asked how we were going to get a new baby, were we going to adopt. I told him no I had a baby in my tummy, and he wanted to know how I knew. I said see how my tummy is bigger, that is how we know. He said well how do you know that is a baby and not food! lol I about died laughing.

Anyway, we ran by Motherhood Maternity tonight to see if they had any cheap shirts I could wear to work (since I have a ton of t-shirts, but not a lot of work appropriate shirts. Brayden saw those tummy pillows they have so you can see what the clothes will fit like when you get bigger. He put it on, and he has to be the cutest little pregnancy tummy I have ever seen!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Happy Late Birthday to my baby!

Brandt turned 5 last Friday on the 31st. He had his birthday party this morning at the swimming pool. It was a lot of fun, and it is so hard to believe he is already 5! Where did the time go? He is such a little boy now, he is really growing up. He surprises us daily with all that he knows. He is loving school. Here is a video I made for Brandt.
Y
ep, that is right! We are expecting baby number four in early May. I go to the dr in another week and a half, and hopefully will get an exact due date then. We are very excited, and yes this baby was planned and already very loved. I have had several rough days where I just feel terrible. Hopefully that will ease up, but I am afraid it is just starting, since I am almost 6 weeks. We haven't told the boys yet, because I know Brandt will tell everyone at school, and I am not ready to tell my boss yet. lol I am hoping to wait to closer to 12 weeks before we tell them, but I am afraid I will start showing sooner and have to tell. We showed the video to our family while they were here for the party, and I loved their expressions. I think they are excited, I am sure some think we are crazy. We have always agreed that we would have 4, but after having the boys so close in age it made us second guess ourselves. Dustin and I each came to each other and felt like our family wasn't complete, after we had been discussing being done. We knew God was telling us that our family wasn't yet complete. Boy or girl, this will be it, and our family will be complete.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

And just like that, God provided an answer

When I was dropping the boys off this morning I ran into a friend whose little girl was in Brayden's class last year at Central. She was adding her daughter to Brayden's class this year at Hillcrest. We got to talking waiting for the teachers' morning meeting to be over. She volunteered to pick up both boys on Tuesday and Thursday and take them to her house to play for an hour. She lives probably 3 minutes away from the church, and this will allow me to get them when I get off, and not have to deal with Dustin taking off everyday in the middle of the day to make the long trek. I didn't even think about that possibility until she had already volunteered. Isn't it amazing how God works sometimes?

Here is my schedule during the week, it makes me tired just looking at it. lol
Mondays: Drop Brandt off at school at 7:45, take Brayden to preschool by 8:45, then drop Bry off to his childcare and head back to BCS. Thankfully in the afternoons a friend is taking Brayden home from preschool, so I'll get Brandt, then go get Brayden from the friend, and then go get Bry and head home.

Tuesdays: Meet a different friend and give her my youngest 2 to take to MDO and pick up her son. Get both of them to BCS by 8, now the afternoons will be easier because I just have to drive across town to get them from their friend's house.

Wednesday: Meet same friend and give her Brayden and take her son. Drop Bry off at his childcare, and then get both boys to BCS by 8. I will run over at lunch and pick Brayden up from preschool and take him where Bry is. Then after school I will immediately take Brandt to his Spanish class and while he is there go pick up the other 2 and come back and get him.

Thursdays: I don't have a class until 10:30 so it is a much less rushed morning. I take Brandt to school at 7:30 and then come home and get ready. Take both boys to MDO and then pick them up in the afternoons from my friend's house.

Fridays: Take Brayden to speech at 7:30, take Brandt to school. Come back and get Brayden, then take Bry to his childcare and then Brayden on to preschool by 8:45, then dart back to school on time for my class at 9:30. This will be the hardest to get back to since it is completely across town from his preschool. I will sometimes get done at 1:45 and sometimes I will have meetings until 3:45. When I am done I will go get Brayden from my friend who has graciously taken him home from preschool, and then get Bry and then head home.

It is a lot of running, but worth it I think. Next year since Brayden will be at BCS too, and Bry won't be old enough for preschool yet, I think I am going to try to find someone to come to my house to watch him. That would simplify things a lot, especially since I only live maybe 5 minutes from school, but spend over an hour trying to get everyone where they go in the mornings and afternoons.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Sorry for the lull in posts

It just seems each day is about the same with nothing really to post about. I spend all morning shuffling and trying to get the kids where they need to go, sometimes in 3 different directions and then rush to school in time for my 1st class. I am a little stressed about how to get the younger boys picked up on Tuesday and Thursdays. I was a dork and put them across town where they get out at 3, and I can't get to them until 3:45 or so. Dustin left work at 2:30 to get them by 3 today and barely made it (you literally can not get any further apart in town that Dustin's work and their Mother's Day Out). His boss was not to excited about the idea of him needing to do this twice a week every week. So now I am left scrambling again. I could get them at my lunch break, but they wouldn't reduce the tuition and then I would have to pay Fit for Kids for those hours, and I have already paid. We are already stretching our childcare budget, and that just isn't in the cards (imagine how little teachers get paid, and divide that by 2, and that is about how much private school teachers make). Don't get me wrong, I love my job, I love that I have Brandt in my class twice a week, I love that they not only allow but stronly encourage me to participate in fieldtrips, etc. All in all I am thrilled with our decision, the next few years until all our kids are a Brazo Christian will just be challenging to say the least.

I called and Brayden will start speech again with Mrs Jones starting Friday. It will be for 30 minutes at 7:30. Last year I would have croaked at 7:30, but this year it works great, because I can drop him off, then run Brandt to school, then come back and get him, then take Bryson to fit for kids, then take Brayden onto Central. I will be pooped by the time I get back to school, but it will be worth it if it can help him catch up with his speech. He is still nowhere near the other kids, but he is getting easier and easier to understand.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Brandt's 1st day of Pre-K

Brandt started Pre-K today. He was so excited, and has been asking to go everyday this week. Dustin took off this morning, and we took the other 2 kids to daycare and then took him to school. As we pulled into the parking lot, the sky let go. The administration was outside with umbrellas helping people in, but lucky me got to park the car, and I was soaked by the time I got in the building. Brandt didn't even look back, and got annoyed with all the pics we took. lol

Brandt about to go into his classroom

Brandt and mommy, both of our 1st days at Brazos Christian

I am now officially a teacher. Can you believe that? I have been doing in-service the last week and a half, but today was the 1st day with kids. My very 1st class ever was Brandt's...pretty cool! Overall, today went well. My last class of the day is high school, and I have 3 classes in 1. The yearbook kids were out of control, so they aren't going to like me come Monday when 1/2 of them are sent to the principal's office. There are 33 kids total, so we are going to have to weed out some kids, that is just way too many in 1 little class to learn anything.

Friday, August 3, 2007

I WON!!!!

One of the ladies on a bargain board I am on had a contest in July. You had to buy as many household items as possible, with as little money as possible. I finally remembered to submit mine today and I WON!!! I was excited, especially considering there are a lot of people on the board.

Anyway here is a link: http://rebeccasbargains.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Picture Overload...

You are looking at the face of the newest Vaughn family member. Smokey still hasn't come home, but we are still praying hard for him to return. I am devestated to think he might be gone. My parents are moving to the country as soon as their house leases and are going to take our cat Cassie with them. She is a great outside cat, and is really sweet to adults, but she is not fond of our dog or our kids. lol She hasn't really hurt the kids, but I don't trust her with them either.

So now we need a name for the kitten. I know this sounds terrible, but I can tell a girl cat vs a boy cat, but it is really hard to tell in kittens. So I am not sure if it is a she or a he yet. So any great names?

There is a place in Austin the boys get their haircut, and if you do a good job they put colored gel in your hair. When my nephews were here we took them to get a hair cut, and they asked for colored gel. They didn't have any, but my mom went to Sally's and bought some. So we came home and I colored their hair.

Dustin said he is practicing to be a macaw for halloween. lol

This is Brandt with his hair colored, but we were out on the boat so the wind had blown most of it out by then.


We went with a big group to the Children's musuem in Waco. Bryson was 1st scared of this bear, but after seeing a friend get on he decided he wanted to as well. His face still looks scared, but everytime I took him down he cried and tried to climb back on.
At the children's musuem they had a cool bubble maker. You get on and pull a string and try to get the bubble over your head. The boys all really enjoyed it.
Getting closer...
Got it!!!




Friday, July 27, 2007

They kept us for observation...

Bryson pushed Brandt off of a chair and he hit his head on the tile without bracing. He was trying hard to sleep and was getting hard to wake up. So we brought him in and they did a CAT scan and that looked good. However he started throwing up so they kept us overnight for observation. They were coming in every hour and waking him and taking vitals. Evidentially his blood pressure kept going up so they came and got us a little before midnight and we did another CAT scan. That looked good as well. So they brought him a clear liquid breakfast and he didn't act too hungry, but ate ok. He seems to be feeling a lot better. So I don't know if they'll wait until he eats an actual meal at lunch and make sure he doesn't throw up, and then let us go or if they'll let us go sooner, they haven't said.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Off to the ER AGAIN!!!

We are out the door, so I'll post more later. Essentially Brandt fell and hit his head and the oncall DR told us to take him to the ER. I am sure he is fine, but please pray that he is ok.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Stockpiling Class

Ok, I think I have officially been talked into doing a stockpiling class. There are some good deals coming up the beginning of August, so it would be great to get it done before then. Anyone interested? I think it would be too hard to do it at my house, since the baby goes to bed around 7:30 and then of course the other 2 would be running around. lol So does anyone want to offer their house or should we try to get a room at church? What would you ladies like? Also, what would you like me to cover, and is there anything in particular that you are looking to find a deal on that I might be able to help with?

A great video...We Bleed Maroon!

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-8818590190243707756

A few prayer requests

My mom woke up yesterday morning around 1 am with terrible gallbladder pains. By 5:30 she said it still wasn't any better so she woke my dad and called my grandma to come stay with the kids (she had my nephews H&C and Brayden). She finally got to the hospital around 7, but they were so swamped they didn't get her in the back and with pain medicine until 11:30 or so. She had surgery at 3:30 and they removed the gallbladder. When I talked to her last night she was feeling much better. Please pray that as the medicine starts to wear off she will still feel ok. She has been having a lot of problems wit her gallbladder, but was hoping to wait until school started to have surgery (since she has H&C all sumemr long, and any time they are not in school).

Also, please pray for our kitty Smokey. We went to Austin late Friday night and left food and water out for them. When we came home Sunday Cassie was still here, but Smokey wasn't. We haven't seen him since. We are starting to get really worried about him. He has a collar on, with his county tag, rabies tag, and his microchipped #. He is use to being an outside cat (he spends 1/2 the time inside and 1/2 the time outside). I am just hoping someone else is feeding him, and he will be home soon. We haven't said anything to the boys yet, but I can't even think about him not coming home. Here is a pic of him that I have shared before.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Stockpiling...

One thing God has blessed me with is the gift of a good deal. I am able to make our money stretch further by being very thrifty. I very rarely will pay full price. Pre kids and especially pre 3 kids I would stockpile. Meaning I would buy things that we needed when they were very cheap or free and store them until we needed them. I can't tell you the last time I actually paid for deodorant, toothpaste, Dustin's razor blades, etc. However, the older my kids get the harder it is for me to cut the coupons, match the ads, and then actually go to the store and get the items. So lately I have been running out of things and then having to go buy them regular price at Target, etc. God has been convicting me of this, because I know how to do this better, but I have been so lazy. So after looking at people's stockpiles on a different board online I check I got energized to start stockpiling again. This week we have been in Austin visiting both sets of grandparents and I decided to give it a try. I had never had to take more than 1 child with me, and my mom usually went as well (I am corrupting her as well lol). So this is everything that I bought this week (from last Thursday through today).



It is really hard to tell everything, but there is 2 things of Cascade, 4 packs of diapers, Dr Pepper, 2 wipes, 2 kandoo wipe refills, 12 generic tylenol, tons of Boost (that I am going to donate to the food bank unless anyone wants it), 3 kids toothpaste, 9 toothpastes, trashbags, tons of razors, and refills

2 Lysol toliet bowl cleaners, giant listerine, giant crest mouthwash, 2 bags of Iams dog food, 2 bags of Nutro Max cat food (from petstores), Tylenol Sever Allergy 48ct

tons more razors and refills, 4 travel aleve/bayer, 4 coppertone sunscreen, 5 softsoap wash, 3 Huggies lotion, 11 All laundry soaps, deodorant, 5 shave gels, 4 pantene shampoos/conditioners, 2 Herbal Essences shampoo/conditioner

2 Ousts, 4 Febreeze, 2 Pediacre, 5 RGX Body Spray, deodorant, 2 softsoap hand wash, 9 packs of 10 count Minute Maid Juice Boxes, 2 12 ct Fruit by the foot, 3 packs of Florida Naturals dried fruit

Now for the part I am excited about....the total was less than $55 for EVERYTHING! Not to mention I still have $35 of Extra Care Bucks to spend later (basically free money to CVS). So in essence it only cost $20 total. I took these pictures to remind myself that I CAN do this. That I need to do this. Right now I am pumped, and I hope to keep excited. I can really help our income to stretch if I apply the principles God has taught me. I know there is no way that our family can use all of this anytime soon, but I have such a strong desire to help the kids and people in Acuna, Mexico at the orphanage there. God provided me a way to be able to afford more to send to them. They are going to be getting lots of toothbrushes, deodorants, and shampoos. lol

I am happy to answer any questions I can if you would like to start a stockpile of essentials at your house too. Most of my deals came from Extra Care Bucks at CVS, Register Rewards at Walgreens, Clearance at Target, and lots and lots of coupons. lol


Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A few prayer requests...

First prayer request is for my sanity. lol Brandt is with my inlaws this week so I just have the younger 2. Brayden is very sad about that, and so I have been trying to do something special with him everyday this week to make it easier on him. Today is the $1 kids movie in town, so I took Bryson over to the daycare and had a mommy date with Brayden. I splurged and bought him the kidpack with a piece of candy, popcorn, and drink which I NEVER do! This the 1st time I have ever bought anything from the concession stand, but I wanted it to be special for him. So we watch the whole movie and the last 30 minutes or so he sat in my lap and snuggled. It was so good, then fast forward to about 2 minutes before it was over. He is sitting in my lap and it is dark so I can't see him very well, but he does something near his nose. Now if you had any other child, but one of MINE you would think nothing of it. However, I am now petrified that something has yet again gone into his nose. I take him outside where he tells me he thinks he put a popcorn kernel in his nose. You think!?! Aren't you 3, shouldn't you know if you did or not? Now this is his 3rd time he put one in his nose, not to mention Brandt has done it 2 times himself. Before I was able to get it out, but I can't even see it now. So did he or did he not? I wrestled with that all day and finally took him in to the ENT at 4:15 this afternoon. He can't see anything, but it is swollen, red, and the mucous is doing something funny. lol He is pretty certain it is in there, but there is no way to get it out without surgery. SURGERY!!!! Again, on my poor baby that doesn't do anesthesia well. What do I need to do to get into them NOT to put things in their body parts? They know it, they tell me it, but then they do it anyway. I am so frustrated with that I can't even tell you. So now we will be in surgery in the morning spending more money that we do not have on another dense Vaughn boy moment. UGH!!! I was so angry today and frustrated that I spanked him and yelled at him. Please pray that God would show me how to handle it better next time, because I am sure there will be a next time, and today was not one of my finer moments as mommy. I know one day I will find this humorous, but today is so not that day!!! A praise to this is our friend that usually watches Bryson in an emergency is out of town and when I was talking to my Mom about it she volunteered to drive down here from Austin tomorrow by 7:30 am to help me. I didn't even think about asking her, so it was a tremedous help for her to be able to come, since Dustin just started a new job and is feeling overwhelmed he no longer will need to miss a day of work.

Another prayer request I have involves the orphanage we have been going to in Acuna. The 2 directors of the orphanage desperately need a break. They need time to rekindle their marriage and to recharge their batteries. Imagine taking care of 30+ orphans plus 3 of your own and not having a break/vacation in over 16 years. They are needing a few people to go down there for 2 weeks the end of July and help with the orphanage so they can get away. I want to go so badly, but I need prayer that God will show me if that is my will or His. I love those children, and I am very anxious to go spend more time with them. If I am meant to go down there than He would need to provide childcare for my kiddos. My mil is having knee replacement surgery on July 2nd (another prayer request) so there is no way they will be able to watch the kids. Then my parents are trying to lease their house out and can't commit, because they might need to be working on the house or showing it. They need to know quickly if I am going or not, and I can't commit without having a place for my kiddos. The only thing I know for sure is I have them signed up for the Thursdays out at church from 9-1:30 and Dustin will be here in the evenings, but I think 2 weeks of all 3 kids by himself would be too much to ask. I don't think I could handle all the bedtime routines by myself for 2 straight weeks, I think he would come home to find a loon. lol So right now, I can't see how it would work out, so that would be a sign if childcare fell into place. I just need God's wisdom in this.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

My Baby is growing up!!!

Bryson has done everything so much earlier than his brothers. He is all boy and on the go all the time. Brandt spoke very well very young, but Bryson is even earlier than that. He is a sponge and repeats everything. He uses 2-4 words together all the time. Tonight he and Brayden were taking a bath and he kept taking a toy and saying "here you go" and giving him whatever. He tells me what he wants, thinks, etc. I am so blown away by his speech that I have to step back and remember he is only 19 months. He is much larger that Brandt was at 2 and is almost as big as Brayden was at 2, and he is still 5 months younger. It wouldn't surprise me if Bryson at 2 is as big as Brandt was at 3. He is wild crazy, but he gives lots of great hugs and kisses. He has started developing a great sense of humor and is laughing all the time.

Yesterday morning I was a sleep and I heard someone in the other room. I thought it was Brayden talking to the cartoons on tv (he woke up before Dustin left for work so he got him milk and turned on the tv for him). It never happens that he is still here so it was fantastic to get to sleep a little longer. The 2nd time I heard it I thought that it sounded like Bryson. I got up and Bryson was at the gate at the top of the stairs. He had climbed out of his crib. Yesterday at nap I put him in bed and shut the door. Sure enough, after nap he climbed out and was banging on the door...I had shut the door to his room this time. I put him back and asked him to show me how he got out. He immediately went to the corner and put his leg on the top and pulled himself over. No good! I woke him up this morning to go to church and he was still alseep, but at nap time he climbed back out. So tonight we converted his crib to a toddler bed. It actually went pretty well. He was so excited and would climb in and then jump out. When I told him it was bed time and to lay down he cried for about 5 minutes, but actually stayed in his bed and went to sleep. That is exactly what he does in his crib. I am sure praying he goes to nap that easy tomorrow.

Wow, a long time between blogs

Well we finally bit the bullet and bought a boat. It will not win any beauty contests, but it will hopefully provide good memories for our boys. We got it really cheap, it is a 15 foot 1974 Glastron. We took it out 2 weekends ago for the 1st time. Here is a VERY crowded boat. lol

I don't know if you can see everyone or not, but it's first time off the dock we had Dustin, myself, our friend Hollis, his son Clayton, my 2 nephews H & C, and our 3 boys

On the way to the lake it started raining and I mean pouring!!! We waited it out for almost an hour and a half. It finally let up and we went out. We were still out and it let go again. I mean poured on us. My mom took this picture and I think you can see how completely drenched everyone got and how hard it was raining. It was a lot of fun though.

Here is a picture of the boat trailered. Like I said not a beauty, but it is perfect for us. It goes 30+ mph and is strong enough for us to ski behind.


It has been raining so much here lately (like everyday at some point for almost 4 weeks). I don't know if that is the cause, but I have been in such a funk lately...thus the no blog for 1 month almost. We were driving back from Austin on Sunday and we saw the most beautiful rainbow. I couldn't get the whole thing in a picture, but you could see where it touched the ground on both sides. It was amazing and even had a shadow rainbow as well (a 2nd rainbow that wasn't nearly as bright). You could see each of the colors clearly. It was just what I needed, it was like God reached out and said "I am here and I do care"

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Bryson's Pictures from Today

Here are some of Bryson we took TODAY at Sears. The little stinker did not want to smile. Pardon the boo boo on his forehead, but I figured if I waited any longer for him to not have a boo boo to take his 18 month picture then he would no longer be 18 months. lol This is a wild child with no fear that is tough tough tough, so he always has a boo boo somewhere or another. lol




BRAYDEN DID IT!!!!! He is a BIG Kid now...

Brayden has shown zero interest in potty training. He has all the signs of being ready, but just not wanting to go. Sowe talked Monday night about how he looked so grown up and was ready to go in the potty. He acted excited and picked out big boy underwear and slept with them (not on, but in his bed with him). Then he woke up yesterday and off we went. At first he would sit on the potty and then immediately get off. I thought I had made a mistake, but in about an hour he came running in saying he needed me. I thought he spilt his cereal with milk, but nope he needed to go potty. He went potty, we got all excited, he got candy, we called Daddy at work, we called the grandparents. He went ALL day yesterday without an accident. He even pooped a little in the potty. We celebrated by taking him to Chuck E Cheese last night, and he even used the potty there. He insisted on wearing his underwear to bed and NO accident!!! I can't tell you how proud I am of him. I guess he just needed somebody to tell him he was ready. I have been waiting on him to tell me, which is how Brandt did it at 2 1/2. I guess each kid is just totally different. We did have 1 small accident today, we had just gotten home from the mall and were eating lunch. He was distracted about eating, and got down to go but didn't make it in time. Although, it was so small it didn't even get on the floor. He also started going poo in his pants today, but stopped and went on the potty instead. It didn't even get on his underwear. I can't get over how much easier this was than with Brandt. 2 days ago we weren't even talking potty training, and now he is using the potty himself, and coming to tell me when he has to go. My big big boy!!! 2 down 1 to go! lol

Phew, glad that is behind us!

Brayden's surgery went well. Most of the kids had to be carried to the back and then they would take the bed back later. But he actually rode the bed back there. The dr said it went well, he had a lot of mucus like fluid in the right ear that he removed. In a little while I can hear Brayden screaming coming down the hall. I open the door and I can't see him, he is just being so loud I can hear him perfectly. lol Anyway he screamed and kicked for about 45 minutes and then was back to his sweet self. They said it is the medicine he is reacting to, and it isn't him that is doing it. They said some adults do that, and it will probably be something he always does and that he is not in control. He just has a bad reaction to being put under (he has done the same with an iv and with gas).

We survived the car ride. It was raining so hard coming and going in Dallas that we were driving 30 mph for a while. That was fun, but other than that is was good. My grandmother was being oh so very cranky, and if the kids were in the house she was fussing at them that they *might* hurt something. So thankfully both of my cousins and their families live there so we hung out mostly with them and stayed with one of them. Overall it was really good. I just hate that we couldn't see my grandmother longer, but oh well. It wasn't worth her fussing at my kids, and they were actually being VERY good. For instance Brayden was sitting at the bar eating a go-gurt. He eats them all the time and he was sitting at the table for crying out loud. She hovered over him fussing the whole time that he better not drop anything. omg It didn't seem to bother him, but it did me so we just went outside and played. For the record, he didn't spill a single drop. lol and it is yougurt and can be wipe doff the table/tile even if he had.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Please pray for us tomorrow...

We just got off the phone and Brayden is scheduled for his 3rd set of tubes tomorrow (Friday, May 25th). We have to be at the hospital at 6 am and his surgery is scheduled for 7:45. He has a really rough time waking up after surgery, and pray he does ok tomorrow. We are also really praying that this will FINALLY do the trick, and relieve him of the constant pain. If this works well, he should start closing the gap in speech as well. A wonderful friend has volunteered to watch Bryson during the surgery so we can focus on Brayden, which will be unbelievably helpful.

Right after his surgery, we are driving to Hot Springs, Arkansas to see my grandmother, aunt, and cousins. It should be 7 1/2 hours of driving time, plus stops along the way. Please pray we get there safely and Brayden does well. Everyone thought he would be fine to go, and after the other 2 surgeries he has slept most of the day so that would be good for the car ride. We will be there until Monday, so I am praying we will have a nice visit and the boys won't be too much for my grandmother who is not in the best health.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Sleeping Angels

Brayden fell asleep watching cartoons tonight, and when I went back in there to check on him, this is how I found him. Don't they look so cute when they are sleeping. lol
That is our puppy Shelby and our cat Smokey

What a Fun Day!

I had purchased everything to make Easter Eggs, and our Easter didn't go as planned. Brandt ended up in the ER early, and we had to really squeeze in the Easter egg hunt before heading back to the hospital. Brandt begged to color Easter eggs and so that is what we did today! lol Nothing like 6 weeks after Easter, but heck they turned out cute & had a great time so who cares. Here are their creations:


This afternoon a friend called and wanted to take her son to get snowcones and go to the park. I suggested the splash pad since I could already invision what my kids were going to look like after eating a snowcone, and I figured that would be a fun way to clean off. So we went over to the splashpad, and had a great time. This was our 2nd time to go this year, and I am just surprised how much Bryson likes it. He is only 18 months old, and is not scared of the water at all. Last year, Brayden had just turned 2 and it took some real coaxing (and about 3 trips to the water pad) before he would get in. Bryson only needed to watch the other kids for about 2 minutes and realized it was ok, and off he went. Here are a few pics from today.

Brayden loved standing in the water and having it splash on him.

Bryson kept trying to figure out a way to drink the water. Again notice how completely NOT afraid of the water he is.

He also loved walking under the water and having it fall on him.

This is Brayden, Brandt, and Brandt's best friend Clayton. This bucket fills with water and then dumps over, and usually there are a ton of kids there, so it was neat to get a picture with just them. Bryson was standing there and at the last minute decided to move. lol

Bryson was enjoying his snowcone. He decided it was easier to reach in and grab it, than to use a spoon. By the end his shirt was covered with blue snowcone, but thankfully all the playing in water got it out before we left.

We had a really fun day today. The kids were all well behaved and used their manners. Brandt laid on the sofa and snuggled with me for a while tonight, and it has been a while since he has done that. It was really nice. Of course, Brayden snuggled for a while too, but he is my snuggle bug.

Another Year Older and Another Year Done

We are now officially in summer. We are done with Inneract (My Bible Study), MOPS, Mother's Day Out, Preschool, AWANAS, and even Brayden's speech therapy until the fall. All of the boys enjoyed their classes this year.

Brandt's preschool graduation was last Friday. It is amazing how quickly time flies. As the kids came in to sing, they had baby pictures playing on a slide show. This is Brandt's picture that was playing. He was exactly 2 months old to the day in this picture (his 1st Halloween)


This is Brandt singing and doing the hand motions to the song

He is walking off the stage to line up so the teachers can call each child individually to give them their godly trait

This is his teacher, she was so good with him this year. She is due with a baby any day now. She was already 3cm dialated when this picture was taken. Brandt got the godly trait of "inquisitiveness" If anybody knows him, you know this is a PERFECT trait for him. lol He has to know why and how everything happens. Even when he was in the hospital he wouldn't leave the nurse alone until she opened up the IV machine so he could see how it all went together and worked.

My birthday was Saturday, and my sweet husband made me banana nut muffins and brought them to me in bed. We spent the rest of the day putting trim & chair railing in our bedroom. Everyone laughs at me that I chose to spend my birthday doing that, but my parents had the baby so we HAD to take advantage of baby-free time to get work done. My youngest sister's birthday is the beginning of May so we always celebrate our birthdays together. So Sunday all of our family came to our house and we had a nice time. Dustin gave me a new click & shoot digital camera (as our other one didn't survive a game of duck, duck, goose in Mexico. lol). The boys gave me 2 dozen roses. They are beautiful! Dustin said it was 100% Brandt's idea, and he even picked them out and brought them to me. I wish I could have gotten a picture of Brandt's face when he gave them to me. He had them hidden behind his back and he looked so proud of himself. He was such a cutie! Here is a picture of them on our entryway table, pardon the unpainted wall in the background (a future project yet to come. lol)

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Another Eventful Morning!

Bryson woke up at 7 and I went into his room and his leg was stuck in his crib. Everytime I touched his leg he would scream. I sprayed it with cooking oil, but it didn't budge. His knee was being pushed in 1/2 way, he is just so chubby that I couldn't get the thigh & knee back through the bars. I tried and tried and he kept screaming and I just couldn't get it out. I ran next door and to the house next to that and no one was home. I kept trying to call Dustin at work and after about the 8th time he finally answered. So he came home and with us pulling on the wooden bars and him pushing we got him out. He cried and cried, but he was finally free. He has some pretty nasty bruises now, but considering everything that was the best outcome. Now I am scared to put him back in there. The crib makes into a toddler bed, but it has the same bars on the sides and back. I am totally not ready to put him in a toddler bed, so I am not sure what to do. Ack! He is only 18 months old, and into EVERYTHING, so I can't even imagine if he was free to roam around while he was suppose to be sleeping. It is never boring at my house. lol

It is hard to see, but the nasty bruise that is on top is also on both sides. Plus it is red all the way around.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Off to the Doctor!

We just got home from Mother's Day Out and Preschool, and the baby is napping. The older boys are laying on the sofa, suppose to be watching Animal Planet and relaxing. The house is eerily quiet, but not for long. Brayden comes running in screaming that his ear hurts. Brandt has taken a small play sword from his Ninja Turtle and jabbed it in his brother's ear. Yes the one who has had 2 sets of tubes, his adneoids removed, and is scheduled for his 3rd set of tubes on May 25th. Has he lost his mind?!?!?! He claims Brayden asked him to, but regardless, he is intelligent, he knows that is horrible idea. So I put his drops in and called the drs office, and they seem concerned and asked to see him at 4:15. Great, now I'll get to wake the baby and take 3 kids to the drs office, and try to keep them quiet while we wait, for probably at least 30 minutes to an hour...the ENT's office is always so behind. This is a time when I hate I don't have any close neighbors anymore that could come hang out while the baby finished his nap. He is going to be oh so cranky for the rest of the evening since he is going to get up before he is ready. Please pray they didn't do any major damage to his ear.

UPDATE: After waiting 45 minutes, although Dustin did get the message I left him and met me there after about 15 minutes, the Dr said he had a lot of irritation in his canal. He said there was blood, but he thinks they missed the ear drum, he would like to see him in a week after the swelling and irritation of the canal has gone down to make sure the ear drum is ok. However, since we already will be in surgery in 8 days, he said they would just check it over really well then and no need to come back.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Aggieland

A friend sent me this song, and to disagree with David Allen Coe, I think THIS is the perfect Country & Western song...



I was at A&M when Bonfire fell. I was a sophomore and Dustin and I were just starting to date. My roommate and I were taking Dustin and the guy she was dating (Rusty) back to the dorm. It was around midnight, and Rusty said does Bonfire look like it is leaning to you? I was driving, so I didn't look over, but those words still haunt me. Was Bonfire leaning, 2 1/2 hours before it fell?!? We got a call at 4 am from Rusty that Bonfire had fallen. We turned on the radio and listened in horror as the death toll continued to rise. We then got a call from our other roommate who was in Houston trying on her wedding dress, that her sister was MIA and was at Bonfire. I worked at home for a company in Austin that I used a phone line all day to connect to the internet. The lines were full of parents trying to call their kids to make sure they were ok, many couldn't get through. So I called into the office to tell them I would not be working and tying up a line all day. Another Aggie answered the phone, and I as I said the words outloud that Bonfire had fallen, I broke down. My roommate and I decided to try to do something so we went and stood in line for 7 hours at the Red Cross to give blood. Yes, 7 HOURS!!! The line wrapped around the building. Businesses were bringing food and drink donations and dropping them off for the people in line. It was at that moment that I knew I wanted to stay in College Station and make my life here. The community rose to that awful day, and to watch this communtiy as a family was amazing. We went to an impromptu prayer vigil/memorial service that night at Reed Arena. We walked over there with literally thousands of other people. I read the Battalion in disgust as they had a picture on the front of Tim Kerlee still stuck in the bonfire with his body twisted, he would later die at the hospital from internal injuries bringing the death total to 12. Dustin and I went to the memorial service Central Baptist church held, with George W Bush in attendance. It was at that service that Dustin leaned over and grabbed my hand, and we went from casually dating to a new couple. We drove to Austin and attended the UT prayer vigil that was held, and in that moment I realized that it was not only the A&M campus that was hurting. For as much rivarly there is between the schools, there was also a lot of pain and shock on that campus as well. We went to a prayer vigil on campus several weeks later and prayed earnestly for the last victim still in the hospital, he was in very critical condition. He would make it and we would later see him out at a store, he lost a leg and a lot of function and would remain in a wheelchair for the rest of his life, but he was alive! I saw a highschool friend who had been on top of Bonfire when it fell, and I listened to him tell about how he rode it down and walked away with only a severely injured hand. All of these events deepened my love for A&M, and it was only fitting that when Dustin & I got engaged the next year, he proposed under the Century Tree. It has now been 6 1/2 years and I remember the events like yesterday.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

1st Dentist Trip & Prayer Request

This morning Brayden had his 1st speech therapy with the school district. He had to be completely registered at the school, just as if he was in Kindergarden there, which was a treat. It was so weird to see him go in a big classroom, and the realization that it won't be that much longer until he is there full-time. His therapist said he did great, and she thinks he'll get it quickly. I am praying she is right, although, we were told the same thing when we started on this road a year ago. I think this lady will be great, and I am looking forward to all that she can do for him. Just last week he was telling a stranger he had cheese on his burger and he understood. That was a very exciting first, that a stranger could understand him! Way to go Brayden!

Both of the older boys went to the dentist for the 1st time today. Brandt let them do x-rays and look at his teeth, but wanted to lay in my lap when they cleaned his teeth. He has 1 small cavity in the front that we will have to see a pediatric dentist for, but other than that the dentist said he looked great.

Brayden was a little nervous this time. He wanted no part of the x-ray, and I was really nervous about how he was going to do with having his teeth cleaned. He wanted in my lap too, which is weird to lay in the chair with the light, but not have to have your mouth open. Anyway, he ended up doing great and had no cavities. So Brandt picked out a new green toothbrush, and Brayden picked out a new orange toothbrush.

Now on to the prayer request. Brandt had a follow-up appt with a pediatric gastroenterologist last Thursday. They ran 8 different blood tests, and we scheduled an ultrasound of his stomach and an upper GI, with continuance into the lower bowels for next Wednesday. Then we'll have another appt to go over the results on that Thursday. I am praying since we haven't heard anything on the blood results, then there isn't anything serious going on. We also could use a lot of prayers for that appt. He can't have anything to eat or drink after midnight until after his tests are completed. We start the ultrasound at 8, followed by the upper GI at 9. We're going to need prayers to get him to drink that stuff, although she did tell me to bring chocolate syrup from home and they'll add that for him. Then we have to wait for it to pass all the way through his lower bowel, which she said could be 30 minutes, could be 4 hours or more. All of this time, he can't eat. Ideally, we'd love to find nothing wrong and to presume these episodes are behind us.

Thank you all for your prayers!

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Our Easter Morning

Brandt woke up this morning at 5:20 screaming that his stomach was hurting. He was throwing up, but nothing of substance. He would be fine for about a minute or 2 and then heaving again. He was in intense pain, and couldn't get comfortable. A little after 6 he ASKED to go to the hospital so I knew it was bad. He was so miserable and crying and doubled over. It is so hard to watch your child going through that. When we got to St Joe's we got back into the ER pretty quickly. They gave him an IV with the fluids, Zofran for the nausea, and morphine for the pain. The morphine took the edge off, but he was still in a lot of pain. They took 3 x-rays that were inconclusive. So he went down for a CAT Scan. His white blood count was 20 instead of the normal 12. They said that was either a blockage or an appendicitus, but they were almost certain it was his appendix. When he had the CAT scan they have to insert dye rectally, and afterwards he had a huge BM, and almost immediately started feeling better (something 6 doses of morphine couldn't do). Since he was feeling better, they changed their minds and didn't make us stay for observation. So now we are home, but they said the CAT scan didn't say yes it was his appendix, but it also didn't say that it wasn't. He said if it is, then it will probably flare up again today/tonight. So please keep him in your prayers that this is over, and it was just an intestional blockage that was passed.

UPDATE: 4/8/07 3:15 PM
Well Brandt's stomach is hurting him again, nothing like this morning, but it is very painful to the touch. So off to the hospital again we go. When I called earlier (he had started throwing up again), they are pretty certain they will keep him overnight for observation. Praise God, my parents were here for Brayden's birthday yesterday and stayed for Easter today. So they are taking the other 2 kids back to Austin with them now.
Please pray this is nothing serious, and that if he does end up needing surgery that God would direct the doctor's hands.

UPDATE: 4/9/07 12:40 PM
Brandt had a good evening, and his stomach hasn't hurt since yesterday afternoon. He had IV fluids all night, and today he is an all new little boy. He is very active and dying to get out of here (which we should do in just a little while). They think he had a blockage in his large intestines, and it passed yesterday right after the CAT scan. Since he hadn't had anything to eat or drink since dinner Saturday, he was also getting dehydrating. So we are praying that he is good to go now, and all of this is past us. He has a dr appt with a pediatric gastrointerologist on Thursday.

Thanks for all of your prayers!

Saturday, April 7, 2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRAYDEN!!!

Today Brayden turns 3!!! After 4 days of early labor (one of which I spent 6 hours in the hospital before they sent me home), I was very ready and so anxious. We were getting to watch the interesting and neat dynamics called brothers. Wow, has time flown, it feels like just yesterday. He is such a delight and a love bug. He is either sunshine or thunderstorms. He is usually so sweet & laid back, but when he gets upset, watch out. Even with his speech delay, he makes friends quickly. He has learned how to use his body language to express himself. He can count to 10, knows most of his letters, loves to color (and does a pretty good job of staying in the lines), he is a natural at soccer, and is a wonderful brother. He walks up to you and tells you he loves you to the moon and back and wants kisses and hugs. He is so affectionate and is truly a momma's boy. We have a very special bond, that I truly treasure.

Here is a video montage I made for Brayden. I really love looking back and seeing all the changes he has gone through the last 3 years.

Happy Birthday my buddy, I love you to the moon & back!!!

Friday, April 6, 2007

A Hard Day

Have you ever had one of those days? I am just beyond myself right now. Today is a day when I feel like I am completely done having kiddos. I know that is a decision that can't be made when there is this much emotion rolled up in there. But, I am just worn out and beat down today, and I could not imagine adding another child into the mix. Dustin has been gone since Tuesday for business. The boys overall have been good, but yesterday to a degree and now today have been anything but. My main problem, is my 4 yr old's behavior. I know it is just typical 4 yr old boy things, but I absolutely can't stand be deliberatly disobeyed. He is breaking all the rules and then lying about it. He is whining until he gets his way. I swear I feel like I have fussed and spanked all day today. I feel like I need to call Nanny 911 on myself, but I know this is just a phase, and he will eventually phase back into good behavior. He has done this since he was 2, he'll have months of just a sweet, great, well behaved child, and then months of just being a toot. Now he can talk back, and it is just doing me in. It is just all the little things that he is doing that is driving me bonkers. All the things he knows better, but does anyway because he wants to.

He told me yesterday that when he gets to be the dad that he won't ever make his kids sit in time out.

He also so said he is so mistreated because he never gets to do what he wants.

Hello, where did my baby go!?! Those are big kid statements, when did this transformation happen? I was getting all excited, because reinforcements were coming tonight (aka my parents). I just called to ask what time they would be here, and they have changed their minds and are just going to come in the morning instead. One more night, I can make it...right? To top it off 2 grandparents mailed us money to get a present for Brayden for tomorrow. So now I have to somehow try to figure out a way to get to the store to buy 2 presents and then wrap them all without him seeing. I am having a nervous breakdown just thinking of trying to take the 3 of them to the store today.

Anybody have any miracle ideas for dealing with a very strong-willed 4 yr old?

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Birthdays and Carnivals, Oh My!

We celebrated Brayden's 3rd birthday last night at McDonalds. We had such a good time, and he just had a blast. There were 15 kids, so I was so glad I didn't have to clean up afterwards. lol He was so cute, he is still young enough that he was going crazy over even the cards. When we got home he kept asking me to tell him Happy Birthday and when I did he would say thank you. We had a great day, it is so hard to believe he will be 3 on Saturday.


I love the look on his face! He was just so excited with everything he opened. This is a cowboy dress up set from a little girl in his class.

Twice a year a little carnival comes to our mall and sets up. The boys have been begging to go the last few weeks and decided they wanted to spend their piggy bank money on it. Things have been so hectic that we were afraid they were going to leave before we got to go over there. Dustin left this evening for Dallas for 3 nights for training, so we ran over there and let them ride a few rides before he left. It was a great little family time. Dustin commented on how shortly it was going to be before it was going to cost us $135 to get wristbands for everyone. Thankfully now they are ok with going on around 6 rides and calling it a day.
We didn't take Bryson on any of the rides and he rode contently in the stroller. For any of you that know him well, you know this was a miracle in itself!!!
The boys absolutely loved this dragon rollercoaster. They laughed just about the whole time from when they left the gate until it pulled back in. They loved it so much, they rode this one twice.
What a priceless picture. They were holding hands and running around trying to decide what to do next. It is moments like that, that make this crazy life we lead worth it. Brotherly love, there is nothing like it!