Thursday, May 31, 2012

Quite the undertaking

We love our house, but when we moved in 2 years ago, the yard left much to be desired. 
In the summertime, it dried up (because there was no sprinkler system). 

In the fall, the weeds would green up, but we still had the eyesore of these raised beds 
and huge load of dirt in the middle of the back yard. Also, when we moved in, there was only half of a perimeter fence, so my grandparents and parents and inlaws came to help put up the fence
(you can see the newer boards below).
 Technically, there wasn't really a back yard because there was no fence separating the yards, meaning Macie did not have anywhere to run.
 So in September of last year, we finally got down to business.
My grandparents were kind enough to come and plow up our yard with their tractor....
 Here is the yard 1/2 tilled.
 After Bryce, my grandpa and Bryan took turns tilling up the yard, Jason, Steven, Shane and my dad helped rake out the weeds while Lauren, Julie and my mom and my grandma helped clean up inside my house. There were probably other people helping that I've forgotten, so "thank you" to everyone!

Next, they rented a ditch digger and dug all the ditches for the sprinkler system. Bryan then put in the whole sprinkler system by himself (it's amazing to have a handy husband!) and we then planted grass seed and let it grow over the winter. I also planted 6 trees and tulips in the fall, and then planted two more trees this spring (thanks Rhonda!).
Here is what our yard looked like in can see Bryan building the final fence.
 And then this steaming pile of beautiful hemlock bark dust got delivered yesterday morning!
 I managed to finish the front yard bark dust, but luckily this guy showed up to help me finish the back yard (most of the work). Thanks Daniel! You are a true servant. He also mowed my grass!
Man, am I glad he is back from college!
 And here's the finished product!
Back yard with garden in left hand corner...
View from the back corner...
Thank you, Lord, for a home and a yard and all the friends and family who helped it become ours.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Teeter Totter casualty

 It started out as a lovely evening in the park with some girls from church...
It started out with Youngi and Elena on the teeter totter. 
Elena had never been on a teeter totter before!
 Then Lois and Lauren hopped on....and there were four on the teeter totter...
 Then Lois wrapped her legs around Youngi and Youngi started sliding off...
 There goes Youngs....taking Lois with her...
 And then there were only two on the teeter totter again...
When Youngi got up, Lois stayed on the ground, and just said,
"Look! Harry Potter hand!"
I came to understand that this is what she was referring to...
When Harry Potter breaks his arm and then it gets
all loopy in the process of getting fixed.
Yes, Lois' wrist looked bent out of whack in similar fashion.
So, Lois and I took a trip to the ER to get this bad boy splinted up.
Yep, she broke her wrist...first broken bone in the family! When her dad arrived in the ER, he said, "Congratulation!" We weren't really sure what we were celebrating...but it was an eventful night. Lois was a very brave arm breaker, and her sister was a lot of help in the ER too (glad you were there Seihwa!). When the doctors said they were going to have to cut off her sweater, she was adamant about saving it, even through all the pain she was in! We managed to save the sweater, and once we got some pain meds in her, Lois was back to her goofy self, singing songs and making us laugh. We spent about 2 1/2 hours in the ER, getting X-rays and a splint put on, and then her parents came to take her home!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Little green thumb

Cayden loves to help outside in the garden. While I cringe because I know that the cute little blue dress will be done for the day after we are done outside, it is worth it to see her having fun getting dirty.
 While it looks like she is being really helpful below, she is actually undoing my work, and bringing the potted flowers back to me.
 "Here, mom, you forgot this one!"
 And here's vintage Cayden, eating everything in sight....thought we were past this stage!
Today Lauren helped me put a fence around my garden. I say the fence is to keep Macie out, but that's only half the battle. Cayden also really enjoys stepping on my new spinach and broccoli plants! Maybe she already hates veggies?

In other news,

After getting poked and prodded for 4 blood tests over the past 6 months, my thyroid medication is finally working and I have been cleared for surgery by my endocrinologist! It has been quite a roller with the first test showing I was VERY hyperthyroid, the second test (after taking 1 type of thyroid medication for a couple of months) showing I was VERY hypothyroid, the third test (after switching medications for 3 weeks) showing I was ALMOST stabilized, and the fourth test (after lowering my dose for a month) showing I am stable! Praise the Lord!

I was seriously on the verge of frustration with the whole process, but it worked out, and now I have a pre-op appointment with my surgeon on May 29th and will most likely schedule a thyroidectomy 6-8 weeks after that (so....mid July if all goes well).

Please keep praying that the surgeon does his job well and that I can get in for surgery ASAP. I am ready to get rid of this pesky thyroid!  

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mother's Day

Mother's Day, for me, started at 5:30 a.m. with a sunrise and a feverish baby.
After spending too much time in the heat on Saturday, Cayden registered at 102.1 degrees that night, so sleep was hard to come by.

Because Sundays are taken over by church, we did most of our Mother's Day activities on Saturday with our families.

We spent the morning out at my parents' farm for breakfast with my Hunter grandparents, parents, and little brother.

That farm is beautiful! Cayden got to walk half of the LONG driveway with Grandpa and we also climbed some trees and she got her first sliver!

I am so blessed to have a great family who loves to spend time together!

After breakfast, our plan was to go into town and help Bryan's brother and sister-in-law paint in their new house. My plan did not work out, however, because by the time breakfast was done, they had already left their house for a wedding, and we couldn't get in to help!

So then, we decided to use the day to go pick up some new shrubs for us and trees for our friends (because Bryan's grandparents had given us a gift certificate for a nursery). I had to call ahead to tell the nursery we were coming. I got the answering machine....not a good sign.

So we hung around Bryan's parents' house, waiting for them to call back. They eventually did....that night. So that plan fell through too!

It was definitely a "go with the flow" kind of day, so we made the most of it and Bryan helped his dad drywall the remodel they are doing and Cayden got to play outside with Grandma and the hose.

Cayden got to nap, and we got to spend more time with family!

On actual Mother's Day, we went to church -- leaving a sick Joe at home :( and then went out to the Cabin to see my mom's side of the family for a few hours.

It was a work day at the Cabin for Mother's Day, so everyone was busy splitting this giant mountain of wood.

 Luckily, my grandma has lots of grandsons to chop wood for her. This is my cousin Jackson...
 Chopping away!
 They also rented a splitter, which is a pretty cool hydraulic system to split wood. Here is my cousin Jilynne working with Lauren on the splitter.
 While they worked hard, we played with bubbles!
My cousin, Sarah, and her two boys enjoying the bubbles.
Some (3rd) +cousin love.-

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Remembering Beth

Today, Cayden and I got the special opportunity to remember Beth with her family out at Corban.
 Carolyn, Beth's mom, told me that the family was going to be spreading some of Beth's ashes at the tree Corban dedicated to her today. I asked if Cayden and I could come, and they were happy to have us!
 For those who don't know Beth's story, see here. She was an amazing woman who changed my life and left too soon to see Cayden's, but Cayden Elizabeth Ann Bernard will always be a reminder of how much she meant to me. Since her death and Cayden's birth, Beth's family has become like our family too. It was an honor to be there with them today and see how much joy Beth's memory continues to bring joy (and a few tears) to their lives.
 Cayden had a great time running around the Oak Grove Amphitheater playing with Beth's sister-in-law Jeanah. Here, I like to think she is playing with Beth, because she's having so much fun batting the leaves on Beth's tree.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Thank you, Starbucks.

Today, Joe and I took advantage of Starbucks' 1/2 price fraps sale after church. The barista was nice enough to offer Cayden a cup of chocolate whipped cream, so she wouldn't get jealous of our frappuccinos. A kind enough offer that I was a bit skeptical of, but what is childhood without a few messy rides in the car?
 This is what we ended up with after a 10 minute car ride. Cayden enjoyed spooning the whipped cream all over herself (including legs and all).
 We got her cleaned up quick enough (thanks to the hose) and she apparently loves to be hosed down!
 First footprints of spring.
We had a busy Saturday, meeting the Mendenhalls for breakfast in Salem, and then going to Amanda and Carrie's graduation. We are so proud of Carrie. She's had to battle a lot of physical trials over the past 4 years (including a car accident 3 weeks ago), but she made it, and in style. 
Student body president, Magna Cum Laude, a million friends...
she is a success story by the grace of God.  
 The whole family (except Lauren....she was on a girls weekend).
Cayden loves her Aunt Carrie...even when that baby is only working off an hour's worth of naptime. 
She was so tired after breakfast, graduation, dinner and dessert. On the way home, she fell asleep while  drinking/holding her bottle. 
So funny.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Blubbering bubbles

I usually mow our grass every Sunday or Monday.
This week, Alicia came over and mowed the back yard for me on Saturday (AMAZING!) and I was too exhausted to finish the job on Sunday. Monday = RAIN (boo). So our yard was becoming a jungle thanks to a combination of RAIN and WEED & FEED that Bryan spread a couple of weeks ago.
Yesterday Cayden was in a bad mood, so instead of listening to this .......

.....all day, I put her down for 2 long naps.
During her second one, I took the baby monitor outside with me and got to work mowing. I had to mulch it (I discovered this feature and the needed attachment inconveniently AFTER Alicia struggled through bagging my back yard) instead of bagging it because it was so long and wet, but it got done. Cayden woke up just in time for us to go pick up the kids from school.
After we got home, I wanted to rake up the grass clippings at least in the front yard, so I brought out Cayden's new bubble machine she got for her birthday from Great-Aunt Nellie. 

I didn't get much raking done, because the bubble machine was really cool and I wanted to take pics!!

 Finally some smiles on this little face! It's a rough life growing teeth and all.

Joe eventually came out to play with Cayden so I could finish the sure is nice having older kids living here because they help out with Cayden so much. Anyway, I'm just glad I got the jungle tamed because today it's back to the rain rain rain!

I wanted to also document Cayden's new words. New words include: Bubble, ball, and daddy (not just da-da).
New sign language we are working on: fishies (like goldfish crackers) and water.