Friday, November 26, 2010

Drum Roll, Please

After months of debating and weighing all the options and lots of waiting…

I’m going back to work!

You thought I was going to say I was pregnant, didn’t you!

No, no new baby. At least, not for me! There is a new baby on the way for my friend whose teaching position I am taking over. I’m so excited for her and so excited for this new chapter in our lives!

I start work on Monday teaching senior and sophomore English and will finish out the school year. The kids start all-day preschool on Monday, and they are super-excited too! I think they have really missed preschool this year. I know Reagan has especially missed having other little girls to play with!

So our lives are about to change DRAMATICALLY, probably in ways we haven’t even thought of yet (and believe me, we’ve thought about this A LOT!)

So please keep us all in your prayers as we adjust to this new phase in our lives. I will continue to update the blog as best I can, but don’t be surprised if large chunks of time go by without a new post. We’re going to be SO BUSY!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cousins, Take Two

The day after Jonathan got his stitches, Jojo and Co. arrived. This group included Aunt Jojo, Cousins Kinley and Kallen, and Bud and KayKay. It was a big group!

We returned to the Fruit and Berry Patch, and Kinley and Kallen got to enjoy their first corn maze!


Zachary, Kallen, Reagan, Kinley, Jonathan, Thomas

After the corn maze, we went to the pumpkin patch, but the lure of pumpkins was nothing compared to the lure of animals. The sheep were out in the pen opposite the patch, and the kids had a BLAST feeding them spilled corn from the ground. Thanks KayKay for picking up so much corn for all the kiddos!


Jojo and her girls (and her soon-to-be boy!)



Since the pumpkin patch did not provide exactly the pumpkins we were looking for, we stopped at the other pumpkin patch on the way home. (It did, however, provide some really delicious apples!)


The next day we went to the East TN Discovery Center. We had never been there before, but had some free passes, so we decided to check it out. It wasn’t quite as fancy as I expected from looking at their website, but the kids had fun! There were lots of science experiments, all very hands-on.


There was even a planetarium there! Unfortunately, the presentation was a bit over the heads of our crew.


Is it love or a need for extra body heat? Could easily have been both! It was FREEZING in the planetarium!

Then we went out for ICE CREAM!!!!! Yum!


Another quick and busy visit, but so much fun! Thanks for coming you guys! We love you!

Next post? BIG NEWS!

Monday, November 15, 2010

This Time We Stopped at Three, So Far

The week after our Indiana cousins left, we immediately began getting ready for the next set of cousins…and promptly we got sick.

Reagan started running a high fever. When she complained that her ear hurt, I thought for sure that she had an ear infection. Not wanting to put that off another day, I called the dr immediately. It was late in the afternoon, and they could only work us in if we came RIGHT THEN, so I packed up ALL THE KIDS and headed for the dr’s office. As it turned out, Reagan didn’t have an ear infection, BUT she did have strep! So it turned out to be a good thing that I had to bring all the kids with me because then they could ALL be checked for strep.

clip_image001Jim met us at the office and took this picture with his phone. Four throat checks=four popsicles!

So that was Thursday. Aunt Jojo and Co. were set to arrive on Sunday, so Saturday was a big cleaning day. At least, it was SUPPOSED to be!

Jim headed out that morning with a friend of his, hoping to FINALLY get into the woods. This trip had been postponed twice already. The kids were playing. I was cleaning. And then, there it was…the piercing cry of a child who is actually really hurt. I rushed from the kids’ room where I’d been putting away laundry and found Jonathan in tears, crying out something about his head. Apparently, he was spinning in circles in the living room and fell, hitting his head on the coffee table.

Do you have any idea how many times a day my kids hit their heads on stuff? ALL THE TIME. So I thought, okay, he’s hit his head. Hold him. Make soothing noises. Comfort him until he stops crying.

But wait…What is all over the back of Jonathan’s shirt?!?

And then I saw it drip…the blood…from the back of his head.

My kids have had a lot of bumps on their heads, but never any that bled, so I have to admit that now I was the one who needed comforting because I started to get a little panicky. But I sucked it up and forced my voice to stay calm as I explained to Jonathan that he had a booboo on his head and I wanted to take him into my bathroom to get a better look at it.

It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t a large cut, but it looked deep, and I didn’t know what to do. Did he need stitches? I don’t know anything about stitches! I never in my life had an injury that required stitches! But I was pretty sure he needed stitches.

So I called Jim. He was about two miles from his exit to the woods. I made him turn around. I didn’t really have a plan at that point, just a vague idea that I needed to take Jonathan to Children’s and I would have to do something with the other kids and I needed Jim. Luckily, since he wasn’t standing in our bathroom looking at our son and his bloody shirt, he could be a little more rational. He suggested I make some phone calls and see if someone could come over and watch the kids until he got home and I could go ahead and take Jonathan to Children’s. Brilliant! In the end our wonderful neighbor Scott drug himself out of bed (he had just gotten back in town about 4:00 that morning) and came over to watch the kids while I left with J.

All this time, Jonathan had been GREAT. Since he couldn’t see the blood himself, he didn’t freak out about the injury, and he was really good about holding the rag to his head to help with the bleeding.

I managed to get him to Children’s (bloody shirt and all), and THEY WERE WONERFUL! All of the doctors and nurses, and there were strangely a lot of them, were so nice and helpful and so sweet to Jonathan.

They put a numbing cream on his cut so he barely noticed at all when they did the stitches. And since they called them “string band-aids,” he didn’t even know he got stitches!

clip_image002It’s kind of hard to see, but his stitched-up cut is right there in the middle of the picture.

Jojo and Co. arrived the next day (post coming next, I hope) and their visit continued without further medical needs for anyone, but then the day after they left, my ears were yet again assaulted by piercing cries of pain. This time it was Thomas.

The kids were playing in their bedroom. Thomas was in the closet. The door was open. The door was shut. Open. Shut. Open. Thomas stuck his fingers in the crack between the hinge side of the door and the door frame.


He screamed and screamed. I was terrified his fingers were broken, but he would barely let me look at them. He just kept crying and screaming, “Put on a band-aid! Put on a band-aid!” Since that was the only way he would let me touch him, I did. His middle finger was already turning purple and there was a bad scrape along the cuticle on that finger and the next two. They didn’t seem to be swelling which I took as a good sign, but I was afraid they might, so I tried to make the band-aids loose since I anticipated having to remove them later when he was calmer. I gave him some pain medicine and an ice pack and put him down for a nap, since he practically begged me for naptime. I called Jim and the dr’s office. They said to keep an eye on it and let them know if it got worse instead of better.

Thankfully, it didn’t get worse. Here’s a picture I took of his fingers a couple of days later. It’s been a couple of weeks now, and his middle finger still has a dark purple area under the nail.


It’s been a couple of weeks now since Thomas hurt his fingers, and so far Zachary has not been injured or gotten sick enough to need to see a dr. Hopefully, in THIS instance, we can be content to stop at three.

Why isn’t the Other one Working?

This is just to check and see if I can publish a post from LiveWriter to the blog because the program on my laptop is refusing to cooperate.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cousins, Take One

The weekend after the backyard camping trip, Uncle Clay and Co. came to visit. It was a BUSY weekend, but we had so much fun!

Saturday night we all went to the Kerbela Shrine Circus. It was JonZReaTom’s first circus! They loved it! And so did their Cousin Tyler! (Cousin Avery was another matter entirely. Poor thing, she was SO tired!)

Sunday afternoon we hit a couple of pumpkin patches. First we went to The Fruit and Berry Patch, a JonZReaTom tradition. It felt a little weird to be there without Michelle, David, and Abby, but it was pretty nice to get to go with Daddy!

DSC_0572 Daddy and the kiddos headed to the corn maze.

Reagan is REALLY excited to be there!

DSC_0576 Jonathan, Thomas, Reagan, Zachary, Avery, Tyler—at the beginning of the corn maze

The corn maze is always my favorite part. David was always leader before, but this time the kids took turns choosing which paths to take through the maze…that is until the adults got tired of walking around in circles, and then Uncle Clay led!

We lucked out when we came out of the maze and were able to hitch a ride on the tractor.

DSC_0586 Daddy with Thomas and Jonathan

DSC_0587 Reagan

DSC_0591 Avery and Tyler

DSC_0593 Zachary (and you can just barely see Aunt Carey behind him)

Unfortunately, the actual pumpkin patch was kind of sad this year. So on our way home we stopped at the “pumpkin patch” at the Methodist Church across the street from our neighborhood.

DSC_0610Reagan LOVED this bumpy pumpkin!


DSC_0624 Jonathan, Reagan, Zachary, Avery, Thomas, Tyler

And we still found time to just play, play, play in the backyard!


I love this picture!

DSC_0650 Avery

DSC_0664 Tyler

DSC_0665 I love this one too!

It was a packed weekend, but we loved every minute of it! Love you guys!