Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Meltdown in St. Louis..

It's a gorgeous day when we make our next stop in St. Louis. We are SO excited to do something we have never done before - go to the top of the St. Louis Arch.

Apparently we did not even think we needed to take the time to "properly prepare" our children for this adventure. Apparently Reece thought, when we told him we were going to the top of that Arch, he -in his 7 year old mind - pictured us scaling the thing with a rope on the outside.

Major meltdown for Reece as children happily hop and skip past us on the way to their adventure. Well....we took some time to help Reece off "the ledge" yet he still kept a grumpy face in some of the pictures... Lesson learned for these parents.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

High School Reunion

When we planned this trip and knew we'd be heading to Kansas City, he was pleasantly surprised when some old school buddies decided to plan a "reunion" for the short time we would be there. It worked out so well that they even had it at their old school.
Brian was thrilled to see his former Music teacher and Math teacher when we arrived.

Before the party began, his former Math teacher took him around on a tour and that was just wonderful for Brian to see what has changed and what has stayed the same.
Couldn't resist getting a picture of Brian pretending to get into one of the lockers down his old school hallway.
Here is most of the ones who came back to see each other after more years than we'd like to admit.
Posted by Picasa

Special people along the way....

As I said in an earlier post, we decided to really make the most of this trip in that we purposely chose to see some special people along the way.
I was so thankful to be able to spend an evening with Uncle Sandy and Aunt Laurene. It was so good to hear about their children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. I've heard it many times before, but I still love to hear how my twin cousins were born and how they didn't even know they'd be having twins until the actual birth. They are such a sweet couple and I love spending time with them. Brian, my history buff husband, enjoyed his time with Uncle Sandy as Sandy was actually a POW. So thankful the Lord had his hand in the war ending right when Uncle Sandy needed it to for survival. Just a great evening catching up with them.

When we left Iowa, we headed down to Kansas City for a day. There I was able to see my cousin Laura and her 4 boys (her daughter was away at Opera Camp), my Aunt Sharon and my Uncle John. It's been a long time since I had seen Laura. Basically she has had 5 children since I saw her last. That's a LONG time overdue!
Aunt Sharon treated us to a wonderful lunch out while we all caught up with each other and then Uncle John was waiting for us when we went back to their home. It was just wonderful spending that time with them!
Posted by Picasa

Water Park Tradition...

A highlight, of the summer, is when Aunt Nar takes us to the best water park I've ever been too. The kids cannot believe it is only 10 min. from her home and she only goes there when we come. This year they added a motorized roller coaster water-ride. That was just amazing! Clearly, at such a place, there just simply isn't much time to take pictures. I like to ride everything the kids are riding.
We always end the day with dipping dots. So funny that Aunt Nar's friend was amazed that we do stay literally all day. By the time we get to the dipping dots - we are thoroughly exhausted! Good way to end that day!

A first for Brian, Lindsey and I. We have joked, the past 5 years, about riding the tallest water slide in the park. Never could we go beyond joking. Well.....this year we were crazy enough to do it! It is 6 stories high and you do feel like you are literally going straight down. They have you cross your arms, over your chest and lay back for the ride down. For me, I was still in that position in the end, when Brian came to pull me out. I had my eyes closed the entire time. Lindsey loved it so much that she did it a second time with her Daddy. Once was plenty for me to just say that "I did it".
Brian had to take a picture of the cafe sign because it says "pop" instead of soda. And yes, I still say Pop. Soda is what I bake with. :)
The water park, with Aunt Nar, is truly a highlight of our whole summer!


We have some "Aunt Nar traditions" that we just cannot live without. One is going to Chuckie Cheese. The kids have to get in front of that video camera and get as goofy as possible.

It's all about the tickets for this girl!
Another "tradition" is hitting at least one movie. This year it was Toy Story 3 which was a huge hit for the kids and adults!
Something that wasn't traditional but just a blast was when Uncle Kevin and Aunt Nar took us to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat musical. Awesome!!! I laughed so hard when Elvis came out as the Pharoah of Egypt.
Posted by Picasa


Well..this year we did our annual trip to Iowa and, for the first time, chose to make stops all along the way going home. The first leg of the trip was quite typical. Dehydrate our children and make it all the way to Indianapolis with maybe 1 or 2 stops. Repeat on day two and end up in IA after 19 hours of driving.

I love this time! I was able to listen to two books: Forgotten God by Francis Chan and The Pursuit of God by A.W. Tozer. Brian also listened to the Tozer book. The kids blissfully listen to their own audio books and get a couple of videos along the way as well. It is like a mini retreat that I don't normally get when I see all of my "to do's" at home.

We loved celebrating Grandma's b-day with her and Grandpa along with Aunt Nar and Uncle Kevin.

Seriously fun is this hand game with Aunt Nar -- haven't we all played this one before? Another hit was the thumb war.
Reece with his namesake...

The kids baked cookies for the nursing home staff and handed them out to everyone. Brian also played the piano for the residents. I LOVED how they requested Christmas music in July!!
I lost track of how many evenings we ended the night with ice cream with Aunt Nar and Uncle Kevin. I told the kids they had to have these crunch ice cream cones. A childhood memory of mine...

Sunday, August 15, 2010

3289.7 MILES!!!

Awesome time! Great memories! I'll have to fill you in sometime! :)

Saturday, August 07, 2010

A traumatic entrance....

Tomorrow my baby turns 7!! Wow....dare I say "time flies by"? I thought it might be fun to type out Reece's "birth story". I'm sure only interesting to me, but I love to look back and see how - despite things not going as I had wished - IF things had gone as I wished, Reece would not be here with us. So I write out Reece's birth story so thankful that the Lord had His hand upon that day 7 years ago.

"Dear Janet,
What a surprise today brought! As we arrived at Akron City Hospital at 10am little did we know about what was in store. We had a few minutes to visit while they waited for a room in L&D. By 11 am we were settled in room 222. Your nurse, Debra Horning, was gentle and informative. While awaiting admission questions and procedures you, Brian, Debra Kinzel and I prayed for God's protection on you and your baby, for your strength and wisdom of all involved. By 11:30 you had the monitor on and we heard Reece's heartbeat. Debra K. massaged your hand and talked to you about relaxing while your IV was started. Your pitocin was started about 11:40 while you relaxed in the rocker. Dr. Hutzler came in and said he'd come in again in awhile and check you after your contractions had started. He was pleased to see some contractions after only a small amount of pitocin had been given to you. Anesthesia came in and asked you a few questions so they would be ready when you wanted your epidural.

At 12:20p.m. you were still really comfortable. Dr. Hutzler was busy delivering another baby and nurse Debra said he'd be in later to check on you. I suggested that Brian go down and get a bite to eat now while labor was just getting started and the Dr. would not be in for awhile.

At 12:45 pm you tried standing and leaning forward on the birthing ball. We talked about walking with tele as you did with previous births. I thought it would be good to get the baby down farther before too long. After this the Dr. was in and examined you and said the baby was lower and that the membranes were bulging so he wanted to put on an internal monitor. You questioned if he was going to rupture your membranes and he said he was just going to put an internal monitor on the baby's head and that might cause the membranes to leak a little. The internal monitor did rupture the membranes and he said he could feel the baby's hand by the head and suggested you stay in bed now.

He said when the membranes ruptured the baby moved up higher off of the cervix and he was very concerned the cord might come down. He said after the baby moved down again you could be up and walking. He and Nurse Debra commented about how good the baby's heartbeat looked. Brian came back as all of this was going on. Needless to say he was shocked and disappointed that he wasn't there during the procedure. I felt bad about that, too.

Dr. Hutzler left the room and Nurse Debra and I straightened up the bed while Brian and Doula Debra comforted you. You were definitely having some harder contractions and your back was beginning to hurt more. I got out a warm pack for your back as well.

About 1:30 Dr. Hutzler came back into the room and examined you again. He said this time he could still feel the baby's hand but also could feel the cord. He felt there was no time to waste but that an immediate cesarean was necessary. He assured you that the baby's heartbeat was great now but he had concerns that the baby was at risk if you continued to labor. Needless to say we were all in a state of shock. I leaned over and asked you if you understood that they were going to do a cesarean. As tears welled up in your eyes I tried to explain why the surgery was needed as soon as possible. You commented that you shouldn't have let him rupture the membranes. I assured you that this was not a result of that.

Very suddenly we had 2 nurses, anesthesia and Dr. Hutzler all in the room at one time preparing to move your bed to surgery. Dr. Hutzler said I could go into surgery with Brian. Brain was so sympathetic and didn't even get a chance to spend time with you before surgery since they moved you so quickly.

While you were in surgery getting your spinal, Brian and I suited up and then sat outside the room. We prayed as we sat and waited. When they allowed us in the room Brian immediately went to sit by you and comfort you. The nurses asked me to sit over by the baby warmer. As I sat there waiting I prayed for you and Brian. I knew how nervous he was about being in surgery and I knew the Lord would give him what he needed to comfort you.

At 1:57 Reece Edward was born. As they brought him out they were VERY surprised to see that his cord was wrapped around his wrist and had a TRUE knot in it. All I could do was say, "Praise you Lord for your protection!" By having the cesarean early in the labor it prevented any chance that the knot would have tightened as he descended during pushing and birth. We prayed for God's protection and He definitely was holding Reece in His hands today.

After holding him up for you to see they took Reece to an adjoining room to check him. They motioned for me to follow them. The two nurses caring for him were pleased at how great he looked. They commented about how pink he was and how big he was. His apgars were 8 and 9. While Dr. Hutzler was finishing your surgery the nurses weighed, measured and foot printed Reece. I asked them to do footprints for the kids too and they put footprints on a diaper for them. By 2:15 he was wrapped and they asked me if I would like to take him to you and Brian. Of course I said, "yes". Finally you got a look at your healthy big boy.

He weighed 8 - 7 1/2 lbs and was 21" long. He made it quite obvious that he knew your voices. He stared right at Brian. At 2:40 we headed to recovery with Reece in your arms. By 3p.m. he was snuggled up with you and nursing. After that he had a bath and then was ready for your arms again. When Debra and I left at 4:30 Reece was asleep in Brian's arms and you were resting comfortably."