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GO Braeden, GO Braeden, GO GO GO Braeden!

Posted in Uncategorized by sandy on the January 29th, 2010

That’s my NEW Braeden cheer! 

THIS was my “e-mail” conference from Braeden’s 2nd grade teacher- 

Ms. Meiner,
Braeden is doing great! He is a joy to teach and has such a great attitude. Below are all his scores and such with the individualized testing we do periodically throughout the year.
DRA: = 28. (They should be at a 28 by the end of 2nd grade)
ZPD: = 3.2-4.4 (3rd grade 2nd month-4th grade 4th month)
MAP: the academic leveled test taken 3 times a year to measure growth.
Reading:              Fall         Spring
                              190        190
They should be at a 190 for Spring :)
Math:                  Fall         Spring
                               190       199
They should be at a 191 for Spring :)
He truly is a great kid. If there were to be anything he could work on, it would be how frustrated he gets when something doesn’t go his way. For example he really gets fired up on the playground with basketball. I don’t know what it is about boys in sports, but he really gets mad when things get messed up, or there isn’t any passing going on. I currently have my basketball on “time out.” Ithink they all need some cooling down. He also gets a little fired up in class especially when our class is talking to much (which helps me out), but there is no reason for him to feel that way. Again if I were to pick anything for a place to grow that would be it.

Other than that, you have raised a great son. I love how much fun he is to teach and the amount of time he takes in his work. If you have any more questions about anything just let me know.
Mr. Kruger

THAT’S MY BOY! Bless his heart, he gets his need for things to be “perfect” and his competitive nature HONESTLY! Both Mike and I are sports lovers and sometimes we forget that first and foremost it is supposed to be fun. We’ve always told Braeden that he needs to pride himself in showing good sportsmanship more than skill. We KNOW he has the skill and the capability to be a great athlete, but I think Mike and I need to do a better job at setting the example of a “good sport.” I admit I tend to get a little “fired up” when watching his games and like Mike told me the other night when I was getting frustrated, they ARE kids and they ARE still learning (both how to play and how to show sportsmanship).

I do have to chuckle a bit about him getting mad when his class talks. My guess is that he is afraid that if the class gets in trouble as a whole than that is the same as him getting in trouble. Since he tells us everything and admits to every mistake, I bet he’s just looking for a break and a day when he can say he DIDN’T get in trouble.  :) Oh that kid just melts my heart. I love him so much!

Speaking of getting in trouble- here’s a funny conversation between Mikey and I one night:

Mama- “Mikey you are going to go night night in YOUR bed tonight!” (the prior night I gave in and he and Braeden both hoped in my bed with me and I had an AWFUL sleep).

Mikey- “No Mommy, I will cry!”

Mama- “No you won’t Mikey, you are a big boy and big boys do not cry at night night time.”

Mikey- “NO MAMA! I am NOT a big boy…..I am a BAD boy!”

Just for an FYI as much as he may deserve it at times, I NEVER EVER call that precious little guy a “bad boy!”

Have a great weekend. Nana and Roy are coming in tomorrow to see Braeden and celebrate his Birthday (which is Thursday). We have a basketball game tomorrow too and I am going to work on my “positive, encouraging cheers!”

Back in the Game

Posted in Uncategorized by sandy on the January 22nd, 2010

How is it that another month has almost come and gone? Well, probably because it has been an eventful month. Let’s start with the last weekend in December. I was off work (given the whole week off with pay as a holiday bonus). I enjoyed spending time with the boys- just hanging out. Thursday morning I hit the road ALONE to meet Mike for a weekend JUST THE TWO OF US in NC. We met half way between here and VA. I took my time and arrived at the hotel around 6pm, got take-out from Outback and ate in lobby while waiting on Mike. He arrived around 10pm and we were able to ring in the New Year together (after I fell asleep at 11:30 and Mike woke me up at the 10 second countdown). J We had such a fantastic time just being together and doing nothing!  It was quite cold (in the teens), but it gave me a good taste of what to expect next winter.

It was back to work and school the following week. I’ll tell ya, after 2 weeks NOT having to wake up so early to get Braeden ready for school, it was HARD to get back in the grove.  So hard in fact, my body decided to go bonkers on me. Thursday evening as I was driving home from work, I started to feel very dizzy, lightheaded and “out of it.” When my hand, foot and lip went numb, Mike’s Mom decided I needed to get looked at. A visit to the ER and a clear CT scan later, it was determined I had suffered a severe a-typical migraine. The doctor said I was right to have come in, as my symptoms seemed to mirror those of a stroke. Well, as fortunate as I am that it was NOT a stroke, the severity of my symptoms did allow me a pass directly back to the Dr. and I was able to avoid the 2 hour+ wait in the waiting room.

What time I avoided in the waiting room Thursday night, was certainly made up over the next 3 days (also my Birthday weekend). After eating dinner Friday night at my favorite Japanese restaurant with one of my favorite friends, I developed horrendous abdominal pain. I didn’t think much of it at first as this is common (for me) after eating Japanese. When the pain did not subside as it usually does, got worse and I began having rectal bleeding, I called my Dr. who insisted I head to the ER. 6 hours later, lots of medicine and another CT scan (this time of the stomach), I was diagnosed with colitis. Since I didn’t get home until 3am and was on lots of medication, I slept most of my Birthday. When I got up, I felt a lot better and even cleaned the house a bit since the boys were still with Mike’s Mom. By 8:00pm, I was doubled over in pain and called my Dr. again (who was appalled that I was sent home the prior night). He sent me to another hospital and this time I was admitted. Over the 2 days I was in the hospital, I was hydrated and given antibiotics and pain medicine. After having my blood drawn 5 times, many tests and being spared a visit with a G.I Dr. and a colonoscopy, they went with the “wait and see” diagnosis of a bacterial form of colitis. Basically if this doesn’t happen again then they were accurate, if it does, then I will need to see a specialist and have more intense testing done to rule out Crohn’s Disease. YIKES!

So far, I have had no further issues. I went back to work on Tuesday (I used my week of vacation to “recover” last week and Monday was a holiday) and other than being super swamped playing catch up at work, I’ve been fine. I think it helped both physically and mentally that Mike came home last weekend. As I commented on Facebook- absence does make the heart fonder and I feel like no matter how long or how short we’ve been apart, when we are back together, it’s like we are falling in love all over again. Of course the boys were ecstatic to see Daddy and Braeden was especially glad to show off his basketball skills during his Saturday practice that Mike was able to attend.

SO, basketball……this is Braeden’s first year playing, but he is doing AWESOME! I am certain that his 2 years playing baseball has helped. Although he is still learning the fundamentals of basketball, he fully understands the concept of a TEAM and is a remarkable athlete. I am really happy that he has taken an interest in an indoor sport since he will only be able to play baseball during the warmer months in VA (RIGHT at the age when he would have been able to play BOTH fall and spring baseball in SC) L Anyway, he is really enjoying playing and I am enjoying watching. It’s been proven that I am the loud Mom in the stands regardless of what game my kid is playing. J Although they have lost all 3 games, the team is improving every day and Braeden is picking up on the skills and is individually doing so well. We are so proud of that little guy. Speaking of skill, Braeden brought home a letter from school stating that because of his high test scores in math, he’s been elected to take additional testing for the gifted and talented program. Hmmm, maybe he WILL be right where he should be in the VA schools (which are at a much higher academic level than SC schools). We are planning on having Braeden finish his last month of school in VA. We will be moving on the 15th of May and Braeden would have 2 more weeks in SC. We feel it would be beneficial for him to meet some kids as well as for us to get a feel for what if anything he needs to work on over the summer (depending on where he fits in academically). This means he will have to continue into the middle of June (school starts and ends later in the year than SC)- HA- poor kid.


Braeden’s team before their first game-



He plays point guard like his Mama did-



So, we are 3 weeks from Mike heading to the academy in GA and thus being able to come home every weekend until we move. I am SO looking forward to him being around more. The boys have adjusted just fine and in fact have grown closer. The other night I listened in the monitor to the two of them professing their love to one another. It was pure music to my ears. Mikey has also woken up the last 2 nights crying and before I can even get out of bed, I hear Braeden comforting him and telling him to move closer and snuggle with him. J As sweet as his big brother is, Mikey doesn’t always follow suit. After hitting Sayelor’s 6 month old baby sister 2 days in a row, I reminded him when dropping him off one morning that we do not hit Piper. He said, “OK Mama, I hit Piper GENTLE!” Ugh, at least he is grasping something!  I hate to compare the two, but one example of Mikey’s “beastliness” seems to always be followed by Braeden’s pure, precious heart- We were listening to the Christian radio station and they were mentioning how we can give to the “help Haiti fund.” Braeden said, “Mama, can we give some money?” I said, “Sure we can, do you want to give your $5 allowance this week too?” Without hesitation he said, “Yes Ma’am, I will even save $10 and give that.” If only us adults can be as selfless as that sweet boy.

Out of the blue the other day Mikey said, “Mama, I go to the North Pole and be with Santa.” I asked how he’d get there and he said, “I will ride the Polar Express!” He really CAN be sweet and innocent like his big brother and he sure is cute sporting his new hair cut!


Christmas 2009

Posted in Uncategorized by sandy on the January 2nd, 2010

Christmas 2009 was simply awesome! I feel so thankful to have such wonderful family and friends to share the holidays with. Braeden’s Christmas mostly involved Baseball (Phillie’s baseball particularly) and Mikey’s Christmas was all about trains. It was so much fun to see Mikey really get into Christmas and Santa. He was so thrilled with each gift he opened- which started about a week before Christmas. When we asked him who gave him each present (even before Christmas morning), he’d say, “Santa gave it to Mikey, this is Mikey’s present.” The Friday before Christmas was Braeden’s last day of school before the break. It was pajama day and also the Terrific Kid ceremony for December (which Braeden proudly accepted). He was so cute as he waited for his turn (kindergarten was first then first grade, and then second grade). He looked like an old pro (as this is his THIRD year in a row getting the award) compared to the cute little 5 year old’s nervously standing in line. We are just as proud of that little guy as we were the first time he was awarded.


I worked Monday, Tuesday and a half day on Wed the week of Christmas and then received (along with a beautiful picture frame and a gift certificate to a spa), 7 paid working days OFF. I type this blog as Mike and I hang out in our hotel in Rocky Mount, NC (a perfect half way point between home and where he is working in VA) enjoying a weekend alone. It has been a great way to cap off a great holiday. I am so not looking forward to going back to work on Monday, but I feel so blessed to have such a generous boss.

Mike’s Mom and I went to Christmas service at the church on the 23rd. The service was as beautiful as it is each year (and something I will really miss next Christmas). My parents, sister and brother-in-law came in town on Christmas Eve day and Mike arrived later that evening. Christmas Eve we all gathered at our house and had some snacks and let the boys open a couple presents.

Here’s Braeden opening his gift from my sister and her husband Lorne-


“Look, it’s an Ipod!”


“I LOVE my Aunt Lisa,Uuncle Lorne and new Ipod”


The boys also opened several gifts from uncle Jack and his girlfriend Lisa-

A dinosaur book-


and matching pajamas-


Mikey’s turn-



“Thanks Uncle Jack and Lisa!”


Braeden had a little trouble falling asleep Christmas Eve (I remember when I was that age, I could never fall asleep and would wake up WAY earlier than I was allowed on Christmas Morning).  Mike turned on the portable DVD player and before B knew it……

SANTA CAME and it was Christmas morning! We could hear the boys talking in the baby monitor and Braeden was calling Daddy. Mikey (who was asleep before Mike got home Christmas Eve), said very matter of factly, “Daddy is not here Braeden.” SO cute, but also sad that Daddy had been gone awhile that he just assumed he was not there.


The first thing Mikey noticed and ran to was his new Thomas the Train toy-


Braeden opening the gift from Mommy and Daddy. I ordered this gift back in October and was SO excited for him to open it-


His reaction to the gift was ALL I needed for Christmas-


“Look, a framed collage of Chase Utley!”


His new Utley Collage goes perfectly with the framed Phillie’s Stadium he opened earlier in the week from Nana and Roy-


And in keeping with the Philadelphia theme, his new Eagles shirt he also got from Nana and Roy. Daddy Aaron and Nancy got him a new Eagles jersey, but it hasn’t come in yet. I will take a picture as soon as he puts it on-


Mikey looking at one of his gifts from Santa-


It’s a Little People’s Fire Station (he is still fascinated with Fire Trucks)-


Aunt Lisa and Uncle Lorne got Mikey a train table-


“Ya ya, love the table, thanks Uncle Lorne now can I go play!”



Mikey got a Thomas book and train from Nana and Roy-



After the boys had opened enough gifts for 20 little boys, they got to do it all over again at Mike’s parents when we went over for Christmas dinner-

Braeden got a baseball throwing net (among many other things)-


Mikey got a Polar Express train-


He sat on the floor in the middle of the train and watched it all night long-


We all went downtown the day after Christmas to have lunch, shop and see the train display at one of the hotels. Mikey of course was in heaven!



He couldn’t take his eyes off the 3 trains on the tracks-


We managed a couple quick pictures-



Thank you also to Aunt Heather and Uncle Nathan for the baseball pinball, book (next to his foot)-


 Potato gun and the Go Fish game for Mikey-


Cita and Pops for UCreate-



And to everyone else who sent gifts or cards to the boys, Mike or I. We appreciate everything so much.

2009 was certainly a year filled with many ups and downs, many struggles, but mostly so much God-given goodness. We ended the year appreciating ALL of that goodness, promising to focus more on and be thankful for it in the new year and praying for health, happiness and many blessings from our loving God, to all of our friends and family. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!