Mark, Jennifer, Ethan, Emily

This blog is about our family, who have dealt with the loss of two sons with Muscular Dystrophy, the adoption of a son diagnosed with Agenesis of Corpus Callosum and the birth our a healthy little girl. It's a crazy life, but we are loving it.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sometimes I Cry

I'm a Christian. I believe that God loves me very much. I believe He cares and hears me when I pray. I believe He hurt just as much as I did when I lost my boys, and rejoiced with us when we adopted Ethan and when I gave birth to Emily. I am so very thankful for all He has done for me, all He has given me and blessed me with. I know without a doubt, that there is a Heaven and one day I will see my Jesus and my two babies again. That thought, even though it may brings tears to my eyes, makes me happy.

But... sometimes I hurt. Sometimes the hard times we go through gets to me. I get worn down and tired of the struggles I face everyday. Ethan, although physically is healthy, his behavior wears me out. It wears the whole family out.

This song describes exactly how I feel tonight. It is beautiful. Please listen.

But I believe God has given Ethan to our family for a reason. And it wasn't to make me crazy, which it seems I'm on that road quite frequently. I believe God has something special planned for Ethan. I pray that Ethan grows up to be a mighty man of God and that I will look back at his ADHD/ODD years and laugh and know that God was preparing him (and us) for something special.
Please pray for my family. Pray that we, as parents and a sibling will have more fruit of the spirit (joy, patience, kindness, love, peace, gentleness and self control). And pray for Ethan to open his heart toward God and family.

Please believe me when I say how thankful I am for the blessings in my life. It's just that... sometimes I cry.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Giggle and Jump

Yesterday I took Emily,  Ethan & Ethan's friend, Aaron to a new Bouncy House place called Giggle N Jump, to wear them out to have some fun. They had lots of huge moonwalks and big slides. You pay one price and it's an all day pass, you can come and go as much as you want and you can bring in food and the place is super clean.

They had a great time and I found a great place for my kids.

Hope y'all had a great weekend.

Aaron with Stinkbug.

Ladybug having fun.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Today I'm Missing...

Today I've really been missing my two angels in Heaven.

Most days, I do OK. Sometimes, the sadness really gets me. Today, I've been thinking about these angels alot.

My sweet Chandler-bear. My first baby. How I loved you. You had such a sweet spirit about you. You loved that little stuffed dalmatian. You used to talk, babble and smile at that little dog all the time. I remember how you used to struggle to reach out and touch it. We buried you with that little puppy. We had you for almost 7 months. We were so lucky to keep you for as long as we did. 

And my little Max. You came 6 years after Chandler. You had light reddish-brown hair, which was different from Chandler and Emily's dark hair. You and Chandler had one of the same nurses in the NICU. I felt so sad that I only had you for 6 weeks. But, I'm thankful for the time I did have with you.

I love and miss you both terribly. I know I will continue to have good days and not so good days. Both of you are forever in my heart. My sweet boys, please know how much I love you. Daddy, Ethan, Emily and I will see you both again one day.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Valentines 2012, Part 2?

Here goes Valentines part 2, over a week late. Sorry. I just had some more pics from Valentines I wanted to share.

First, here is a photo of my entry way table with the Valentines decorations on it. The flowers were what was left from my bouquet that the Hub gave me for our anniversary. I should have taken a picture of it a couple weeks back when I first brought them home, but anyway. Here is what's left.

My homemade yarn heart, made from cardboard, yarn & felt for the flowers and the cards are Valentines that the kids made for me at school in computer class.

Last, here is how Emily's homemade valentines came out.

Hope ya'll are having a great week!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentines 2012, Part 1

I tried to get a head start on Valentines this year. I'm a real procrastinator. So around the first of January, I thought I'd get started. I found lots of ideas on Pinterest!

First was an idea was where I would take a picture of Emily holding her arm in the air making a fist. After I got the pictures printed, I was going to put a lollypop through the picture and it's supposed to look like she's holding the lollypop. OK. First go around.

Not bad. But I had my local Walgreens print them up. When I got them, the wording was cut off and half her head was cut off. They told me it was the was I cropped the photo when editing it.

Take two.

Not bad, eh. Wait a sec! Look at the date! Gosh! I didn't even notice that until I got them home, (after looking at them in the store and saying "They look great!") and so I bought some heart stickers and placed them over the 2011. Sheesh! It only cost me $2 to have them printed, by the way. They were having a 60% off sale on prints. That's my kind of Valentine bargain!

Then, I found the idea where you can take your kids old crayons, peel the paper off, cut them up, put them in heart molds, bake and bam! You got new heart crayons. So I tried it.

It worked!
Emily's teacher asked me to make something sweet for their class Valentines party! I told her YES, and that I was all over it! Here is what I made.

Sugar Cookie Cutouts

Dipped the cookies and some pretzels in pink candy melts.

I also made my Monster Cookies.

I made my monster cookies, only with a Valentines twist. M&M's make a cherry flavored M&M. I put those in these cookies. They didn't impress me. The M&M's tasted like cherry flavored cough syrup! But, they were ok in the cookies.

Ethan didn't want me to go to his V-day party at school. He was even embarrassed to bring his Valentines day cards to school. He said he didn't want to be seen carrying the cards. I tried to explain to him that everyone will be bringing in Valentine cards.  But, Emily was glad to have me at her party.

Emily and some friends!
Emily's Mr. Valentine.
After the party, I took Emily to get her hair cut, I stopped by a good church friend's house with the left over cookies and dropped them off, and then went home and made dinner. That's right. I went home and made dinner. No candles, roses or chocolates over a romantic dinner. Just the normal chaos that is our home!

I tried to make it Valentine-y, though. I waited until dinner to give the kids their little Valentines gifts.

I made pizza pasta with heart shaped pepperoni on top!

A quick family photo before bed time... minus me of course.

I think this Valentines has pooped us out...

And I'm ready to settle down with this baby... compliments of my baking/work buddy Arielle. Red Velvet cake baked in a mason jar with butter-cream icing. It was so good!

It was a perfect way to end my night!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Ethan Hits 100%

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about going to see Emily in her 100% parade. She got to be in a parade that the school puts on when students reach their reading goal for the year. She can now read 100 sight words. You can read about it here.

On Thursday night, Ethan told me he had met his reading goal and he was going to be in the parade on Friday morning. Boy was I excited!! I was so proud of him!

Here are a few pics I took at the parade. I tried not to follow him around, ask him to stop and smile and embarrass him too much. But I was so darn proud of him!

Here come the parade.

Blurry! Sorry, but I tried to take it quickly.
Way to go Ethan!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Siblings, An Anniversary,Cub Scout Sunday & Ethan Gets Groovy

Weird title. I know. But I have lots of stuff to share from this past week.

First off. I found this on Emily's door the other day. I totally understand. Ethan has been diagnosed with ADHD and ODD. He get's wild really easy and once he's hyper, it's had to calm him down. He acts a lot out of impulsiveness. A lot of time Emily get's the brunt of Ethan's mood. If she refuses to play with him, or if something happens while they are playing with each other, he will impulsively hit her or say ugly words. My husband and I are trying to use the doctor's tips and redirect him, and then later address what he's done.

Ethan is never going in my room again.
Not bad writing for a 5 year old. She wrote it herself. Ha!

Just the day after that note appeared on her door, I found this on her easel in her room. She has such a big heart for her big brother. We always try to take her aside and encourage her.

On February 1st, the Hub and I have been married 15 years. We got my parents to watch the kids on Saturday afternoon and we went to Austin, ate a wonderful late lunch and then went shopping. Mark automatically drove to a Hobby Lobby and then Target after lunch. He's so sweet and knows me so well.

Ready to celebrate 15 years!

So good. First time to eat here.

This Sunday was Cub Scout Sunday. Ethan got to wear his Cub Scout uniform to church and his daddy recognized him during the service.

Last but not least, Ethan had his 3rd grade program last Thursday. It was songs of the 60's. They sang 60's songs from the whole decade, like The Twist, Downtown, Cool Jerk, The Adam's Family, I'm a Believer and ending up with Age of Aquarius. They talked about things, news, dances and styles that were popular in the 60's.

The thing with ACC, kids may have a hard time socially. Ethan struggles with this. He doesn't like public singing or dancing. He's usually the kid in the group that just stands there stone still while the other kids are singing and dancing around him. He's had a hard time this year in 3rd grade socially. Example, he still thinks it's funny to make toot sounds under his armpit. His peers laughed at first, but after a while, they get tired of him acting up. They're maturing. Ethan is still very immature.

This being said, Ethan told me he didn't want to go to his 60's program. He told me they would be singing and dancing and some kids will get to say parts into a microphone and they would have to dress up 60's style. I told him he didn't have to dress up, but I think he would have fun if he went.

The night of the program, I tried to get Ethan to at least wear a tie died shirt. No go. It was a black t-shirt and jeans for him. I didn't argue. We went to the program and he did great. I was a little worried at first.

It was super crowded. Other parents don't listen very well to instructions. We were asked to sit down and keep the talking to a minimum. See the lady in the striped shirt? Every time I would stand up to snap a picture of Ethan real quick, she did the same. I saw her back most of the night and not the kids. Sheesh!

But, Ethan did well. I even managed to get him on video dancing. Well done little man. I was very proud of you. Enjoy!