30 November 2011

Emergency Room...Never a Dull Moment Tuesday

Yesterday was a very rough day to say the least.  I was stretched in more ways than one.

First, I am going solo while John is working long distance.

Second, Julia and I have been sick all weekend, and Julia's cold really kicked in Monday night at around 2:45 she started crying and saying she didn't feel well.

Third, Mark had a bad fall in the basement and got his thumb stuck in the tv table and when I picked him up he got a bad cut all around his thumb.

By 8 am I was a mess!  I knew I needed to shower, find a sitter, go to the doctor, skip my Ladies Bible study class, and tend to a sick daughter and hurting son.

Thank goodness for a group of friends who were praying for me and over me and helped me pull it together as I arranged for my MIL to watch Julia and my FIL to help me at the doctor's office.  Mark was in a lot of pain at this point.  I knew something was wrong with his thumb and wasn't sure if he broke it or needed stitches.  All I knew was that every time I went near his thumb or tried to rinse or ice it he cried bloody murder.  I felt so bad for him.

My pediatrician is awesome and Mark actually asked for him the minute I picked him up from the fall.  He asked for Dr. Shih and Daddy.  (we won't say how horribly insignificant I felt at the moment, all I wanted to do was make him all better, and crawl back into bed and go to sleep.)  I made a 10:15 appt and the nurse told me to get there by 10 so she could squeeze me in early.

Dr. Shih felt the back of the thumb should get 1-2 stitches.  He suggested we go to St. Peters.  He said this was his personal opinion but that the hospital would know best what to do.

Well we went to St Peters right away and got there around 11:30...we didn't see a doctor til around 1:45...we then had to get x-rayed.  Right after the doctor cleaned the thumb (I swear she looked about 25!) she immediately said it was not deep enough for stitches.  I was relieved that we wouldn't have to papoose him, and put him through the pain of stitches but after waiting so long I felt like why couldn't they have looked at us sooner.  The ER was so full, I've never seen so many patients waiting, and most of them were infants and toddlers with high temps, eye infections, and bad coughs...get me out of there...germs were everywhere!

We were finally discharged and allowed to go at around 2:45.  I can't tell you how many songs I sang to Mark while we waited...Itsy bitsy spider, Jesus loves me, the more we get together, stirring and stirring my coffee, Blues clues, Dora songs, anything to make him smile...he didn't start smiling til about 2:30 and by then he told me he wanted broccoli and noodles for dinner and white donuts for lunch (poor guy hadn't eaten all day).

My FIL had to leave at around 1:10 for a meeting...I was a little afraid to do the stitches papoose thing by myself, but God worked it out that I didn't have to.

The hero of the day was Grandpa Jack by far.  He was with us at Dr. Shih's office, the hospital, the car ride, Mark kept asking for him as we left the hospital.  And I was so lucky to have my MIL come right over and babysit while Julia rested at home, they got dressed together, did hair, played dolls, painted nails and colored together.  And Mom made sure Julia got her meals and napped all on schedule...she's awesome!

By the time I got home at 3:30 Mark needed his nap (he got his white donuts on the ride home) I had to re-charge my phone and had about 6 missed calls, texts, and voice-mails, not to mention a gazillion emails.  I had to eat something before I passed out, call John, give attention to Miss Julia, feed the dog, and just sit down for a minute and breathe.

The in laws left around 4pm and Julia and I started dinner while Mark napped.  After dinner we did bath time and Mark let me take the band aid off and washed his thumb in the tub no problem.  He was so brave today.  I was so very proud of him.  The only time he cried was when the doctor cleaned his thumb with a bandage and water because it was so tender.  Other than that he was so patient and so still.

Grandpa Jack came over around 7:30 to check back up on Mark and the kids screamed when they saw him.  They were so happy!

I learned several things today:

1. I need to slow down.  I do too much in one day and am always going, going, going, and this is how accidents can happen.

2. I realized how blessed I am to have family so close and so willing to help me at a moment's notice.

3. I also realized that the power of prayer got me through a very scary time on such little sleep.  God was with us every step of the way.  He knew what was going to happen.

4. Toddler boys are very prone to accidents...and I need to panic less and praise God often.

5. I don't want to go to an ER again...EVER! But if I am sent there for some reason I know who I can rely on!


29 November 2011

Tricks up my Sleeve

I think my FAVORITE part of Christmas besides the being with your family, sharing and remembering the birth of Christ, and wishing for snow, is getting to surprise all the people you love with JUST the RIGHT gift.

I have lots of little tricks up my sleeve this year, and unexpected gifts and surprises for those that I love.

And for me watching someone open up just the right gift that makes them smile really big or shout out, well that just makes Christmas all the better!

It's the time of year where it's not about the money that counts, but it's all about the thought, and time and effort that goes into the gift...and so that means proper planning WAY ahead of time!  So for all of you out there procrastinating on your gift shopping...be creative and think about all the little hints your loved one has dropped...think about what brings them joy....and makes them smile...and start planning those "tricks up your sleeve!"

Because like I said it's all about the thought that counts and the smiles!!!






28 November 2011


On Sunday, October 16th, my sister in law got engaged.  I've blogged about this before but what I failed to mention on that special day involves the numbers 9-1-1 and the handsome fella to the left.

It was a gorgeous, sunny afternoon, and we were celebrating at my friend Cinzia's house who just christened her youngest son that day.  We got the text and the phone call that Laurie and Kelsey got engaged and to please stop by my in laws for some champagne.

We rushed over and kissed and hugged everyone and then sat down to hear all the details about how Kelsey proposed.  They went to Cheese-quake park, they walked around, he had a cool message on his I pad for her to read, etc, etc...

The next thing we know (as Laurie and Kelsey are telling us their exciting story) is a armed police officer at the front door, talking to us through the screen, asking if we were ok.

My first thought was that maybe we were too loud since we were so excited, but then the officer went on to say that they recieved two 9-1-1 calls in the past 5 minutes from this residence.  We look around the room, and who do we find on the house phone dialing numbers...

Marky boy!

Oh we apologized profusely.  The officer was so nice, and actually knew my father in law from Taekwondo training and all was forgiven, but we couldn't get over the fact that a two year old dialed 9-1-1 and the cops showed up during the engagement story!

We laughed and laughed.

And both the children were reminded they are only to call 9-1-1 during an emergency!!!

Life with toddlers...never a dull moment!


25 November 2011

Flat Stanley Project-Teaching the Kids about Maps

In December and mostly in January/February we are going to be going over the US map and continue to explore the world by searching the globe.

I decided to buy some US and NJ maps this week and started a new bulletin board in our schoolroom and the US maps are in the kitchen.

Julia can tell you exactly where NJ and Florida and California are since we have dear friends and family there.
I wanted to enhance this lesson of studying maps and the world by sending letters to our families and friends and asking them to send back family photos that we can add to our map at the exact location that the person
lives in the world.

Our new bulletin board for the school room.

My third graders LOVED when we used the Flat Stanley books.  Flat Stanley in a character who travels the world because he is flat and can fit in an envelope.  John and I even took Flat Stanley with us to China and Europe, and Washington, D.C. (I always made him pose with Flat Stanley because my students got a kick out of that!

Julia and I finished this book in one sitting.

Flat Stanley visits your friends and family they take a picture with him, decorate him, and send him back telling you all about that part of the US or world.  Sooooo....if you get a letter soon with Flat Stanley inside from Julia and Mark....please decorate him (color him in because he comes on white paper) take a picture of you holding him and send a quick letter back explaining the state or part of the world that you live in!

It is soooooooooo exciting to get the letters back and then we can post all the Flat Stanleys and pictures of you on our map!

There are also 5-6 Flat Stanley books you can read to your kids and they are fun and easy to read.  I'm going to read the first one to the kids to get us started!  Julia and Mark know all about Maps because of Dora the Explorer and now that we have maps around the house it helps to reinforce geography.

Here are some more Flat Stanley links:

Flat Stanley project

Flat Stanley template

Flat Stanley sample letter

Flat Stanley books

And this is why I LOVE school!


23 November 2011

Thankful for the Basics

Clothes...food, and shelter.

Thankful for the basics this Thanksgiving.

Thankful for peace in my home and good health.

Thankful for food on the table and a roof over our heads, for this I am truly thankful.

You've given me all I needed.

Thank you, Lord.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!  We are blessed beyond measure.

Praying you will celebrate the day by remembering Who has made us and gives us life.  Every breath is a gift.

Here is a link to teach your kids about being content with what they have.  Click here.
Thanks for Thanksgiving by Julie Markes

What is Thanksgiving? By Harriet Ziefert

Click the titles for these cute books for toddlers.

1 Timothy 6:7-8
7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.

22 November 2011

Best Friends Forever

All the pictures featured on today's post are from Adrienne Ann Photography.

We recently did a photo shoot at Holmdel Park which is a huge farm with workers dressed from Colonial times, there's a pond filled with geese and ducks, and tons of bike trails, and several playgrounds.  It's one of our favorite family time spots.  Julia and Mark milked their first cow here and we got to see new piglets just after they were born.

In our family we call each other our best friends.  Of course we are parents first, and the authority figures in our children's lives, but we are friends too because we not only LOVE each other but we LIKE each other!

Julia and Daddy are a lot alike.  They both are very smart, very neat, and like things to be just so!  And they are both born leaders.  Julia, I pray, will never be a follower.  She always has a plan and always knows exactly how to make the plan work!  Both can be impulsive but both are very adventurous!

John and I have been best friends since we were 16 years old.    We met Junior year of high school, during a time when I didn't think anyone would want to be my friend, since I just had foot surgery and walked with a crutch.

John and I have always loved to talk and share each other's company.  I never get tired of talking to him or being with him. I can't imagine my life without him.  He is my better half.  We are both pretty intense at times (Type A) but somehow John balances me out and allows me to loosen up and laugh.

He always makes me feel good about myself and we truly keep each other accountable when it comes to our relationship with the Lord.  It's great to have someone you can share your faith with, pray with and talk deeply with.

We are constantly encouraging each other and trying to show the other one they are great, even when the other one doesn't believe it.  Sometimes when we are driving in the car we look back at the kids and say, wow, how did we get so blessed?  Two great kids, a roof over our heads, food in our bellies, and each other.

Mark and Julia have been best friends since my tummy started growing.  Julia has taken Marky under her wing like any big sister would.  With only 17 months apart you would think they are twins, but Julia loves showing Mark how to do things.  She explains things very well to him, and he really listens to her.  He adores her.  He loves going in her room and playing with her, and vice versa.

And chasing each other is their favorite thing to do...even  in the house...it drives me crazy sometimes because I'm just sure someone is going to fall down the stairs or bump their heads.  But you should hear the laughter!
At night they kiss each other good night and they have all these inside jokes that they giggle about.  I love watching them and seeing how closer they are.

Oh Daddy.  Mark is your mini me.  He looks just like you and asks for you all the time when you are at work.  He can't get enough of you, and neither can I, so I can't blame him.  He loves when you pick him up and swing him around.  He feels so safe with you.

Oh my girl.

Julia mommy just loves you.

I love when you wake up from your nap and meet me down stairs and cuddle with me on the couch, and say, Mom, you're my best friend.

I'm so lucky to have a daughter to be able to share girl things with.

I love holding your hand and keeping you close.

I love that you ask me so many questions and that you want to hear my answers more than once.

I know you are teaching me so many more things than you will ever know.  God has grown me by being a mommy and you made me a mommy.  So thank you.

I'm so glad you were born Julia.  We prayed and prayed for you and I'm so glad you are a part of our family.

Oh, Bubba, Mommy adores those lips of yours!  Thanks for always giving me hugs and kisses and letting me be your best girl.  I love all the attention you give me and all the smiles you have for me.  You are my son, and there's nothing like having a son.  After having so many girls in our family it is so nice to see what having a boy is like.  You are so special to us Mark.  We adore you.  You are so sweet and tender and yet quite the ham!  I know at times you are shy but I see how your quiet ways are beginning to louden up!  I love it.

Best Friends Forever.

21 November 2011

Princeton Day Trip

Today was just one of those days where we had a good plan for how we wanted to spend our day and all the details worked out.

I knew that this was going to be a nice weekend, not too cold, sunny, and dry, so I suggested right after church instead of heading home we just go straight to Princeton (one of my favorite places on earth) for lunch and some Fall Fun.

John thought that was an awesome idea so we packed the car for our trip with stroller and snacks so we would be ready for the 45 minute drive there!  We left church around 10:45 and got there a little after 11:30.  I love going to Princeton with the family because it was one of the places my parents would take us to walk around, talk, see the campus, window shop, and we always ended the trip with ice cream!

First we parked and walked to Panera Bread for lunch.  Salad and fresh bread always taste yummy!

Then John pushed Mark in the carriage while Julia and I walked hand in hand.  We crossed the street to the campus side and visited all our favorite spots.

Another thing I love about Princeton is that the people are always friendly.  The students always wave and say hi to the kids and all the families seem to be happy and sociable.

The trees are so old and ginormous!  Julia loved trying to hug them.

Mark was in search of a good stick to play with and happily posed for mommy.

Whenever we come to Princeton the kids love to play on the grounds and jump and dance and twirl and play.

There was lots of playing and chasing too.  Mark followed Julia like a puppy.

The whole trip we looked for the "tigers"...Julia kept telling Mark, "they won't bite you Mark, they aren't real, honey."  (I love how she talks to him as if he's soooo much younger than her.)

Climbing the tiger and playing with the tiger was the highlight until...

As I was taking photos and scoping the area...I found...

This bright yellow tree that I just had to be a part of...so we gathered the kids (a big deal since they did not want to leave the tiger...)

When we got to the Yellow tree I taught Julia the art of "scooping" up all the leaves and...

"tossing" them high into the air!

This went on for hours...scooping and tossing, scooping and tossing, until several families joined us, because who could blame them?  We were having a BALL!!!!!!!!!! You could hear our laughter all over campus I'm sure!

And this is why I love my kids, and I love my family.  Because we do stuff like this on the weekends that make up for all the time we are missing Daddy!  And just as Daddy kept taking pictures we made sure we scooped and tossed right on him!  He loved it.

We ended our Princeton Day Trip at the Bent Spoon!  Great ice cream place...so good...Mark and Julia both got Mango ice cream, I got Raspberry, and Daddy got the BEST flavor ever Roasted Pumpkin Marcicon...oh my goodness thank goodness we all shared!

We got back in the car around 1:30 and trust me when I tell you it wasn't five minutes before both beautiful kiddies were passed out asleep!  John and I enjoyed the car ride home in peace and quiet and we listened to C.S. Lewis The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe on CD. as we sipped some Dunkin Donuts coffee and tea.

When people tell me, "Cherish this time with your kids, it goes by so fast."  I tell them, "Trust me, I do!"

I can't wait to scoop and toss some more leaves next Fall!

Thanks babe, for a great weekend and for our Princeton Fall tradition...walking around campus, eating lunch, seeing the tigers, scooping and tossing, and ice cream...and us just being us...

18 November 2011

Even Little Ones Pray...

Last Saturday Mark had the cutest, funniest "thankful" prayer.

Dear God,

Thank you for pancakes...

Thank you for syrup...

Thank you for marshmallows...


Can you tell that it was a weekend and Daddy was home to make a big breakfast for us, and that we ended the evening with s'mores in front of the fireplace?  Mark's favorite thing in the world is marshmallows.

Now...Mark's older sister Julia had a very different "thankful" prayer which really shows her age and maturity (and sweetness and sensitivity)

Dear God,

Thank you that Daddy can work and make money.

Thank you that mommy's headache feels better.

Thank you that we could play at the park.

Thank you for Jesus.


And what is my "thankful" prayer you may ask...

Dear God,

Thank you for children who pray.  Thank you for little folded hands and closed eyes.  Thank you for hands that hug my leg when I cook, and feet that follow me as I get dressed in the morning.  Thank you for little fingers that gently rub my cheek or pat my back.  Thank you for your love and kindness all around.  Thank you for children and their trusting, believing hearts.



17 November 2011

Blog Hop #24

It's Time to Mingle!

Hosted by Happy Go Lucky, I Heart Crafty Things, Joy in the Jumble and Keeping Up With Kristi.
Each week we will choose one blog at random to spotlight at the next week's blog hop.
This weeks guest host is Making Mama Happy

Making Mama Happy
There are no rules to this blog hop.  Just link up your blog's main page.  Then have fun reading new blogs and making new blog friends.  We would love for you to follow the hostesses in the first four spots and our guest host in the fifth spot.   We always follow back!!
Grab our button if you want to share our blog hop with others.  There will be a new list every Thursday, so be sure to come back every week.

We hope you have fun and thanks for joining us!  We are so excited to find new blogs, share great ideas, and inspire each other.

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