Sunday, April 28, 2013

April update!

 Beware...first and foremost, I begin this month's post with a momma's "brag moment".

Just recently, I realized, that K's vocabulary has expanded dramatically over the last couple months. Some days, he amazes me! Today was one of them.

Just today, he said, 
"I am sitting down."
"I am going to get down."
"I am all done."

And recently, he has said, "I go get it," "I am still hungry," and, my favorite, "Be careful, sister, you'll fall down and bonk your head!" (all in the perfect Texas accent, of course) "Head," is pronounced, "Hay-ed". 

He also told us that the motorcycle outside was "yum yum". He still gets his vocabulary mixed up but it's so cute, anyway! "Yum, yum," can also be translated as cool, or neat, apparently. :)

And today, while we were changing in the mirror, he reminded me that he was handsome. Lol! I just love him! 

Anyway, there are so many other little things he's said recently, but those are just a few. Justin and I have been looking at each other a lot lately after he says something, like, "Did he really just say that?" 

Can't believe our little guy is saying sentences. Okay, I am done bragging about that!

In other news, I tried to do a photo shoot last Friday.
And it was pretty comical. By the end, which was pretty close to when I began, because it was almost impossible, I was laughing. 
I don't believe I got a still shot the whole time. It's pretty funny. But, nonetheless, I will post the photo shoot on here because it makes me giggle. 

She will leave the cute bows with the headbands on for about five seconds. Gotta shoot fast! ;)

So, a photo shoot wouldn't be the same without a bow change, then an outfit change, right? ;) I was trying to make good use of the camera! First, some pics of Momma and Brooke.

Gotta add the finger pointing action.
Got one where Kaleb was smiling! And Brooke, well...not so much!
Um, yes, a bit fuzzy because of the craziness of a two and one year old photo shoot! Need I say more?
And...transfer to Kaleb's room to play with different toys. His idea, of course!
Brooke tried on his sunglasses for size!
Helicopter! Complete with sounds!

I tried the bow one more time...
(This is our new kids table from IKEA, by the way! It's awesome! The kids fit in it perfectly.)

So...needless to say, it was a fun photo shoot! I think I may do them more often now, because I am going to try and take more pics with our actual camera. I have been lazy and using my IPhone way too much!

And yes, we finally have both of the kids rooms almost finished! I will post more later, but here are a few of Brooke's almost finished room! I have to add pictures in the frames, and small things like that. I am pretty happy with the way it turned out, and I never would have imagined that yellow would go well with pink and turqoise, but it did! Check it out. It's very girly but it's fun. Also, I have a pink chenille changing pad cover I use instead of the green one. But, this gives you an idea of what we did!

This is over her bed.
Fun, fun!

And I will take pics of K's room soon and post them. His is not quite finished yet, but we transferred his jungle/monkey theme to the room he's in and it's looking cute! 

And, this update would not be complete without adding a couple of photos of our hangouts with sweet friends who we call family. 

Jaci and Kaleb are good buddies! We hang with Jaci and her Momma and Daddy and her new brother, Matthew at church, and on Tuesdays, we try and do a craft together. It's so fun having friends! (for Momma and Daddy AND Kaleb!)
Cousins! Justin and I also got the privilege just yesterday to watch Kaleb and Brooke's cousins. Together with all of them, plus our family, there were nine of us! We watched seven children yesterday! We did get a little help from Oma, though. ;) 
Cousin Abigail and Kaleb
David, Kaleb's cousin, "teaching" Kaleb how to ride his tricycle! 

Jerry (also known as Opa), Linda (also known as Oma), Brooke, me and cousin Luke
We love the Bradberry's. It is always fun at their house! 
  Grandpa also passed this month, of course, as I had written about before. The trip to East Texas was a somber one, but the funeral couldn't have gone any smoother than it did. I was given the enormous privilege and honor to sing the song, "Redeemer," by Nicole C. Mullen, and to give a tribute to what I consider one of the most amazing Christian men I've ever known. And so many who shared, shared the same things I did, which is funny, because none of us talked beforehand about what we were going to share. Jesus just works that way, I guess! But, what a beautiful tribute to an amazing man. The weather in East Texas was also gorgeous that weekend, so it couldn't have gone any better. And he is now with his bride and Jesus, praise the Lord! So thankful that the Lord gives us all a second chance at a beautiful life. Grandpa lived it for Him, so I have no doubt where he is right at this moment. :) Thank you, Jesus!

Also got to meet my brother Phil's girlfriend, Megan, who is very, very sweet, and hoping to see more of her in the future! She took care of Kaleb and Brooke during the funeral for us, and for that, we are forever grateful! 

And in a few days, my best friend Kelly, who is pregnant with her first, due in August, is going to come grace me with her presence. SO excited to see my precious friend! :) I have tried to think of everything possible to make her stay a comfy one, because I know what being prego feels like! (Plus, she's just so sweet to come visit ME while she's prego!) Lol. 

I think that is it for this month. I cannot believe it's May!

A verse to leave you with...and a tribute to Grandpa. 

"Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints."~Psalm 116:15 


"But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power that enables him even to subject all things to himself." ~Philippians 3:20-21

"He whose head is in heaven need not fear to put his feet into the grave."~  Matthew Henry

Blessings to you all,

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Saturday, April 6, 2013

A wonderful day

Today was a somber one, yet somehow a peaceful and joyful one too. 
Going to see my grandpa, who is very, very ill in the hospital, was NOT something I was looking forward to, honestly. 
You see, I love him so very much. 
I don't want to remember him so sick. 
Plus, honestly, I am not good with seeing people in such a sick state. It scares me in a weird way, and it makes me so very sad. 
But I really, really felt like I needed to go. 
For my mom's sake, and for my grandpa's. 
My mom, who has also been pretty sick herself this year with lupus, has been visiting him day in and day out in the nursing home for years now. It's been pretty wearing on her emotionally, but something that she wants and loves, to do, because she loves her daddy so much.
And, this process of nursing homes began way earlier. She started taking care of my grandpa after my grandmother had a stroke and a heart attack the same week in April 2005. From then on my grandmother was very sick in the nursing home and a few short years later, my grandfather had to be admitted into a nursing home as well.
Directly following my grandfather's transfer into a nursing home, Mom took my grandpa out of his nursing home to see her in her nursing home, like almost every other day. The whole scenario reminded me of the movie, The Notebook, because my grandma and grandpa's love was just as awesome. To this day, I have never heard him say a negative word about my grandma. Even when she was mean to him her last days here on earth (because she didn't know any better - her mind wasn't there) he was just as kind, and gentle and loving to her as he had always been. He always called her his "pretty girl".  
The few short years they lived without each other and grandma was in the nursing home, I'm sure, was the hardest thing my grandpa has ever had to live through, short of this experience now. He lived in East Texas, and she was transferred out here to West Texas. I'm sure his heart was broken for years. 
Anyway, Mom took care of them together for a while, until grandma finally passed after a long, difficult, painful death filled with strokes, gangrine that took her leg and forced her into a wheelchair, and, finally, another heart failure. Grandpa watched it all, painfully, I'm sure. He wasn't doing great himself, but his body was still strong. 
The last six and a half years since grandma got sick, Mom has been there for grandpa. She has seen him go through all this, and she has suffered with him. 
I feel for my mom. The last few years have not been easy for her in several ways. Her health has gone down. Lupus has been trying to (pardon me) kick her butt! :) 
She lost her momma, and just recently, both of her aunts have found out they have cancer, whom she has leaned on the most since her mom passed away. That's hard. It seems so many of the people she loves are very sick. 
So I felt like I needed to go today for that reason. For the reason that my Mom needed someone to be there for her right now. 
And...the other big reason is obvious. 
My grandfather, who, apart from my father, has been the biggest male Christian model for me my entire life. THIS is the way I remember him.
I really feel as though I've been able to come to terms lately with him passing. Years ago, after grandma passed, I wrote him a long letter about how much he means to me. I wrote it in tears, and I wanted to say all the things I had never been able to put into words, for him to know just how MUCH of an influence he had had in my life. 
I don't think he was even aware.
Not because he didn't care. 
Quite the contrary, actually.
He is one of the most humble people I have ever known, and every time I would say how much he meant to me, he would just say he was unworthy. Wow. 
If anyone is worthy of my love and adoration, besides my earthly father, of course, it is him. 
A lot of my good early childhood memories include him. 
You see, my grandma took care of me when I was little - preschool age. 
So I got to know my grandpa pretty well, and I don't ever remember anything bad. 
Every memory I have of this man is a good, Christian one. 
I remember no negative words, or wrongdoings. 
The only time I remember anything negative coming out of his mouth, it was to correct me with godly correction.
I remember being sick with the flu one time, and, multiple times, he literally carried me to the bathroom to throw up. I know, kind of gross, but to me, it was humility at it's best.
He always called me pretty. 
That means so much to a girl!
He loved to take me walking, and when we were walking, he would show me how to pick up trash on the side of the road. He was a good steward of the things God had given him, and he tried to teach me to be the same.
He taught me how to drive first.
Him and grandma lived out in the middle of East Texas, in a small town called Naples. Very tiny town out in the middle of nowhere. It was easy to drive along the winding roads for miles, and he taught me so gently how to drive slow around the curves, then press on the gas pedal to speed up. He was always so kind about it. 
Yet I knew that he could be stern. If I started to veer off, or do something I shouldn't, he was pretty forthcoming about it, and I knew he meant business. 
Reminds me of that song, which is very old school, by the way, but I still like it - "Daddy's Hands". I think it's by The Judds! Lol. I always think of grandpa when I hear that song. 
"Daddy's hands...were soft and kind when I was crying. Daddy's hands...were hard as steal when I'd done wrong. Daddy's hands weren't always gentle, but I've come to understand, there was always love in Daddy's hands."     
There are just so many good memories of this humble, gentle spirit.
So, you can see why I was so torn about going today. 
I didn't know what I would find. Mom had said he was in pretty bad shape and to expect it.
And I didn't know if I could handle seeing him that way, or even if I wanted to let my kids see him that way. 
Plus, yesterday, when I was making plans to come, both of the kids started having constant diahrrea, it seems, every time they'd eat something. Yep. I was like, "Really, Lord? Seriously?"
But I still felt like I should visit him, and I prayed that if they were fine through the night that I would leave in the morning to see grandpa.
And they were. 
So, my sweet grandma on my dad's side came with me to help with the kids (Justin was working, which is another reason why I was so torn about coming. I don't like driving by myself with the kiddos to other towns while he's away.).
And, it was a good day. She kept me good company, the conversation was good on the way there and back, the kids were pretty happy all day long, and we even went to Abuelo's to eat, then to Tuesday Morning (which is great, by the way!). 
But, the best part was seeing grandpa. 
He wasn't in the condition I had expected, (he had been really bad, throwing up continuously and even foaming at the mouth due to not having enough fluid in his body) and he was just lying there, peaceful, almost. 
He didn't look like himself, of course. He was pale white, and laying his head to the side, his mouth hanging wide open, gurgling noises coming out, and his eyes half shut. 
I didn't know what to say to him, though, so I didn't say much. I said hi, and I really think he tried to say hi to me. I just squeezed his hand tight, and gave him a few hugs, touched his hair a bit, and, while we were leaving, I told him he means so much to me now, and he always has and always will, and gave him a kiss on the forehead. 
I hope so much that he knows that I was there. I pray he does. 
Mom said that he has refused a feeding tube, and he is at the point where he can't eat. He chokes on everything that is given to him, all liquids, and even water. He is literally going to die of starvation if this continues, I think. 
He also has an aneurism, and has had stroke after stroke recently.
I don't really know all the details about how one decides not to have a feeding tube put in - I just know that that is what he has told everyone who has been taking care of him - that he does not want that. 
I agree with him - if my quality of life is going to include a feeding tube, I don't want to be kept alive. I know some people would argue that maybe that's not what God would say, but I think that He would understand that type of situation. I believe that it's hard on all involved - and who wants to live on life support for years and years? It's very controversial. But that is what he's decided, and I am fully supportive of that decision.
So, at this point, we are praying.
That's all we can do.
The Lord knows the outcome of this, and, my grandpa has lived a very, very decent life. He has been a hard working man. He worked for Mrs. Baird's bread, and he worked for the post office for many years. 
He was in World War II. He can tell you some amazing stories.
He is a Mason and has given out countless bibles.
He has a purple heart.
But most of all, he is a man after God's own heart.
Just ask this girl. I remember his devotion.

I would like him to live, of course. I would like him to live on for years, so that I can continue to ask him about World War II, and hear his countless stories.
I would like him to live, because he is such an inspiration to me, and to those he comes into contact with. He had nothing but a good reputation at the nursing home he stayed in. 
I would like him to live, because he has awesome hands, and I love to hold themthem. I held one today. They are strong, yet gentle. 
I would like him to live, because he always calls me pretty, every time he sees me. And every girl, no matter how old, benefits from a man telling her she's pretty. Just ask my grandma, who was told on her deathbed how pretty she still was, with her arm all tucked up underneath her from a stroke, and one leg hanging down from her wheelchair.

 I would like him to live, because of his heart for God. Every day, I would catch him reading his devotional or his bible. He was always ready and willing to share some awesome grain of truth truth with his granddaughter, whether she liked it or not!
I would like him to live, because I am selfish. 
I want him here. 
I want him healthy and happy.

But he will be.
Very soon. 
His pain level will not be at a 9 like the board said today at the hospital.                                       
His eyes will be fully opened, and he will see God. 
He will not be confined to a bed, but able to dance, and be merry.
He will be able to be with grandma, and tell her she's pretty again.
He will be with his Lord he has taught me about all these years.

And that, my friends, is my source of joy today. 
What a somber day, and maybe he might come out of this, still. I don't know. Only the Lord does. 

But I don't expect that. 
And we are praying for him to not be in pain anymore. 

It has been a long road for him, and he is ready. He has voiced that recently.

Thank you, Jesus, for this wonderful day.


 "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God."
 Matthew 5:8 (NIV)

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Thursday, April 4, 2013

First sentence, anniversary, and other March randomness!

"Be careful, sister, you'll fall down and bump your head!"

This sentence, I will always remember.

Brookelynn was on the bed with us and Kaleb was too, and I think he was telling her to be careful not to fall down off the bed.

Although K has been saying long phrases for a while, he hasn't quite said his first sentence til this week that Justin or I could tell. But wow, today, for some reason, I realized that he has just recently become quite verbal.

It's cute that this was the first sentence, too - "Be careful," has become a common phrase around our house because we have a two year old boy and a one year old girl - and Mr. K can get a bit rambunctious! 

I am in awe of my little man right now, because he is not just two, but two and a half, and...showing it! :)

Very recently he will tell me not just one thing, but a story. It's so cute.

Coloring a pic for Nana

He is getting so big!
I guess as a momma I am so busy I don't take the time to stop and realize how fast he and Brookey are growing.

I just don't, because I don't have the time.

But today was one of those rare moments when I stopped.

We had a dear friend over and she hasn't seen him in a few months and reminded me, as well, of how big he is getting. It's crazy!

Well, didn't get too many photos this last month because we've just been busy. But I plan to change that soon, and take some actual good photos on the CAMERA! We have been in the process of switching the babies rooms (Kaleb to the office and Brookelynn to Kaleb's old room) and what a process it is!

But, all that said, it's been so FUN to decorate two rooms -  a boy's and a girl's. I feel like the decorating of Brookelynn's has been long awaited (since she's been in ours for so long!).

But it is SO cute and I will post pics when I get it finished. Of course, I went pink. It is BRIGHT pink and I LOVE it! And I think she appreciates it too because every once in a while during the day when she's in there with me, I see her glance around and just look at all the pretty things. :) LOVE the frilliness!!! And she's done pretty well with the adjustment - seems to like it just fine and go to sleep just fine. :) Makes me happy!

Kaleb's is cute too, but not quite there yet, either. I just decided to make things easier and keep his monkey/jungle theme and use the brown in the office. There are brown and blue stripes that the people painted before who lived here and they are pretty cute with the monkey/jungle theme. We transferred the monkeys from his old room into his new room and now we are in the process of getting a new desk and moving the old one out of there. I think when it is done, it'll be a cute little boys room. It's already getting there. The first night was a hard one for him though, because he didn't know what was going on, and my mommy's heart was so sad for him! I tried my best to explain to him though what was happening and that he was going to have a really, really fun room very soon with lots of jungle animals and stuff. Since then, he's done really well with the transition and goes to sleep just fine in there. :) We have also transferred a bunch of his stuff into his room so I think he feels it is his. He doesn't even want his diaper changed anywhere else now but in there.

In other news, we had our FIFTH anniversary!! Yes, I said fifth. I cannot believe how the time has flown by. So...Justin spoiled me and took me to San Antonio (neither of us had been before...well, Justin had when he was too little to remember) and I let go of the reins a little and let my mom take care of the kids for the weekend. Wow was that hard! Until then, I had not let Brookelynn stay overnight with anyone, nor had we ever left the kids alone together with someone else for more than a few hours at a time. So THAT was hard! Harder than I expected....I was SO sad that I cried dropping them off and called like every few hours...almost the entire trip. Yes, I am the pathetic mom who cannot leave her kids with someone else, no matter how amazing (my mom is pretty amazing), for more than an hour. Lol.

But - we did have a good time. We did the Riverwalk, saw the Alamo, had dinner on the river. It was pretty crazy the last day though since it was Saint Patrick's and they were having a parade. We WERE the parade because we took a riverboat tour that day and literally followed directly behind the parade. We joke about it because we got the hour riverboat tour and everyone else had to have the thirty minute one!

The sights were interesting that day - girls with green hair, stockings and colored faces, people throwing beads and candy at us, and lots of yelling in general, and TONS and tons of people, It was very crowded!

But, our hotel was the most awesome part. I would definitely recommend the Drury Hotel to anyone who stays in San Antonio. Our hotel room was amazing, and the view was spectacular.

On the terrace
The view looking directly down from our terrace

More of the view

Inside our room

The jacuzzi! Next to it is the window...with a view

We were on the 14th floor so we did have quite the view.

But anyway, there was a free meal for breakfast and dinner served downstairs, and wonderful customer service. And...I will stop now. It is a very cool hotel though!

Here are just a few other random photos from the trip.

So, yes, I did survive without the kids and it was quite a nice little getaway, and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to have some quality time with their significant other. Just make sure that if you're not big into crowds not to go on Saint Patrick's Day! :)

I was looking at the calendar just the other day and could not believe that we are in April. Are we seriously in April? I am just in awe of time these days, but...I guess it's because I have a one year old and a two year old taking it up! :)

I was also realizing that Brookey is going to be turning SIXTEEN months this month. 16!! And...guess who is not walking yet? Oh well. It's okay, I am so okay with that. She has started standing though, like on her own, and she loves to make a game of it. She'll stand up and then stay there for a second or two, then sit down again and laugh hysterically like it's the funniest thing on earth. I think that may be the route she takes! She likes to walk sometimes with me holding her hands, but most of the time prefers to try things herself. So...we shall see how she decides to take her first steps. She just loves to watch her brother and crawl after him all the time! Wait til she realizes that walking and running are so much faster!

They are getting fun to watch together. They laugh at each other all the time and how precious it is. I love to watch them.

Of course, they get in their tiffs more often than not, but they are usually short lived. There is still much correcting but that's to be expected. Kaleb has started this thing where he needs a drink every time he's upset - it's kind of cute yet weird and Justin and I were like, "Is that okay?"
But every time he gets into trouble now, he asks for his drink (his sippy cup). I think it has turned into his lovey and comfort.

On another completely different note, please pray for my grandpa. He has been going downhill recently, but the last few days was put into the hospital because he was (sorry if this is TMI but it's the truth) vomiting fecal matter.

The doctors are ruling out a bunch of things but right now they know he has a large aneurism and is bleeding internally and they have told my mom he might not come out of this alive.

I am praying about whether to go spend some time with him as I am not sure if these are his last days on earth or not.

This is a bit emotional (as I know you understand) and he has been such an inspiration to me in my life and it's hard. One part of me wants to go see him so badly because I love him so much, yet another part of me is not sure if I can stand to see him that way. I just want to remember the happy, healthy, wonderful Christian man I have always known.

Aside from my earthly father, who was also a good influence, my grandfather was the other single most important man in my life. He was always SO kind and loving and STRONG at the same time, and showed me who Christ is in SO many ways. Anyway, I could go on and on about him but I just need prayer about what to do. Thanks!!

That's it for the month. Think I covered it all. I'll leave you with a few pics I did take!

He loves to do this! (Cheerios in random spots - this time the green toy)

At the doc for our one year check up! (a few months behind!)
Happy girl!
One of K's favorite juices, which makes my momma heart happy!
Literally one second before she smacked him upside the head with a block. Gotta love your siblings!

Lovin that hair!

Yes, we have Tigger in the bathroom with his underwear on and candy in a jar. Tigger is learning how to stay dry! It's potty training time.
Uncle Whitley found a new friend.
Coloring a picture for Nana. She has caught on so fast!

Happy April ya'll!

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