God alone is Sovereign

1 Chronicles 29:11

Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O LORD, and you are exalted as head above all.

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Monday, July 30, 2012

Big Girl Bed

Last week we moved Anna Grace from her crib to her big girl bed.  Honestly, it's just a toddler bed so it's not that big, but it's not a crib so as far as Mommy is concerned it's a big girl bed!

I was really nervous about making the switch.  I had visions of her getting up out of her bed a zillion times at bed time and running amock in her room destroying the place, but nothing like that has happened at all.  When we put her to bed she just stays in ther bed.  When she wakes up in the morning she just says "Mommy" and I go get her out of her room (we still have a baby monitor in her room).

The transition from crib to toddler bed has been seamless and I am so thankful.

Right now no one in my home needs a crib or changing table, which prompted me to list these items on Craigslist.  We got a buyer right away and Saturday the new owner of our crib, changing table and baby armoire drove away with these beloved items.  I have to admit that I'm a little sad.  I'm not sure I'm really ready to let these things go.  But for now we don't have a need for them and if we ever do have need of them again in the future, I'm sure the Lord will provide right on time as He always does :)

So... our little baby is now in a big girl bed and just about potty trained.  More on that in another post......

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Surgery Rescheduled

As many of you know, we have been planning for Anna Grace's Fontan on August 10.  (The Fontan is the actual name of the open heart surgery they will be performing on her).    However, at her cardiology visit last Tuesday after great discussion with our beloved Dr. R and her surgeon Dr B we made a joint decision to postpone her surgery.  As things stand right now her surgery has been rescheduled for November 9.  She is currently on the surgical schedule so I was told that we will be receiving another "envelope" from MUSC with all the specifics.

I will admit, it is a bit of a rollercoaster because you mentally prepare for a specific date as well as logistically prepare for a certain date and it is a little crazy processing the emotions of a change like that.  But ultimatley, we trust that God is in control of the details here and we pray for His perfect timing in this. 

So, we thought we would be in quarantine right now, but instead we have continued enjoying our summer swimming at the pool and having playdates with friends and attending Church.  We are making the most of this time and really enjoying the rest of our summer.

Anna Grace goes back to see Dr. R in late September for another echo and regular cardiology visit.  So as long as everything looks good at that visit we will continue on the path of a November 9 Fontan.

So, please continue praying for the Lord to give Dr R and Dr B wisdom to discern the perfect time to perform Anna Grace's next heart surgery and for patience and peace for her Dad and I as we anticipate a November surgery.  Thanks friends for continuing to follow our story!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Pirate Ship Cruise - Flordia Post #3

I think this will be my final Florida beach vacation update.  These pictures were all taken during our beloved Pirate Ship cruise.  Yes, you read that right - we took a pirate ship cruise out into the ocean.  It was fantastic!  I would give it 5 stars.  The ship was in great shape and looked just like a pirate ship.  The crew were in character and SO GREAT with the kids.  There were planned activities for the kids from the moment the boat took off until we got back to shore.  For the adults there was Jimmy Buffet music playing, sunny skies, a nice breeze and it was just lovely.  This will be a must do activity for our family every time we visit Florida!  Enjoy the pictures :)

Here are the kids playing with the pirate statue in front of where you check in to get on the boat.  They were so excited!  The adventure begins!  Arghhhhhh

I'm happy to give them a little publicity.  Truly, we had a fantastic time.  It was a 2 hour cruise.  We took the 9:00 am cruise and as you can see the weather was prefect!

This is what we saw after we checked in.  The sails were for show because the boat had a diesel engine, but the kids were in awe of the "real" pirate ship!

Here's Zachary patiently standing in line to get on the boat.

There wasn't any safety rail on the dock to get to the boat, so we felt that the safest place for Anna Grace was on her Dad's shoulders :)

The crew literally climbed to the top of the rope ladders.  They we dressed as pirates and had plenty of "argh mateys" to go along with it!

One of the first activitesof the day -  the pirates gave all the kids water guns.  They brought out at least 100 waters guns full and ready for action.  Kids and parents all grabbed water guns and everyone was shooting everyone.  There was a big barrell of water on deck for refilling your gun.  We all got wet and had so much fun!

Yes, all the parents who were brave enough to be on deck got wet!

The next activity was for the boys only.  Each boy was given a mop and they had to "swab" the deck.  All the little boys excitedly took a mop and mopped the whole deck.  Hillarious!

You've never seen so many little boys excited about this task!

Then all the kids has their faces painted by the pirates.  You can't tell, but Zachary asked for an anchor on his cheek.  We tried to talk Anna Grace into getting her face painted, but she was a little shy of getting that close to the pirates so she just watched.

You aren't a real pirate without a sword fight and this trip did not dissapoint!  All of the children were given plastic swords and told to have a sword fight on the deck.  All of the kids were also given pirate hats to wear to really make things authentic!

Zachary also had to have an eye patch.  He looks like the real deal doesn't he?

During all of the sword fighting action Anna Grace sat next to Mee-Mee and rested and watched.

 One of the pirates came over to talk to her.  She wasn't too sure about that.  She liked watching them from afar a lot better than close up!

After the sword fight the kids were all told by the Captain to go below beck.  One of the lady pirates had all the kids sit down and she told them a story about a pirate (Black Beard I think) who buried a treasure at sea and that she found the map which lead to the treasure.  For a good 15-20 minutes she told this story and all of the kids sat quiet and attentive.  Then she showed them the treasure map and let them all pass it around and look at it.  She said the treasure was attached to an orange bouy and if they saw it floating in the water they were to tell the Captain.  Of course while all this was going on below deck, the other memebers of the crew were throwing a treasure chest overboard with an orange bouy attached to it.  When the kids came onto the deck, they spotted an orange bouy floating the in the water and told the Captain.  They couldn't believe they found the treasure!

So, one of the crew members hooked the orange bouy and attached it to a rope.  All the kids were instructed to grab the rope and "heave-ho" and pull the treasure chest up.  They all were so excited they could hardly stand it!

So the treasure chest was brought on board.  The kids were asked to sit in a circle after the chest was opened and each child could come to the chest one at a time and get 3 pieces of treasure (toys) out of it.  For as excited as the kids were it was SO WELL organized and each one of them waited for their turn.  I guess when I pirate tells you to sit, you listen!

Pretty authentic looking treasure chest don't you think?

Here is Zachary taking his turn and getting his "share" of the loot :)

 Anna Grace watched fascinated from afar.

This is the ONLY picture taken during our whole vacation with all of us in it together!  It is just so hard to stop and ask sonmeone to take your picture!  I sincerely treasure the memories that we made that morning on the Pirate Ship Cruise!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Florida Vacation Post #2

In continuation of my last post...... during our Florida beach vacation we took a day and went to play putt-putt golf.  Zachary has a SERIOUS LOVE of putt-putt golf.  He could play all day, in 100 degree heat, he doesn't care.  He LOVES to play putt-putt.  For a little boy who has the attention span of, well, a little boy..... it is surprising to me how focused he gets on the game.  Anna Grace on the other hand has no desire to play putt-putt but she LOVES walking around the elaboratley decorated putt-putt courses and looking at all the "animals".  The place where we played was animal-safari themed and there were lots of animal statues throughout the course which looked like elephants, giraffes, gorillas, crocodiles, etc.  So, Brian and Zachary played putt-putt and Mee-Mee and I followed Anna Grace around the HUGE putt-putt course and looked at all the "animals".  As you can see, since I was following AG around I didn't get many pictures of the boys playing actual putt-putt!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Some Pictures From Florida

Last week we got back from a terrific family vacation in Florida.  We had such a great time just spending time together as a family.  I will let these pictures tell the story for you!  I will have to do this in several posts because there is just so much to share.  Enjoy!

The condo where we stayed at had a pool and it was a big hit with Anna Grace.  I think she preferred the pool the the beach, although toward the end of the week she started warming up to the beach more.  Here's Anna Grace with her beloved Mee-Mee who was able to spend the week with us in Florida!

Zachary on the other hand preferred the beach to the pool.  This picture does not do the beach justice.  It was taken one day after Tropical Storm Debby departed so the water was murky and the sand was not the pristine white which it was toward the end of the week.  By the end of the week the water was clear and the sand was white and it was just as you would imagine a beach vacation should be!

The sun was beginning to peek out from behind the clouds and Zachary was discovering that digging in the sand is lots of fun!  We were all just SO THANKFUL that the Lord moved Tropical Storm Debby out of our area and we could enjoy some terrific beach time!

 Here's Brian introducing Anna Grace to the ocean.  The waves must have looked huge to our little girl!

Isn't she just beautiful?  What a blessing to be able to take her to the beach!

Since this was our first day playing in the ocean the waves were new and exciting!

A rare moment where Mommy is not behind the camera!

Anna Grace also discovered how much fun it is to dig in the sand!

Handsome boy was so excited to begin building a sand csatle - which we made plenty of during our week at the beach!  I'm not sure I got any pictures of them because as I discovered it is really hard to take a camera to the wet sandy beach.  I kept thinking it would get damaged so our actual beach pictures are few!

And so began our fabulous beach vacation!  Stay tuned because part 2 of our beach vacation will be coming soon!  Our putt-putt golf adventure!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Homeschooling Update and Field Trip Pictures

I haven't talked much about homeschooling since I said we were going to do it.  We started homeschooling about 6 weeks ago and it has gone rather well.  Better than I thought it would actually.  Don't get me wrong, there have been some rough days, but overall it is going well and I think we will be able to work through the rough patches.

It's funny how, as a Mom, you plan things out in your head, and then you have to adjust accordingly because kids do not always DO what you have in your head.  For example.... I'm one of those people who would rather sit down and work hard for "x" amount of time and just get all my work done.  Then the work is done and you can enjoy your day.  That's how I thought school would go - however, my little boy can't just sit at the work table to work continuously so..... I have adjusted our school day to consist of a subject, then a play break,  subject, then a play break, a subject then a play break.  You get the idea.  It does drag the school day out longer than I had hoped, but we do get lots of playing time so overall the day stays pretty relaxed and Zachary seems to do better.  Anna Grace also likes it better too since she loves playing with her brother.

I mentioned before that we have joined a homeschool co-op called Classical Conversations here in our area.  Along with doing the same cirriculum as the other families involved in Classical Conversations, the group also gets together once a week to do school together and we also do field trips together once a month.  So, even though school is offiicially OUT for the homeschool group the field trips don't stop just because it's summer.  So, last month the group planned a field trip to a local fire department and we were able to attend that.  I don't know how many kids came.... at least 40.  It was a good time.  I would have liked to have talked with some of the other Moms more during the field trip, but AG was not cooperating and just wanted DOWN so mostly I was holding her and telling her "shhhhhh" or "don't touch" or "sit on your bottom".  No one would have EVER thought she had a heart condition with as much energy as she was using just trying to escape my cluthes so she could go exploring!  She was NOT HAPPY with me confining her to my lap or hip.  However, Zachary had a blast at the fire station and had fun being around the other kids and he behaved beautifully :)

I was able to take some pictures of our field trip.  I'm not sure what the next field trip will be, but I am really glad that even as homeschoolers we still get to participate in group activites with other kids and families.  It's fun and it's good for all of us.

Overall, I am very pleased with our decision to homeschool and I am excited to begin this journey :)

In front of the fire station was this bronze sculpture of a fireman.  They both ran right to it SO excited to finally be going on the field trip to the Fire Station!

 There is always talk about a fire station have a "fire dog" and this station was no exception, except their fire dog was a statue :)  The kids were still so excited to get to see a fire dog!

Part of the presentation was the fireman putting on all his gear so that the kids could see what a fireman would look and sound like if they were ever in a fire and needed to be rescued.  Zachary was fascinated but a little timid once his mask was on and he was breathing through it.  He sounded very muffleled and a little like Darth Vadar.  Anna Grace was terrified of him once he put on his full uniform.  I don't think that I have ever seen a fireman with full gear on so it was really good for me to see as well.  Those guys have to carry around A LOT of gear!

After the presentation and tour of the fire house the kids were allowed to explore the fire trucks - this of course was the MOST EXCITING part of the morning!

Zachary couldn't wait to sit in the fire truck and pretend to drive.  His turn wasn't nearly long enough!

Each of the kids got to take home their very own fire hat.  It was so nice of the fire department to give the kids something to take home and remember their day with.  We had a great time and the fire fighters who spoke with us that day were awesome.  They are truly HEROS!!!!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Pictures from Cardiology

So, a couple of posts ago I told you all about our recent cardiology visit where Anna Grace surprised us all by cooperating so well because we let her brother go first.  So, since the appointment went SO well I was able to take some pictures, you know, instead of holding down my screaming baby.  Seriously, it was such an amazing appointment.  So, here are some pictures from that AMAZING day!

 This is our smiling girl in the waiting area of Dr. R's office just hanging out and playing toys. 

Here is our princess getting her blood pressure checked.  What you don't see of course is that her brother has already had his blood pressure checked which promted her to say "I do it too".

After a weight check, O2 sat check, height check and blood pressure check we were ushered into our exam room to wait for our turn in the echo room.  The kids made themselves at home playing toys while we waited.  You can see that they had AG change into a hospital gown, which she normally will not tolerate, but for this appointment it was all good :)

Our amazing Zachary is such a big boy he offered to take my picture with AG.  What a thoughtful little guy :)

So here we are still wiating for our turn in the echo room.  You might not be able to tell, but Zachary is holding fruit snacks.  These are coveted treats for my kids and you can tell AG is eyeing her brother's snacks.  She of course has already eaten hers.

I was able to get Zachary to take our picture in the echo room while AG was sitting on my lap getting her echo.  You can see she is camly sitting back letting the nurse do her thing.  It was such an amazing appointment!  I wanted to get some pictures of our beloved Dr. R, but my camera battery died right after this picture was taken.  I'll be sure to get him next time though :)