Friday, March 6, 2015

My Glorious Crown

When I was younger, I always loved the opportunity to boast about my family.  Not in a "Guess what, guess what, guess what?!!!" way, but when the chance arose I jumped on it and was proud to share fun facts about my family.  My grandmother went to school with Johnny Cash.  My dad and brother are both pilots.  I'll spare you from more.  :)  It's always fun to have someone impressed by your family, you know?  It also makes you feel good when others boast in you.  We care about those close to us and we want to shout from the rooftops what they've accomplished because we love them and are proud for them.  This can be a great encouragement to others, so let me preface this post by saying that there is nothing wrong with this (in moderation of course).  Why are we so hesitant to do this about the One who means more than all others combined in our life, though?

Today in a Bible study I'm doing, my assignment was to read through a list of the names, titles, and descriptions of God and to worship Him for being those things in my life.  All I can think as I read the list is about how much more I should boast in My Father in Heaven then my father on Earth.  God is worthy of ultimate bragging!  Read just a few of the names for God found in the Bible:

A glorious crown
A refuge for the oppressed
A sanctuary
A shade from the heat
A shelter from the storm
Father of compassion
Father to the fatherless
God my Rock
God of all comfort
God our Father
God over all the kingdoms
He who reveals His thoughts to man
Him who is able to do more than all we ask or imagine (YES)
Lord who heals you
Lord will provide
My advocate
My confidence
My song
My strong deliverer
Our Redeemer
Our refuge and strength
Rock of our salvation
The consuming fire
The God who saves me
The God who sees me
The living Father
The one who sustains me
The only God

WOOOOO!  Gets me all excited!  God has been the Father that I never had.  My earthly father has always been present in my life, but the relationship hasn't really been there.  It took me a while to figure out what a relationship with God was supposed to look like / feel like because of the example of the earthly relationship I had.  That is really hard to write because I don't want to hurt feelings, but it is the truth.  Human relationships are far from perfect no matter what your circumstances.  My Heavenly Father came along and revealed to me what a relationship with Him should look like / feel like, and I am praising Him this morning for that!  He is so good to me, and I will BOAST about who He is for the rest of my life and on into eternity.

You can know everything about God and go to church every Sunday, but if you don't know God for who He is in your life, if He isn't the things listed above in your life, then you are missing the ultimate relationship that brings salvation.  We seek the perfect relationship our entire lives here on Earth, and some will miss it entirely because they seek it in humans among them.  The God-shaped hole in our hearts can only be filled by one, THE One, so don't miss out on that because you think your head knowledge of Him is all it takes.  There must be a heart knowledge, that is how you truly KNOW Him.

Jesus said:  "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me - just as the Father knows me and I know the Father - and I lay down my life for the sheep.  John 10:14,15

Friday, May 2, 2014

Less of Me

Y'all, the last two weeks have been something else.  Sick babies, tornadoes, facial stitches, oh my!  I am here to report to you, though, that God is still Good and that He gives Joy to those who seek His face!  For real.

Last Monday, Landry started getting sick.  I'll spare you all of the details, but basically, we ended up in the ER Thursday night with a dehydrated baby who needed fluids (through an IV that was NO fun to set up).  Bless her sweet bones, her pediatrician diagnosed her with adenovirus the next day.  Basically, throwing up, diarrhea, gunky eyes, fever, fun.  Well, this week, she has just not gotten better at all.  Starting Monday, she's been very fussy, very tired, and very sick.  I've been able to keep fluids in her, but she has eaten next to nothing.  Another trip to the doctor yesterday for blood work and a mononucleosis test.  We don't have the results back from the titer yet, but her liver enzymes are highly suggestive of mono.  We hope, anyways.  If it's negative, then we'll have to figure out what is going on with the liver numbers.  We are thinking she may have adenovirus as well, so we are doing a stool test to confirm that diagnosis.  She has been pitiful.

Barrett had a brief stomach bug this week, as well, and we have had to remove the living room rug.  There was just no hope for it!  He quickly returned to normal, though, and is his usual ball of energy and spunk.  He is so very sweet when he's sick.

Charlee is great; had a wonderful Kindergarten play this week that was just precious!  She will be done with Kindergarten in two short weeks.  CUH-RAY-ZEE!!!  Didn't I just give birth to her?  

I went to the dermatologist for the first time in my life this week, and had to have a mole on my face biopsied.  It came back abnormal, so now it has to be completely removed.  Fun times.  It isn't cancerous, but I guess abnormal ones can turn into cancerous ones, so it's gotta go.  After Chandler's grandmother had to have a large skin cancer removed and seeing a guy at my church suffering through melanoma, I figured I needed to stay on top of things with this fair skin, freckly, moly self.  :)

Chandler and I will celebrate 10 years in December.  CUH-RAY-ZEE again!  We decided this would be the perfect time to finally take our honeymoon.  :)  Plans are underway!  Hooray!

We had a scary spell of severe weather this week, and tornadoes broke out all around us.  Monday AND Tuesday, I was glued to the tv and my phone analyzing all the weather patterns (because I'm such a meteorology expert - ha!).  We were spared from any tornadoes at our house, but there were several devastating storms around the state, a couple of which were not very far away at all.  Life is precious.  PRECIOUS.  So don't take a minute for granted.

Yesterday, as I was holding my inconsolable baby who feels like poo, I felt such a feeling of peace and comfort.  As I was doing my best to comfort her, I was receiving comfort that was so Divine and Perfect.  I love when I get gentle squeezes from God.  He has filled my week with such a feeling of Joy, unexplainable to those who have never felt it.  He hasn't promised to make my paths easy or straight or restful, but He has promised to fill me with Peace and Joy through the not-so-easy stuff.  My problems this week pale in comparison to many, many people in the world today.  I read earlier about 234 girls being abducted from their school in Nigeria a couple of weeks ago, some of them being forced into marriage with their abductors, cries from their family for their return.  My.  heart.  aches.  And, please Lord, let it ache.

Joy is what He brings me.  Thankfulness.  Peace.  Blessings.  Abundance.  And heartbreak that matches His.  It is so easy to try to block that feeling because it's no fun to hurt, but we are His hands and feet and we are here for His Glory, not our own.  For His duty, not our own.  For His Kingdom, not our own.  Oh, God, break down the walls of the self-serving kingdom I build every day and replace it with You.  Less of me.  More of You.  Break me of me even as I sit here and type, and replace me with You.  Oh.  How.  He.  Loves.  Us.

He must increase, but I must decrease.  John 3:30

Monday, October 28, 2013

Rinse and Repeat

I read an article a friend shared a week or two ago, and I found an "Aha" quote.  I loved it, times ten, but I felt conflicted sharing it because the article was about stay-at-home moms.  I hate delving into the Mommy Wars, particularly stay-at-home vs. working, mainly because I've done both and I know that both are equally difficult.  The common denominator in both is "mother", and THAT is the hard part.  Anyways, that is a different topic and I don't want to go down that tangent.  

Now, if at all possible, please unpack all that you've just read so that you don't read into the implication that I am in any way saying that the following quote applies to the stay-at-home vs working argument.  It doesn't.  I mean, in the article it does, but for the purpose of this post it does not.  Okay?  Okay.  Back to the quote:  

We seem to value our time so little, that we find our worth based on how little of it we have. In other words, we’ve idolized “being busy,” and confused it with being “important.” You can be busy but unimportant, just as you can be important but not busy.  ~ Matt Walsh 


As a mom of three littles, I can tell you that I don't have a lot of down time.  Like, at all.  Last week, I started getting sick.  When Mommy's sick, the house falls apart.  Heck, when Mommy's NOT sick, the house falls apart around here.  Ha!  There is always something to do.  Somebody needs water, milk, cheerios, nap, wiped, medicine, clean underwear, bath, story read, help with homework, clothes changed, driven to soccer, etc., etc., rinse and repeat.  While I would not change any of it for the world, I assure you that the responsibility weighs heavy on me some days.  My busy is in the mundane.  I know it is all important, though.  Shaping young ones is important.  Some days I wonder how good I'm really doing, though.  And that's where God's grace picks up, Amen!  

Outside of the messy and mundane busyness, I throw more busy on my pile from all kinds of other places (with good intentions of course).  It gets to the point that I don't even have time to think about allowing myself to be used where God wants me because I don't have the time to stop there and get to all the other places I'm supposed to be.  Why do we do this to ourselves?  I'll tell you why.....our society and our country put value and worth on how much we have on our to do list each day.  When there are days where I don't have anything going on (outside of the mundane), I feel guilty about it.  What is that about?  Mornings (like today) when I sit and type are turned into what I shoulda woulda coulda been doing with my time.  Such is the American life.

When I was preparing to go to Costa Rica two years ago (Two years???), I researched life in Costa Rica.  Many people from the US retire in CR because of its laid-back nature.  Some from the US can not handle CR, though, because it is too far from the norm of their lives in the States.  In CR, if you ask someone to come to your house to fix something (or whatever) and they tell you they'll be there "maƱana", it could be tomorrow when you see them, but it will most likely be the next day, or the next day, or the next week.  Things are just not in a hurry down there.  It's called "Tico Time".  Days that are full of opportunities.  Days that are full of ways to be used for God's Glory.  Days that are nothing like a day in the life of an American.  We have convenienced ourselves to the point of expecting immediate gratification and immediate results with every single area of our lives, including our relationship with God.  If we can't have a prayer answered right now, then we'll just figure out how to make it work ourselves.  That works SO well, doesn't it?  We fill up every single minute of our waking hours (and sometimes hours that should be reserved for sleeping) with stuff, worldly stuff, and none of it will make a hill of beans by next week, let alone tomorrow.  

While being too busy plagues all of us sometimes, it should never plague us ALL of the time.  I know too many people like that.  There is no room in their life for one ounce of spontaneity or deviation.  I have been trying my best to not let that happen to me, but at times, I end up there.  How can God use me if I'm not freed up a little more, though?  You are not important (even though you may feel that way) just because you are strung out way too thin.  The number of items on your to do list does not define your worth.  The lack of items on your to do list does not define your worth.  If it is not eternal, it is not important.  Period.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got to feed a child lunch, pick a child up from school, pick another child up from another school, take a child to her dance Halloween party, come home and get ready for a soccer game, get home, feed kids, bathe kids, put kids to bed, crash.  Rinse and repeat.

I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind. ~ Ecclesiastes 1:14

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.  Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. ~ Colossians 3:1-3

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Romans 3:23

I wrote the following post after the Boston Marathon but never published it.  I remembered it this morning, though, as our nation began to reflect on the acts committed 12 years ago (has it really been that long?).  Thought it was worth finally posting since it's how I still feel today about our desperate need to seek approval that we are "not as bad as those people were".

This week, an unimaginable thing happened.  Two bombs were detonated near the finish line of the famous Boston Marathon.  As if I needed another reason (excuse) to not run a marathon.  All joking aside, this was another travesty in our nation and another time when I had to turn my TV off after I found out the details I wanted to know.  I know I can't shelter my kids forever, but I am just not ready/competent enough to explain these things to them at their age.  Charlee is terrified of so many things that I don't want to throw another thing in there for her to be scared of.  Now, if she were to ask me about it (I did have the news on while she was in the room.), then I'd stumble through the best and most comforting way I could manage.

After 9/11, I was glued to cable news.  I left my TV on all night and went nearly blind from trying to read the scrolling news at the bottom to make sure I wasn't missing anything.  I was in college.  I mean, what college kid obsesses about what's going on globally and nationally?  That's what 9/11/01 did to so many of us.  I'm at a different point in my life, I guess.  I want to know what's going on, and I keep up to speed on most things happening around the world, but I don't indulge in it.  I can't.  I don't want to feel powerless like I do when I indulge.  This is why as soon as I heard about the Newtown school shooting, I didn't watch a single news coverage of it.  I mean, not one.  We were resigned to Nick Jr. and Disney Channel.  (Who am I kidding?  That's what we're ALWAYS resigned to.  Ha!)  I knew the main details of what happened from scrolling through my Facebook News Feed that day, but I had a 4-year-old, 2-year-old, and a 2-month-old and couldn't let my mind go there.  Still can't.  Several Facebook friends have posted links to a video about Gosnell, an abortion doctor on trial.  I can't go there, either.  I know in the back of my mind what he did, but I can't watch it.  Can't even read it.  I read about him when he first went on trial, and that's enough.

Now, I feel like we should know about the injustices and evil things occurring in our world.  I don't know why, other than just to be informed and to feel the true weight of our NEED to utterly rely on Jesus.  I don't want to live in a bubble and believe that everything is hunky-dorey just because it is in my little world.  Going to Costa Rica totally opened my eyes to so many things in my life, in my church, in my country, and I think that was such an important realization that I will never forget.  I want to be sheltered, though, to all of this violence and mass chaos.  I want to cling to Jesus and remember that I do not belong in this world.  So, I guess it's okay that I don't immerse myself in all the negative coverage, right?  I mean, show me a story about awesome work that God has done.  That's what I want to see!

In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing, I have seen a quote quite a few times by an actor/comedian.  The quote basically says that we should focus on the fact that there are more good people in the world than evil and that we should always remember that we outnumber the evil ones.  He says that we wouldn't be here if humanity was inherently evil because we would have "eaten ourselves".  Humanity is good.  Take comfort in that.  Lots of people have been comforted by this quote this week.  Let me tell you something:  It has bothered me to no end.  Even if I look past the fact that he is a self-professed atheist and that he started the quote with an "F bomb", it is just not true.  Humanity is not inherently good.  The Bible specifically says that mankind is fallen.  We are sinners who don't even seek God, the only perfect and worthy One who deserves our utmost and constant focus.  Humans are selfish.  Yes, that includes me.  "But I'm saved," you say, "I'm a Christian."  If that's the case, then you only do good works through the Power of Jesus Christ through you.  You can't do anything good on your own.  It may look "good" from the surface, but you are not "good" in and of yourself.  Bummer, right?  Such an offensive thought for so many Americans.  "What?  You're calling Americans selfish?"  Why, yes.  Yes, I am.  So are Canadians, Italians, Australians, etc., etc.  Everyone is out for themselves.  No one seeks God by his own will.  

Now, the problem I have with the quote and with the entire sentiment that a tragedy like this brings forth is that it is an opportunity for our selfish minds to look at the attacker or the attack and think:  Man, something incredibly evil and selfish did that.  I could never fathom doing something so heinous.  For the large majority of us, we would never do or even fathom something so inconceivable.  Because of that, though, we will blindly believe that that makes us "good" and incapable of "evil".  This is just wrong.  While tragedies such as this cause an emotional reaction in all of us (unless we are just heartless), emotions don't bring about true change, true repentance, or true "good".  Emotions can lead you to church (this happened after 9/11 when many returned to churches or went for the first time seeking something to give them hope, peace, joy).  Emotions can't save you and make you "good", though.  Only Jesus Christ and His saving grace can do that. 

Where am I going with this?  I'm afraid that quotes like this and sentiments that we should "focus on the good in the world" will lead us to believe that we are not that bad, that we don't need saving because we are good.  Because if we were truly bad, we would be able to commit terrible acts such as these.  The problem with that is we ARE capable of committing terrible acts against a Holy and Pure God, and we do it every day.  That alone will send us to our demise.  If America doesn't realize how depraved the human condition is and how we are all destined for destruction by our own accord, then we will never see the need to turn to Christ, the only one who can save us. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Landry Fay Castle

Well, it's been 4 months.  4 whole months!!  Or has it been years?  Sure feels like it.  Not in a bad way, of course, but just seems like our Landry Fay Fay has been here so much longer.  I've been wanting to blog about her birth, but to be honest, 3 kids is HARD WORK!

On October 14th, just a few short days after my last post, I woke up around 4 in the morning with contractions that were coming maybe every 10 minutes or so.  They weren't very consistent, and they didn't hurt much at all.  Since I was having C-section #3, though, I didn't want to wait too long before going to the hospital if this was the real thing.  Short story about Barrett's birth:  my doctor told me I would only have to have consistent contractions for a couple of hours at home before I needed to come in so that the repeat section could be done.  I waited until the contractions really started hurting, though, because I wanted to be sure it was real labor.  Imagine my surprise when I showed up at the hospital, my doctor being out of town, and the on-call doctor didn't want to be bothered with getting out of bed and coming in for little ole me until 6 hours later!  She wasn't too keen on giving me anything for the pain either, and there was pain.  Lots and lots of pain.  After quite a bit of flak from the less-than-friendly nurses, I was finally able to get an epidural since on-call doc wanted to still wait a couple more hours before performing my surgery.  Yea.  Fun stuff.  Good thing I wasn't all concerned about my uterus rupturing or anything.  Barrett came, though, healthy and perfect in every way so all was good.  Fast-forward back to me on a Sunday morning trying to decide if I go in immediately to the hospital (which is what my doctor told me to do), or do I go to church, or do I stick around the house until I know for sure I'm really in labor.  I mean, this is the 3rd time.  You think it'd be easier to tell by now.  Nope.  They're ALL different!  I finally gave in and we headed to the hospital around 9 because I was very nervous about having to stay in pain for so long again.  I wanted to get there before it started really hurting.  Almost my whole pregnancy, I prayed and prayed that I wouldn't have to go through what I went through with Barrett.  I know, I know ~ it's labor.  Every mother has done it for centuries.  This chick can't take it, though.  I read one time that red heads have more pain receptors in their bodies, and I can agree 100% when it comes to labor contractions.  Call me a weenie.  I don't care!  Anyways, I got to the hospital and waited around for, you guessed it, another on-call doctor.  Thankfully, not the same one from previous time.  She was at an emergency at another hospital, but the lovely woman that she is, she ordered pain meds and something to stop the contractions BEFORE they ever started hurting.  Bless her times 5000!

After waiting much of the day, the contractions finally starting really hurting and none of the meds to stop them were working.  The doctor arrived and could tell how much pain I was starting to get into, and she became my best friend because she spoke ninety-to-nothing (which is awesome when you are totally ready to get the show on the road) and she ordered C-section prep right away.  Yummy concoction was swallowed and I was wheeled off to surgery.  Got my spinal and was overjoyed at the relief I immediately felt after they tilted me so that the numbness traveled from my feet to my chest.  Ahhhhh.  :) I then got to focus on the conversation between the anesthesia folks and the nurses until the doctor came in.  A short time later, 5:09 pm to be exact, little MISS Castle came out just a wailin'.  The doctor said, "Well, what do you think?  Boy or Girl?"  I must not have heard this, because all I heard was Chandler say, "Boy!"  So I said, "It's a Boy?!"  "Nope ~ a GIRL!"  Such a rush of wonderful emotions.  I highly, highly recommend waiting to find out what you're having!  SO cool.  Doctor told us she was a feisty one, then brought her over for us to see.  Perfectly round and beautiful little t-tiny head.  SO sweet!  I couldn't believe how small she was but how big her feet and fingers were!

When we got back to recovery, our family showed up.  We wanted Charlee and Barrett to be the first to know if their new sibling was a boy or girl, so Chandler sent out texts that just said Baby is here.  :)  Charlee and Barrett were so excited about their new sister, but Charlee was a little scared to come anywhere near me because I was throwing up (yes, right there in front of everyone who had come to see us.  I started throwing up while still in surgery and didn't stop until well into the night.  NOT fun to be feeding a baby and throwing up at the same time.).  Poor Charlee thought she would get sick if she got too close to me.  She didn't, though :) and she got to come back the next day and introduce herself to her little sis up close and personal.  In true Chandler and Jamie fashion, our new little girl remained nameless for a couple of days.  We finally decided she was the perfect "Landry" and just needed to add a middle name.  We named her "Fay" after her NanNan and her Nannie, and it couldn't be more perfect for her.  Her nickname now is Landry Fay Fay.  :)

Look at that foot!

Our traditional Mommy, Daddy, Baby picture :)

Recovery from this C-section has been a little rough, but I'm doing a lot better now and only have a little bit of back pain left.  We went through something new with number three, a touch of colic every night for 3 hours from 4 weeks old to about 12 weeks.  We survived, thankfully, and Landry is doing so much better and sleeps fairly well for us.  Not consistently sleeping through the night yet, but we do get a break once every few nights.  She wakes up less than the 5-year-old, so that's good, right?  Life with 3 is definitely an adjustment, but I wouldn't trade those 3 sweet things for anything.  Barrett hasn't been an ounce of trouble with her, he loves her and is so sweet with her.  Charlee loves having another girl in the house, and just loves seeing Landry wear her old clothes.  So do I.  Girl clothes are just so much cuter than boys'!  Sweet Landry has totally shaken up our Castle and we are all completely smitten with her.  More fun to come, and I can't wait!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

37 weeks and growing!

UPDATE:  Baby's still in there.  :) 
37 weeks 1 day today, and not much change.  Still don't know gender, still no name, still enduring heartburn, still don't have everything prepared.  Poor third child.  Ha!  I'm actually going into super-nesting mode, followed by super-resting mode each day.  I want to do so much before this baby comes, but I have two little munchkins who add to my daily to-do list.  Wouldn't change it, though.  Well, maybe I'd change the sticky hands that touch all of the walls repeatedly.  Other than that, though, nothing.  Today, my goal is to get the pack n play set up in our room, baby's home for who knows how long.  Weight gain:  I'm not scared...I'll post it...Up 54 whopping pounds!
Barrett has been sleeping in his toddler bed (crib converted) for a few weeks now, and has been doing great!  He has, however, changed his wake-up time to the minute he see light peek through the edges of his blackout curtains.  Fun.  Already praying about how that will go down when daylight savings time ends in a month and the sun comes up an hour sooner!  Maybe he will just be so worn out from being super-sweet to his new baby all day every day that he'll go back to sleeping a little later.  A girl can dream.  :)  Still going back and forth on whether or not we will move him into Charlee's room.  What to do, what to do.
Charlee is doing better about sleeping all night in her room.  She does, however, have to fall asleep in our bed or on the couch and be carried into her bed before she'll sleep in there all night.  I chalk this up to me being too lazy to tackle this beast right now.  She is also my super-sensitive little girl who not only got scared when they talked about electricity at school, but also didn't care too much for the fire station visit.  Luckily, I was there with her for that.  She probably would have sobbed if I wasn't.  The firefighter dressed in his gear scared her (even though she saw him getting dressed and knew he was a normal person), the fire truck scared her, and I had to stand in the picture with her when all of the kids stood in front of the fire truck.  Only momma (fat and pregnant might I add) that had to stand in the picture with her kid.  It was an excellent opportunity (just like the electricity talk) to discuss with her what to do in an emergency, mainly how men dressed in uniforms are not scary, they are here to help us.  It also made me go get new smoke detectors and fire extinguisher which I've been meaning to do for quite some time. 
This past Saturday, we headed up to Oxford for a Castle family reunion.  I probably shouldn't have traveled that far this late, but doc hasn't told me I couldn't (I didn't really ask, either).  We had a great time visiting and eating, and my kids had a BLAST.  It was freezing, and of course I didn't dress them accordingly, but that didn't stop them.  We decided to stay in Tupelo for the night, and as soon as we got there and pulled up to get something to eat, Barrett coughed and then blew chunks all over himself, his carseat, the van.  We got him as cleaned up as we could, then headed to the hotel.  "Fun" night was had by all.  Mainly Barrett and me, although the other two will tell you they had a rough night too.  Yeah right.  Ha!  Oh the joys of having a husband with a weak stomach who is very little help at the sight of puke or poop.  Adding to the fun was the realization that I had completely under-packed.  We knew we would likely spend the night somewhere, but I didn't pack any extra shirts for myself.  I brought pants and that's it.  Not even pajamas.  Not quite sure what I was thinking.  I did get clothes for the kids, but Barrett blew through those in no time.  I also forgot nearly all toiletries.  Nice.  It was definitely a warning to me to go ahead and start packing the hospital bag so I don't forget anything!  No, I haven't done that yet.  Late third trimester, sick child with vomit and diarrhea, little supplies, and hotel room DO NOT mix.  There's your tip for the day.  Poor, poor hotel maids.  I did my best to not leave them too big of a mess.  At one point, around 2 in the morning, I had a thought that the only thing that would make the night more "fun" would be if I went into labor.  SO glad God's sense of humor didn't send us down THAT route that night.  Ha!  We washed everything at the hotel, including the carseat which was just gross, and headed back home the next morning.  My night of "fun" was compensated by a stop at Oby's in Starkville.  Mmmmm.  Barrett laid on my shoulder there, and quickly fell asleep in the car.  When we got home (about 3 pm), he went straight to bed and didn't get up until 7 the next morning!  20,000 hand washes later, I have (knock on wood) not gotten whatever he had (knock on wood a second time because that would just be terrible right now), and neither have Charlee or Chandler.  The nice part about it was being able to leave those germs behind in a hotel room.  Hopefully they used a lot of lysol to clean after us! 
And now, the belly shots....

35 weeks
36 weeks

37 weeks

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A is for Art, B is for Barrett, C is for Charlee :)

First day of school
Charlee had an Art Show at school during "A" week.  She loves coloring, drawing, painting, anything artistic, so she was very proud of all of her creations.  So was I.  :)

For "B" week, we got to go on a fun field trip to the bowling alley!  This was Charlee's first time bowling, and I think she enjoyed it.  I'm drawing a blank on what they did for "C" week.  "D" week was Donuts with Dad where Chandler got to take her to school, have donuts, and they even played a little basketball.  Last week was "E" week, and a couple of workers from the power company came and talked to the class about electricity.  They brought a lift truck for the kids to see, but by this point my child was so scared that she wouldn't go out to see the truck and had to stay with Ms. Glenda, the school's director.  She told me later that electricity can fall on your house and if you touch it then you die.  She didn't want to go out to the truck and die.  Poor, sweet, innocent thing.  :(  We had a nice, long conversation about all of the ways that electricity helps us and why we shouldn't be scared of it, we just need to be careful with it.  I've never been so glad that I live in a neighborhood where power lines are underground, because I'm sure she would not have wanted to come anywhere near our house otherwise.  I don't think I'll have to ever worry about her sticking her finger in the electrical outlets.  This week is "F" week, so we are heading to the fire station on Thursday.  I'll be there with her this time, so I'm hoping that she won't get scared again.  When she's not getting scared, this girl is having a great time in her 4-year-old class!  I was a little worried about this year because her best friend wouldn't be at her school for the first time, but she's adapted well and loves going and learning.  Charlee is enjoying her new dance class this year and has also taken up soccer.  She had her third game this past weekend, and she scored her very first goal!  She was so excited.  So was her daddy, who had been a little worried that his girl would take after her momma and be non-aggressive.  :) 

This little guy likes going to soccer, too, because he gets to see this precious thing who says she is "gonna marry baet castle".  His mommy definitely approves.  :)

Barrett is in the 2-year-old class this year, and he is doing so much better than last year!  His teacher says he still likes to hit sometimes, but (fingers crossed) there has been no biting.  Praise the Lord!!!  Let's just hope that the new baby doesn't throw him out of remission!  Another praise:  Barrett's thyroid levels are supposed to be checked every 3-4 months because of the medicine he has been taking.  We started the medicine because his TSH level was "high".  According to his endocrinologist, though, the levels deemed "high" have been lowered and some kids actually have an okay number even though it registers as high.  Makes perfect sense, right?  Anyway, we headed on over to the ped's office a couple of weeks ago (a good month, maybe two past the time we were supposed to go) and had them draw blood to test his levels.  Torturous is all I'll say about that.  Two poked and prodded arms, busted capillaries, and several bruises later, I was told that they couldn't get enough blood to test his levels.  Lovely.  I won't say it was the lack of expertise of the lab tech..... I was too busy consoling my poor baby and assuring my sweet, concerned girl that he was okay to be as hot as I could have been.  Anyway, the next morning, our doctor called and said they actually got enough blood and were able to run the screen.  His TSH was now very low, too low, and it was causing his other thyroid level to be elevated.  He has been taking the lowest level of medicine, so she told us to stop giving him the meds until he goes back to the endo in December.  They'll test him again then (looking forward to THAT), and we'll go from there.  Sounds like he will be normal, though, and not have to take thyroid meds anymore ~ YAY, YAY, YAY!!!!  Potty training a boy....... that's all I'll say about that. 

This boy has gotten to go hang out with his daddy at the hunting camp a couple of times, and he has just loved it!  They were just getting things ready for hunting season, so he wasn't hunting or anything (well, maybe a hog or something).  He just loves riding the 4-wheeler, putting on his camo, and hanging out with Dad.  Last time, though, Dad didn't realize the importance of giving that boy plenty of sleep, and he came home and passed out on the kitchen tile!  He was rather ill when we tried to move him, talk to him, leave him there, anything.  He slept pretty good when he finally got in the bed, though!  Here he is at his friend Carson's bday party ~ Mater was there!

3 week countdown for baby Castle #3 begins!  Or sooner..... YIKES!