Tuesday, September 30, 2008

S'mores, Anyone?

Thanks to Hurricane Ike's path through Ohio earlier this month,
there were plenty of downed limbs for us to use as fire wood.

Mom prepares for some "extreme" wood collecting.

Andy and his girlfriend, Alora, enjoy some sweet treats.

Mimi and Ellie roast marshmallows.
Ellie likes her marshmallows barely warm and was instructing everyone else on how to roast their's just right.

We do the traditional s'mores, but we also started making them using fudge-stripe cookies instead of the graham crackers and chocolate. Jacob thinks they're yummy!

Andy and Katie duel with marshmallows.

Emmaline was content to munch on graham crackers.
Next year, though, I'm sure she'll want the real thing.

My sticky and sweet Gabrielle

This post is dedicated to my friend and s'more lover, Emily, who made many trips to Cowan Lake with my family when we were growing up.

Monday, September 29, 2008

In a Cabin in the Woods

Every year in the fall, my family heads to a cabin at Cowan Lake State Park. The following posts chronicle our week there and the fun times we had.

It was neat to see the leaves change throughout our stay.

Ellie, Jacob, and Papaw play Memory

Emmaline became a pro at standing herself up.
She would stand and then wait for us to clap and tell her she did a good job.

We did lots of puzzles at the cabin.
Aunt Katie and Jacob did this one.

Ellie did Strawberry Shortcake all by herself.

Who is that masked man?

Emmaline loves to "ride the horsey" with Mimi.

Uncle Andy instructs Jacob on the finer points of Electronic Battleship.

Emmaline got into everything at the cabin.
Here she is stuck between a couch, table, and chair.

Jacob wasn't exactly thrilled about doing schoolwork at the cabin, but he survived.

Look Whose Walking!

video

Emmaline surprised us on Friday at physical therapy. She walked 15 feet while only holding on to one of Miss Judy's hands. We've figure out that it isn't that she can't walk, she just needs the right motivation to get her to walk. In the video (sorry for the poor quality, it was taken with my phone), she is walking toward the door because it was time to leave. Isn't she cute waving and saying, "bye bye"?! We are so proud of our Emmy!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Buddy Walk 2008

Today was the 2008 Buddy Walk for Down Syndrome. Our team, Curley Crew, walked in honor of our daughter, Emmaline, and my neice, Kayla. The kids had fun playing with friends and although cool, the day turned out to be perfect for walking. Afterwards, we took everyone to LaRosa's for pizza. We want to thank our friends and family for joining us today to honor our littlest one. What a blessing Emmy is!

If you'd like to donate to this wonderful cause that helps Emmaline and others with Down syndrome, click HERE to go to Emmaline's secure donation page.

Family Photo

Jacob shows off his baby sis

Emmaline by her Walk of Achievement poster

Jacob and Papaw pulled Emmaline around the lake
At one point, Jacob said, "Emmy's got everything under control. And she's our team mascot!"

Uncle Andy helped hold one of Emmy's signs

Emmaline got a medal for finishing the walk

There were lots of Star Wars people and princesses walking around.
Here are Jacob and Ellie with some Storm Troopers.

Mimi and Emmy

Papaw Kevin and Gabrielle

Aunt Katie and Emmaline Kate

Yummy Pizza!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Aunt Janet Visit Ohio

Nathan's Aunt Janet is in town from Colorado. We had a cook-out at his parents' house this evening so we could visit.
Aunt Janet, Mema, Jacob, and Emmaline take a walk

Ellie races to the porch

Emmaline loves to ride in this stroller.
It was used by Nathan's mom, both his aunts, and all grandkids and great-grandkids on that side of the family.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Lights Out

Although we escaped The Great Power Outage of 2008, we did lose power for a couple of hours this evening when a transformer blew near our house. The kids really enjoyed eating dinner by candlelight and thankfully the power came back on when they were riding bikes a little later in the evening. While a minor inconvenience for us, it is nothing compared to what some people in our community are going through. Some people have been out of power since last Sunday (9/14) when the big wind storm blew through our area. The power company hopes to have everyone back online by the end of the week, but we'll see if that happens.

On another note, I'm feeling a little better today. Extremely tired, but better than yesterday. Things are looking up.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

How I Spent My Weekend

This weekend was pretty rough on me. I woke up Saturday morning with some back pain on my right side. By 11 am, I was doubled over in pain and couldn't hardly lift my right leg. I had this kind of pain almost 3 years ago when I experienced my first kidney stone. Lucky me, I got to relive the experience again. Men typically compare kidney stones to the pain of childbirth, but seeing as they've never birthed a child, I never believed it. After having 3 kids naturally and having kidney stones twice, I can say...brace yourself for this...the men were RIGHT!

Nathan took the kids to the party at his mom's work Saturday afternoon and I took some Vicodyn to relieve my pain. I then spent the rest of the day laying on the couch and making many trips to the toilet (for obvious and unfortunate reasons). Nathan returned to work Saturday night and I was in no shape to care for the kids, so Nathan's parents graciously kept them at their house overnight. This was my first night away from Emmaline which was a little hard, but she was in good hands and had a wonderful time with her grandparents (as did Jacob and Ellie).

Sunday morning, Nathan took Jacob and Ellie to church and then my parents took them to their house to spend the day while Emmy stayed with his parents again. My back still felt tender, but nothing compared to how it felt yesterday. I spent another day on the couch trying to rest up so that we can start homeschooling again tomorrow. I was really missing the kids, so Nathan brought them back to the house so we could visit some before they went to bed. After the kids were asleep, I still didn't feel quite right, so I made a trip to Urgent Care. The doctor informed me that in addition to my kidney stone, I also had a bladder infection. Yeah me for accomplishing this medical rarity! He gave me two prescriptions and then I headed to CVS to have them filled. I spent nothing because we've already met our insurance deductible for the year and actually made $25 on the trip (I had a coupon for a free $25 gift card with any new prescription), so at least something positive happened from the experience. I'm hoping that once the antibiotics kick in I'll start to feel back to normal. I still don't know whether I passed the kidney stone or not but am hoping that it is at least another 3 years (or NEVER!) before I experience another one.

My Weekend Supplies:
comfy pillow, glass of water (I am so sick of drinking water), trashcan, tv/dvd remotes, & snuggly blanket

Paige, my faithful couch companion

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Family Party at Grandma's Work

Nathan's Mom's work hosts a family party every September. It was so nice out today and the kids had a great time. There were lots of things to do and plenty of food to eat.

Our Rock Climber

Waiting in line with Grandma

On the swings

Climbing a rope in the obstacle course

Princess Gabrielle

Making Spin Art

Friday, September 19, 2008

Nathan's 31st Birthday

We had family over this evening to have pizza and cheesecake to celebrate Nathan's birthday. It was a good time of visiting...we even pulled out our vacation photos to show everyone! Fun times!
Ellie enjoys pizza for dinner

Jacob swings with Papaw

Make a wish!

Nathan shows off his new kettlebell and gripper

Emmaline liked putting things in this bag

Nathan's parents gave him his gift in a bag similar to "Where's Waldo".
Jacob and Papaw are trying to find them together.