Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Free Bird!

Jack learned to ride without training wheels using a small, borrowed bike.
Rick made him practice without pedals and a lowered seat to get a sense of balance...

Then, they worked on curbs and turning for quite a while after he "got it."

Look at that turn! Rick taught Jack how to ride without training wheels while I was in Nashville. I got a call Sunday afternoon, "Mommy, I can ride my bike without training wheels!" I was so proud of him!
Still pedaling! I got to witness it first hand on Monday afternoon, and I have to admit, it was hard to let go. I guess I had to wrap my brain around it--Rick had shown me the pictures; I knew Jack could do it by himself, but I just couldn't let go of that seat the first time!

Success! What a big boy!

Monday, April 26, 2010


Kristi, Ruth, Colleen, and I went out Saturday night to listen to some bands. It's obvious why they call Nashville "Music City," everywhere you walk you can hear music.

I'm standing on the pedestrian bridge heading over to LP Field where the Tennessee Titans play. Downtown Nashville is behind me, and I'm wearing my commemorative race jersey and medal.

This past weekend, three friends and I traveled to Nashville for the 11th annual Country Music Marathon. Colleen, Ruth, and I ran the half marathon and Kristi cheered us on. The course was quite hilly, but I still ran my 2nd fastest time. This was my fourth half marathon in 6 months!

The forecast for race day was severe thunderstorms, tornado warnings, large hail stones, with temperatures in the mid-60's. We really lucked out, the race weather was actually pretty perfect, and with a band placed at every rolling mile it was a fun, but challenging race with 30,000 participants! Within an hour of finishing, the skies parted and it got really windy and rainy--just in time for a hot shower and a big, fat nap!
We slept through the rain and wind, then got out to listen to some music. Thanks to Rick, I actually knew a few of the country songs. The main strip was behind our hotel, and it was quite the tourist trap (thus the title "NashVegas" on this post), but oh so fun to walk through!

On the way home, we stopped at The Cracker Barrel for a yummy breakfast to stockpile some calories after burning so many the day before. When I talked to my mom, she asked "Did you win?" Yes, Mom. I came in 5, 679th place--aren't you proud? It was a great weekend!
Pucker up, Elvis!

At the expo, Colleen, Ruth, and I posed with the running mannequins.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Jordan's Whirlwind Visit

My nephew Jordan stopped by with two of his friends for a quick overnight visit on their way to Myrtle Beach. I made Rick snap this picture as proof that someone came to visit us. He is the first visitor we've had from the Great North since Jason & Traci brought the kids 16 months ago. I think we saw him for all of 10 minutes, but I squeezed him pretty hard, so that should last me awhile:) Who's next???

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Happy 2nd Anniversary!

"My Life with Boyz" has made it two years. At times, it has been a bear to keep up with, but mostly it has been a joy. Some things I love about our blog:

1) It is an archive of my family. While writing it, I have complained, cried, laughed out loud, whined, yelled, celebrated, loved, and commemorated.

2) Our family can keep up with us--no matter the distance. It makes me so happy to hear Sam's and Jack's Michigan family reference the blog. My boys won't grow up next door to them, but they know who they are by what they see on this site.

3) When I'm feeling nostalgic, I can view posts from as far back as Sam's birth!

4) It is forgiving. I posted Sam's birthday picture today. It is April 18th, but Blogger has a cool, little feature called, "post options," which allows me to pre-date my blogging.

5) When life gets crazy, it's a great way to communicate. We post birthdays, anniversaries, congratulatory remarks, and we get to honor others!

Thank you for reading, for caring about my family--they really are blogworthy.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Drive-in Movie Project

Jack's school had a special "Drive-in Movie" event for which each child had to create his own cardboard "car" to sit in. They didn't give any guidelines other than to make it out of cardboard, so it was fun to see what all the kids (and their parents) came up with. They made their cars at home and then brought them to school on the day of the drive-in movie. The teachers gathered all the kids and cars in Johnson Hall where a film was shown on one wall. The kids sat in their cars and ate popcorn. They loved it!
The happy designer: Daddy
The eager helpers: Jack & Sam
The test ride.

Rick and I had so much fun adding racing stripes, headlights, a steering wheel, a license plate, and chrome dual exhaust pipes. We came home from a dinner out and spent thirty minutes decorating the car in the garage while our kids slept away inside the house. Every time we thought we had added the last piece of duct tape, we thought of another upgrade or feature to design. The photo above is of the boys checking it out first thing the following morning. They were very excited to see it parked in the living room!
Oh, yeah, we made it a hybrid vehicle...

Friday, April 9, 2010

Egg Carton Gardens

The boys dig in for some soil to put in our egg cartons.

Flower seeds are planted!

Watering carefully.
We saw this little idea for planting a garden on a Curious George episode. The boys and I went to Lowe's, and they got to pick out the type of flower seeds they wanted. They carried their seed packets around all morning long (through several stores, as we ran errands), then after nap we finally got to plant them. They got a kick out of watering their gardens with a pool toy.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Happy Anniversary, "Uncle" and Traci!

Happy anniversary to you! Happy anniversary to you! Happy anniversary "Uncle" and Aunt Traci...Happy anniversary to you!

The (short) Story of "Uncle"
When Jack was not quite three months old, we were in Michigan at his Cousin Averi's house. One morning, after not getting much sleep, I was a little ummm...slow and sleepy and all-around deprived of most basic human needs when Uncle Jason came down to play with the kids. I was trying to tell Jack something about Jason when I completely forgot Jason's name. I think I cleared my throat and tried to pull it off as if I choked on my coffee, but it just wouldn't come to me. Jason was gracious--even giving me a second or two more than most people would--but, I ended up sounding ridiculous. It went something like this: "Jack, look at what Uncle (long, long, ridiculously long pause) is doing." From then on, he was known as "Uncle."

You okay, Dad?

Sam went with me to break Rick out of hospital-jail Wednesday morning (Jack's birthday) while Jack was at school. He kept asking Rick, "You okay, Dad?" He really was worried about him--it was very sweet. Turns out that Dad was not okay, and they wouldn't release him. Here's the whole story:

  • Friday 3/19- Rick went to the ER in the early A.M. after suffering a gall bladder attack. He was diagnosed with gall stones and told to consult a general surgeon to have his gall bladder removed.

  • Saturday/Sunday 3/20 & 3/21- Rick suffered from tightness in his abdomen, scheduled an appointment with his primary physician for Monday afternoon to get a referral for a surgeon. Sunday afternoon I called the nurse hotline because Rick was getting very uncomfortable. She recommended he go back to the ER. He did not go.

  • Monday 3/22- Rick's doctor directed him straight to the hospital for further testing. A CT scan revealed that he had developed adema (swelling) of the gall bladder. He was immediately admitted and scheduled for emergency surgery.

  • Tuesday 3/23- Rick's surgery went well. They were able to do it laporoscopically with a slightly larger incision in his belly button due to the size of his swollen gb. We were told that his surgeon was the best in the country--how's that for not knowing any surgeons and lucking out that this was the one God had in place for him?

  • Wednesday 3/24 (Jack's birthday)- Rick is told he can go home, but they don't release him until after 5 p.m. He arrived home about 6 p.m. and immediately began complaining about pain. Within an hour he was experiencing most of the symptoms inside the box on his discharge papers labeled "Call Immediately If Patient Suffers From the Following." We brought him back to the ER where they x-rayed his abdomen, checked his stitches and bloodwork. Everything checked out, so they decided the problem was the meds. We stayed in the ER until about 2 a.m. when they decided they were going to admit him for observation until they could get the drug combo right.

  • Thursday 3/25- Rick started feeling more like himself. He was discharged at 5 p.m.

  • Monday 3/29- Rick moved slowly for a couple of days, but was able to be completely off meds and work from home.

  • Wednesday 3/31- His first day back to work.

  • Monday 4/5- Rick went to his follow-up appointment where he was able to read the pathology report. The report stated that "multiple stones" ranging in size up to 1/2 inch were removed. They were gangrenous--as in gangrene!

When the surgeon pulled me into the little post-surgery consultation room, he told me that Rick's gall bladder was "rotten." I had no clue that an organ could become gangrenous! Rick has suffered for years with sensitivity to food. He has had an endoscopy, he was once checked for kidney stones, but no one was ever able to find the problem. Since the surgery Rick has lost 15 lbs. and has slowly added food back into his diet. Wouldn't you know it? He's not reacted to one thing he has eaten! We think he's been having gall bladder attacks for about a year-and-a-half and food sensitivity/GI issues for over four years. So, what flipped our lives upside-down for a week actually brought an end to years of suffering. Thank you, God!

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