Monday, December 28, 2009

Merry White CHRISTmas!

We had such a wonderful CHRISTmas this year! We did all of our family traditions such as making applesauce ornaments and baking cookies for Santa. This year we added 2 new traditions. We started the Elf on the Shelf which Zade named Taurus. Why, you ask? I have NO IDEA! We also did our interactive Nativity and the kids really loved doing that. It was a great way for us to teach them why we celebrate CHRISTmas! This CHRISTmas was probably the funnest ones since becoming a mom. Gracie really got into the whole Santa thing and Zade is beginning to understand it. We threw out some reindeer food for Santa's reindeer and put out our cookies and a Diet Coke for Santa. The next morning the kids were amazed that he drank all of the Diet Coke and ate all but half of a cookie. It was so much fun to see them try to fathom all of it! And bonus - we got a white CHRISTmas this year! How exciting was that!?!? I have to admit, though, at first it wasn't that exciting. We were at my parents' house in Godley when the Blizzard started blowing in and had to quickly leave. We left their house at 4:30p and didn't get home until 7:15p. It was the longest and most tense ride home ever. But nonetheless the Lord got us and the rest of my family home safely.
Well, enjoy my many pictures of all of our CHRISTmas activities! I hope you all had a wonderful CHRISTmas as we did! Happy New Year!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Princess Gracie Mae

Here are the pics from Gracie's bday party today. She isn't 5 yet, though. Since her bday falls on Thanksgiving Day this year we decided to have it early. She had a great time with her friends and cousins and loved all of her presents! I just wanna give a quick shout out to Courtney who helped me decorate her Barbie Princess cake! You were a live saver, Court!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Lovin' The Outdoors!

We took a somewhat impromptu camping trip this weekend with Matt's parents. We had such a great time. We headed to Mineral Wells but found out once we got there that they were all filled up. Not a major shocker seeing how beautiful the weather has been. So we loaded back in the cars and headed to a place called Ft. Richardson - none of us had ever been there before. We loooooved it! The campsites were so nice and there was hardly anyone there. Geretha cooked yummy, slap your momma good, food. (My favorite part of camping - eating!) We did a lot of hiking which oddly, the kids loved. Gracie would take off ahead of us then run back to us...she was so happy! She is such an outdoorsy kinda girl! The guys played corn-hole, and washers, and did a little fishing. They took Zade and thought they'd let him have a shot at it. Well, he was the only one to catch a fish! His first one! Unfortunately, we didn't get a picture of it. The weather was great! I'll say it again...we had a blast! Here's to the great outdoors!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween 2009

Here's my Pics of Halloween this year! Enjoy!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fall!

Hey y'all! We have been really busy these days. Gracie is in full swing with her Speech and Occupational Therapy as well as school. We are really starting to see an improvement in her speech which is super exciting. There isn't much else interesting going on. Zade is still the same old boogar he's always been (he takes after his daddy) but is talking up a storm and won't stop! But I can't complain! (Even though I do! Ha!) We went to the Shriners Circus a few weeks ago with some friends. The kids had a blast! Zade was scared of the clowns at the beginning but by the time we left he gave one a high-five then bragged about it all the way home like he was soooo brave! Gracie and Beckett got to ride an elephant! They thought that was awesome! The show was really good!
I've also posted some other pics of some random stuff we've done the past month. We had Old-Fashion day at church. That was a lot of fun! Gracie sang in the children's choir for the first time last week. She stood there and smiled the whole time. Thank goodness that's all she did. My worst fear is that she'll do something embarrassing like flash the whole church!
Matt and I celebrated our 11th anniversary a few weeks ago. We didn't do anything too spectacular. The kids went to my sister's so we went to dinner and a movie. You can tell we're getting old because that's a big deal to us now!
Tonight we're taking the kids to the church Trunk or Treat so I will post pics of that soon. And Gracie turns 5 soon. We're planning on having her party early since her birthday lands on Thanksgiving day this year.
Well, I hope everyone has a Happy Halloween and I'll blog ya later!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Just a spoon full of sugar.....

Holy Cow....could it rain anymore!? My grass and flowers are lovin' this but my kiddos are not. We're getting bored in this here house! But I sure do like the fall feeling that it has brought about! I can't wait to get some pumpkin and apple scented candles for the house and to start putting out my little pumpkin decorations.


Gracie has begun her medicine and so far we are pleased with how it has worked. Her focus is more intent, she makes eye contact, and can follow directions a lot better than before. She brought home a coloring sheet from school on Tuesday when she was not on medication and when compared to the paper she colored on Wednesday on medication it is like night and day. I took a picture of it and will post it below! Now she will color for hours! (literally!) There have been a few negative effects that we will have to deal with....she's a little bit of a bully with other kids, weepy at times, and doesn't always eat lunch (unless it's pizza). We're so thankful that this is all finally coming together. Our goal is to get her ready for Kindergarten and I think that is very possible. God has been so good to her and we're so thankful for that.


She also started Speech Therapy and the therapist had good things to say. She was pleased with her ability to mimic speech and her attempts at speaking although most wasn't understandable. She also gets Speech Therapy at school to Tuesdays and Thursdays - so that's 3 days a week of Speech.


These days I've been very busy driving her from one place to the next between school, and each therapy session....not to mention the cost of all of this! Matt has been making the financial sacrifices there. He's worked a lot of overtime to enable us to afford this $400/mth. expense that we feel is well worth it! Zade, too, has been making sacrifices. The Cooks waiting room isn't very exciting and the few toys they have are getting pretty boring to him since he's there twice a week with me and Gracie. And bless his heart, he always thinks we're getting in the car to go somewhere fun and its usually just to take Gracie to either school or therapy. That's why he enjoys church and preschool so much because those places are for him. He's a good and patient little brother!


My grandparents are in town from Oregon and they came by to see us the other day. Below are some pics of my Papaw playing on the floor with the kids. Be forwarned - one is of his teeth coming out. It is to the horror of my Memaw that I post this one, but I thought it was funny. He used to do this to me when I was little and I was not fond of it! He's a good Papaw that still loves to play on the floor with the kids despite his age!


I'm also posting some pics of the kids at the movies today. We went to $.50 Monday to see "UP" and then we played for a while in the arcade. It was a great way to spend the rainy day! I hope all of you are staying as dry as possible. I know we're all about to go coo-coo indoors but I know we'll all survive! Happy football watching! It's Monday Night!




Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Greatest Birthday Ever!

My birthday was yesterday and I turned 31. I know, I'm an old lady. It's funny because I really don't feel that old. I know everybody probably says that but it's really how I feel. Anyways, I had the greatest birthday ever yesterday. To start the day off, Gracie wished me a "Hap Birday" and that in itself was the greatest gift ever. I have the greatest and cutest kids in the world. They crack me up all the stinkin' time! After Matt woke up we went to lunch at my fav restaurant, Chili's, (I know, I have low-standards - but I love it!) Then we headed out to my sisters. Anybody who knows anything about me at all knows I'm a big Texas Longhorn Fan and yesterday was the first game of the season! So my sister made my birthday party a Longhorn-themed party. It was so cute! She had a Longhorns table cloth, napkins, cups, and plates. We put on cute Longhorn tattoos and everybody wore their burnt orange! And just because you're a grown-up doesn't mean you can't have a bounce-house waterslide at your birthday party....that kept the kids good and entertained! My awesome brother-in-law made THE BEST food ever. We had grilled chicken drumsticks, ribs, and spicy sausage links, baked beans, potato salad, pea salad, and rolls. Then my mom made our favorite chocolate cake! While the food was cooking we played a fun game called Corn Hole. Then my clever sister came up with a Football Trivia game for all the adults to play and win cool Longhorn prizes!It was fun! Once the game started my sister and I showed my mom all about the world of Facebook! It was such an awesome night. I felt so lucky to get to be with my family and have such a great time! My kids always love going to my sister's house and so do I! So, thanks Crystal and Ashley for putting on such a fun night and thanks to Matt and my sweet little, rotten kids for making me such a happy, happy girl! I love you all!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Good news and First Day Pics.....



Here's some pics from the first day of Gracie's school. I was a bad mom and forgot to take pics of Zade at the preschool. I think a friend took some so if I get those I will post them soon.
We are so super excited...we just found out today that Gracie cleared the waitlist for Speech Therapy and will begin on Wednesday! Yay! That was an awesome answer to this Mama's prayers! I can not wait to carry on a understandable conversation with my Baby Girl! Go Gracie!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Since I last blogged......

Well, good grief! It's been almost 5months since I've last updated this blog. Who knows if anyone even reads it anymore. We had a good summer...uneventful, but good. Matt and I went on vacation in June......ALONE! (woo-hoo!) We went to Canyon Lake again like we did last summer. We had a great time.....we "floated" down the Guadalupe River. I say "floated" in quotes because the water was so low at points that we had to get out and just walk the river. But either way, it was fun. We visited Matt's aunt and uncle in Fredericksburg.....Shopped in San Marcos (of course)....then went into town and went to the movies twice! It wasn't a super exciting event filled vacation which was a-okay with us. We had a great time relaxing and just being alone. By the time the week was over we were ready to get home and see our babies!
In July, Zade turned 2! Boy was that fun! We had a big swimming party for him in the backyard that I had a blast planning. I got so excited planning it that the invites went out like a month in advance! He had a great time at the party so it was all worth it!
The rest of the summer me and the kids spent swimming and working on our tans. (Their tans are a lot better than mine, sadly)
Gracie did begin her Occupational Therapy (OT) with Ms. Angie at Cooks. It seems to be going well but there is a barrier that we keep running into when it comes to her understanding of directions and her attention and focus. She is still on the waiting list for Speech Therapy through Cooks. Last we heard there are only 5 kids ahead of her and she has a good shot at clearing soon the waitlist since she does not need an afternoon spot. We are just really ready to get her in and see some progress. Life will be a lot easier on us all if she could understand what she is being told and be able to express herself. It was a long summer when it came to church.....our Wednesday night Kids Club only operates through the summer and therefore, the kids have to sit with their parents in grown-up church. Lordy, that was hard! Gracie did not ever grasp the concept of being quiet in church. First, she would want to go see Pa-paw who's currently preaching, then she'd just want to talk back to him like they were having a conversation between just the two of them. Man, it was hard. It's hard to tell your kid who you have on a waiting list for Speech to stop talking. Or to ask your ADHD child to sit still for an hour an listen to Pa-paw preach about the end times. Yeah, not easy. But - we survived and Kids Club is back and we love it!
Speaking of ADHD, we went to Gracie's follow-up appointment at Child Study Center a few weeks ago. We made a tough decision and have decided to put Gracie on medication to help with her attention issues. Matt and I have agreed that if this changes Gracie in any negative way we will take her off or have the doctor lower her dosage until we're satisfied. We do know that it will affect her appetite and we're not too thrilled about that. She's already a tiny girl but has recently developed a healthy appetite. Inspite of that, we're hoping it will help her to sit down and focus long enough to start grasping some of the concepts she's been slow in grasping.
School has just recently begun. Gracie started back to her PPCD class at Bluebonnet Elementary. This year she got a new teacher. I must say, I was a little apprehensive about this. We love love love Mrs. Morton and think of her as part of our family and part of Team Gracie and I wasn't sure if we...okay I could do this without her. However, Gracie loves her new teacher Mrs. Dahl and things seem to be going pretty well. They got a new classroom and conveniently are right down the hall from Mrs. Morton.
We also started back up at HCP this week. Zade is in a class with his buddies Drew and Ramsey. His teachers keep telling me he's a good kid, so I'm not sure why he's pulling the wool over their eyes, but they'll see soon enough! But, I'm really excited to see him grow and develop friendships that I hope last forever. They say he and Ramsey play really well together and fight really well, too. Lol.
Matt picks Gracie up from Bluebonnet on Tues and Thurs and brings her to the preschool and she's in my friend's class just next door. She seems to have a good time!
I'm teaching again with my friend Courtney this year. This will be our 4th year together. You would think we'd have a good system and be able to just jump in and be so organized - nope - not so much. I'm sure we'll get our junk together soon enough!

Oh yeah, and I'm still chipping away at my college degree. It took me all summer long to remember to register for fall classes, so I ended up being able to find availability in only 1 online class that I need to take. So....Music Appreciation (Jazz) it is....zzzzzzz. Oh well!
Well, now that I've wasted an hour of your time rambling on about NOTHING, I'll end. Night all!



Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Results from all of the evaluations are finally in!

Hola, amigos! (Been hangin' out with the Ramirez's!)
Thursday we recieved word (finally) that Gracie qualified for Occupational Therapy through Cook Children's. We had been waiting about 3 or so weeks since the evaluation to hear back from them. She starts therapy this coming Friday at 245p and will do so every Friday. A lot of people have been asking me what occupational therapy is. No, it's not "on the job training" or anything to do with an occupation. :) We're not putting Gracie to work. The economy is bad but not that bad! :) Occupational therapy or OT as it is commonly referred to is therapy that enables those with limitations to participate in everyday life. Occupational therapy is about understanding the importance of an activity to an individual, being able to analyze the physical, mental and social components of the activity and then adapting the activity, the environment and/or the person to enable them to resume the activity. In Gracie's case those limitations are using her fine and gross motor skills. Most of these things are being worked on already with Mrs. Morton (her awesome PPCD teacher) at school - so she will get some additional assistance.

On Friday Gracie and I went to her speech evaluation also at Cooks. It was so nice because after the testing they made us wait about 20mins. so they could score the test and give us the results before we leave. On the test that they used, a child Gracie's age (4) should score between 85 and 115. Gracie scored in the 50s. Her speech is at an age equivalency of a 2yr old. I was not surprised by this but did feel tears begin to well up. I guess to hear it and see it on paper made me a little sad and just made it more real then it ever has been.
Anyhow, they recommend a 45min. therapy session once a week, also. However, the report has to be written up and sent to the insurance company then we get placed on a waiting list. This all could take about 2mths. The therapist was great, though. She gave me a book and some ideas on how to help Gracie in the meantime. She is also already getting speech therapy at school twice a week. Hopefully, she will be able to start therapy at Cooks by the time school is out for the summer.
People keep asking me if the doctors have said why Gracie is having all of these difficulties. The answer is no, they haven't and I honestly haven't really asked. Because to me - what does it matter why unless the why helps us fix it - which it doesn't. The only thing that matters is that we work to fix it. The real reason why she's going through this is so that God can do amazing things through her! And for that, I think she is a lucky, lucky little girl! I don't need to know why it is the way it is and I don't need to know how it is going to end. All I know is that God is totally and completely, 100% in control of Gracie's life and that's good enough for me! (And her daddy!)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Therapy Evaluations!

Happy Easter, everyone! Just a quick update. Gracie had her evaluation with the occupational therapist at Cook Children's several weeks ago. I was allowed to stay with her and watch the evaluation. The therapist did several "tests" and Gracie did a great job and was very cooperative. They asked her to do a lot of tasks to test her fine motor skills, like cutting, drawing line, circles, crosses....many things that most 4yr. olds do that are taken for granted. Then they took her in their small gym to evaluate her gross motor skills. They had her attempt to throw and catch a ball, pedal a bike, jump like different animals, and climb up and down stairs. The therapist wasn't able to give us an definite answer but said she was likely a candidate for therapy on a regular basis. (I agree) They have to score their tests and write up a report and will get to me, hopefully soon. (Still waiting) This Friday is her evaluation with the Speech Therapist. This one is a big one for us. We know she will be eligible and are eager to just get started. One of our struggles right now is sleep. We assume her restlessness is just a factor of the ADHD but it is really starting to wear on Mommy! Gracie wakes us usually at 12a, 2a-3a, 5a, and if we aren't already up 7a. Most of the time it's to use the potty but makes her alert enough to not be able to go back to sleep. It's very exhausting and starting to affect her behavior. If it continues to persist I may have to call the doctor from Child Study Center.
As you see from the pictures below we've been a busy family. We've enjoyed Gracie's blastball. The games are too cute! Zade keeps us busy asking to see Matt's "mo-cycle" and when we call him on it and offer to take him for a ride he says, "I 'cared!" He's a little smarty-pants and keeps us laughing all the time! He's a broken record when he wants something. Here we come terrible 2's!
Thanks for reading and please keep us in your prayers when you think about it! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

"Moddy!"

Just wanted to give everyone a quick update....nothing major. Last nught as I was putting Gracie down for bed I was turning on the CD player for her and I heard her say "Moddy!" She was saying Mommy!!!!!!!!! This is HUGE for me. I was so proud of her. I felt like Mel Gibson in the movie "Patriot" where his cute little adorable girl who never spoke said, "Daddy, don't go! I'll say anything just don't go!" That is the saddest part of the movie! I love that scene even more now that I have a little girl who has had a hard time talking. I made Gracie say it again while Matt was standing there just so I would have a witness. It isn't full on "Mommy" but it's better than "Daddy" and better than "Ma-Daddy"! I'm so proud!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Gracie's doctor appointment

Well, we went to the Child Study Center to see a child Psychologist. He was so great. He listened to Matt and I and our concerens and asked us questions. Then he got down on the floor and played different little things with Gracie to evaluate her. He tried to get her to build a tower of blocks, then imitate things he had built, he ran with her in the hall way, played ball with her and then he tested her on a bunch of pictures that he had to test her understanding of vocabulary. When it was all over with he told us he wanted her to get more Speech Therapy and to start Occupational Therapy which his office will set up through Cooks. He did classify her with ADHD but did not want to treat it with medication until some intense work had been done with her development delay. He is also going to have some genetics testing done on her to see what if anything is causing this delay.
So, that's how it went. I was encourage by the prospect of more therapy. I certainly agree that more work needs to be done and I'm ready to get these issues handled. Thanks to everyone who was praying for us today. We certainly felt it and know the Lord was with us.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Update on our life

It has been quite a while since I've updated my blog. There are 2 reasons for that. One - I have shamefully become addicted to Facebook, and two - I started taking a college course on-line. Which brings me to one change that has occured in our lives. Yes, I've decided to go back to school. I have always regretted not going to college fresh from highschool or while waiting to have children after we were married. So, I've decided to regret no more. I had started a few times and excuses got in the way but I WILL finish this time. I'm going so that I can be a teacher like I've wanted to do since I was a little girl. I have about a million friends and family members that teach and I've told myself for years that it wasn't for me but the desire never goes away. So - here I go! My plan is to take one class a semester (including summer) until Gracie goes to school full-time which should be the school year after next. At that time I will quit working at the preschool (sad...tears) and go to school full-time. I'm currently taking my on-line courses at TCC and will eventually transfer to UNT. I'm very excited!

Another change that is yet to happen in our family is Matt's position. He put in for a transfer to Traffic from his current position in Patrol. He got the position and is looking forward to the change. His hours will change somewhat. He will work a 10hr shift compared to the 12hr shift he currently works and he will always have the same days off compared to a rotating 8hr shift on Thurs and every other Sun. off he has now. His new days off will probably be Sat, Sun, Mon or may be Fri, Sat, Sun. Either way he will be off on Sat and Sun. The advantage for me is that he will be home earlier than usual and therefore, wake up earlier than usual and have longer time to spend at home before having to go back to work. Currently he has 2hrs a day from the time he wakes up to the time he leaves for work. An hour of that is spent preparing/eating/cleaning dinner. It stinks.

An update on Gracie.....she got her progress report and it wasn't that great at all. We are working a lot on things at home as well but it doesn't seem to be sticking. I'm trying hard to not get discouraged and I refuse to give up. We have turned our 30mins. before bedtime into our own little "circle time". I have themed lessons, and games we play that help to reinforce the things she's trying to learn. We also use this time to do a nightly Bible study. The good thing is Zade is right there in the big middle of it all so I've learned how to incorporate him in it, too. I don't expect him to catch on to colors, shapes, and numbers but I always ask him to repeat the words so as to help build his vocabulary. Which, by the way, he doesn't need much help on at all. (As I write - he's in bed singing the Batman song to himself - a nightly ritual)

More on Gracie....we decided to again have Gracie examined by a different doctor regarding possible A.D.D. We did this prior to her 4th bday and it didn't go so well. The doctor completely laughed us off and didn't evaluate her at all. This time we are going to The Child Study Center - a place that has been recommeded to us by many. Hopefully, she will get the proper care there and we can get some valuable answers that will help us help her.

Zade's big thing in life has been a big boy bed. We moved him to a toddler bed several weeks ago. He does really well in it. He also got his first haircut this weekend. Matt and I have been debating with one another about where/who will give Zade his first cut. I caved and sent him with Matt to the barber Saturday. Matt said he did so good..no crying or fussing at all. I teared up a bit when he came home. It's amazing how grown he looks after just a simple hair cut. But it is sooo cute.

Well, for now that is pretty much all that is going on in our lives. Nothing earth shattering.

Monday, January 5, 2009