Sunday, December 28, 2008

Another 6 months have slipped by

Every six months my youngest daughter is seen by her pediatric orthopedic doctor to evaluate her bone tumors.  14 months ago my then 3 year old had just broken her arm.  One day in the car I turned around and noticed a large bump with no bruise on her inner right knee.  A quick call to the pediatrician got us an appointment later that afternoon.  We saw a sub ped and her first reaction was "wow I have no idea what that is wow".  So reassuring to a mom who is thinking a cancerous lump has grown overnight on her baby's knee.  She orders blood work and an x ray.  So we are off to radiology and then lab.  At 5pm that night we get "the call".  I must admit that until the doctor called I think I was holding my breath.  Her first words were that she was 99% sure they knew what we were dealing with.  Her diagnosis was osteo chondroma.  A benign bone tumor.  She referred us out to a pediatric orthopedic, the same one treating her broken arm.  Turns out it wasn't just an osteo chondroma but multiple osteo chondroma or Multiple Hereditary Exostosis (although the hereditary part mystifies us).  Over her bones my little girl has about 16 of these tumors.  Our biggest concern is over the original one found in her knee, after a MRI it was found to be attached to the growth plate making surgical removal too risky.  There are 6 tumors in her right knee.  The original and biggest is causing her hamstring to "twang" over it every time she moves her knee.  At her last appointment in July I had noticed she was pronating her right foot.  Upon examination it was found that she was indeed pronating, probably to ease the discomfort of the bothered hamstring.   But we are ordering additional x rays of her hips to rule out those tumors causing the pronation.  So here we are 14 months post diagnosis.  She has visited the ortho every 6 months, undergone numerous x rays including a full body set of x rays, and a sedated mri of the right knee.  We shall see if the tumor has slid off the growth plate.  X rays will determine that as well as whether or not the hip tumors are causing rotation of the leg.  Update on Tuesday.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!  Presents are unwrapped, coffee consumed, cinnamon rolls made and eaten.  Joy everywhere.  I wish you and yours a merry christmas and a happy new year.  

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Break

The grandparents arrived and we are officially on Christmas break.  Plans include a trip to the Texas Ranger Museum and the Dr. Pepper Museum (there really is a museum for everything).  We plan on baking one day, where I will work in some fraction work  ::evil laugh:: and then sharing the goodies with our neighbors.
It has been cold here, although cold here is relative I know.  But because of the cold it was really hard to drag my rear out of bed to swim this morning, so I didn't. I plan on going tonight and maybe getting in a swim in the morning as well.  I am fighting a case of swimmers ear and the cold isn't helping.  Swimming with a bright orange ear plug in one ear is very trendy as well.  Poor coach I keep saying "what?" to everything he says.  I just can't hear with the darn thing in my best hearing ear while the other is full of water.  I did go Saturday and logged an impressive 3000 yards.  Come the new year I will be setting my goal at 4x a week and moving up to masters.  I need to figure out a way to increase my protein levels as I am getting stomped mid day on swim days.
Off for some Ranger History and DP!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

In the blog world Thursday usually mark a "Thankful Thursday" blog.  Today being Thursday and Thanksgiving I thought I would share what I am thankful for.
My husband.  He is an amazing man who puts up with me (dad I know you're chuckling:)  )
My kids.  Yes they drive me nuts but oh man they are the JOY of my life.  My oldest, Claire, is catching up to me in height at the age of 12.  She looks like me and is thrilled to be raiding my shoes and pants.  My Hannah is a talented smart girl in a lot of areas.  Ian is my man.  He is only 8 but occasionally I get glimpses of him as a man and it makes me proud to see him acting like his daddy.  Neil, this one is the reason I have grey hair!  But I am thankful that he is here and makes me laugh with the silly stuff he comes up with.  Avery is our bonus baby, um excuse me big girl.  I am thankful for the light that she brings to all our lives.  
I am thankful that I live right where I do (although I wish all our family could be right next door, but it gives us opportunity to travel and visit)
I am thankful for family.  They call us when we don't call them and they love us despite of it. 
I am thankful for nieces and nephews :)
I am thankful for friends, 15 of whom are joining us today for dinner.
I am thankful for the Lord Jesus
Basically I am thankful for everything.  Today is a beautiful day
Have a wonderful Thanksgiving everyone and dad I will call you later!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

THE new face

So the braces were taken off almost 2 weeks ago.  Unfortunately my hubby got ill and I caught a small portion of what he had.  But here are my shiny, metal free straight teeth.  Ahhhh feels good!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Family News

John's baby sister (can I still call her that) and her hubby are pregnant!  Congrats Lauren and Josh!

A new face in the morning

This mug will be changing at 8:30 am CST! 
 Watch out Thanksgiving Feast this one is going to be eating heartily for the first time in 18 months!  Good thing I am swimming again or I think the 15 lbs I lost with the braces would immediately come back on Nov 27!  Bring on the pecan pie :)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Day 5 of Trailer Adventure

coming soon.  even with the time change i need to get to bed :)

Day 4 of Operation Get Trailer

Today is the day!  We managed to get lost!  As much as I love my Iphone I get frustrated with the multiple names that each street has, apparently it gives the maps a run for their money and puts us several streets (or miles) in the wrong direction.  But despite all that we arrived at the wholesalers and started inspecting the trailer.  Its a 2009 Rockwood Roo 233.  About 23 feet long and sleeps 10.  It is so much fun!  The kids loved testing the beds. John and I got a rundown on the systems while the crew hitched our truck up for us.  We pulled out of there a few hours later and settled ourselves and Indian Lake State Park just a few miles from the dealer for our shakedown night.  And what a shakedown night it was.  We unhitched and ran to Walmart to stock up on trailer supplies.  Got back had some dinner and set up camp. First order of business was to install our state map.  We had debated as a family what would constitute putting the state sticker on.  choices were a.) if we drove in it and actually got out and set foot in it
b.) if Neil peed on a roadside in the state :)
c.) spend the night in the state.
C won and so we stuck Ohio on as our first state slept in in the trailer.
 Then the rain came and came and came.  Only one minor leak and we think it had to do with how the zippers were positioned on the boys bed.  But for the amount of rain we got we were dry and toasty.

Sucking wind update

I have now been swimming 2x a week for the past month.  Today I managed to haul my rear out on a Saturday to get a third swim in this week.  Turns out there wasn't a fitness workout on the board only a Master's workout.  Therefore I did 3100 yds this morning with timed intervals.  I should have known something was up when the warmup was a 500 swim, 500 kick, 500 pull!  Anyways it was good.  I came home showered and climbed back into bed for a few more hours.  Spent the rest of the day running errands and playing the Wii :)

Friday, October 3, 2008

Trailer pictures

I am not finding time to get the trip dailies up quickly enough.  So I thought I would post the pictures of the trailer and go from there.The first is of the girls at the dining table.  That is John and I's bed behind them.
The next is a shot towards the rear of the trailer.  The red cushions are the kids beds.  Girls are in the far back and boys on the side.
My lovely albeit tiny kitchen.  The oven is big enough for a pie :)
And the final picture is of the trailer all popped out.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Day 3 of Trailer adventure

Day 3 brought us to Louisville, KY.  Here we stopped at the Louisville Slugger Factory and Museum.  Great fun was had by all as we watched wooden bats being made.  Ian even tried out the batting cages.  He is posing below with Babe Ruth's bat statue.  Neil is holding up the worlds largest bat and all five hang out on an oversized bronze glove.  Our day ended in Waponetka, OH.  We pick up the trailer tomorrow!!
 Our plans today were altered a bit as we didn't realize we would hit the Eastern time zone halfway through KY so we had to skip Lincoln's boyhood home.  But there is sooo much to see in Kentucky that I am sure we will be back again.

Sucking wind AKA Barnacle club

I finally did it.  
What you ask?
I signed up for adult fitness swim class.
Those of you who know me know that I love to sleep and since we homeschool waking up around 8 is ok.  But this morning I was up at 5 yes am!  I was in the water at 5:30 and sucking wind by 5:35!!  Holy cow am I out of shape.  Once I realized that I was not in the fitness lane but the slow lane of the masters class I quickly changed lanes!  Once in the fitness lane I no longer needed to be the lone member of the barnacle club.  It was a great workout.  Only about 1600m in an hour but enough for certain muscles to remind me they still exist in their sad pathetic unused state.  I go back Saturday and hope to do 3x a week for about a month or two and then bump up to 4 and then maybe 5.  We shall see how long it takes me to stop sucking wind :)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Day 2 Operation Get Trailer

Our second day started with the hotel breakfast.  Neil and Avery kept eating and eating.  Needless to say we got our moneys worth on that stay :)  We had a few Little Rock sights we wanted to see so we checked out and loaded up.  First on the list was a view of the capitol building.  We found it interesting that we had left Austin (capitol of Texas, stayed in Little Rock, capitol of Arkansas and were headed to Nashville capitol of Tennessee) On the grounds of the capitol was a set of bronze statues depicting the "Little Rock 9"  A group of black students who entered Central High School when it was desegregated.  After circling the grounds we were off in search of Central High school National Historic Site.  We located it with ease and were the only ones in the memorabilia museum.  We learned that all 9 are still alive and were present at the 50 year celebration.  The school is still functioning today as a magnet charter school.  It is a gorgeous school which has undergone some landscaping upgrades.
After spending some time in the museum and viewing the campus from the street we lo
aded back up with our sights set on Tennessee.  On our way out of town we caught a glimpse of the William Jefferson Clinton Presidential Library as we crossed the river.  Memphis he
ld our next destination, the I-40 welcome center.  The kids posed with Elvis, whose alarm rang when Neil touched his bronzed foot!  
John got to see a tugboat pushing several barges up the river.  Memphis held a lot to see but we pressed on to Nashville where family was putting us up for the night with the promise of great local fried chicken within walking distance of their house.  I tried to get a shot of the second cousins all to
gether but you can see how that turned out! 
 We had a wonderful time with the M's and their hospitality was much appreciated. 

Day 1 of operation get trailer

We left Austin later than usual (go figure).  We headed out with the dog and dropped her at the kennel.  John bought her some nice smoked something or others to chew on while there.  We also scheduled her for a 45 minute adventure walk halfway through her stay.  We then hit the open highway.  We hit NO traffic.  After many roadside bathroom breaks for Neil we were approaching Dallas.  After a little searching on the iphone we found a Jason's Deli and stopped for lunch.  We finally crossed into Arkansas and stopped at the welcome center.  We have found these to be an invaluable source of information (and bathrooms).  This one had a playground with a jumpy seesaw.  Avery got her first souvenir, a bruised chin from the seesaw.   We continued on to Little Rock our first scheduled hotel night.  After checking in we headed for the riverfront which looked to have been recently redone.  There was a fabulous park that was 4 months old that the kids clamoured on for awhile.  It had a long slide that dumped below ground into a series of short tunnels that offered rock walls to climb back up.  Luckily the kids stuck together because it was a mothers worst nightmare trying to find them all in the various tunnels.
Based on recommendation from the hotel staff for a local place to enjoy dinner we wandered into the Flying Fish  We all enjoyed the fried fish and hush puppies.  Yum Yum.  We wandered up and down President Clinton Blvd.  On a Monday not too much was happening.  We turned in back at the hotel with the hope of seeing some of Little Rocks attractions in the morning

Thursday, August 28, 2008

School is going...

We are in the process of wrapping up week 3 of school.  So far so good.  I need to implement the schedule rather than plod willy nilly through the day.  
I have managed to do art with all the kids and that has been fun.  We are using artistic pursuits.  I think I like it.  I have the 3 younger ones grouped together and the 2 olders.  Hannah shows a real eye for detail, and Ian loves to draw from his memory.  
Claire started up choir again.  Ian starts baseball in about a week.  Hannah still doesn't have a piano teacher (bad mom) and Neil and Avery start choir next week.  The four oldest will take the PE course again this year as it was a big hit last year.  Scouts for the older 3 and Awana for all rounds out our busyness.  I have really enjoyed being unleashed from my calendar but it looks like I need to start paying attention again!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Back to (Home) School

We have started school here.  I started the 3 youngest about 3 weeks ago only doing the first week to get a feel for how their curriculums would run.  The older girls came home and I schooled them the next week while letting the younger 3 off.  Then we hit the beach with some friends and that week was spent exploring the beach, the architecture of sand castles, how to treat a sting, a tour of NASA, and how to get 9 children to bed.  It was a great trip.  One I would repeat in a heartbeat.
So this week we are all starting week 2 of school.  Things are going ok.  Really slow work progress as they get back into actually having to work. 

Monday, July 28, 2008

Weekend away part 2

Saturday morning we just couldn't resist the laziness and slept in.  We got a late start to the coast but we were rested.  We rearranged the seating in the truck since the girls are gone for the week.  Here is the goof crew

We pit stopped at Camping world to 
pick up my state 
travel stickers and a camping for dummies type book.  Dh got a tire pressure 

gauge that reads high enough for the truck tires.  Then we continued on our way.  We checked into our hotel.  Then we headed to Padre National Seashore (north not south)  The Rio Grande Valley was a no travel zone after 
Dolly.  The kids donned their suits and hit the beach, testing the waves and digging in the sand.  This photo we call the Hasselhoff :)

A weekend away part 1

On Friday morning my dh suggested a trip down to the coast.  I panicked as I had no plans as to what to do with the dog.  A quick call to the kennel revealed a spot for the weekend. We drove her to the kennel, got a tour and said our goodbyes.  We had gotten tickets to see the Round Rock Express that night so we grabbed a quick bite at Taco Bell and headed to the Dell Diamond.  Upon arriving at the parking lot it was realized I had left my purse at the fast food joint.  Turned around got it and headed back to the field.  We had great seats along the third base line just 7 rows back!  Much fun was had by my baseball fanatic son.  Express won.  There was a post game thing where some guy hit 90 golfballs in less than 70 seconds.  He was filmed for the guiness book of world records.  Lights out and fireworks........... ohhhh ahhhhhh!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The back deck aka the reptile room

Here is the back deck.  It is right out those double doors in the school room.  This here is the double glider where a lot of sonlight read alouds take place.
And that little gem would be the reptile/amphibian tank which took over my oasis causing me to cease watering my herbs (seen wilted on the ledge) and my flower hanger.
A dark view of the deck but a good view of what we see.
And there you have it my little oasis out the school room door.  Spring up here is divine as I am sure fall will be too.  Its a little too toasty (and over run with critters) for my liking right now.  

Our School Room

We finally got the school room decorated and for the most part organized to start our new year hopefully on August 4th.  I know it is early but my intentions are to run a 4 week on and 1 week off schedule.  We have a one week trip that we will be taking at a currently undetermined time so that plays a factor into our early start as well.  Here is a shot of the "teacher's" desk.  We put cork on the upper half of the walls.  The chair rail is done up like a ruler.
This is a shot of the reading couch and three of the kids desks.  I got the desks for $10 each at the local ISD surplus shop.  A can of black matte spray paint later and they looked great.  The chairs are IKEA.

A shot from the rear of the room looking at the entrance to the room.  I love these bookcases from IKEA.  The last shot is back of the teachers desk where I have my two littles desks set up as well as the dogs spot (not in the shot).  All in all I love this room.  It is big yet cozy and offers a lot of floor space for the young ones.  We spend almost all our school day up here or outside on the deck which I will showcase in my next post.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Playing summer baseball

Its 101 degrees here.  My son is playing All Star Baseball.  It makes for a long hour when you are playing right field with no shade.  To his credit he stays hydrated and thanks to a neighbor we now throw a washcloth in his little cooler so that he can wipe down his neck and head while in the dug out.  My son also made a fantastic highlight moment catch in outfield too but I like to brag on him :)  Here he is baseball ready in the heat....
His team won 2 of their 3 games this weekend.  Its a 3 weekend tourny and all runs scored count.  I'm proud of him for not complaining of the heat me I was moaning in the stands and yelling my head off for the team.  

Monday, June 2, 2008

Its a good thing...

my kids have a daddy.  A daddy who buys them a 5.5 gallon critter tank so that they can catch toads and frogs and put them in said container.  I insisted on the tank with the locking lid and that was the extent of my input.  Currently residing in the tank are 2 toads, 1 frog and a lizard.  
See if I was the only parent around my kids would live a boring life.  Daddy adds spice and adventure and saturday morning pancakes, oh and critter tanks.  Around here daddy is the best and thats ok with me.

Friday, May 30, 2008

And summer is supposed to be relaxing.........

then tell me exactly why it seems every day is booked until August 4, 2008 the exact day I had chosen to start our 08-09 school year!  Oh man!  So on the list is swim lessons x3 kids, summer league (with no meets hallelujah) x2 kids all for 4 weeks.  Add Scout camp x2, day scout camp x1, teen theatre x1 and all-star baseball x1 kid.  Honestly though I am looking forward to them getting wet every day, its hot here in Texas ya know.  The girls are thrilled to be going to camp since they were flooded out last summer, Ian  is excited to start earning achievements in his Bear scout book, and the littles desperately want to get into the pool they have been staring at while I signed them up for lessons.  
We did finish school today.  We have a few odds and ends to wrap up but I plan on using those left behind assignments to keep the brain gears greased through the summer.  We celebrated by giving the older 3 a lil kinz We care webkinz from walgreens and their certificates of completion.  

Next year I will be attempting a modified 4 weeks of school 1 week off to catch up or vacation depending on how far behind they got.  Should be good incentive to stay on task (for me and for
 them)  I will try and keep ya posted on how it goes.  Currently I am reading through Core 5 Ig and the K IG from Sonlight.

Also the house has taken a hit in the cleanliness department so I will be focusing my efforts on reigning it back in.  In the 
meantime here is a little fun Avery had in the front yard the other day

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Back from Relaxed

I spent a glorious 4 days on a beach in California with about 50 of my closest imaginary friends.  We laughed till the wee hours of the morning.  We ate and ate and ate.  We laughed again until 3 am.  I ate smores on the beach, watched new friends surf.  I made new friends, real ones.  I had a blast.  I've all ready signed up to do it again next year.  To all the ladies of the weekend... thank you for laughing with me and at me, for loving me despite not looking like you imagined and for keeping me up way too late.  I love you all.  To my roomies..... snoring is the only to sleep :)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Just Getting Started

Well here goes.  Another person dives into the blogging realm.