Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far From the Tree

When I was about 18 months old my mom picked my up from my crib and noticed both of my eyes were crossed and not focusing. That was the beginning of my vision "issues". I was diagnosed with strabismus and ambyopia.  My left eye improved dramatically with glasses, my right eye did not. In the next 10 years  I had several surgeries to attempt to fix the issues to no avail, and have had to wear corrective lenses ever since. I got my first pair of glasses when I was 22 months old. I switched over to contacts when I was 15. They just are a part of life for me.

I have wondered and even asked my pediatrician about the chances of my kids having problems with their vision. Doug's dad and brother also have some pretty hefty vision problems, so that combined with mine could very well be passed on. Dr.  Nilsen has just said to watch and see. So we have.

About a month ago, we noticed Matthew's left eye turning in when he would try to focus. I just tried to ignore it at first hoping it would go away, but knowing deep down that it probably would not. So we took some trips to Dr. Nilsen and to the opthatmologist. Thankfully his vision itself is very good, but it was determined that indeed, Matthew has similar issues as I do, strabismus and far-sightedness.
He needs glasses.

The doctor was optimistic that Matthew could eventually outgrow his need for corrective lenses, even before his teenage years. But for now, this is what would be best for him.

As we drove home from the opthamologists office, I just couldn't stop crying. My boy, my active boy... now has to deal with glasses when doing things. He already struggles with his speech and is working so hard on his articulation... this is just one more thing. I really was just in a puddle.

BUT... as quickly as entered into my pity party, I tried to snapped out of it. I have a very healthy, adorable, thoughtful, loving son who will do as well with his vision issues as I do, really.  I want to be strong for him, be excited with him over something that will help him see better. He will respond better to that than seeing me cry. Even tho I want to!

We got his glasses this morning and Oh. My. Goodness... just when I thought he could NOT be cuter!

 He is not exactly thrilled about this.....
 Waiting patiently with mommy
 "I like the box, mommy!"
 Miss Jamie fitting his glasses.
 I love him!

 We went to visit Grandma and Grandpa Doug afterward and Grandma had a special snack for my sweet boy...his favorite, chocolate Teddy Grahams! While we were there I showed him pictures of me when I was younger with my glasses. He was quite intrigued.
When we got home, he asked me if I would wear my glasses so I could be like him. Of course I obliged! I will wear them whenever he wants me to!

He is not necessarily a fan of them quite yet but is doing SO good with them already.The opthamologist said that he may need some breaks during the day for a while, but we will just see how it goes!

I am so proud of my boy... praying that these glasses will not be a life long thing but knowing if they are it all will be fine!

Let this new adventure begin!!

Monday, February 10, 2014


Our fine town got hit with quite the snow storm this week! It was probably the most snow since 2008, so for Matthew it really was his first time playing in lots of the white stuff. I for one am thankful that we had gone to the grocery store AND Costco the day before the snow came, and that Doug was out of town and didn't have to commute every day on the dicey roads! While it was messy and exhausting (you readers with young kids may understand... it takes a gazillion hours to suit every one up and get them ready to head out.. for the one hour they will be out...haha!) we certainly had our share of fun.

 The above pictures are from day one in the snow. I realized the kids didn't have snow gloves and they were insistent they would be fine... so out they went, suited up with everything but gloves. They lasted FIVE minutes. Yes, five. Then the tears flowed from both of them because their hands were so cold.. which I am most certain they were. At least there was a few minutes of fun... and then I was on the hunt for something to keep their hands warm. Thankfully I found a pair of gloves for Evelyn that were lined..phew. Then my awesome husband gave me an idea (over the phone... from Canada... where it was 28 below zero... talk about cold!) for Matthew that worked perfectly. The rest of the time in the snow brought no tears and more fun!

 Latex gloves over his cotton ones... perfect for keeping the wet snow off! They were big but worked fine and Matthew thought it was the coolest thing. Yay for Daddy coming to the rescue!

 Doug built this sled in 2008 out of a piece of cardboard, a piece of drop cloth and a few other things. It has beat the test of time and still works great. The kids had a blast being pulled down the hills!!

 Serious amounts of snow were eaten by this cute boy!

 Who says you can't play soccer in the snow? :)
 Big sister being kind to the little man

 ...and who says you can't ride a scooter in the snow too?

 Our FAVORITE moment of the snow storm... daddy making his way home from the airport!! SO happy to have him home!

 The kids wanted to write a special message to him the next morning!

 Snowflake catching!

 I love these three faces so dearly!!

We loved making a snow man!

I have to admit, I was glad when it all melted away and things got back to a more "normal" schedule.. but it was sure pretty and sure fun while it was here!!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Four Things

Almost 3 years ago Doug spent a few months traveling heavily for work. It was not a fun time for any of us, but we survived (click here for more on that!). Every time Doug had to leave for Chicago, he would sit Evelyn down (Matthew was too little at the time to understand) and tell her to remember four things while he was away. Toward the end of his travels, he would only have to ask her what those four things were and she would answer readily:

1. Be good and obey
2. Be helpful
3. Have fun
4. Remember daddy is coming back soon.

He left yesterday morning for Canada, the first time he has traveled in about a year. He is gone all week. As he was talking to the kids about his trip he reminded them of the 4 things listed above, and encouraged them to both remember to do all the things on the list.

As I again hear and reflect on these things, I realize just how poignant they are. For me. For my kids. For life in general.

Be Good and Obey

“Why do you ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. If you want to enter life, obey the commandments.”
~ Matthew 19 : 17 NIV

Both my children had their share of "moments" during Doug's absence 3 years ago. Evelyn had times when she was mouthy, times she didn't share, and many times she did not listen. Matthew discovered that he could climb out of his crib, discovered he enjoyed hitting his sister with his toy cars and discovered that throwing anything is fun. He also was a bit (read: A LOT) fussy. I, too, had my not so proud mommy moments. Probably more than I want to admit. All of these times seemed to suck the life right out of us. Yet when the kids were getting along and behaving well, when I was rested and gave more grace and had more patience, things went so much better. I am sure there will be some "moments" this week, too... it's inevitable, really. But hopefully more good times than not!

Let's face it, we all fall short. But Jesus said that when we DO obey and do good, we will "enter life".. and I think that means we can live it to the fullest and not feel weighted down by our shortcomings. Doing the right thing IS the best way. Always.

Be Helpful

"The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me."
 ~Matthew 25:40

Doug and I hope to be raising our kids to be good helpers. When Doug is gone we expect them to be helpful. By getting along and obeying (see above!) and helping me by doing things they know they need to do and do it without complaining...just to name a few.

The Bible calls us to be the hands and feet of Jesus.  To be helpful is the chance to lift a burden, or to just bless someone in general. Sometimes it is an action. sometime it is an attitude. No matter what, by being helpful you are being like Jesus, our "ever present" help.

Have Fun

"You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand."
~Psalm 16:11

When Doug is out of town, the kids miss him. I miss him. Matthew woke up this morning and immediately was in tears because he knew his daddy had left on his trip. I reminded him (both of the kids actually) that even though daddy is gone for a bit, we still have SO much to be thankful for and to be happy about, and we can still have fun while he is away. We actually do have some fun things planned to keep us busy until Friday.. and they are looking forward to those sctivities. Fun stuff is a good distraction from the sadness of missing their dad. 

If you truly stop and think about it, we all have so much to be thankful for, so much to be joyful about on this journey of life. Because He is with us. He wants us to see life thru His eyes... and when we do there is much joy (and fun) to be found!

Remember I am Coming Back

"For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage one another with these words."
~1 Thessalonians 4: 16-18

In these verses, Paul confidently affirms that there is a resurrection to come.. that Jesus IS coming back.. Christians, unlike others who have no promise of an afterlife, should look forward to being with God after their physical death. How awesome is that! Because of this, we should live our lives like we believe that our heavenly Father IS coming back (see the first 3 things on the list...!), just like my kids should be excited because they know their daddy is coming back.

Four simple things.. rules, ways to live, whatever you want to call them. I could get way deeper each of them, but keeping them simple is easy for this old lady to remember myself!


Here's to living life tot he fullest... and counting the days until Doug gets home!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

What We've Been Up To....

Sheesh... time sure got away from me! This is my first post of the year, and it is February! Ack! We've been busy around here doing this and that... nothing too exciting. And I really haven't taken too many pictures. But.. just for catch up.. here's a little snapshot of the past 5 weeks!

Scootering in the park on New Year's Day. First time for both kids scootering somewhere other than our street.. and they did pretty good!

 Back to school after Christmas Break breakfast. Bittersweet... I enjoyed having her home for 2 weeks!!

 Making their own pizza's... they LOVE doing this!

 My sick baby... who NEVER gets sick. She went down hard and was down for almost a week. Thankfully it started on a three day weekend so she didn't miss too much school. I was so glad when she was on the mend... it is so hard to see your kids sick!

 Look, mommy... this is my front pack to carry Bear! Silly boy... who keeps us laughing on a daily basis!

 We had some cool but sunny days and that made for great play time outside!

I love these two faces!

There you have it! Hoping to be more on top of the blog in the months to come...