Monday, November 30, 2009

If only every corner in my house could get a make-over!

I love our downstairs! I hate the toy corner! We have this great(ish) entertainment center we constructed from a crappy Target piece and 2 wooden bookshelves we painted black. We have some great art, framed photographs, nice couch and chairs, and that stupid toy corner! Seems like we were always buying bigger buckets, with wider drawers to accomodate more things. Because as our cleaning got better, our storage got worse. One day, we were fed up and made a rash trip to IKEA. Mind you, while we love trips to IKEA, the store is 2.5 hours away and it is no easy jaunt.
But one hectic day later, filled with a scramble through the store, sheer will on Jacks part that indeed there were enough black boxes somewhere in the store (even though the clerk swore otherwise), a few tears, Build-A-Bear bribery, a manic drive home with entirely too much weight balanced on the top of the van, and a late, late night... Viola! The best part for me was when genius struck regarding the labels. Jack didn't want to 'ruin' the boxes with velcro and I knew without labels the unit would be useless (25 unlabeled boxes=25 boxes full of any random crap that fit). So I put my new handy-dandy button maker to work and...Taa Daa!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Turkey Day Everyone

We are thankful, this year more than ever, for life and love, peace and health, joy and family, friends and neighbors, and for a loving, merciful God and His plan. Especially the plan He has for us.
Enjoy your T-day spread and those you are sharing it with--as well as those you are sharing it with in your heart!

(and I made jack wear the holiday T b/c he was volunteering at Grove Methodist for the community thanksgiving luncheon and delivering meals to shut-ins, so i wanted him to be festive)

Monday, November 23, 2009

As Seen on TV

The meals have been eaten, the flowers have died, the magazines have been read (and thanks again everyone), but this post-op gift will be a treasure for a lifetime. The best part is now the kids are jealous of something I own. (picture mine though in leopard print)
In fact, when the package arrived, with no indication or provocation, before it was even opened, S brought the package into me and asked, "Mom, is it a Snuggie? Did you get a Snuggie? I want a Snuggie!"

Thanks Karen! Now Jack is convinced he is making all the boys one for Christmas. Although, while most of the family has been enamored with this product for years, F asked, "Isn't it just a backwards robe?" Great. Here comes the teenager.

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Unspoken Event at FIRST Lego League Robotics Competition

Last year Jaime coached (and I helped a little) a robotics Lego team for Finn and some schoolmates. We had great support from the parents and we fumbled our way towards the regional competition. When we competed last year we did surprisingly well and we were selected to compete at the state tournament. We had a couple repeat team members this year, but it was mostly a new team of 9 students. Jaime and the parents spent many hours with practices.

With Jaime's recuperation from surgery, I had to fill in as head coach by helping them with their final practice and taking them to the regional competition. Our last practice was a little chaotic but we managed to get to a place where everyone felt comfortable and somewhat confident for their competition.

On Saturday, we drove 1.5 hours to Abingdon for our event. We set up shop in the Pit Room and I attended a coaches meeting while the kids proceeded to practice a few more times. The day flew by as the kids competed in the four events: Robot Design, Teamwork, Research Project, Robot Missions. I was very proud of everyone. They got along well, worked as a team, and each did their part to help with the success of the team. I felt that they were strong in many ways but we did not feel that they were necessarily any better than th eother teams.

One highlight of the day was when Jaime showed up! Amy drove her down, they stayed for and hour or so and then they drove back. It was great that the kids were able to compete with her there.

Our events were complete, but we still had time to kill before the closing awards ceremony. We suggested to the kids that it might be fun to run around outside. At first they wanted to play tag, but then they invented their own event. At the end of a great day, I thought that this was the most fun for the kids. They got dirty in the process but had such a great time.

After playing outside, we headed back in for the final ceremonies. Nearing the end of the ceremony it appeared evident that we were not going to get any award at all. As they were announcing who would compete at the state level, we felt that we had no shot. But surprise! We placed high enough to compete at the state competition. After getting over the initial shock of the news it was time to announce the highest award. The Champions Award is given to the team that best understands the bigger picture and has consistently shown learning that takes place and how that learning applies beyond the competition. Surprise again! They received the top award! We all met up for a great meal at an Italian place and then drove home.

For the record, none of this would have been possible without Jaime's amazing coaching. I am so impressed with all that she is able to accomplish. Wish us luck at the state competition in December!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

The Crappiest 'Staycation' Ever!

On Oct. 25th, I was in Relief Society making an announcement about ordering cheese blend for our food storage. Ten minutes later, my stomach didn't feel right and as I got up to excuse myself so I wouldn't barf on Tanner, I passed out. And that is when our staycation at Carilion Medical Center began.

How many of you have left Relief Society in an ambulance? The gist of the story goes something like this...Jack and I had been trying to get pregnant for 7 months. I was finally pregnant, went in to the doctor at 10 weeks and found out I was having a miscarriage. At what I thought was near the end of the miscarriage my fallopian tube exploded because it turned out I had an ectopic pregnancy. I fainted due to the internal bleeding from my tube rupturing.

I am skipping the remainder of the gory details of what it entailed with the exception of: lots of internal bleeding, fatally low blood pressure, possible organ failure, a touch and go night, Jack sleeping on a couch in the ICU waiting room, and a chain of international phone calls for blessings to heaven to plead for my life. Heavenly Father heard your prayers, sent amazing doctors and nurses my way, and now I am hear to dictate this post to you, through Brittany.

Because all of my blood was pooling in my guts, they couldn't find a vein to hook me up to an IV. I also have a nice hole on the left side of my chest from my central line. These pretty bruises have twins on the other arm.
(this pic taken 4 days after)

I had a pretty scab that has fallen off from where I hit the floor--I am just glad I didn't break my nose. I also managed to chip my molar.

(this is the couch upgrade Jack got when we were moved into our private room--who needs a suite at Disneyworld?) I cry every time I think of all the generous people who have sent meals, flowers, candy, babysat my children, cleaned my house, sent cards, and most of all said a prayer in my behalf. Words cannot express my thanks. I guess if I had to follow the staycation trend (I have been griping about going on a vacation) I am so lucky to have taken it here in Radford. Stay tuned for a series of posts about the major and menial things in my life that I am grateful to still be alive to experience.