Sunday, November 16, 2014

Blessed Beyond Measure

It's been a while since I've posted a photo update, so here goes. It seems as my kids have gotten older, they've gotten much busier. (Is it like that for everyone?) We really enjoyed Miracle League baseball. Ronnie has coached three different sports this year while Alexis and I volunteered. Brandon and Jordan had a wonderful time playing too!

We got some truly incredible news at the end of October. We found out that Miss Jordan had been chosen as a grant recipient by Access, and she had to go to Boo Fest to accept. Ronnie and I have been trying to find a way to afford to have our van modified for her wheelchair for years, but the cost has been prohibitive. They decided to fund her conversion completely, and we were floored. Ronnie called me with the good news while I was at the dentist, and the dentist said it was the first time anyone ever cried happy tears in her chair. 

We had a complete blast at Boo Fest because everything is accessible for kids with disabilities. They even had a ramp built so wheelchairs could be rolled up on the stage. They thought of everything! The best part according to the girls... Anna and Elsa were there. 

Brandon was not impressed with Anna and Elsa at all, and I wasn't surprised. Throughout his life, we've noticed some behaviors that made us think that he might have autism. We brought him to Children's Hospital in the beginning of October, and the doctor recently called me back to confirm our suspicions. He has ASD Level 1, also known as Aspergers. We did get some good news at the same time. (My life's a lot like a roller coaster lately.) They gave him an IQ test and he is gifted as well. I always knew he was smart, but this explains his insane Math skills.

So we now officially have three special needs kids... I have to say that I wasn't surprised by the news, as I've been telling his pediatrician that he has autism for years. His diagnosis will help him get services that he's needed for a long time. 

Halloween was wonderful but slightly chilly this year. I didn't take as many photos as I usually do because it was cold and the kids didn't want to stand still for long. Alexis was Tiana, Jordan was Sofia the First, and Brandon was a police officer. He said someone had to keep all of us in line! 

Brandon and Alexis have been attending a parent led social skills group for a few months, and last week we had a party to celebrate their accomplishments and good behavior. I asked Brandon to put his arm around Alexis to pose for a photo, and this is what I got. While it's not the posed photo I planned, it captures their personalities very well. 

Winter has come early to Louisiana! I sent the kids out to play and they kept coming back in for more clothes until they looked like this. I had to get a photo so I could send it to a friend in Wisconsin. They still wear shorts when it's in the 50's while people down here are looking for gloves. 

My van was shipped off to be converted over a week ago, so we have been driving Ronnie to work when we need to use his car. It's such a big difference. The kids fight like cats and dogs because they can all touch each other in the back seat. The sacrifice will be worth it though. I can make it! (I hope.)

One of the pluses of driving Ronnie to work is that we pass by my grandparents' house on the way there and back. It gives us plenty of time to stop so we can visit. My grandma has been sifting through some rubble from a house that burned down on their property. She's trying to get rid of all of the glass and nails. My kids thought it was awesome, and treated it like an archaeological dig. Jordan kept looking for artifacts and only finding "rubbish". 

My grandparents also recommended that we stop by Lock 1 in Pearl River, Louisiana so the kids could see the lock. They were completely fascinated, and to tell the truth I thought it was pretty cool as well. It was definitely difficult to take a photo through the fence and barbed wire, but I managed.

The kids were disappointed that they couldn't get closer, but the government saw them coming and put up lots of fencing. They were all curious about everything, so we came home and looked online for videos about dams and locks. It was a neat experience.

Now we are gearing up to attend my brother's wedding, and Thanksgiving is coming up soon but I'm sure I'll be back with another update before you know it! I hope you all have a wonderfully happy holiday season.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Hello (Beautiful) Hope

I absolutely had to have Basic Grey's Knee Highs and Bow Ties collection. The chevron paper, and little pink hearts?! It's perfect for scrapping any photos that include Jordan because the collection perfectly reflects her vibrant personality. Add in some photos of one of the best days of Jordan's life, and it's a match made in heaven.

I used circular embellishments to mimic the bubbles that Hope blew during Jordan's dolphin encounter. I love it when a layout comes together so easily. It totally makes my day!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Making A Splash

My mojo was missing in action for a while but it's back! It helps that I've had two scrappy days with a good friend. These days, I'm more likely to sit still and work on something if I've got a buddy to keep me scrapping. 

Dolphin Tale_Clearwater_Scrapbook Page
This layout definitely has a story behind it. We paid for a photo op at Clearwater Marine Aquarium with Nicholas, and we got some amazing photos of him jumping behind us. We didn't realize that part of the experience would include him SPLASHING us! As you can see, the kids are mostly in front of me so I blocked the majority of the water with my body. It was February and the water was freezing cold. I was so wet that my shoes squished when I walked. To make matters even more interesting, we were scheduled to meet my in-laws back at the hotel for a very fancy dinner. We didn't have time to change! We went to dinner still damp from our adventure. It's funny now, but it wasn't so funny at the time. 

All of the supplies on my page came from Crate Paper's Random collection, and I was inspired by Susan Weinroth's gorgeous "Hello Fall" project. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

It's The Most Wonderful Time.... Almost!

Now that Halloween's over, I'm turning my thoughts to our Christmas card! I have to choose and order them early this year because of all of the BIG events that are coming up in our lives. (A wedding, a trip, two birthdays, and Thanksgiving!) I thought it would be fun to see what my blog readers thought about the possible choices. I've decided to order from because I love their selection, and I'm excited about the different card shapes that they offer! I don't just get to choose the design and graphics, I get to choose the shape too. It's the ultimate in customization! These are the designs I'm considering, and I'd love your opinions.

1. I absolutely love the shape of this card and the simplicity of the graphics really appeals to me.

2. The rest of the cards are tag shaped because I'm reeeeally leaning toward that shape, but they are available in other shape options too with the same graphics. You can see why it's so hard to choose, Right?

3. I love the clean lines on the card above, and the typography steals my heart! The photo just pops against the kraft background.

4. Last but not least, the typography on this one rocks too! The little candy cane stripe adds just the right touch of a Christmas theme without being overwhelming.

One thing is for sure, I'll definitely be ordering the gorgeous wrap around address labels. They are amazing!

Which card do you like? What do you think? It's just too hard to choose one all by myself! 

Disclosure: I was contacted by and asked to review their site and products in return for a site credit. All opinions are my own honest thoughts and are not in any way influenced by my acceptance of the site credit.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Another Day, Another Appointment

We spent a few hours at Children's Hospital about a week ago. Alexis has been seeing a new eye specialist due to the cyst/scarring in her left eye, and her loss of depth perception after her last eye surgery. This new doctor says that he can definitely remove the cyst, and he's willing to try restoring her depth perception. She doesn't want to have the surgery done until we return from Disney World, so it'll be done next January.

We're moving right along in homeschool. Brandon's taking music theory classes in addition to his violin lessons, and he's really enjoying them. 

The Miracle League baseball games have been a lot of fun. Jordan is still wearing a mask when we're around a lot of people because her immune system is so low right now, and we're trying to keep her well. She's especially trying to avoid the Enterovirus that hits kids with respiratory difficulties really hard. I'd really prefer to keep her out of the hospital! We bought cute Disney themed masks for her to wear, so that makes it a bit more bearable. 

Speaking of the Miracle League, Jordan was really thrilled to see that her picture made the front page of our local newspaper. Her photo was huge! Trust me, I'll be scrapping it later. I've been ordered to make an awesome page about it.

My good friend came over for a scrappy day last Friday, and her daughter has a huge crush on Brandon. She swears she's going to marry him someday, but he's not interested at all. They were outside and he came running in while screaming. I asked him what was wrong, and he said... "Bella's trying to kiss me!" He slammed the door and held it shut while she tried to get in to get him. If you look closely, you can see her through the window. It was too funny!

Jordan got bored while playing third base at a recent Miracle League baseball game, so we started playing with my iPhone. Baseball selfies are a lot of fun!

My kids weren't thrilled when we visited Ronnie's job last Thursday to get their flu shots, but they were all really brave about it. We drove over there because there's a sweet lady who comes every year to do them through a local pharmacy.

Right after their flu shots, we drove to see Jordan's cerebral palsy doctor. We waited over an hour to see the doctor, so the kids killed time by people watching. Her doctor was extremely impressed with her progress and told us to keep doing what we're doing. I love it when that happens! 

Sophie got a haircut a few days ago, and it makes petting her even more irresistible. She's just so fuzzy! As you can see in the photo below, she's really spoiled rotten. It's almost her birthday and we're making big plans for her.

Last night, everyone was finally well enough to go to church after missing a month of sermons. Thankfully, our church provides videos of the sermons online so we didn't miss much. There's just something so wonderful about being able to worship with everyone else though. As we walked outside, I noticed this beautiful sunset and had to snap a quick picture.  

I hope you all have a wonderful, blessed week! Thanks for stopping by my blog today.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The Best Day Of My Life: Disney 2013

This is it... the very last page in my Disney vacation series. I'm really glad to be finished with the entire project. It won't be long before I have another pile of Disney pictures to scrapbook, but I'm done for now and it feels great! 

Character_Disney_Epcot_Mickey Scrapbook Page

I used a few scraps from an older Scraptastic Club kit that featured Fancy Pants' The Good Life collection. The title is something that my kids said at least once a day in Disney World. They each said, "This is the best day of my life!" I thought it would be neat to finish the album on that note. It's always wonderful to see your children so happy. Is it any wonder that we can't wait to go back?

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Finding Nemo: Disney 2013

Only one more layout to share after this one... I can't believe I'm finished scrapping that humongous pile of Disney photos! Once I finish blogging the completed Disney pages, I'll start working on our visit to Clearwater Marine Aquarium. 

Finding Nemo_Scrapbook Page_Animal Kingdom_Disney

Today's project features pictures from the absolutely gorgeous Finding Nemo show. The colors on stage were so vibrant, and the actors were brilliant too. It's definitely on our to-do list for the next trip because we really enjoyed it. I used Crate Paper's "Random" line to create this design. The blue velvet ribbon might possibly be my favorite ribbon ever.

As you can see, I was inspired by another one of Susan Stringfellow's wonderful sketches. This time it was Sketch #126. The horizontal banner was a really fun element to incorporate. I love it! Thanks for stopping by my blog today.