Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Christmas Eve 2013

We had a busy but good Christmas Eve.  I had to finish up my shopping and start preparations for our Christmas Day meal.  I had a good little helper though.  Peanut helped me finish up our Christmas shopping, picking out some great gifts.  Later in the day Gigi arrived to celebrate with us.  I am so thankful he was able to change his plans and come to us since we couldn't go up north.  We opened a few presents together because the girls just couldn't take it anymore.

Peanut found a jewelry box for Pumpkin.  She had been talking about getting her one for months!

Peanut got a spirograph which brought back LOTS of memories for Daddy and I.

 We worked on decorating our Christmas cookies so that we could leave some special ones out for Santa.

The girls made sure Santa's cookies were ready, his letters, and carrots for the reindeer.

I just LOVE Christmas through their eyes! It is so magical!

Daddy and I fell into bed about 1 a.m. after making sure things were just right.  Little did we know our first wake-up call would be one hour later at 2 a.m.!!!!  (Peanut wanted to go downstairs and see if he had been here yet.)

Another Hospital Visit

On the morning of December 21 Daddy headed to dialysis.  Near the end of his session he called to tell me he had a fever, his blood pressure and pulse had also spiked causing great concern to the head nurse.  I found out later that they had actually wanted to transport him by ambulance to the hospital but he chose to drive home to get me.  Needless to say upon hearing this, I made a BEE LINE for the hospital.

He was admitted fast and the doctor was checking him out within 5 minutes of us getting into his room.    That can  cause a bit of an uneasy feeling.  They wanted to be sure his catheter site was not infected as the type of catheter he has can cause "HUGE PROBLEMS"...the doctor's exact words.

We were pretty certain he just had a virus but were so thankful for their proactivity just in case.  He had to stay in the hospital until the afternoon of Monday, December 23 to be observed and have a dialysis session there.

His hospital stay changed our holiday travel plans as we felt it was just a good idea to stay in town and be close to our doctor and the hospital if we needed them.

We were so thankful he was released and able to be at home for Christmas!

Fred's Antics

Fred, our elf kept us busy during December.  He was also up to some silly things himself.  Here are some more of the things he did and had the girls do.

We made goodies and pictures for Daddy to take to dialysis for the nurses and staff at the center.  They are a HUGE and important part of our lives right now.  Fred wanted them to know how much they mean to us.  Daddy said the charge nurse told him they were the best cookies she had ever had!

One night after the girls were tucked into bed, Daddy and I chugged up the stairs and shouted, "Polar Express!  Time for the Polar Express."  The warm van awaited with bags of popcorn for each of us.  The girls SHRIEKED in excitement.  They knew something was up because Fred had warned them that Mommy and Daddy had a surprise in store for them.  We drove all over town looking at lights and ended at our finale...a home that boasts close to 50 blow up, lit up decorations in the yard.  This was the hit of the night!

One morning the girls woke up to find Fred incriminating himself to some overnight antics.  He was holding a dry erase marker and smiling slyly.  All of our pictures had been "decorated".

During the night between December 21-22, Fred did a huge act of kindness for the girls.  We had not yet put up a tree because life has just been crazy and we weren't going to be home at all the week of Christmas.  On the morning of December 21 during dialysis, Daddy got really sick.  His fever spiked as did his blood pressure and pulse.  He was sent directly to the hospital where he was admitted for observation.  This changed our plans and meant that we needed to stay home instead of travel.  The girls were so sad that we didn't have a tree.

When they woke up on Sunday morning our apartment was decorated complete with outdoor decorations.  They were blown away by how kind this was of Fred to decorate for us!

Fred's last fun was teepeeing our living room the night before Christmas Eve.  I found Peanut sitting in the red chair looking at what he had done with a HUGE grin on her face!

We had so much with Fred this December.  He added a lot of joy to a stressful time in our family's life. I am so thankful for the smiles, fun, and excitement he brought to our little girls.

Preschool Christmas

Pumpkin got to celebrate Christmas with her preschool buddies.  They played games, made treats, exchanged gifts which were books, sang songs, and celebrated the gift that we all receive this Christmas which is Christ.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Pajamborie 2013

Last night we went to an event in town that I look forward to each year as much as the girls, the Pajamborie.  This year our elf, Fred got to go along also.  Peanut was sure he would be so excited to see Santa.
What could be more fun than wearing your pajamas to a party downtown in a beautiful ball room? Oh, add in the cookies and milk, movie, coloring, and meeting Santa. MAGICAL! This year Mrs. Claus joined in on the fun.
The girls got their letters all ready first thing...after cookies and milk, of course.
THEN...we sang "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" all together and he came! It's blurry but this was her reaction!

This guy is amazing! If you don't "believe", he will make you question your disbelief. This was our second year meeting him and he is just the coolest. I think he might actually be the real deal. He takes his time with each child and truly loves on them and makes them each feel so special. His better half was just as cool as him. Even Daddy commented that he thought he was the real guy.
He had a private conversation with Fred which the girls totally ate up!

Pajamborie 2012
Pajamborie 2011
Pajamborie 2010
Santa 2009   (Before we knew about this cool event in town and our first Christmas here.)


Last week I was having a mild spell of nerves and anxiety when I opened the mailbox to find a really awesome package from a really special college friend.  I mean seriously...Peanut's favorite books are Elephant and Piggie books and Pumpkin's favorite saying is, "I love you to the moon and back," which is from Guess How Much I Love You!  This made their night which made our night.  The best part...listening to Peanut read her new book.

We are just so amazed at how you all are loving on our family.  It makes me speechless.  Really.

Another Sleep-Over

The girls had a couple of sweet friends over this past weekend for a slumber party.  I love listening to the constant chatter and giggles.
They deserved a special breakfast...Snowman pancakes! I love Pinterest! ;)

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Art of Waiting

Christmas is upon us.  I have one gift bought.  There is no tree in our apartment.  I have no idea what are travel plans are or if we're even able to.  Life is on hold right now.  That is how I feel.  I have been wrestling with wondering how much to share in this space.  I have dedicated it to being a place to record the memories of our life for our girls and to share with a few of you out there but I think it is important to be honest.  If you read our Facebook updates or the blog posts, you might think we're just sailing through and doing fine.  We are but there are moments that are tough.  Today is one.  It could be the cloudy, rainy weather which has caused me to open up here on this page.  It could be moments without kids or a husband who need me now more than ever which has been exhausting.  Whatever it is, I do feel led to be open and transparent.

Life is on hold and that is hard.  I have heard that Christmas is only 11 days away but who knows.  This is supposed to be our last semester in grad school but who knows.  Kev has tried to find a good job to support us but who knows.  We just can't seem to move forward right now because we are in a state of waiting.  Waiting is so hard.  Life with a 4 year old reminds me often that waiting is a learning process.  Wait to have that candy until later.  Wait for a new toy until Christmas.  Wait for a slumber party until things have slowed down.  Wait....  As an adult I can't throw myself on the floor, sobbing, and screaming, but that might actually feel sort of good...get it all out, right? 

We wait.  We wait for a phone call that will let us know the testing process is done and we have a date for a transplant.  This is the most important thing on our minds right now.

I wonder if our girls will remember that we didn't have a tree up until right before Christmas if we even get it up.  I wonder if they will remember the times when we've been short and impatient with them and each other.  I wonder if they will remember the tears and anxious conversations.  I hope they will remember the people who came alongside our family and helped us carry this load.  I hope they will remember hearing over and over, "He will never leave us, nor forsake us."  I hope they will remember how our needs were always met. I hope they will remember that they were loved beyond measure.

Last night we had a double date with some really great friends.  In the conversation we shared what God is teaching us right now.  The husband of the couple shared what he has been learning during the process of waiting for a job.  They too are in a waiting period.  He said that he didn't realize how much this waiting process would be a learning process for him to really believe that he and his family will be cared for, that their needs will be met and that the promises that can be a cliche at times, are true.

The dishes are piled up in my sink.  My husband is a ball of nerves and anxiety today.  I have lost my patience with my kids more times than I count going into this weekend.   BUT we are learning.  Kev is learning in a deep and rich way who Jesus was in the context of the Jewish culture and it is making it so much more clear and real to him.  I wish I could say I am learning something as heady but my lesson always goes back to trust.  TRUST Me.  I won't leave you or forsake you.

The rest of that verse says, "It is the Lord who goes before you.  He will be with you; he will never leave you or forsake you.  Do not fear or be dismayed."  Deuteronomy 31:8

He is before me.  He knows exactly when this will all happen.  He doesn't say, "Live this life on hold until you figure out your next step."  Wow!  He says He goes ahead of us and He is already there and here with us.  Because of that...do NOT fear.  I have so much to learn. 

"Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous.  Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."  Joshua 1:9

We had wished more than anything that this Christmas would be one involving a trip to the hospital for Kevin to receive the gift of a new kidney.  It does not appear that will happen so I will try to take a deep breath and create magic for our girls this year.  I will put my heart into it even though to be honest, my heart is not there.  More importantly, I will tell them how He is caring for our needs, how we do not need to fear.  I pray that of all the gifts they receive this year, that is the one that will stick with them for a lifetime.  

He's already there on that day when our family will receive one of the most incredible gifts of a lifetime....LIFE and it helps to know that His timing is in fact perfect.

IU Game

This past week a friend from church offered our family 4 tickets to go to an IU basketball game.  Daddy has been able to go several times but the rest of us have not.  It was a fun time to spend together and to get caught up in the Hoosier Hooopla.
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Christmas Program

Peanut had her Christmas program at church last Sunday.  It was precious.  I love watching the kids tell the story of Jesus birth through scripture and song.
After church we had a friend take some pictures of us as a family. IMG_4609 IMG_4611
We had to snap some pictures of the girls with some of their best friends!
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We have an elf.  The girls named him Fred.  Fred has provided the girls with some really great ways to serve others with kindness.  He has also had them do just some really fun things.  Each morning when we have gotten up, we look for Fred and find him with a note.  Usually he has been doing something that goes along with the note.  In the note he points out the good things he has caught Pumpkin and Peanut doing and tells them what he wants them to do for the day.

Here are some things he has been up to.

Making Snowflakes together!
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Fred got into some treats and wanted us to take donuts to some firemen. We made some cards too to give to them.
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Fred wanted us to make treats and cards to give to the staff at our church because he knew that they have been such a blessing to our family.
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Fred had us go to a live, drive through nativity that was called Moments in the Master's Life. He wanted to go along with us because this is his favorite story of all because he knows it is true and not make believe!
Fred had some fun with the girls' toys and wanted us to be sure other kids in our community have fun this Christmas. He had the girls pick out some toys at the store to donate to the Salvation Army's Stuff-a-Bus.
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This is just a snippet of what we've been up to. I'm sure that Fred has a lot more up his sleeve. He is currently snuggled up in a chair with some baby dolls reading Christmas books that he wants us to read together this evening.

Peanut is sure that he is for real!  I love it.  Her innocence and love of this is amazing to me.  She searches for him first thing every morning and tucks him into his own special bed every night. Pumpkin could take or leave it.  Although the morning we found Fred playing Candy Land, she was astounded and said, "I can't wait to go to preschool to tell my friends what Fred did!"  She calls him Elf the Fred which I adore!


Last Friday we had quite a snowstorm.  We received close to a foot of snow.  It was awesome!  We had a snow day and just had fun.  Of course we had to play in the snow! IMG_4577 IMG_4580 IMG_4585
We helped dig out some of our neighbor's sidewalks too. IMG_4586 
Then we got cold and just wanted to go inside and not pose for anymore pictures. Ha! IMG_4593


We have been so blessed by so many of you and you've just no idea how much it means to us.  A friend of Daddy's dropped off this gift basket for our family one night.  The next morning the girls tore it open and OH.MY.WORD!  It was FULL of goodies for all of us...toys, books, popcorn, and gift cards galore!  I can't even begin to express what it meant to us.  I was in tears.  It just blew me away.  The girls were so excited!  He continues to provide for all of our needs.  Amazing!

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The Lighting

The day after Thanksgiving, Dobbie and Papa came down to spend the day with us.  We took them with us to the lighting of our downtown's Christmas lights.  I have said it more than once but our downtown is GORGEOUS at Christmas.  I LOVE it!

We got to take in huge Christmas tree in the historic courthouse on the town square.  It was beautiful!
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It was so fun to see the lights come on and the excitement in the girls' faces. Love! IMG_4547 IMG_4548 IMG_4550 IMG_4552 IMG_4555


We had to stay near home this year due to dialysis and just so much on our plate right now.  My dad and his friend came down to see us which made us feel so special and thankful.  I had great fun cooking up a storm for our Thanksgiving meal.  It was the first time I had really cooked a meal since before Daddy had been in the hospital. So happy with how the turkey turned out! IMG_4487 IMG_4504
These two are among the things we are most thankful for! IMG_4494 IMG_4502
 So thankful for this little family of ours! IMG_4507 IMG_4513 
Pumpkin made this picture in her preschool class. I teared up reading what she was thankful for! IMG_4492
So thankful also for great doctors, great nurses, dialysis, and a sweet, sweet friend who is so willing to be tested and hopefully donate a kidney to Daddy.  It can't come soon enough!

Slumber Party

We had a really fun slumber party with two of our little friends a few weeks ago.  It was the littlest girl's first one.  They did great!!!  I love watching my girls form friendships.  It makes me so happy.

Tornado Warning

This is what happens when we have a tornado warning and the sirens go off.  We squeeze into our tiny main floor bathroom and Pumpkin squeezes herself into the laundry hamper.  Cracks us up!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Feast Day

Last Wednesday was Feast Day at the preschool where I work and where Pumpkin goes.  We had a wonderful day with preschoolers and families!
This is the outfit that Pumpkin wore on Feast Day. After the feast all of the Pumpkin's classmates were in the hall and I realized they were all in black except for my kid who was in bright, neon colors. I mentioned this to her teacher and she said that yes they were supposed to have worn black. Whoops! I missed that memo. Another teacher said, "Leave it to a teacher!" Ha! So very true!!! She did look pretty cute though!
My little pilgrim....
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 Pumpkin was the snack helper on Friday so we, of course needed to make waffle cone cupcake teepees to share with her class! These were a pain to bake but easy to do after that point. Directions can be found HERE.