Monday, November 20, 2017

So Many Tummy Aches

My world has been turned upside down.  M has been battling tummy aches for months and we decided to get serious about the root cause and do some extensive food testing.  His blood reacted to many things and over 20 foods were removed from his already limited diet.  The transition has been HARD friends.  I will write more about this soon.  I just wanted to let you all know that my lapse in posts has been due to late night recipe searches for desserts which are gluten, dairy, sugar, egg, almond, rice etc etc free!  We would covet your prayers for our M.  This is so hard on him.  Please pray that God will change his taste buds so that he will enjoy more of the foods that are on his "yes" list.  I am simmering homemade ketchup right now... my second recipe of the day.  I know this sounds so silly to ask for prayers about something like this, but I am been praying so hard that he will be able to tolerate this ketchup enough to eat all the food we grilled for him.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Trick-Or-Treating Times TWO/ Time with the Grands!

My parents were able to join us for a full day of trick-or-treating fun! The kids started the day with swimming lessons.  M in his first round at level three and T at level one.  Since these photos were taken the kids have been tested.  T will be moving up to level 2 and M will continue at level 3.  They both learned a lot during this round of lessons and we are excited to see their continued progress! 

M: After my lessons Grandpa and I looked at a book. 

T: I love jumping in!

T: I am a pretty good swimmer!

As soon as swimming lessons were over it was time to get bundled up for downtown trick-or-treating.  This took a bit of time as T had wet hair and needed some costume convincing.  The temps were in the 30's (and very windy) and she needed a costume she could wear over her coat.  Eventually we settled on a princess for T and a soccer player for M!

We met up with our neighbors/friends and with grandparents were a group of 9! The morning trick-or-treating is such a special tradition.  It is a very family friendly atmosphere.  Most of the local businesses and the farmer's market stalls give out treats to kids.  There are also special activities like bobbing for apples, pumpkin bowling, and pumpkin carving/painting.  Just another reason I love our community!

T: The decorations were a little spooky!

M and T: Trick-Or-Treat!

The cute crew!

Onward to more candy!

One of the local museums had a man carving pumpkins.  The kids were fascinated with his skills and he was very kind to ask them for ideas on how to carve the pumpkin!

T: He had a great saw to carve with!

T: We couldn't stop watching. 

T: He let me wear the crown!

T: He made a big mouth just like I wanted him to. 

We were pretty cold, but we took a bit of time for each kid to do some pumpkin bowling.

M: I miss those three holes!

M: I can feel a strike coming on!

When it was T's turn she tried kicking the pumpkin first... nothing happened.  She then had to roll it several times to get it to the pins.

T: This is so much harder than regular bowling. 
Once we got home T was eager to get out of her warm clothes and into a little summer dance number!    She promptly dumped out all of her candy for inspection and eating!

T: I could just lay here and eat all afternoon. 

After lunch M was fading quickly and we decided to let him take a nap.  This worked out OK as T and my mom were able to spend lots of good time together wrapping presents.  Dad and I were able to talk while I cooked.  It was a very special time!

T: I love giving gifts!


Once M was awake we opened our gifts!

What could it be? 

M: T gives us strange things!

After opening gifts it was time to get ready for round two of trick-or treating.  Our community trick-or-treating in neighborhoods is always done the Saturday afternoon/evening before Halloween.  I am thankful that it is done on the weekend and is sort of separated from Halloween.  

For round two of trick-or-treating the kids decided to ride their scooters.  While they were in the way at the houses, they were super convenient for areas with no lights on.  Overall I would say it was a good idea to have the scooters.  T decided to change costumes for round two.  She went as a "crazy cat" she said.  It is a hand-me-down homemade cat costume that is made up of various animal prints.  There were ears and a tail so you could pretty much tell she was a cat!

T: I see a light on up ahead M!

One house on the next street always does a little walk through haunted house that is kid friendly.  T really wanted to do it and M decided to go through too.

T: I knew there was candy inside. 

M: I am glad that Grandma came with me. 
M: We are all done and can't wait for kids to come to our house!

M's creation!
T's creation!

After our kids were done gathering candy we headed home to hand out candy and eat dinner.  The kids wanted to hand out candy so badly.  They were able to give some to a group of kids right when we got home.  Our kids literally yelled for them to come over.  We live on a very quiet street and don't get many/any trick-or-treaters.  The kids wouldn't believe me and insisted that we would soon be a hotspot for costumed kids. 

M and T: We were all ready for kids!!

M: I made this sign to draw people in!

They even ate tacos by the door so they could watch for kids!  
Luckily our friend L who lives across town came to our house.  The kids gave her most of the ziplock bag full from above.  They were so excited to have a customer.  She was their only costumer (besides the recruited bunch at the beginning) and she got quite a haul.  It was a full candy filled day, and for M the night was young.  His nap meant that going to bed was quite a challenge.  

We were so glad to have Grandma Kathy and Grandpa Daryl with us for the weekend of fun! 

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Pumpkin Carving 2017!

My parents were able to come for a fall visit on Friday October 26th.  They hadn't been here since June and we hadn't seen them since very early August.  They arrived while I was picking the kids up from school.  The kids were VERY VERY excited to see them.  The screams were ear piercing.  

T has OT at a local University on Fridays and the plan was that mom and I would take her and M would stay with my dad.  Well, M decided that he needed to go as well so we all went.  After therapy we had dinner and the kids insisted that we carve pumpkins RIGHT NOW!  We knew it would mean a later night, but we decided to say yes and I am glad we did.  It was wonderful to have extra sets of hands for carving.  I was able to take photos during the cutting.  My dad and I were on seed duty and everything was done and cleaned up within an hour.  M took a lot more ownership in carving his pumpkin than ever before.  It was fun to see his creativity.  T was eager to try, but still has a ways to go in the knife safety department. 

Cutting out the tops is hard work!

I asked them to pose!  

T: First we had to figure out how we wanted it to look. 

M: I would rather watch Daddy dig out the gross stuff!

M: OK, I will stick my hand in a tiny bit. 

M: Yuck!

T: This is great!

T: Check this out!

T: I love the feeling of the pumpkin guts in my hands. 

M: First I planned the eyes.

M: Then I started cutting. 

Dad and I had a squishy job!

T: I really want to help!

M: Almost finished. 

M: Here it is!

M: Do we look alike? 

T's creation!

T: I love my pumpkin man!

The kids love to turn out all the lights and test the jack-o-lanterns immediately.  Such a simple and special tradition.

M and T:  It works, they are glowing!

T is in a gift giving phase.  She would love to wrap presents for everyone she knows every single day.  She usually wraps things that we already own, anything from deodorant to socks.  She is so proud to give her gifts and can't wait to wrap lots of gifts at Christmas time.  Wrapping paper and tape are on the top or her wish list.  What a girl! 

T: I took this picture of Mommy and Daddy before they opened their presents!

Sidenote:  For those who might have noticed, T did get a new soft band for her BAHA.  We purchased it from a third party company and she really likes it.  It is black so it matches many things including her hair.  It is also a smooth texture so it feels much more comfortable and she enjoys wearing it all day!  I never tire of hearing her as her BAHA is put on.  She does what sounds like vocal exercises before we put it on until after.  She loves to hear the difference once she gets the band on.  I am so thankful for this technology!  For those with very keen eyes, yes it was taken off during the carving.  She was touching her hair with the gooey hands and we decided that it was safer off and that she should pull back her hair as well. 

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Oh Deer!

We live in the middle of our small town, but country meets us every day.  There are some wooded areas near the high school and also near the bike trail and our neighborhood is a great pass through zone.  This means that deer are on our property every day.  We don't see them every day, but we know they are around.  We rarely take photos, but this guy was standing still for a while so we were able to get a couple of shots.  They are so fun to watch.  I don't mind sharing my garden and flowers with them. 

Deer:  I think they are trying to take a picture. 

Deer: I better run away!