Monday, July 18, 2011

One Year

Disbelief.  Amazement. Astonished…insert any other synonym and it would semi-adequately describe my feelings.  It was July 18th, 2010 we pulled out of Derby headed to the southwest.  The year has gone by so very, very quickly I can hardly believe it.  Some days it feels like forever ago, others it feels like just yesterday.

Our homesickness has been eased with almost monthly visits by someone from the Midwest.  If I recall correctly we had contact with “home” every month except September and May.  {July ‘10 Dwain & Peggy, Aug. ‘10 Dwain & Peggy again, my mom, sister niece &  nephew, Chris & Mandy and our niece Libby, October ‘10 Dwain & Peggy, my mom & dad, Nov. ‘10 went to KS for Thanksgiving, Dec. ‘10 Dwain & Peggy for Emma’s bday leading into the new year, Jan. ‘11 my aunt Lisa & cousin Megan, February ‘11 the kids & I went back to KS, Mar. ‘11 my sister & her two kiddos came again, April ‘11 my mom came, June ‘11 my cousin Diane came to ride back to KS with me for my June/July KS trip.} Whew! I feel very fortunate that we have been blessed with as many visitors as we have.

Besides terribly missing family & friends our move has felt like a long term vacation so far.  I for one don’t “work” anymore. Removal from our day in & day out obligations have freed us to find & enjoy down time with the kids to enjoy simply daily things.  It feels like a slower paced life.  We’ve been blessed to find a great church to worship & serve in.  Matt has taken a role in the Ushering ministry at church, and I am a small group leader in the 3-5 yr old classroom.  We have become friends with 2 of our neighbors, as well as another family in our neighborhood and my hair dresser all with children our kiddos ages.  Emma loves her school and has met many playmates.  Aidan will be starting at a preschool in town this fall.

We have fallen into a great routine.  Church takes most the day Sunday and we end each Sunday evening with a Skype call to Grandma & Papa.  Not the “same” as seeing them each Sunday after church, but thankful for the technology we have to remain in touch.  We “go to town” Wednesdays for story time at the library & grocery shopping.  And that’s about it.  Kinda sounds dull compared to the hustle & bustle we seemed to live in KS.  But this time spent during the warmer months swimming pretty much everyday & the milder months spent at neighborhood parks playing with friends keeps us grounded & create happy times as a family.

Here’s a few lists that sum up what I’ve learned this past year…

Things I Miss About KS-                                     Things I Do NOT Miss-

- trees & shade                                                      - humidity

- friends & fam                                                       - unpredictable weather

- church activities at FCC                                 - the pull of constantly going/doing

- our babysitters                                                    - tornadoes

- friends & family                                                    - ice storms

- MOPS & women’s bible studies                      - hail

- date nights with my hubs

- being available to friends & fam in need

- the smell of rain showers

- seasons, especially Fall

- grass, smell of cut grass

- did i mention my friends?

- our swing set

- wheat fields

- bday cakes from Karra’s


Things I like About AZ -                                                 Things I Do NOT Like About AZ -

- may be hot, but predictable weather                 - scorpions

- clear blue skies & sunshine                                       - stinky rain

- new things to see & do                                             - family & friends not here

- our pool                                                                         - haboobs

- our beautiful home & it’s price ;)                           - rattle snakes

- my free time to spend with my kids                      - 20 lanes of traffic

- 75 mph speed limits                                               - doing laundry, thanks to scorpions

- flip flops year round                                                    - lack of cold tap water

- no fuss with coats & rarely jackets                        - brushing teeth w/above water

- no ice or snow…or mud                                            - 80 degrees…indoors                 

- my car stays clean (see above)                             - electric bills

- mountain views                                                           - 5-5:30 AM sunrise

- fall & spring break for school

- lots of splash pads

- clear, bright, starry night sky

- diversity

Not sure how the lists all total up, but I do know a year after taking the final step of obedience in moving that we still believe we made the right step.  We still see God working though our obedience to follow His will for our lives.  There have been hard days and moments of deep sadness, but I have found peace in trying to make life happy here, even though our decision to come caused others we left behind pain.  I try to not live for the hope of moving back, but to be content in where He has me.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A Good Week…

This was just a good week.  Nothing super exciting planned out in advance, but resulted in great times with friends & as a family.

Monday was down time at home.  Got things done around the house & went for a swim.  So glad Matt got the pool cleared up from the yuck of the great Haboob.


{Matt cleaning the filters for the 2nd time in 2 days. Gross!}

Tuesday- A former co-worker from my teacher days was in the Phoenix area visiting her daughter & grandkids.  They were interested in taking the trek out our way to take a dip in our pool.  It was great fun to catch up and the kids played so well!  Her daughter Melissa & I have gotten to know each other over the years and she moved to the Phoenix area a couple years before we did.  Small world!  It’s always like having a slice of home when we visit with friends & family from KS!!  It’s also very comforting to know that should an emergency arise here in AZ that we have someONE to call!!  


{She has 4 ranging from going into 1st grade down to one a month younger than Isaac. We snagged all the lil’ fish for a quick pic}

Wednesday- Another day at home.  Enjoyed a morning swim after my treadmill workout.  Emma is very into “extreme couponing” so she clipped coupons all afternoon.  She sorted them into envelopes “Hare, suplis, food, cleening”. :)  I prepared a list for our shopping trip.

Thurs- We hit the library for (shamefully) our first trip of the summer.  They kids get so excited about checking out books.  Emma’s fav was a kids cookbook in which she claimed each item looked “delightful”.  Aidan’s fav was a Extreme Scary Spider book.  Full of large photos of spiders & even some nasty spider bites.  Wonderful considering Emma is just now off antibiotics for a spider bite souvenir she got in KS. :) Tackled the store for groceries & realized yet again I am NOT cut out for couponing.

Friday- Early start as Matt & I had to give a fasting blood sample at his office for our new health insurance changes coming up.  The kids enjoyed a QT donut from the break room & managed to rearrange & fingerprint up every surface in Matt’s pristine office. :)  We headed off to the splash pad where Matt could straighten his orderly office & enjoy the quiet that is office life. :)  We spent a large portion of the day at Westgate.  The kids LOVE it there.  Riding the outdoor escalator, throwing money in the fountains, splash pad, Which Wich for lunch & finally some Cold Stone to check off our Summer Fun list

   DSC08921 DSC08924

{Aidan karate chopping water & Isaac getting splashed in the face b/c he was constantly looking down wondering where the water went…JUST in time for it to shoot him in the face!}

DSC08929    DSC08939 DSC08941  DSC08945  DSC08967DSC08947

{Drying in the sun…as if my children have the complexion for “laying out”.  Aidan showing his watermelon & gummy bear ice cream. gRRRoss!}

DSC08950  DSC08965  DSC08968 DSC08977

Any time Emma or Aidan would leave the water Isaac would come drag them back in.  He’d grab Aidan & pull, or say “"Mem-ma, MEM-MA” to lure Emma.}  

Home in the late afternoon for them to rest & mommy to spend a couple hours on conference calls ironing out all the insurance issues surrounding Isaac’s accident.  I am thankful that God gave me an endless amount of patience today & the perfect timing with tired (quiet) kiddos to handle the endless phone calls.  We were given a wonderful claims person  through State Farm & another wonderful claims person through the other insurance company.  Both ladies ironically from Kansas!! :)  Hoping to have lots of answers the end of next week.

Emma & I enjoyed a spontaneous date night at the Goodyear Ball park.  Once a month on Friday nights they show a movie that is out on DVD.  Tonight’s was Never Say Never.  Not a movie I initially thought was something Emma needed to see, but was told by a trusted friend that it offered some great opportunity for conversation. I could not have picked a better way to watch this with her.  Just she & I sitting together on a blanket in the ball field w/ no little brother distractions, or mommy cleaning & managing “household” chores thus not actually watching it with her. She had BEGGED to go, and once there it was much different than she expected.  It was kind of a documentary telling his life story, not him acting in a kiddy movie like I think she expected. :)

DSC08981DSC08983 DSC08988DSC08993

{Great convo on what is “popular”, the strains of becoming famous, the things he’s given up in order to get what he has, pointing out he gives God credit for the talents he’s been blessed with, seeing him not always be first, not always succeed, and have to make tough choices along the road.  We discussed how it will be interesting to see how his life goes as he gets older. Will he fall prey to the many pitfalls the world holds for those in the spotlight or will he hold true to his solid & moral upbringing? I predict & pray that he will stay true & make his family proud.  He’s surrounded himself with other artists that have kept their heads “attached”…Usher, Boys2Men, the Smith family, etc}

That’s my 2 JB cents!! :)

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Our God is healer, awesome in power…

Our God. Our God.

(I’ll spare you my singing as Chris Tomlin does it best…take a listen at the bottom of the post.)

I sit in disbelief that 2 weeks have passed since Isaac’s accident.  Two weeks I’ve had with my healthy baby, that for a short time following the accident I wondered if life as I knew it would ever be the same.  Two weeks of feeling incredibly blessed beyond measure.

I shared the details of the accident in my last post “What Happened”, but left out what I feel is the utmost important of all details…the bits & pieces of that day that some would all “coincidences”, but I call the plan of my God.  A God that cares about the smallest of details in my life. {psst..BTW he cares about yours too!}

So, here listed in a random, yet bulleted way are the praises & evidence of God’s protective, healing hand on my baby & on each detail of that day.

Thankful for Isaac’s location.  Had he been further into the road he would have been knocked down & ran over.  His exact location, her speed & timing of braking resulted in him being thrown out of the roadway.  As quickly as my cousin ran to pick him up there were off duty EMTs & an emergency room nurse (neighbor of mine when I was a child) there to assess him.  Emergency care transport was very close to us as they were lined up to drive in the parade that was about to begin. 

There were so many family members and friends surrounding us that helped contact family, care for Emma & Aidan & provide support for me.  I was able to load & leave with Isaac & not have a worry about the other 2 kids.  Such a relief. My aunt, cousin & brother in law stayed with the other kids keeping the evening “normal” for them.  Finished watching the parade, got cotton candy & made smores at Mimi’s house. So happy they were cared for and loved on in a time that must have been scary in their little worlds.

The timing was just right as Matt had arrived in KS the night prior.  His parents picked him up from the Wichita airport late Friday night after catching a different flight b/c his first was canceled.  His15 year class reunion was scheduled for Saturday evening.  We had first hoped his reunion would be the following Saturday the 2nd so I could go with him, but the class opted for the 25th instead.  Yay!!  If it had been the 2nd Matt would not have been in KS at the time of the accident.  3 hours away was much better than 20 hrs.  Thankfully at the reunion was his sister (married one of his classmates) so they were the ones to receive the call &  drive Matt to the hospital.

Blessed that a long time family friend was in town staying with us at moms. Due to unfortunate loss in her own life she is well versed in medical situations. She asked just the right questions of the paramedics that helped me get answers when I was an all out mess.  She rode to the hospital with mom & home with us.

Grateful that in the parade crowd around us was a friend of my sister & brother in laws, who happened to be the photographer that took my maternity pics when I was preggers with Isaac & had taken pics of the kids earlier in the week, & a very strong prayer warrior.  As cries were coming out of my mouth somewhere deep inside I knew God was calling me to work through it all and find a bit of rest in the promises of his protection & provision for my life & Isaac’s.  Unable to compose myself & form complete thoughts she came to the crowd surrounding me as I knelt on the ground and said “pray Teresa, PRAY!” And she did.  And I must admit that thinking back to all the commotion following the accident I can remember various people coming up to me, various people saying reassuring words like “it’s going to be ok” or “he’s crying that’s a good sign” or “calm down Teresa”, yet they are all kind of a blur.  But I can distinctly remember parts of her prayer.  Praying that God would send angels to protect Isaac.  That God would provide healing for Isaac.  She prayed for me to have strength, peace & calm.  It was after her prayer I gained composure as they needed me to go be with Isaac. My poor baby boy being held down to remain still & placed on a back board & head “brace”. But PTL alive. With no visible open injuries. God & His angles at work.

As we were transported to the hospital I just touched Isaac & rubbed his arms & legs to calm him.  He cried for the first hour & a half and calmed once half way to Topeka.  I worried most about the possibility of head injury, internal injuries or broken bones. With the “brace” around his head I couldn’t tell if there was any visible swelling.  I knew from a past injury where Aidan sported a golf ball goose egg from falling off 2 steps onto a tile floor head first that outward swelling after an impact is good…no outward swelling is a sign of potential swelling “inside”.

I many times thought of the verse “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength”.   God had dealt me more than I could handle at that moment, yet I knew that sometimes He does that to force us to rely on Him.  And that I was. The EMT did a great job trying to distract me from worrying & I gently tried my best at getting them to drive faster!! :) I had wondered along the way if a book I was currently reading about a family that had a child suffer an extreme injury due to a car accident, yet the family held tight to God, or the recent diagnosed of our minister with an incurable disease yet accepts that God’s will may not be exactly what he had planned for his life wasn’t preparation for my heart for what I was going to be facing.  More on that another time.

To my amazement, and the amazement of others all CT scans & 2 different chest X-rays all came back clear. So did his urine indicating no internal bleeding.  Hit by a car & thrown yet only a scratch. (that didn’t even leave a scar!) Each bone in tact.  No precious organs bruised or damaged.  Not even a night of observation, although mama would have preferred for her own sanity!!

They had just removed him from the restraints and board when Matt, Chris & Mandy arrived.  Isaac was EVERYWHERE!!  Flipping and flopping all over the hospital bed. Doing his best to dive off in any direction.  Flirting with the nurse, Holly, giving her “team” (fist bumps) with a big cheesy grin and flirtatious eyes!  Fairly certain when Matt walked in he thought “you had me rush here for this?!?”. :) But once I explained what had happened he was grasping at the miracle I had just begin to try and process.

The accident occurred right before 7 pm and by 11:30 pm we were dismissed from the ER.  Heading home to Mom & Dad’s to “sleep” I was finally in bed around 3 and maybe slept for an hour.  All I could do was hold my baby and look at how perfect in health he was.  He slept great and napped well the next day.  Ran and played non stop as if nothing had ever happened.  Leaving us adults & especially the eye witnesses the job of processing it.

The day following the accident & later as the week progressed we received phone calls, messages, & visitors many of whom where in the crowd, most of whom witnessed him getting hit.  It’s been apparent to me how vastly different it is for those who witnessed it to process & “heal” from what occurred.  People I know & some I do not are struggling to rid their brain of the sound &/or visual of the accident. I have been haunted that b/c what I feel was lack of supervision on my part lead to other people having this terrible imaged engrained in their head. Or I know for others it brought them back to a painful time in their life where they experienced trauma or loss. With time I pray & must believe it will get better.  However, I also believe to keep the miracle  & healing God provided into perspective it’s also important that I do remember seeing my baby curled around a car bumper & thrown.  Scary as it was.  If I forget the indescribable, gut wrenching feeling in my stomach & in my heart I might lose sight of how great my God is.

I can only hope that sharing our story, the against the odds outcome & our giving the glory where it belongs pulls someone closer to God or maybe even introduces Him to them. Because without Him I could have easily had no hope, no healing & allowed this to unravel my life.  I could have let guilt, anger or resentment fill my heart.

Exactly a week to the day of the accident there are no, I mean NO marks indicating an accident.   Swelling gone. Bruising did not worsen as Dr predicted and is now absolutely gone.  Under arm & forehead scrapes lost their scabs & left no lasting scar.  Completely.Unbelievable.


(Taken just before he went swimming & lost his scab. Can barely see it on the left side of his forehead)

Matt might have said it best (& in a much shorter) manner…there are no explanations for how he faired so well in such an accident.  There’s no one we can point to that humanly did anything to make his healthy outcome what it is.  Leaves only One to give the credit. 

And that we will.

I ask for continued prayer for some of my family & myself that have taken on guilt & part of the blame or “coulda, shoulda, or what if”.  There are so many ways this accident could have went, but so very thankful that we have a healthy boy that spends lots of time in trouble to help us work through it all. Please also pray for the driver.  She is most likely shaken & having to process this as well.

This week & the coming will be an adjustment.  Back “home” to AZ.  Missing family & friends.  Readjusting back home.  Working though detox from family fun & grandma treats. The mess of insurance companies & hospital bills will begin…dealing with insurance companies ranks up there as one of my least favorite activities.  I pray it progresses with ease.

More Summer Fun

Summer Checklist (2)

Several Summer Fun activities helped me as mama pack & prepare for our trip back to KS.  Build a fort & movie day helped keep them entertained while I packed. And PJ day helped keep the amount of laundry down while I was getting stuff together! :)  And here they thought it was fun all for fun…they had NO idea how helpful it was to mommy!! Hehehe.  I’m so sneaky!!

I might even be guilty of adding items to the list I already knew we would be doing…kinda like listing “showering” on your daily to do list.  You know going into it that you’ll be successful at SOMEthing. :) So I knew our visit to KS would include traveling out of state, visiting grandparents & going to a fair.

New Mexico & Kansas

i phone pics 1406.21 - 6.26 Melvern leg of KS trip (11)

Seeing grandparents.

 6.15 - 6.18 1st leg of KS trip (15) 7.4.11 last mimi papa visit in KS (6)      6.21 - 6.26 Melvern leg of KS trip (66) 6.21 - 6.26 Melvern leg of KS trip (138)

In preparation for our trip Emma & I went to get our nails done.  Whew AZ is rugged on a gals feet!!  I was uhMAZED at how wonderful it felt after 10 months of darn near nothing but flip flops to have my feet pampered. Little did I know the salon had a children’s pedicure chair too.  Emma was thrilled!!  I got french tip, she got…what else, but hot pink w/ zebra stripes.  Those gals are awesome using nails as a teeny tiny canvas!!!

i phone pics 127 i phone pics 132

My co pilot on the trip was my cousin Diane.  She flew in on Sunday the 12th and was hardly here 48 hours so we wanted to cram something Arizonaish into her “stay”.  So we took her on a small hike & picnic at the White Tank Mountains park.  I assured her it was safe…

6.13.11 Hiking with Didi (10)6.13.11 Hiking with Didi (6) P

Nothing beats the clear, blue skies of AZ.  Who knew even a cactus could be pretty?!?

6.13.11 Hiking with Didi (14) P 6.13.11 Hiking with Didi (4) P 

Had to get a shot of Didi with something Arizonaish.

6.13.11 Hiking with Didi (8) P 6.13.11 Hiking with Didi (9) P

The cactus below is so cute and misleading.  While it may appear soft, fluffy and as if little cactus “balls” have fallen off the plant onto the ground that is NOT the case.  I saw what appeared to be a cactus ball laying on the ground.  BARELY touched it with my flip flop (yes, this was a VERY rugged hiking trail ;) ) and it attached itself to my shoe!!!  Somehow in the process I got one on my other heel!!  AHH…my fresh pedicure!!! :)

6.13.11 Hiking with Didi (12) P   6.13.11 Hiking with Didi

Crafty Creation…VERY delayed

So a month ago I posted this before picture:

 Jewelry Holder

with the promise I’d have the after photos of my crafty creation. Well a month later here they are.

 6.11.11 Jewelry Holder (8) 6.11.11 Jewelry Holder  

Nothing fancy.  Nothing elaborate.  Just an expandable silverware contraption ($10), some 1/2 price knobs from Hob Lob, spray paint & super glue. You are welcome to search your house for other items….that’s how we found the basket and two hooks on the the front. :)

My old jewelry holder was a clear pocket system that attached to a hanger & hung in my closet amongst my clothes.  I liked it, however it began falling apart so when we moved I disposed of it and resorted to placing all my jewelry in the drawer of a desk like table in our room. 

There were many problems with that lack of system. #1 Isaac knew where my jewelry was. #2 Necklaces, bracelets & ear rings were all jumbled up & a knotted mess therefore I never even wanted to wear any of it. #3 Isaac knew where it was.  #4 My silver pieces started to tarnish quite bad…not sure if it was the wooden drawer or the AZ climate.  Time will tell.

I was pleased with the results for 2 main reasons…it hangs on my closet wall close to my clothing…handy proximity. AND I can see most all pieces hanging neatly on the knobs as opposed to knotted together in the drawer or thrown on my floor. Yay!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Land of Oz Part III

The last leg of our Kansas trip was with the in-laws.  The 4th of July is a big family holiday for the Stouts and it conveniently followed the Melvern Fair!! Yay for timing!!  Time spent with the Stouts means swimming, snow cones, more swimming & lots more snow cones!! :)

I love the look in Isaac’s eyes in these pics with Papa.  Excited & so happy!! He loves playing with a “pedo” (torpedo) in the pool.

6.15 - 6.18 1st leg of KS trip (33) 6.15 - 6.18 1st leg of KS trip (32) 

He also enjoyed swimming with his cousin Alex.  I remember what seemed like a few short years ago I took a picture of my bright, blue eyed nephew Alex in a very similar yellow baby floaty!!  Speaking of swim floaties…we wanted to ensure Isaac’s safety… :)

6.15 - 6.18 1st leg of KS trip (14) 6.15 - 6.18 1st leg of KS trip (44)

We had the special surprise to spend extra time with Madison, Dallen & Marcia.  Uncle Sam was working near Atlanta so they were able to come swim and enjoy the infamous Stout Snow Cone one afternoon. :)6.27 - 7.2 Atlanta leg of KS trip (36)

The kids (mostly Emma) enjoyed helping Grandma work in the kitchen.  Grandma made all of Daddy’s favorites…Peanut Butter Fingers, some type of peanut butter squares that should make the Reese PB cup company worry, and Bierocks.  Below the kids are helping Grandma make cinnamon rolls from the left over bierock dough.

 6.27 - 7.2 Atlanta leg of KS trip (68) 6.27 - 7.2 Atlanta leg of KS trip (67) 

Emma also helped fill star shaped ice cube trays.  I mean what fun is the 4th of July without thematic ice cubes?!?! 

6.27 - 7.2 Atlanta leg of KS trip (57)

The “before” of our fireworks display.  Luckily Matt & Chris shopped for explosives.  If it were me we might have sparklers, poppers, smoke bombs & a $10 fountain would be the finale.  Not these boys.  Shoot they let Aidan pick out a fire cake that cost more then what I’d spend in 2-3 years of fireworks!! :)

7.4.11 4th of July (2)

Their display requires prep work…with the close eye of one of my boys…oh great….

i phone pics 159

Aidan’s not so sure of the noise.  Isaac loves popping poppers with a flip flop on his hand!! So cute!!  He went through box after box of poppers!!

  7.4.11 4th of July (34) 6.27 - 7.2 Atlanta leg of KS trip (52)     

Here’s my patriotic babies!!  Not pictured is Emma’s so-she-thinks American Girl doll with a dress matching hers. 

My 4th SweetiesMy BabyDSC08852My 4th Girl

Chris, Mandy & lil’ Libby w/Max in the oven!! We also had the special treat of having Adam & Beth come down for the 4th.  Unfortunately it rained most of the time they were here and cleared off as they were leaving.  Luckily they were able to see a bit of our display in their rearview mirror on their way home !:)DSC08786    DSC08808 I LOVE this picture of Beth & Emma.  Smiles weren’t too plentiful with Emma that day.  She was VERY sad that the rain was ruining what she thought the day should be…can’t blame her, but it’s her first rainy 4th in all her 7 & A HALF years.


Here are the pyro boys AFTER display photo.  Scary, scary mess of of fire work!! Luckily they weren’t hurt…although my nephew Alex was on the hand by a smoke bomb…OUCH.

  7.4.11 4th of July (55) 

We celebrated the 4th on the 3rd, so the 4th was left for getting packed back up in order to leave super bright and early on the 5th.  We did take some time away to meet my family & friend Michelle for lunch in El Dorado.  Everyone needed a bit more time with Isaac & attempted closure following the accident.  Got me some Freddy’s before leaving KS YUM!     DSC08866DSC08869

We left about 3 am to head back to AZ.  We find driving while the kids sleep the first portion is the way to go.  We made a few more stops on the way home, but still made good time…even when you factor in that we drove through the largest Haboob AZ had seen in over 30 years!!

Here’s the timer for our drive back to AZ, then the time elapse that we spent total in the van from leaving AZ-driving all around KS seeing friends - then all the way back to AZ and lastly the trip mileage display. That’s a lot of seat time!! The kids did SO very well!

sept upload 009 i phone pics 170i phone pics 169 

All went so well & was bittersweet to leave, but already looking forward to our trip back for Thanksgiving!! Yay!

Powered by Blogger.