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Planes, trains, spiders and Monkey’s OH MY!

Posted in Uncategorized by sandy on the November 25th, 2009


Here is Braeden as we checked him in for his first plane trip ALONE. He went to see Daddy Aaron in Chicago for Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is huge for Nancy’s (Aaron’s new wife) family and we are glad that Braeden was able to be a part of it. He was especially happy to miss 2 extra days of school. He did GREAT on the flight (direct to Chicago) and said he sat next to a nice lady who offered him some gum (bad Mama forgot to pack it). I of course was happy that he was taken care of, but had to remind him not to take candy from strangers. :) So far he is having a great time. He so desperately wants to see snow. Good thing we are moving to VA, because I just don’t think his first glimpse of snow is going to happen this weekend.





Minutes before he boarded the plane. Can you see my grip on him.


I have to say, sending my child 30,000 feet in the air and across the country ALONE was the scariest moments I’ve had as a parent. I was filled with so many emotions all at once.  I was so incredibly proud that my 7 year old is both mature enough and brave enough to fly alone; I was sad that my 7 year old was OK flying alone (it clearly indicated he is not this helpless little boy anymore and very much growing up); and I was scared to death of something happening to him. Fortunately Robyn offered the greatest 2 hour distraction while he was in flight. The movie Blind Side was fantastic and served its purpose perfectly.


On a recent trip to Target, I stumbled upon the movie Polar Express. I thought it would be perfect for the Christmas season. Then it hit me, DUH, it’s all about trains, Mikey will LOVE it! He LOVES it and watches it at least once a day. I took this picture the first time he watched it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him sit so still for so long. He was fascinated.



Braeden enjoyed watching the 3-D disc with Mikey-



For whatever reason, Mikey has been terrified of spiders, especially at night. He wakes up nightly screaming for Daddy and saying there are spiders in his bed. We are not sure where this is coming from. :(


Ever since Halloween, Mikey frequently mentions the LARGE blow up monkey decoration in someone’s yard that “gared” (scared) him. He’ll say, “Mama, that monkey was gary (scary). “If he hears a loud noise, he will say, “gary monkey Mama?” :)

and a few MISC……

Here’s my beautiful little boy with BOTH teeth. I took this picture a couple weeks ago because he was FINALLY able to wear this sweater I bought for him 2 years ago at Old Navy for $5. I loved the sweater so much (and the deal), but the smallest size they had was a 2T, so I bought it. He looks precious in the sweater and I love this picture because it was one of the last ones I took while he still had his front teeth.


“Take one with Bear Mama!” Btw, “Unny” has been replaced by Bear. He’s had this bear since birth and has slept with it and played with it, but didn’t really become attached to it until a couple months ago. His love for Bear and his NEED to have Bear at night, is stronger than his connection was with Unny. Now, I just have to figure out where I can find a replacement for Bear like I did with Unny (in case he gets lost).


Vitamin teeth-


So, it appears the retail stores are not the only ones ready for Christmas. Mikey came home from Mike’s Mom’s with this yesterday. I am not sure where he got it from, but he loves it. He looks like he has a little Santa belly too.


Oh, and he loves Sayelor’s “Pinkalicious” book so much he had to bring it home with him-


These were taken at one of Mike’s work events. He teaches a 10 week Citizen’s Police Academy class twice a year and at the end of the 10 week course, they have a graduation ceremony and the citizens get certificates. We’ve gone to the graduation before, but this time was really special because he took the boys up on stage with him and announced to many people he’s known and met over the past few years that he was leaving the Police Department. I’ve never been more proud of my husband as hereceived so many wonderful compliments, congratulations and best wishes from his “students” as well as from the chief of Police. What a great way for him to be acknowledged for a job well done!


My precious family with the chief of Police!


So, what else…..I am off today (Wed) until Monday (woo hoo, 3 days off WITH pay)! Mike is off (other than a few off duty jobs which includes Walmart at 4am Black Friday) and Mikey, Mike and I plan to eat either pizza or Chinese tomorrow for Thanksgiving! :) Mike’s parents, aunt and Harley went to FL for Thanksgiving and we opted to stay put and chill (and we all know I don’t cook). 

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! I have so much more than I deserve to be thankful for this year. :)

All he wants for Christmas is his two front teeth!

Posted in Uncategorized by sandy on the November 18th, 2009

Mikey that is, and it will be a few more Christmas before he gets them. Sure, he HAD his front teeth and now they are gone and he will be toothless for about 4 years :(

This is NOT the blog I had intended on writing. I spent the past few days uploading cute pictures that I’d taken recently and was planning on posting them with an entry this week. Well, Mikey’s first “real” dentist appointment on Monday changed this weeks plans a bit. If you recall, the only other time Mikey has been to the dentist was November of last year after falling on the driveway and almost knocking his tooth out. After visiting the dentist as a precaution, we were so relieved when he told usthat the tooth was still intact and didn’t show much discoloring. In fact, it never really did discolor much at all, so we didn’t really think much of it. SO, we thought it was time Mikey went to the dentist for his first cleaning at the same time big brother was due. No cavities for Braeden which was great news, but Mikey’s news was heartbreaking. Apparently one look at his top gums warranted an x-ray that confirmed a dead root to the injured tooth and an infection in his gums. The only way to fix it was to remove the tooth (and the one next to it). The dentist said cosmetically, it looks better (since we seem to notice things less when they are symmetrical), but also in about half the cases (especially with evidence of infection) the tooth next to the damaged one eventually has to be removed anyway.

SO, we took him in this morning and while the surgery went great and he was very brave- he was in a conscience sedation (meaning he was not asleep, but off in Sodor with Thomas the Train and didn’t return until the medication wore off many hours later)-it was a LOT tougher on all of us than expected. When the medication wore off- even slightly, Mikey was out of control. Picture a mean and demanding drunk……one that can’t walk or stand up, but insists on trying, fighting you on everything!  Bless his heart, he still had no idea what was going on at this point, but obviously we didn’t want him to hurt himself. Finally, after we got him home and he slept (for 4 hours) he woke up almost back to his regular self. He was a bit needy all night and a little cranky, but he didn’t indicate he was in any pain, didn’t remember anything about the day and didn’t even notice his teeth missing. He is slurring his words a bit as he relearns how to talk without his front teeth, but otherwise seems unaffected. Mike and I are simply heartbroken. I took this “before” picture this morning while we were waiting in the waiting room and as I uploaded it tonight I began to cry.


He had the biggest, most beautiful smile and as a Mom, even though he would be the same gorgeous child without ANY teeth at all, I am so worried about him being teased or self-conscience over the next few years before his teeth permanent teeth actually come in naturally. I also remember how special it was a what a HUGE deal it was as a kindergartner for Braeden when he lost his first tooth. I remember him saying how his class had a chart and as each child lost their first tooth, they celebrated. I know its really not a big deal and there is SO much worse in life, but its hard not to be upset nonetheless. :(

On a cheerier note- Mikey was absolutely HYSTERICAL to watch as the medication kicked in. We were in a little waiting room for about 45 minutes after he drank the magic “juice” and I was laughing so hard at times I almost forgot he was about to go back into surgery (alone).

Here are a few pictures of the medication progressively working- 


This was the funniest. He kept looking at me at just smiling super big (kinda ironic almost) 






I know it won’t be long before I laugh about this, but for now :(


We All Prayed and God Answered

Posted in Uncategorized by sandy on the November 5th, 2009

I finally have some quiet time to type this blog entry. I didn’t want to type it until I could really put thought into what I wanted to say. It is such an ENORMOUS blessing to Mike and I (third probably to finding each other, and having our boys), so, don’t take the length of time it took me to type this (2 weeks) as my lack of appreciation or excitement. I am SO thankful and SO excited! I also realized yesterday that not everyone is on Face book (where I announced the news, but didn’t go into much detail). My brother’s girlfriend read yesterday’s blog and was very confused as to why I said I would be sad to leave our friends in Charleston. 

So, after 6 years of college, 4 years obtaining law enforcement experience and 18 months of praying, hoping, and a roller coaster of emotions that so often included feeling discouraged, and impatient, Mike’s 13 year DREAM has finally come true. He was hired by the Federal Government and starts his new job Dec 7th! It has truly taken me a couple weeks to process it all. I was elated, then (selfishly) stressed by it all and have finally decided that if I’ve learned anything from this whole process, it has been that having patience CAN and DOES pay off and that I need to have it more often.  It was such a LONG 18 months, that we’d sorta just given up hope and assumed it wasn’t meant to be……OH YES IT WAS! J Mike received the good news last Thursday and I don’t think I have ever seen him so happy. One phone call changed him- he is so much more relaxed (knowing he no longer has to work EVERY day), excited (to finally be able to spend his days doing what he truly wants to be doing and went to school to do) and deserves everything good he is feeling more than anyone I know. Don’t get me wrong, he has enjoyed working for the Police Department. The experience he has gained will be so useful in the future and the friendships we’ve made will last a lifetime, but he has always strived for more. He wanted more professionally and more for our family. I am SO proud of him. He was chosen out of over 55,000 applicants. How cool is THAT! J

Let me share with you a few amazing little “hints” from God that have really assured us God knows what he is doing and is behind all of this:

1. If you recall, back in May, I typed this in one of my blog entries (this was during one of our moments of discouragement that happened to GIVE us encouragement):  As cheesy as it is, I found a verse to a particular song that is so fitting for how Mike and I are feeling  lately. Can you guess what recent movie its from (hint- I saw it with Braeden)?
“Caterpillar in the tree, how you wonder who you’ll be, can’t go far, but you can always dream. Wish you may and wish you might, don’t you worry hold on tight, I promise you that there will come a day- Butterfly fly away!”
The Friday before Mike received the good news, I was in Barnes and Noble with a friend of mine and saw a mug that had this verse printed on it:       “and just when the caterpillar thought it was all over, there came a butterfly!” J

Mike and I had clearly thought that this dream was “over” and that it wasn’t going to happen. After all, shamefully, I barely prayed about it anymore and really wasn’t thinking about the possibilities either.

2. The Thursday he got the call, I was driving to work and for some reason had started thinking about it all. I looked up, and in front of me was a car with a VA license plate! Everything stayed on my mind the majority of the morning at work. I was doing some filing and I thought it would be a perfect time to pray. I simply told God that I was sorry that I seemed to lose faith easily and that I was more faithful with prayer when I wanted something. I prayed that God would allow to happen what he felt was best for our family and even if it wasn’t what we wanted to hear to PLEASE allow us to receive an answer so we could move on with our lives. A little over an hour later, Mike got the news and it WAS what we wanted to hear! WOW WOW WOW! I get choked up every time I think about it all.    So, what does all this mean? Naturally (as much as we’ve hoped and prayed and WANT this), its still very bittersweet and overwhelming. There is no doubt in our minds that this is the right decision and the very best thing for Mike and for our future as a family, but there are many things about it all that brings sadness. We know God will walk with us through all of it and provide a peace during the MANY times we anticipate something this huge to provide a mixture of emotions.  Mike will be heading to VA Dec 6th. He will be there until Feb 22 (ya, this is one of those things that will create many emotions). We will see him at least once or twice during this time. THEN, he will go to the Federal Training

Academy in GA (which happens to be just 2 hours from our house). This will actually be wonderful. Even though we won’t see him during the week (we don’t see him much during the week now anyway), we will have each (ENTIRE) weekend to spend as a family. Remember, Mike has worked at the church every weekend (other than maybe one of two) for the past 2 years and has not been able to spend much time with the boys and I on the weekends (which has resulted in us missing out on a lot of fun things). He will graduate from the academy towards the end of May. We plan to have the movers come a few days before his graduation and will drive to VA (our new home) directly from graduation.   SO, that’s where things stand now. I am incredibly lucky to be able to keep my job until May. I refuse to focus on all of the other “sad” parts of the move (leaving my home for the past 12 years, leaving all of our friends, leaving everything we love about this city and of course leaving Mike’s family and moving further away from mine). Can you please pray that Mike will find a good family to stay with while up in VA for almost 3 months (apparently there is a database of people that will rent a room to Federal Employees for a very low rate)- that’s our most pressing need right now. I will keep everyone up to date. Let’s call this blog the “VA Move Blog #1″…….. 

Halloween 2009

Posted in Uncategorized by sandy on the November 4th, 2009

Halloween was SO much fun this year. Braeden had trunk-or-treat at his school on Thursday night (and got enough candy just that night to last a long time); we attended Rocktoberfest at our church on Friday night that was SO much fun; and of course trick-or-treated in our neighborhood on Halloween.  Rocktoberfest was really cool. They had pony rides, 16 day old pigs in a pen, slides, games, jump castles, live music, hot dogs, chips, drinks, funnel cakes, and candy, candy candy as prizes for the games. We met up with and ran into several friends. I couldn’t help but have a slight pit in my stomach as I imagined having to leave all of these GREAT people and friends behind when we leave Charleston. :( 

Speaking of friends, here are some dear friends- The cutest little Sailor (Bennett) and Army-man (Austin) who are my friend Robyn’s handsome little boys.


“Can I help you?”


Oh my goodness how I love these two-


Mikey attempting the bean-bag-toss game (and little Bennett looking on)-


Shootin’ hoops-


I just love this picture-


Braeden sliding down the slide (finally, after a long wait in line)-


Halloween night: Mikey would blow his whistle and say, “All-Aboard” at every house we walked up to. He wasn’t really sure what to do at the first house and walked right inside. He also preferred to pick out his own candy rather than have it given to him. He frequently put his grubby little hands right into the candy bowl. At least he said thank you! :)


“Anybody home?”


“This is AWESOME!”


“Hee hee, check out my loot Mama!”