Since we’ve been back-I just thought May was bad

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I’m singing “Since You’ve Been Gone” by Kelly Clarkson in my head now because of my catchy title to this post.  I use the term catchy very loosely.  So, we got back on Friday.  We left at 9am and got back at around 5pm.  I kid you not, we stopped for a total of 15 minutes the whole 10 hours.  We are not afraid to just keep driving.  The boys may have allegedly gone potty in a bottle so as to keep from stopping.  Thankfully they did not have to boom boom while we were driving.  That would be a phrase I just stole from Big Bang.  That show owns me.  And when we got home, we don’t rest, we keep going.  I had everything unpacked and loads of laundry going before bedtime.

We had a wedding Saturday evening.  The wedding was only about 15 minutes.  It started at 5 and we were finished with the reception by 630…and we were one of the last ones to leave.  We had paid a babysitter to feed, bathe, and put our kids to bed, so we weren’t about to head home just yet.  We ended up going to Starbucks and chatting with our friends till 10.

Sunday we went to the lake with my family.  My cousin and aunt and uncle were in town from Oklahoma and Texas.  It was so good to see them!  Courtney, my cousin, came back home with us.  I wish she could live with us permanently.  She’s so fun to have around.  I don’t have siblings, so she’s the closest thing I have.  Love her to pieces.

Courtney stayed Monday and Tuesday.  We also had VBS that week as well.  We took Court back to my aunt and uncle on Tuesday.  We met them and my meemaw and papaw in Hartselle for dinner.  Then Wednesday Jeb was off work and we got an offer on our house.  We also took the boys 2 best friends home with us Wednesday from VBS.  They spent the night and Jeb took all the boys to see Epic.  We accepted the offer on our house and then Thursday I went to look at another house for us to buy.  Jeb and I had only seen it once before and we weren’t looking at it with the intentions to buy it.   I went back Thursday without Jeb since he was working, and we put an offer in on Thursday evening.  Our offer was accepted Friday. 

 

We had a rainy carnival at church Friday night and I helped a friend pack to move.  Then I think we just hung around the house Saturday.  I’m really not sure.  Life is starting to run together at this point.  Sunday was supposed to be lake day with our SS class, but it looked like rain.  We changed it to pool day.  We went back and picked up the Murphrees after church.

We fed all 6 kids lunch and then took them to the pool.  We were only an hour late.  I count that as a success.  The boys were best friends with the oldest 2 Murphree boys, so they have been so sad to have to say goodbye.  They had a blast together Sunday though.

 

This little guy is the littlest of the Murphrees and he makes me laugh so hard.  The Hornsby’s sure are going to miss all of the Murphree’s.  We trust that the Lord called them to move for a reason though.  Praying He will be glorified through it.  

This week, the boys have slept together in the floor every night.  I’m not sure how long it will last, but we don’t mind.  It’s summer afterall.  They fall asleep every night watching a tv show.  Monday we started therapy with a new therapist, and let me tell you, it was FANTASTIC.  I love her.  I left feeling good about life instead of wondering why my kid hated therapy and why my kid always acted so awful in therapy.  So thankful for this new change!  Today I ate lunch with another friend who’s moving, and we had our inspector come for our house .  We got a 100.  Yay!  That’s one hurdle down and 3 to go.  The appraisal is supposed to be done on the house we’re buying soon.  I’ve gotten all the paperwork in, now we’re just waiting on appraisals and inspections.  So nerve wracking.

Also, we’re supposed to be getting a german shephard puppy Friday…you know, because we don’t have enough going on right now.  Thankfully they will board her while we’re on our anniversary trip, and while we’re homeless for 20 days after the closing of our current house and closing of our future house.  That’s a long story for another day.

So, there you have it.  I think I’m juggling at about my maximum right now…PTO President for next year, finishing up treasurer duties from last year, selling house, buying house, keeping current house clean, being mommy and wife, laundry, trying to make meals work out of the food we currently have so we don’t have to go to the store.  We are out of milk and bread, so Jeb is asking that I go purchase the essentials tomorrow.  It promises to not be the low key summer I had imagined, but I am so thankful for the Lords faithfulness during this whole situation.  Thankful for the sale of our home.  Thankful for us finding a new home.   So thankful. :)

Home again, home again

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We went back to Disney again.  If you’ve known us long, or read our blog very long, you know this is a normal thing for us.  We were just there in January, and the time before that was December.  This trip marked my 40th time to Disney, Jeb’s 22nd time, Caden’s 17th, JL’s 15th, and EK’s 11th.  This was one of my favorite trips to Disney to date.  EK was so much fun this trip.  The boys are getting to an age where they are easier to handle as well.

We went down a couple of days before Mom and Dad got there.  The excitement was through the roof by the time we got there.  We left home Thursday night AFTER Jeb got off work.  We ended up leaving about 630.  We had to leave the house “show ready” just in case someone called to see the house while we were gone.  That was quite the feat.  The kids only had a 1/2 day of school that day, part of that 1/2 day was Caden’s Bye Bye Brunch.  So, I had all 3 kids at home, while I packed us up, and loaded the car.  OH, I also got a text from our realtor that morning that he wanted to show our house at 1pm that afternoon.  You don’t turn down a showing, so I said “Sure!” and then I drove the kids around for an hour till he was finished showing our house.  Good times.  After that, I finished packing and loading the car.  We drove part of the way Thursday and finished it up Friday.  The kids were SO READY to be there.  We unloaded our bags, and headed out to the park.  We had planned to meet our friends at EPCOT.  We pulled into the parking lot and found this.

They woke up shortly after this.  Apparently I didn’t have my A game going this day.  We got there, got EK’s special assistance card, and then her ear started blinking that the battery was dying.  We had to cancel on our friends and go back to the hotel to get new batteries.  Thankfully they met us at the hotel to eat dinner.  We ended up going swimming afterwards so the kids were happy.

Look how cute this little rugrat is with her little pig tails.  LOVE.  She developed an undying attachment to her flip flops during our trip to Disney.  I’m not sure why.  However, I am thankful she’s actually able to keep them on.  This day, she wanted her “pop pops” but I was able to get her cute red Sun San sandals on and get her out the door before she took them off.  From time to time she’d start whining, and we’d think there was something wrong with her.  I’d ask, “what’s the matter?”, and she’d say, “Pop Pops!!!!!”  Cracks me up.

This is the obligatory castle picture.  I love a good castle picture.  I love that the kids all wanted to wear their hats.  EK still will get hers out from time to time and just wear it around town.

We always have to play the pig game.  The boys LOVE it.  It’s one of their absolute favorite things about Disney.  EK will cut you if you try to take the pig from her.  She designated herself as the pig carrier.  She actually crawled into one of the machines to try to get the pig back while the boys were playing the game.  We had to grab her by the ankles and pull her out.

Riding the monorail is also one of our favorite things to do.  I’m not sure why, but I’ve always loved it and now the kids do too.  Everytime EK saw it she’d point and say, “Boat!” and I’d ask her what it was and she’d say, “Monorail.”  She still calls it a boat and a monorail even when we look at pictures.  Not sure why she gets it confused with boats.  We stayed at Bay Lake Tower, which is part of the contemporary, so we had the monorail coming through the atrium when we’d eat at the hotel.  She LOVED it.

 Before we allow JL to go to kindergarten, we really need to teach him the importance of wiping his face.  I fear this is how he will look every day when I pick him up from school.

The guy on the bottom left is one of the parking lot attendants we saw at Animal Kingdom.  We thought he looked like one of our friends (top right).  We send text messages back and forth with friends and this was the final list of the 4 people who look similar.  Couldn’t they all be brothers?  I think it’s pretty crazy how alike they all look.

I told Caden to give me a warrior pose.  It’s obviously not his forte.  He can play instruments with the best of them.  Dressing up, not his thing.

This guy, he excels at dress up and role playing.  He LOVES some dress up.

EK loved this ride.  We went to Animal Kingdom one night and there weren’t a lot of people there.  We were able to ride this over and over again.  The ride would finish and she’d say, “No, ride again!”  I don’t know how many times we ended up riding this ride, but I’m glad the adults took turns riding with her.  Going around in circles for long periods of time isn’t as easy as it used to be, which is why I sent Jeb on the teacups with the boys.

The last night we were in Disney Jeb had the boys at EPCOT riding Test Track and I took EK back to the room so I could pack.  She sat just like this for over an hour watching Fresh Beat Band.  I was able to get all our packing done.  So thankful she was able to stay entertained while I got some work done.

We had such a fun trip.  We were exhausted as usual, but it was good.  We move at our own pace at Disney these days.  We wake up whenever our kids wake us (usually at 7ish on vacation), we get ready, we eat in the food court area, and then we figure out where we are going.  This is so much different from the pre-kids Disney trips…I used to have spreadsheets, dinner confirmation numbers, and parks picked out every day…all done months before our trip occurred.  We always do quick service dining because we don’t want to have to plan our day around where we are eating a meal.  Next time though, the boys have already requested to eat at Chef Mickey’s and to eat in the castle.  So thankful I have been able to carry on this vacation tradition with our little munchkins.  So thankful I was able to bring Jeb over to the Disney side.  Once you go, it’s hard not to be hooked. :)

May: The month that almost killed me.

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So, May came and went.  I thought November and December were busy, but May put them to shame.  The end of school madness is drives mamas to the edge of insanity.  It is finished now.  These pictures are not necessarily in any particular order because, well, I don’t feel like moving them around.

A good portion of a couple weeks in May were consumed with Teacher Appreciation Week.  We LOVE our teachers at Primary, and we make sure they know it!  Our dining room table became the hub for everything appreciative.

This was my look for approximately 2 weeks before LASIK.  I had LASIK the afternoon after field day.  I had every intention of taking a shower before surgery, but then, I didn’t.  I was SO FREAKED OUT about surgery, but it was a piece of cake.  I took a Valium, and they deadened my eyes…and then they shot lasers into my eyes.  No biggie.  It all seems like a dream now.  I never got panicky or anything.  Praise the Lord!  I remember coming back home and looking for EK’s ear, then taking a shower, and then trying to find her ear again (it had been lost earlier in the afternoon).  Eventually I got so tired (because I was on Demerol and Phenergan) I went inside and put the shields over my eyes and taped them on top of my hair.  That was not fun when Jeb had to put the drops in my eyes later that night and rip the tape off of my hair.  My hair was so tangled in tape, it was awful. But, then I woke up the next morning, and I saw 20/15.  LOVE LASIK.

Mother’s Day was great.  This was the card Caden made for me.  Please notice at the bottom it says: just made this a few minutes ago.  I love honesty.  I can’t remember what else we did, but I know I felt special and it was a great day. :)

Like I said earlier, these pictures are not in order, so here’s the teacher appreciation luncheon.  Isn’t it cute?  Those daisy’s were some of the prizes we gave away.  They were the first things to go. :)

Here’s the final product for the Haiti shirt.  I haven’t actually placed the order yet.  Oops. This kid cracks me up.  We got these Minnie Mouse pjs from a friend in Sunday school.  We turned around and she had put them on top of her dress.  She loves Minnie and she loves to dress up.Jeb works 2 Saturdays a month.  We go to Target.  It’s simple.
These 3 are precious.  I am so blessed to call them mine.   Here’s my mother’s day lunch photo.  We ate at Backyard Burger.  Yummy!  They have fantastic salads. This girl had her first ponytail!  How cute is she? This guy graduated from Pre-K.   We could not have had a better year.  I wish we could take Mrs. Amy with us to CCPS.  We LOVE her!  JL would run and jump in her lap and give her a huge hug every morning.   Here is the happy little couple. JL asked Sadie to marry him a few weeks ago.  She said yes.  I’m so glad he found his soulmate  at the age of 2.  I found a valentines day card Sadie made him when she was 2.  Melts my heart.  Love her. :) We were blessed with the BEST teachers this year.  Not only did JL love his teacher, but EK and C loved theirs as well.  It makes it so much easier to be able to drop the kids off when I knew they’re being loved on by these sweet ladies all day long.  And here are some comparison pictures for you.  JL first day and last day of school. Caden’s first and last day pic. EK’s first day at the school for hearing (in September) and her last day as a Firefly at CCPS. We ended up in Huntsville for some reason or another.  I can’t even remember why we were there now.  I do know we went to the cookie company and dropped $10 on 4 cookies though.  The kids thought it was totally worth it.  :) And this is so typical of JL.  They all had their baths and asked for a “variety tray.”  A variety tray is a tray with lots of different snacks on it.  Then they sit down to watch their show…and JL has on an eyepatch and a telescope.  Any time is a good time to be a pirate.  And in between all of this we had a few house showings.  We had Field Day.  We had bye bye brunch.  We had other various and a sundry things going on as well. May was so full!  I thought June would bring slower pace, but alas, it’s not the case.  So thankful to have this house full of munchkins to keep me busy.

More Evaluations

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We had Ella Kate’s sensory evaluation a few weeks ago. I completely forgot to update about it. We took EK to get tested for Sensory Integration Disorder. There is been a link between hearing loss and sensory integration (in some patients). The symptoms we saw in EK that lead us to believe she had SI was constant motion, getting into peoples faces, oral fixation, not being able to sit still in the car, always wants her shoes, jacket, and backpack on, and a few other things. The eval went well. She gave us some things to work on home and we were supposed to go back in 2 weeks.

Amy couldn’t really pinpoint what would help Ella Kate. She wasn’t a black and white case of sensory integration disorder. As we worked at home we gathered more info on what helped EK and what didn’t seem to make a difference.

We came to the conclusion EK has mild sensory integration disorders secondary to core weakness. Amy gave us exercises to help EK strengthen her core. She’s using the wrong muscles causing her to not feel like she’s exercised her muscles and feeling the need to continually move to make up for that lack of pressure.

We’ve worked with her for a month off and on. We’ve gone from fighting her to do the “wheelbarrow” exercise to now being able to walk across the room on her hands while we hold her feet and then she puts pieces into the puzzle propping herself up on one hand while we continue to hold her feet. It seems to have helped calm her down in everyday life as well. We need to work on it more often.

We were supposed to go back for another appt but I had to cancel because I am exhausted. The end of school has been full of lots of awesome things that have completely drained me. More on that later. For now, I thought I’d finish this sensory post. :)

Life Update: Dates, Drama, Driving, Dirtiness, and Design

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We’ve had a couple of showings of our house. They didn’t accomplish more than forcing us to clean, mow the grass, and weed out the back hill…but I guess that’s something.

Last Saturday I took the boys on a “date” to Chick fil a. It was “Mother Son Date Knight.” We had a lot of fun. Ella Kate stayed with Jeb at home, but she still needed to take a picture with Mama.

At dinner we chatted, made a family crest, discussed life, ate dinner…and then they ditched me for the playground. I felt lots of mothers eyes looking over at me judging me for not being able to keep my kids at the table…until their boys did the same thing. I ended up hanging out with a couple of friends for a few minutes while they played.

After dinner they talked me into going to Walmart and Gamestop. We’re wild and crazy. JL bought a 35 mm camera and needed film, and they wanted to look at Skylanders at Gamestop. It’s apparently been too long since I’ve loaded a 35mm camera, approximately 10 years, and I completely screwed JL’s camera up. I loaded the film and then accidentally rolled it back into the film canister thing. After that, we gave him our old digital camera we were trying to sell (that no one wanted). He loved it and wants to put Skylanders stickers on it (the camera he bought was skylanders)…WIN.

Last Friday night Mom and Dad kept the boys (because we had bad weather Thursday and she couldn’t come). Jeb and I had EK by herself. It was crazy easy. It’s amazing how easy one kid is after having 3. We had big plans to get her to bed early and watch lots of TV. I know, I know. However, we got a phone call saying we were going to have a showing Saturday, so we cleaned, pulled weeds, and mowed grass instead.

Jeb had to work Saturday, so EK and I headed to Huntsville to pick up the boys before mom’s 10am appointment. We had some time to kill before we met Mom and Dad for lunch, so we made some returns at Bridge Street and then went to Toys R Us. Much to the boys delight they found Wham Shell, which is one of the last Skylanders they were needing. Currently, we only need 1 to have all of the Skylanders, (you can file that under the category of ridiculous). I mean, sure, they don’t have a Light Core Prism Break AND a Series 1 AND a Series 2 because that would really be ridiculous…they just have one of each kind.

Monday night we learned why Ella Kate needed a nap every day. Can someone say, DIVA?!? This was what happened when I told her it was time to go inside. We were supposed to eat dinner with some sweet friends, but that did not happen. No one wants to take this into public.

I picked JL up early from school one day last week, Tuesday maybe? I’m not sure..all the days run together. We took cookies up to Jeb at work. JL and EK had to have some before we dropped the rest off. I think she liked hers.

Late Tuesday night our realtor dropped some T-shirts off in the mailbox for us. The kids were pretty excited. They were even more excited he put them on his company Facebook page. :)

Our Sunday School class is raising money to send some little Haitian children to VBS this summer. It’s $30 per kid and that provides meals and a tshirt and such for them. I designed this shirt we are going to have printed and sell for $15 to help raise money. Our goal is more than $600 raised for the Haiti’s Eden VBS. This is the design on the back of the shirt.

And then Thursday night EK came down with Strep. So, we made her get a shot and this is what she felt like a few hours later.

Those shots are amazing. She did, however, have a bit of a fever around bedtime, but woke up raring to go Saturday morning. We had a big birthday party Saturday for some of our best buddies, and the boys were going to throw a fit if we didn’t get to go. They actually threw a mini-fit at the idea of possibly not getting to go.

EK LOVES Livi. She has 2 friends named Livi, and she is LOVES both of them!

This little train/car ride was the hit of the party for our kids, especially Ella Kate. I rode with EK most of the time because I was nervous she was going to decide to bail in the middle of the ride. She never did, and she had a blast. The boys loved it too!

This is JL with his buddy Cameron. Cameron turns 5 today and Livi is his little sister. She turned 3 Friday. :)

We finished off the weekend with church, lunch at Sweet Peppers, naps, looking at potential neighborhoods to live in once we sell our house, and eating dinner with our dear friends. It was definitely a great weekend! Looking forward to next weekend because Jeb will be OFF work!

Oh, and I went to my LASIK appt. and I qualify for surgery. I have surgery scheduled for May 16. Eeeeeekkkkk!

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So, we put our house on the market. We don’t like to let things die down. If it ever gets slow, or I don’t have a project, I find something to do…this time it’s finding a new house plan, finding a lot to build it on, and selling our house. You know, no biggie. We love our house, but there are things we’d like to change…and we liked building…so we’re going to do it again!

Thankfully this isn’t what our lot looks like right now, but it did for a week or two. Every time I thought of it I played the Sanford and Son theme song in my head. I just tried to type it out…it’s not easy to type instrument sounds. The kids had a blast on all the broken toys and the adults enjoyed the broken chairs to sit in. Thankfully after all the junk was thrown away we still have chairs to sit in so we can all chat while the kids play.

Currently we have a dumpster in between our house and our neighbors house holding the contents of the vacant lot.

I got to eat lunch with these 2 kiddos last Wednesday. JL talked me into taking him to therapy. Surprise, when I got there, the head of the special ed program for Cullman City schools was going to sit in on our session. Well, that’s swell. Thanks for the heads up. I had told her about how awful EK had been doing in therapy, so I did have that going for us…better than flailing on the floor was a step up from what I had told her about. EK did fairly well. I threatened JL to behave and be a helper instead of a distraction. I’m not sure what I threatened him with…maybe his life, no, I wouldn’t do that.

 

 

Thursday, Jeb got LASIK surgery. I was more nervous than he was. So, I loaded up my reading material…house plans and Not a Fan (the book we’re reading in Sunday School…great book…convicting…steps on your toes). I had high hopes of picking out the house plan of our dreams and reading all of the chapter for Sunday School. I was adamant I wouldn’t watch his surgery. I walked back to sit with Jeb in the waiting area. We sat there for a while, and then they took him back. I got a wild hair, a surge of courage…I walked back to the observation window. I sat down. Jeb laid down on the table. I started reading. They started surgery. They put the thing in Jeb’s eye that kept it open, they started writing on his eye, then they made the flap to OPEN HIS EYE UP…um, that’s the time I started to feel a little light headed. I kept telling myself I’d be okay, I decided I should walk away. I walked to the waiting room. I walked up to the receptionist desk. I said, “I know this may sound weird, but I’m about to pass out and I don’t know what to do.” I thought about laying in the floor. I decided that might be weird. I said again, “I don’t know what to do.” I walked over and got some water and took it to a chair. The room started spinning. My leg started shaking involuntarily. I got very hot. I don’t remember what happened next. Then I remember starting to feel better. I took my jacket off and fanning myself. I ate lots of chocolate and drank more water. I don’t know if I passed out or not. I was by myself, so I guess I won’t ever know. :) Eventually Jeb got out of surgery and I went back to sit with him. He could already see better than before. It was amazing! I brought him back home and he laid down and took some medicine to make him stay asleep. He woke up the next morning seeing 20/15 without glasses. Crazy.

I realized how competitive I am during this process. Jeb can see without glasses and I still have to wear my glasses. And I was pretty sure I’d have a giant panic attack pass out freak out if I tried to get LASIK. I really struggled with it! If I get LASIK, which I am planning to do as of right now, know that it’s solely because I am competitive and I can’t let Jeb “beat” me. :) I’m not sure how I can prepare for it so that I don’t flip out when they put the laser into my eye. Small steps. I’m going to the consult first. Well, I haven’t even made an appointment yet. We have to save up money for that and the lot we’re buying to build on.

We had a couple come to look at our house Sunday. While they were here we took the kids and our neighbors kids to 32 degrees. We all had so much fun. We love hanging out with our neighbors. We will miss them terribly if we move. Our boys are just a few months difference from their boys. Every afternoon (well, the ones it’s above 60 degrees) we all gather in the lot between our houses and the kids play in the sand, ride their bikes, play in the fort, etc.

 

This week has been pretty low key so far. This afternoon I worked the book fair at school. EK stayed all day at school and even took a nap. She does so well there. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it , but she actually tells them when she needs to potty. Maybe someday she’ll do it here too.

Easter Weekend

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We had an Easter egg hunt at church on Saturday.  They divide the kids in 3 different age groups.  It’s more of an Easter egg gather than a hunt.  They just throw the eggs all in a field, and the kids pick them up to their hearts content.  :)

 

These 4 boys are such sweet friends.  My 2 would spend all all day every day with them if we allowed it.  And Ella Kate is in love with Micah.  ”See Mi-Ka!  See Mi-Ka!!!!” 

 

 

 

 

The boys were serious about their hunting.  They fit as many eggs into their basket as they possibly could.  

Ella Kate preferred to twirl and occasionally pick up an egg or two.  Then she wanted to swing.

 

We went to church Easter sunday of course.  We just stayed for Sunday School and then headed back to the house.  We went to Meemaw and Papaws house in Huntsville for dinner, so we wanted to make sure the kids got a rest break that afternoon.  Before the kids took their Easter clothes off we took some pictures!  I was so excited they cooperated!

 

 

At Meemaw and Papaw’s house we had another easter egg hunt!  Mom stuffed these eggs with money, which is the best prize. :)