Sunday, February 28, 2010

Our little comedian

Kaylee is always a barrel of laughs. Earlier this week, we were getting ready to have dinner and I said a very short quippy prayer. David rolled his eyes at it and asked Kaylee to say a better one. In response, Kaylee promptly said, "A Better One." How funny!!

Then last night our poor little girl was sick and threw up all over the place. This morning I asked her how she was doing. She said that she was all better. She just had to push all her throw-ups out but now she had no more throw-ups. Then she added that her throw-ups came out and said, "Crash Landing!" This girl is always good for a laugh!

No need to worry

Over a year and a half ago when we first found out that Naomi was blind in one eye, I was quite concerned that she would have difficulty learning how to read and write. Well, I had no need to worry. This past week her teacher emailed me and told me that she tested Naomi's reading level and it is an 18. I thought this was pretty good but I was not sure so I asked what it meant. An 18 means that she is reading on a 2nd grade level. Wow, do I have a smart child!!! David and I are so excited about her accomplishments. Now our only challenge is to make sure she does not get bored in school but at the same time not give her too much work and have her hate school.

Happy Birthday Grandma

Before David's parents left to go back to Arizona, we had a surprise birthday party for his mom. We usually never get to celebrate her birthday with her because of the distance. So it was quite nice to have a small birthday celebration with her before she left. It was not her actual birthday but it was very close. PS: We had a limited supply of birthday candles and decided to make Grandma 8 years old for her party. Hee Hee
Blowing out the candles
Reading the card

Using the yummy lotion

Monday, February 22, 2010

Traveling Handyman...

...will work for love!!

When David's parents were in town, David's dad kept himself busy by doing repair jobs around our house. One of his big projects was fixing the window in the outside front entryway. One side of the window and the bottom had a major case of wood rot. He did an excellent job in repairing it. Thanks, Dad for all your hard work!!! Below is a series of pictures from start to finish.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Roses, Hearts and Hugs Day

Twice a year Naomi's elementary school has Roses, Hearts and Hugs day. Roses, Hearts, and Hugs day is where all the teachers/staff have bags up by the front office for students to put notes and other things for their teachers to show their appreciation. I forgot to take pictures of what we gave for the first time. Here is what we did this time around. I got the hang of making chocolate candies so we made more chocolate candies and lollipops and then we stuffed soda bottles with them. I hope her teachers like them.
The candies and lollipops
The finished project

Valentine's Day Cards

Just call me Ms. Suzy Homemaker. I love doing crafty things. This year I decided to make Naomi's valentine cards to give to her classmates. I had a sample of a lollipop cover that I wanted to make but I could not find any lollipops at WalMart or HEB. So I became overly ambitious and made chocolate candy lollipops to put inside the lollipop covers. Naomi helped with the coloring and writing her name and I put the valentine's together. Both grandmas also helped by assisting making the lollipops and putting the lollipops into bags. What do you think? Naomi's teacher said I went over the top with them.
Three of the lollipop designs
The front of the lollipop covers (yellow/green for the boys and blue/pink for the girls)

Back of the lollipop covers

Another visit from the tooth fairy

Naomi lost her second tooth on Sunday. This tooth has been loose for quite awhile and the adult one was already there and pushing forward. She was so excited when it finally came out. She wanted me to call the tooth fairy right then even though it was already 9 o'clock at night. When I told her that I forgot the tooth fairy number, she told me to call her Aunt Jenny because she works for a dentist and knows the number. Don't you just love kid logic?!

School Carnival

Last Friday night Naomi's elementary school had their Carnival. Grandma Braithwaite came with us and we all had a blast. The girls wandered up and down the halls playing all the different games and earning prize coupons. They both got their face painted and their nails painted too. Naomi won a cake at the cake walk. And at the end they both got some really neat prizes with their coupons. Thanks Grandma for coming with us. Below is some pictures taken at the carnival.
The girls going down a slide
Kaylee and the tiger

Naomi doing the bean bag toss.

Kaylee's heart
The girls being Rice Farmers

Naomi bowling

100th day of School

Last week was Naomi's 100th day of school. Her elementary school had a huge 100 day celebration. The students had the option of making a 100 day shirt. And of course Naomi wanted to make one. She decorated her sweatshirt with 100 stick on hearts. Since Grandma Braithwaite was in town, Grandma went over to help with the 100 day activities. Some of the activities was making a 100 day mix and the 100 day parade. Naomi and Grandma had a wonderful time. Naomi told her teacher she can't wait for the next 100 day celebration. Since Grandma Brown was also there, she came over to have lunch with Naomi and Grandma Braithwaite. (Naomi has become quite spoiled with all of her grandparents in town. She has had visitors at lunch quite frequently these past two weeks.) Thanks both sets of grandparents for making Naomi feel special.

Naomi's 100 day shirt
Naomi and her friends lining up for the parade

Both grandmas and Naomi at lunch

Count Your Blessings

Even though it has been a challenge these past two weeks with David in the hospital, we have had many blessings as well. I truly know that the Lord plans and provides for every challenge that comes into our lives. I don't think it was a coincidence that my mom stayed an extra week. I think the Lord intentionally planned on my mom being here to help me when David started to have his problems. I don't know what I would have done without her help and the help of my hometeachers those first two nights. It was an even bigger blessing that she stayed to help me this whole time and that my Dad drove down to give us his support as well. David's parents are just as much of a blessing. As soon as I called to tell them what was happening the packed their bags and drove all the way from Arizona to help me with the girls and give David their support. What a blessing they have been to me. Karen, David's mom, has been wonderful to do my laundry, clean my house, prepare dinner when I am too tired, watch the girls, and do the dishes. Gordon is just as awesome. I am going to have another post on just how much he has done for us while he was down here. I am grateful to the Lord for giving both David and I such wonderful parents who have been such a support to us right now and anytime we need them. Thank you both Moms and Dads.

When Grandma Comes to Town...

My mom came into town on January 22nd. She was only supposed to be here for the weekend. However, on Saturday night the girls complained that she was not visiting long enough. When Grandma explained she would have to pay money to change her ticket, the girls went and got their piggy banks and started counting how much money they had. Well, that sealed it Grandma decided to stay until the next Saturday. Grandma decided to use her visit here to work with Naomi on some sewing projects. Naomi was able to finish her quilted pillow top and a skirt. Grandma made a matching skirt for Kaylee. Both girls really enjoy spending time with Grandma. And Naomi loves to sew with Grandma. While Grandmas was here, she had the opportunity to go to Naomi's school and help with the Science lab.
Naomi's pillow
Sewing her skirt

Update on David

David came home on Tuesday. Although he is not up to full speed he is doing much better. The next few weeks are going to be an adjustment on David as his body gets used to the medication change and the increased dose of some of his medicine. I know we are not out of the woods yet but I know with the Lord's help, he will soon be 100% again. I want to thank everyone for their prayers and support. It has meant more than I can say to realize how many friends David and I really have.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

What Constitutes a Strong Woman?

A little over seven years ago, I met David. Shortly after we started dating I learned that David has bipolar. David is rare when it comes to individuals who have bipolar. Unlike most individuals with an illness like bipolar, David understands the importance of taking his meds everyday even when he is feeling good. Shortly after we became engaged David suffered a short set back and his levels got off. I can remember going somewhere with his mom and her talking with me and telling me that she and my father-in-law would understand if I decided that I wanted to cancel our engagement and not marry David. I can remember how upset I was inside. I loved my future husband illness and all. How dare anyone tell me not to marry David just because he has an illness. Fast forward to my wedding day... my dad gave me a blessing right before going to the temple. In my blessing, I was told that my life would have many bumps and would not be easy but it would be worth it in the end. I can remember thinking what young bride wants to hear that on her wedding day. I don't know if the Lord was trying to warn me or reassure me. But that blessing surely was an indication of the things that were to come. Our bumps started the day we got married. David and I postponed our honeymoon by a day or so because he got sick with what we thought was laryngitis. When we finally got to San Diego we were only there a day before we had to return because he had a very bad case of mono and the medicine he received before leaving was causing an allergic reaction and he had hives covering his whole body.

In our seven years of marriage, David has gone through numerous jobs (laid off and forced resignations) and we have had many other challenges and bumps. At times I have felt like I think at last we are on our feet, only to be knocked flat down on my face again. But nothing has prepared me for what I had to do this past weekend. Early Saturday morning, I had to admit David to a psychiatric hospital. Back in August, his doctor had decreased one of his pills and one of his levels was slightly low. Usually this would not be a problem but with all of the stress we have had these past few months it was enough to send David into a manic episode. As of right now, he is still in the hospital and probably will not get out until this coming Tuesday. Both sets of parents have come into town to help. What a blessing it is to me to have such great parents!!!

This now leads me to the title of my blog post. What constitutes a strong woman? One of my friends this week has told me that I am a strong woman. I was shocked when she told me this because I don't feel very strong. It is a struggle everyday to show a positive attitude to my girls and others. (I have taken to crying in the shower so no one can see my tears.) It takes all I have everyday to get dressed and go to work and try to impart my knowledge to the students that I need to teach. Sometimes I barely have enough energy to come home and cook a decent meal for my family. I have so many jobs that I am trying to fill (wife, mother, homemaker, teacher, and cub scout leader) and I feel like I am doing a poor job at all of them. Yet my friend thinks I am a strong woman. Am I a strong woman? Or am I just a good pretender! I feel like there are so many other women that are stronger than I. Oh well, that is not the point. Right now I am going to take it one day at a time and hopefully soon I can smile and really mean it.