Tomorrow morning I head to Temple for outpatient surgery. I have to be there at 6 AM and surgery starts at 7:30. It should be a 4 hour surgery, but they do not anticipate needing to keep me overnight. My doctor did not think it was a good idea to drive home, so we will stay in a hotel there and then drive home Thursday. Thankfully, Dustin will be off until Monday and my mom will have the boys until this weekend. There should be a 2 week recovery so I am a little nervous about the following week with me having the boys at home by myself. Please pray for safe travel, and that things would go smoothly tomorrow.
With 4 kiddos and a limited budget, I do what I can to cut costs. One of my favorite ways to do it is with Arquest diapers (and no I am not getting paid to say that). They frequently have diaper studies where they send you free diapers, ask you to fill out a questionnaire on their performance, and then they call you to get your answers (takes just a few minutes). Super easy, but to top it off you get a $10 check in the mail usually within 3 weeks of finishing a study. When I finished a study a couple of weeks ago, she asked me if I would like to do another one that included 6 bags of free diapers. Sounds great to me: I got over a months worth of diapers plus I will get $10 for my time when I am done. They are generic diapers, and they do ask that you use them 24 hours a day (even overnight). We have not had any problems with leaks or irritating, so they are great for us. If you are interested in seeing if they have any studies you can do their number is 888-DIAPER2 (888-342-7372). Boys use extension 634 and the lady is super nice and her name is Cheila. Girls have another extension, but I obviously am not sure of their specifics.
Dustin's grandmother, lovingly called Grandma J, lives almost 1200 miles away. We try really hard to get up there once a year and she tries to come down here at least once a year, although with Brennan's pregnancy and birth we haven't been there since I was just 12 weeks pregnant in Oct. '07. She is an amazing women, and will be 92 in October. The kids love her, and I mean love her. They are so sweet, and just walk by and give her hugs and kisses because they want to. Brayden told me before she got there that she was his best friend and the neatest person on the Earth. Man, I hope my grandkids talk about me like that someday. The boys are all very close with her, and you would never guess they lived so far away if you were to watch them together. One of the best things I gained when I married Dustin was Grandma J.
The boys had been so excited to see her that they could hardly contain themselves when they finally saw her.
Even Brennan was excited to see her, even though the last time he saw her he wasn't even 2 months old yet.
The way she holds and hugs the kids you would never guess she is 91.
Love her expression in this photo
Brandt (ignore the cup: he was on the carpet at his grandparents' house)
She had to get a hand on each of them, it was so cute
Saying goodbye: Bryson
She came to our house last weekend, but we try to spend as much time as possible with her when she is in Texas. So Tuesday, the boys and I drove to Austin to spend some more time with her before she left. She treated the boys to Chuck E Cheese, and they had a blast. We had to tell her good bye yesterday afternoon, which is never fun. I wish she did not live so far away, but we are already looking forward to our next visit.
Dustin's grandmother will be 92 in October and she is in amazing health. She lives in Minneapolis so we don't get to see her as much as we would like. She flew by herself from Minnesota to Texas earlier this week. They came to our house today, so we decided to make a last minute 4 generation picture (thus the non-matching t-shirts).
Dustin's maternal grandma, Dustin's parents, us, and the boys
Great Grandma J and the boys
She is so good with them. She holds them, plays with them, hugs them, kisses them, etc. You can see the love between them. It is a very special relationship.
Today, 8 years ago I married my best friend. I am happy to say that 8 years and 4 kids later, he is still my best friend. Our wedding was before digital cameras, so all I have are the ones my aunt took on her film camera and scanned and sent to us 8 years ago...needless to say not the best quality.
Getting ready My Dad & me Dustin & my mom
My dad & me
Dustin & me
My brother, Juston & my nephew (who is now 13!)
My newphew Hunter was my ringbearer & my cousin Ashley was the flowergirl
My sister Kimmie & me before the wedding
My Jr bridesmaids (oldest just graduated high school this year) &
Hunter & Ashley My wedding party: my 3 sisters, 2 college roommates, & my aunt
Dustin~I still love you more today than ever. Thank you for the past 8 wonderful years, and I can not wait to see what the Lord has in store for the next 50+ years!
Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.
I didn't let my 13 month old crawl all over the beach last weekend. That would certainly have resulted in him eating sand and getting filthy dirty as evident by this photo. Remember I am the mom who did my best to keep my children OUT of anything dirty and as a result my oldest child still does not like anything on his hands. I most certainly have not mellowed over time with my 4 boys. It wasn't like I finally realized that it is just a part of raising boys and to embrace it instead of fighting it as evident by this photo. Nope not me! Sorry for the poor quality, it is a sepia canvas print that I took a picture of.
Yesterday morning I did not get a call from my husband that our 25 year old A/C unit was caput. Nope, I do not have that kind of luck. That would have meant that me skipping along in my own dream world hoping that the A/C would hang on until we could afford a new one would be over. The inside temperature in my house did not get over 84 degrees, it is not like this is Texas in the summer. That would have been miserable and with 4 small children we would not have been able to stay there. That would have resulted in us driving to my parents, an hour away, to turn around and come back early this morning for work. That would have been way too much driving just for our comfort.
Today I did not bring all 4 small children to school with me while I met with 6 students to finish the yearbook. I know that if I brought them, ALL my effort would be spent on them and not my work. I would never have been too cheap after the A/C saga to opt to save as much money as I can by not hiring a babysitter. Nope, not me, I am not that cheap! I would not have been sweating bullets after just 1 hour from chasing them. The baby would not have gotten the door opened into his head or his hand shut in the door, since the boys are way more careful than that. I wouldn't have then laid the baby next door, in the art room, in his stroller for a nap just so I would only have to watch 3 kids. Nope, not me!
We had such a fun time in Galveston. We are very excited to go back, although we wouldn't stay in the same hotel again. On our way out of town we rode the ferry over to Bolivar Peninsula which was hit hard by Hurricane Ike. I was surprised how almost 9 months later there was still trash EVERYWHERE!
Boys on the Ferry Brandt
Brandt sat and covered himself with sand
Brayden loved his ring. Although he can swim it gives him the confidence he needs.
Brayden loved riding the waves. He spent most of his day doing this.
Here is a Fun Friday PhotoFoto of the boys from last weekend...
Rainforest Cafe in Galveston
The boys absolutely love that place. It is one of our favorite restaurants, although more for the atmosphere than the food. The boys would eat there all the time, so it is a good thing the closest one to us is 2 hours away since it is not super cheap. Although right now they are having their friends and family special of $10 off a $25 purchase with coupon.
When we went to Galveston, Dustin had enough hotel reward points for one night on the beach. It was very nice to be able to walk to the beach and then back to the hotel without ever having to get in the car all dirty and wet. The other nice thing is the hotel had a pool so you could go straight from the ocean to the pool.
This was the 1st time Brennan had been swimming, but he LOVED it. Brennan even liked going under the water Bryson Brayden
This past weekend we took the boys to Galveston, Texas. The boys had only been to the beach once before and that was briefly last summer with my sister and Dustin hadn't been able to join us. We decided this would be the perfect way to kick off the summer. We had been in the water about 10-15 minutes when Bryson started screaming hysterically to the point of ringing in my ear crying that the water was burning him. He has pretty bad eczema so I thought the salt water was irritating it. Once we got back to the shore a lady stopped us and asked if he had been stung by a jellyfish. I told her I didn't think so, I mean I was standing there holding his hand and had felt nothing swim by. I hadn't seen anything swimming either, but that could be due to the fact that water is so murky you can't even see your hand underwater. Due to his screams we decided it must have been a jellyfish and needed something to pour on it. So we took turns peeing on his legs(hey I have seen that Friends episode) at least I thought about it, but took him to the lifeguard to get vinegar instead. It took about 20 minutes until he finally calmed down and his pain eased. They might look cool, but they have a wail of a punch. The next day Brayden and I were in the ocean and I decided to head back in. I felt something brush against my leg that felt like seaweed, but it immediately started burning. It kept getting more and more intense. I didn't say anything, because I didn't want to scare Brayden. However, right before we got to the beach he started crying. We both got it very minor compared to Bryson. Dustin also seemed to get a small sting right after Bryson. They were flying a green flag, but I think there should have been some kind of warning posted. The lifeguard said they had lots of attacks that day, and in the 1 1/2 hours we were there the 1st day there was over 7 people that I saw get stung. Yuck!
We still had a blast and would love to make it a family tradition to kick off the summer every year. The boys are already asking when we can go back, even Bryson.
I am the mother of 4 crazy, fun, caring, loving, smart, silly, and compassionate boys. I am lucky enough to be on this wild roller coaster ride with my best friend. Join us as we continue on this never dull journey called parenthood...
Brandt is 9 years old, and is in 3rd grade. He is a typical eldest child. He is such a sweetheart, fabulous at sharing, and mature beyond his years. He is incredibly intelligent and a perfectionist. He takes such great care of his brothers. He absolutely loves babies, and can not pass one without talking to it. He loves reading, baseball, and jogging with his daddy.
Brayden is 7 and in 2nd grade. He is really reading well and gets very proud of himself when he learns something new. He has had a terrible time with ear infections. As a result has had 6 ear surgeries to date, with a possible 7th in his future. He is our sunshine and thunderstorm. He is so warm and caring, but if gets upset you better watch out!
Bryson is 6 and so full of life. He is in Kindergarten, and really excelling. He has a zest and joy about everything he does. He is our family comedian and has us constantly cracking up. He is obsessed with baseball, football, or any sport really. He played t-ball and flag football this year. He is extremely tough, and very rarely cries even when he is hurt.
Brennan is 3 and the caboose to our train. He loves baseball and football...really any sport. He is in preschool 2 days a week and hangs out with momma the other 3 days. He thinks he is just as big as the other boys. He is still super affectionate, which I LOVE. Hard to believe he is approaching his 4th birthday already.
The purpose of Christianity is not to avoid difficulty, but to produce a character adequate to meet it when it comes. It does not make life easy; rather it tries to make us great enough for life. ~James Christensen
Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him. Psalms 127:3
The days are long, but the years are short!
"Worry does not empty tomorrow of sorrows; it empties today of strength." Corrie ten Boom