Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Last of VBS

Clayton picking out his door prize:

The VBS theme was "Custom Garage," so everything the kids did revolved around racing and cars. (Tied to Jesus by the fact that we are all custom made by God and made to love Him and serve others). They got a special treat at the end of the night: Shane brought a real-life drag racing car for them to see. Not really Bible related, but the kids loved it anyway!!

And I have to include this picture just because I love this little boy--he is in Clayton's class and even though he's one of the youngest he is smart as a whip. He's attached himself to me and Brian and hangs all over Clayton too. He's rarely still (we had to bribe him for this pic), but there's just something about him that makes us want to love him despite all that wildness!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

More VBS Pics

HUGE thanks to my friend Christy for taking over as Clayton's aide Monday night--we are really trying to come out of the "helicopter parent" mode and let him do more without us--it's because of friends like her that we are able to do that! (And her nametag is courtesy of Clayton!)

Brian helped Clayton with his project last night and in all reality it became Brian's project by the end of the night! And Brian's employee Freddy and his family came last night--Freddy had no idea that he would end up painting at VBS just like he does at work everyday!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Over the Weekend

Brian and I decided it was only fitting to eat at Georgia's for our anniversary. It's a little known spot that actually handled the catering for our wedding (yum, yum food!). We love it because it's rarely too crowded on Friday nights and the same people have been working there for years.

Saturday night we went to Whitney and Taylor's swimming party:

But unfortunately, this is what the pool looked like for most of the party:
There was a storm brewing with thunder and eventually we saw lightning. We got to swim just a little bit before going home so it wasn't a total bust--but there's no doubt that a pool party is the best kind of party to have in the middle of an Arkansas summer!

Vacation Bible School started last night and will go until Wednesday night. Clayton's favorite part is the music of course, I had to beg him to work on his crafts project! He was more into throwing the paper than coloring, although Vicki did get him to color for a few seconds for this picture:

Friday, July 25, 2008

Eleven Years

Today Brian and I celebrate our eleventh wedding anniversary. It's so hard to believe that in the summer of 1996 I drove off to Yellowstone National Park to find freedom and ended up meeting my future husband as soon as I got there! I'm such a rule follower and NON-risk taker that I really can't believe that I called my parents at the end of the summer to see if he could come home with me to meet them! Totally out of character for me to bring a complete stranger home from a summer in Wyoming! But it was definitely all in God's plan--my parents loved him from the start and knew there was something special between us. We spent a few months flying between Florida and Arkansas and Brian proposed to me on December 28, 1996. Definitely a whirlwind romance, but when you know, you JUST KNOW!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

No Green Thumb

But I have actually managed to keep some flowers alive this summer! In years past since we have moved in this house, I've basically ignored the outside just because I didn't have time to worry about one more thing. But since Clayton has gotten better and better, I find I have more and more "free" time on my hands. So at the beginning of the summer I actually planted flowers and filled my porch with plants. I'm so glad I did because it's amazing how much homier a porch can fill by just adding some greenery! I'm certainly no gardener, but I'm doing my best to keep them going in this heat--so far, so good!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Old Friends

We had some extra time at the hospital today so I thought I would visit the NICU to see some old friends. These two ladies helped take excellent care of Clayton (and his family!). Amelia (on the left) holds such a special place in my heart--she was one of Shawn's primary nurses and was taking care of him the morning he died. I eventually talked her into being a primary nurse for Clayton and she helped nurse my hurts just as much as she did his. I learned a lot about grieving and dealing with heartache from her--and definitely a lot about "rising from the ashes" in spite of your circumstances. Peggy (on the right) was a superwoman of a nurse! She is now a nurse practitioner in the NICU and I've never learned so much about preemies and other NICU issues as I did from this woman. I also gained a lot of confidence from Peggy--it was hard to be the mom when so many people were involved in my baby's care, but she pushed me to just take the bull by the horns. And because of that I learned early that I was Clayton's parent, advocate, and ultimately the one in charge. She spent many an hour taping ventilator tubes and IV lines so that I could hold Clayton even though he was in such a fragile condition. She was determined to help me bond with my baby as much as possible despite the circumstances.

I was so glad they got to see Clayton "all grown up." He didn't really talk much, but he did want to hug them and did say a few words after he got used to them. He showed them how well he could stand up and even tried to take a few steps. He never was completely settled though because he had a lot of people to watch and keep tabs on since we were standing by the door and main desk of the unit. But he was all smiles when Amelia brought her camera out--too bad he wouldn't look at me with my camera!

It was because of these women and Clayton's other primary nurses that we were able to leave the NICU each day knowing full well he had the best care. It's amazing to think that my baby lived at the hospital for 6 1/2 months---THANK GOD for special nurses and doctors who take such a personal interest in their patients and families! We couldn't have made it without them!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Random Friday

**Why has Katie lost about 20 pounds of hair and still continue to have enough to shed all over the place?
**Our house seems to do lots more settling in the middle of the night than most other houses. I know this because I am ALWAYS the last one asleep. I lay there forever listening to Brian, Clayton and Katie snore away while my mind is racing!
**Why do I see people from high school and try my best to walk the other way to keep from talking to them? A simple hi wouldn't be so hard I don't think . . . but it's always much more than a hi in this town.
**Will they ever be finished building this house next door??
**And most important: who really was singing on the MilliVanilli songs and why didn't he become famous in his own right??

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Had to Share

This was in the text message I received from Clayton's therapist yesterday:

They said he kept them on almost the whole pool session and didn't want to take them off once he got out! He's lovin' the water more than ever and I'm thinking he's going to be swimming by himself before he even walks!!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Too Hot to Scrap

My creativity level is at zero right now, but here's a couple of layouts I did a while back that I haven't shared here yet. One for Clayton:
And one for Shawn:

(The lyrics on this page are from the song by Keith Anderson).

Monday, July 14, 2008


(Clayton and my dad)

Thursday, July 10, 2008


This boy loves to watch people mow! And it's quite the treat when Daddy has the energy to hold him and push the mower! These days, he talks about it all the time--"watch Daddy mow," "watch Pop mow," "watch Tommy mow." (Tommy's the neighbor). Or when he hears a mower, "Momma, go outside!" And his favorite is "ME MOW!" And with that, Brian can't resist letting him have a little bit of fun that only little boys seem to get . . .

Monday, July 07, 2008

Holiday Weekend

Had a good weekend . . . spent yesterday at the lake and I actually remembered my camera this time! My cousin, his son and son's girlfriend came along with my parents. Here's a few pics from the day:

Skiing at sunset is the best . . . it's too bad my hands couldn't have lasted longer!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Independence Day

Hope everyone is having a great Fourth of July!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

One Less Thing!!!

Good news! Clayton was discharged from the ENT doctor today! His ears looked "perfect" and he passed his hearing test with flying colors (even though he was trying his best to cry during the whole thing!). Dr. Bower has been seeing Clayton since his discharge from the NICU. He's performed two or three surgeries on him, and he's watched him go from "failure to thrive" to FULLY THRIVING! He was laughing today about how Clayton was SOOOO far from looking like the micro-preemie he had once been. He's like the rest of us, so proud of the progress Clayton's made over these few years. I almost got a little teary over the whole thing--we've never heard a doctor say "discharged" before--we're usually adding doctors instead. Definitely a reason to celebrate around here!