Happy 1st Birthday, Pax!

  Today is Paxton’s 1st Birthday!

Here are some photos from the Oh-so amazing First Year we’ve had with him:

Welcome home, Paxton!

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One month:

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Two months:

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Three months:

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Four months old:

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Five months:

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Six months old:

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Seven months:

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Eight months old: 

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Nine months:

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10 months:

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11 months:

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12 months:

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Oh little one, slow down.
Stay in Mommy’s arms a bit longer,
For time is slipping by like sand in an hour-glass.
The busyness of life, robbing precious moments sitting on the floor with you;  reading, playing patty-cake, blowing raspberries on your soft tummy.

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Oh little one, slow down.
It’s just not fair for you to grow up so quickly
Toddling away from me at every chance,
Le
arning new things at every turn.

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Oh little one, slow down.
Give Mommy a chance to catch her breath from this whirlwind called life.
Stay a baby for a moment longer,
Let me draw you close to my heart and drink in your sweet baby smells.
Let me feel your little hand clasp mine.

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Oh little one, slow down.
For you are my last baby,
The perfect final puzzle piece in our big picture…..
God knew we needed you to make our home complete.

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Oh little one, slow down…..
even if only for but a moment in time.

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Oh little one, please slow down, for I need to hold you in my arms just a little longer…..

 

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Oh little one, how I love you……

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xoxo Mommy

”No one else knows the strength of my love for you.  After all, you’re the only one who knows what my heart sounds like from the inside.”230

 


 

 

 

The Story of Paxton

  I am madly in love with this little man: 

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    And there is not a day that goes by that I don’t scoop him up in my arms, bring him up to my cheek and just breath a prayer of thanksgiving for his life here on earth with us.  He is a gift straight from my Heavenly Father. 

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  As with all our successful pregnancies, Paxton was a surprise.  I took a pregnancy test based on a gut feeling, and it immediately showed negative.  Ok, good, I was hoping for a bit more time to decide if we wanted a 4th.  After 2 babies back to back (Tylan & Avery) I had asked the Lord for a 2 year break.  I had started consulting Him about these things, as obviously Birth Control should be called Birth UNcontrol at our house. The 4 we have here on earth were all surprises, and the 4 I tried to plan, are all in Heaven! 

  I had to quickly set the negative test down to go deal with crying 1-year-old Avery, got busy and totally forgetting all about it.  When I came back much later, I swooped it up to throw it away, glad none of the kids had found a new “play thing”, Gross!  Just as I am an inch from the trash can, I glance down to see 2 very distinct lines and….

Gasp!!!

  Where did that second line come from??? It sure wasn’t there before!!!!  Woah, guess that’s a big YES after all! Good thing I hadn’t already thrown the test away!!!!!

  God sure has a sense of humor……

Remember my “2 year break” request? 

Guess who was due 2 weeks after Avery turned 2? 

Baby #4. 

  Dale said next time you should tell the Lord you want a 2 year break between PREGNANCIES, not a 2 year break between children! lol  🙂  After being pregnant so many times in a row, 8 in 8 years at this point, you just kinda run out of fun ways to tell people you’re pregnant.  This go around, we decided to announce it to the world via facebook like this:

“Apparently, the world is in need of another Ferguson.”

  People flipped out!  “What?! Does this mean what I think it does?”   🙂

Why yes, yes it does.

143  It wasn’t long after this that the complications began;  like a week of big time bleeding.  Thinking I had miscarried yet again, we went in for an emotional sono…immediately they find our little peanut.  Praise God, healthy and thriving!!  I am curious if Paxton was a twin, but this side of Heaven, we just won’t know.  (I wonder the same about Tylan, I had 2 bags of water with his pregnancy!)

 By the 2 month mark,  I was contracting every day.  It seems each and every one of my pregnancies  was to be a complicated faith-walk the entire way through. Obviously this 4th and final little Ferguson was to be no exception!  

  By 14 weeks I was on light bed rest due to more contractions with severe cramping that felt like a miscarriage in process.  Thankfully that was not the case.

  Soon after this, it was time for the exciting sono…….boy or girl? Something fun to look forward to no matter how many times you’ve experience it! 

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  ”It’s a boy!” the sono tech told us.

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Then, she got quiet. 

  She kept going back to this one area of my placenta.  I don’t know if you can recall what it feels like lying there, tummy exposed, bladder full, heart pounding with anticipation, smiling and hoping all is well, watching your little one on the sono screen….asking “Does everything look ok?”  Waiting for that reassurance. 

None came. 

  Instead she handed us a slip and told us we needed to contact our doctor for another diagnostic sono.  Suddenly, our happy sunshiney day had dark clouds rolling in:  Fear.  Worry.  Anxiety. 

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    See that spot that looks like a hole?  That was the area of concern.  We were sent home to wait the month it takes to get into a Fetal specialist for a level 3 sono.  Can  you imagine?  A MONTH of not knowing what was going on inside?! 

  Miracle of miracles, God moved as only He can, and we got in to the specialist 7 days later.  Just like the last time, the sono tech can tell you nothing, so again we waited for the phone call, just 2 days this time. (2 LOOOONG days)108

We were diagnosed with a Complete Circumvallate Placenta. This condition can result in low birth weight, preterm labor (this explains all the contractions I’d been having!!!!), preterm emergency delivery and intrauterine growth restriction…aka baby not getting the nutrients or oxygen needed to grow and thrive.  

  Another thing that occurs is a white band forms around the perimeter of the placenta, causing further blockage of minerals and oxygen as well as preventing the toxins to be removed from the placenta as the baby goes to the bathroom.

  If that wasn’t bad enough:  Pregnant women who experience circumvallate placenta are at a very high risk to deliver a premature baby or have a miscarriage. The “hole” we saw was the curled placenta, which means it is not properly attached.  Often circumvallate placentas continue to curve and curl throughout most of the pregnancy, creating a chance that the placenta will detach and the baby will need to be delivered immediately (like within minutes) by Caesarean section. If the placenta detaches before 25 weeks of gestation, there is a significant chance of miscarriage.  

    As I mentioned before, we had lost 4 babies at this point, so this was a HUGE point of fear for me already.  I began pleading with God for His hand to protect our little Paxton and keep him safely attached in the womb.  The Lord gave me this verse through a dear friend, which I personalized and CLUNG to the whole remainder of the pregnancy:

152Psalms 112:7  “(She) does not fear bad news, nor live in dread of what will happen. For (she) has settled in (her) mind, that Jehovah will take care of (Paxton).” 

Oh wow, this was JUST what I needed to hear!

   This is already longer than I had intended, so I am going to fast forward and sum things up a bit.  Basically, we were without a doctor until 32 weeks pregnant.  No one wanted to take a patient with a CV placenta and allow vaginal delivery, I was considered too high risk to deliver at the Birthing Center of my choice, so we waited, doctorless.   Do you know how awful that felt?  How scary it is to be contracting and wondering, what happens if this kicks into full labor? Do we just show up in ER praying a Doctor we can tolerate is on call?  So we prayed and waited and prayed some more.

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  With CV placenta, 32 weeks is a monumental turning point in the pregnancy.  It is the determining gestational age for whether or not the compromised placenta can handle the increased demands for food and oxygen from baby or not.   There were 2 scenarios:

 1) Do a Level 3 sono and see his growth had stopped and/or his oxygen supply was compromised and go in for an early C-section and live up in NICU with a premie for a while.

  Or 2) Do a Level 3 sono, and find out he is growing just fine. I am then released to the doctor/midwife of my choice with a free and clear bill of health. 

  You better believe we spent those 32 weeks PLEADING with our Heavenly Father to feed our child since my body was not able. To give him oxygen so there would be no problems later. 

  126Mostly, I felt betrayed by my own body, which was supposed to be the safest place on earth for my litte one, yet it was the reason he was in such danger. 

  I spent a total of 6 1/2 months on the recliner in my living room, cramping, contracting, crying at times, praying and trying to be Mommy to a 6, 2 and 1-year-old.  I relied heavily on Dale, family and friends for the day-to-day tasks.  Even back to school shopping was done via cell phone from my living room, as my mom walked up and down the aisles describing items to me.

    During this time, prayers were going up constantly from family and friends and church prayer chains.  We were so blessed to find out an elderly lady from Dale’s aunts church, after hearing of our situation, committed to get up at 5 am every morning to pray for Paxton and I for 2 hours.  She paxdoesn’t even KNOW us, but felt led to intercede on our behalf.  I had tears in my eyes and goose bumps all over when I found this out. 

FYI: I want to be JUST like her when I grow up.  Wow.

   So our 32 week appointment day arrives and with it the big “Make it or break it” appointment….the one that determines whether I could have the natural birth of my choice, or if they were going to need to take him early by C-section and put him in NICU.

    Hearts pounding, we enter the sono room, pleading with the Lord for all to be well  And you know what, 30 minutes later, we had our answer:

Paxton was doing just great!!!!!!!!

 In fact, MORE than just great.  He weighed in at 4 pounds 5 ounces already!  The average size for 32 weeks gestation….3 pounds 3 ounces! 

 Praise the LORD!

Not only was God feeding him for me, he was feeding him WELL!  Look at those fat cheeks:Paxtonschubbycheeks

  004We were released from the fetal specialist to our midwife with their blessings and no substantial fears of further complications from this condition.  Praise Jesus!

  As I approached the end of a 9 month-long miracle, I breathed  a sigh of relief; all the fears, prayers, hours and tears from months of bed rest were coming to a close.  Only God Himself knows the extent of His covering over Paxton this pregnancy.  His power was made perfect in my body’s weakness. Hallelujah!

  So when they let you off of 6 1/2 months of bed rest, designed to keep your baby in, you naturally think your baby is coming out as soon as you are up and about again. 

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Nope.

Not mine. 

  He was cozy in there and he wasn’t budging.  In fact, he made me wait until the morning AFTER his due date.  Stinker!

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At 4 am, August 17th, I woke up to a POP-POP noise.  That was weird, I thought, did Pax just kick my tailbone?  Nope. I had just heard my own water breaking.  Holy cow. Craziest sound/feeling EVER!

 

 

 

  It was show time, FINALLY!  I always have evening babies, 2 of my 4 born at exactly 7:11 pm, so I figured we had a LOOONG day and evening ahead of us. 

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  But by 9:32 am, after only 2 hours of being at the Birthing center, I got to meet my little (BIG) man.  Apparently, the look on my face when they said he was crowning was priceless…..Like popped my eyes open, dropped my mouth open in shock, mid-contraction.  I seriously never expected it to go that fast, envisioning spending the afternoon in labor yet!

  And just like that, 16 minutes of pushing, and he was here, safely in my arms!

Paxton Clay Ferguson, my miracle, fed by the hand of God for 9 long months. Not only did God feed him, but He fed him WELL, like super charged God-food. 🙂

  This kiddo weighed in at 10 pounds, 3 ounces, 22 inches long, and although he was much more blue-grey in color than my others, seemed to be doing fine. Praise be to God!

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  This 4th and final birth, was the most laid back, hands off experience I have ever experienced. And soaking in the tub during labor? AMAZING! Totally takes the edge off contractions and helps you to relax. If you get the chance to birth at a Birthing Center with a midwife, I highly recommend it! It is a beautiful, peaceful, natural process!!!

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 After everyone was all settled in and cleaned up, they did an examination of the placenta.  It was found to be 95% covered around the perimeter by a white cord, as is common with CV placenta.  To have an over 10 pound baby off a compromised placenta is nothing short of a miracle………

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……..A precious gift sent from Heaven above.  Praise be to God for His provision and His hand on Paxton, caring for him in the womb when my body could not.

Guess what?! Tomorrow is Paxton’s 1st birthday!

   How is it that the first year takes us from helpless newborn to walking, jabbering, little mini-person? 

 Can’t we stretch the 1st year out over 2 years or something? Pul-eeeeeeeeeeease?

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{Sniff sniff}

~T

 CVP moms:  Besides tons of prayers and petitions to my Heavenly Father, I also was on several homeopathics.  They were Hyland’s brand, and one of the was to help with oxygen levels for the baby.  The other was a magnesium one to help slow down the contractions.  I could TOTALLY tell when they kicked in and wore off.  If you have CVP and are comfortable with the use of a natural, homeopathic remedy, despite what your doctor may have to say about natural things, this was very helpful to us. 

Ferrum Phos. 30X & Magnesium Phosphate

Hyland’s Ferrum Phos 30x — 500 Tablets
This product can help the lungs to distribute oxygen throughout the body. It helps carry the oxygen in the circulatory system.

Hyland’s Mag. Phos 30x — 500 Tablets
Hyland’s Magnesium Phosphate is the homeopathic version of the magnesium they give in the hospital to stop labor.

  I took about 10 of each of these 3 times a day.

  I give all glory to God for this miracle, and these homeopathics are one of the ways He allowed us to have the healthy baby we did.  I believe that with my whole heart.

 If you are Kansas local and are looking for a natural, laid back, incredible, natural, birth experience, please go to http://www.yoderbirthcenter.org/ for more info. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Tank Party for My “Tank”

  Ever since Paxton was a baby, we’ve called him “Tank”.  011  Maybe its because he was a huge kid at birth…  

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Or maybe it was because as he got older, and bulldozed his way through our home, the nickname just fit. 

“Why hello there Tank!”

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“Aww, Tank! Don’t cry!”

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    Naturally, as we approached Paxton’s first birthday party, it was only right that we go with the Tank theme:

A big thanks to Uncle Mike’s girlfriend, Mary, for making us this DARLING Tank cake!!!!! 044

  Check out these cool Green Apple Army Gummy Men I found at our local market.  What are the odds of finding gummy army men, and just in time for our party!?!?!  I just smiled and said “Thanks, Lord!”  It TOTALLY made my day!  🙂

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  They were the really soft kind of gummy, and tasty too!

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  Paxton doesn’t actually turn 1 until Wednesday, (phew, I have a bit longer to call him my BABY) but due to some family matters, we moved his party up a whole weekend.

  Here are the photos from his fun day:

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 Saprina all dressed up to party…..

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Guests arrive:

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Cool Dragonfly (already deceased) from Great Grandpa & Grandma’s house:028029

“Look Momma, I think it’s a bug!”

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“Got it…”

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“Uh, Momma?  I got it, but I don’t like it.”

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“Ewwwww!”

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Cake time!  Paxton spots it his coming….

“Dis!” he says.

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You can barely tell it, but in this photo he is pursing his lips and blowing the candle in these little teeny puffs. Clever boy!  087*Also not pictured: big brother Tylan, walking up to it and matter of factly blowing it out for him!!!!!  Nice.

Dig in baby, this is the first/last time you’re getting sugar for a long time…Enjoy it!

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“Here Mom, this thing came off….”

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Still going strong on the cake……till Momma cuts him off!

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Time to open gifts!

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Read that “Time for Mommy to open gifts, while trying to keep a squirmy, sugared-up, almost 1-year-old on her lap……”

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  Uncle Dan had arrived at the party in his super fun, 1964 Impala, so after the party, he let the kids have a ride around the property. 

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    Pax sure thought he was cool stuff getting to stand in the front seat while it was parked….

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“What do you mean I can’t drive until I am 18!?”

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“Can I just pretend, like this?”

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“Yes?”

“Ok, thanks, Mom.”

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  Aunt Viv, here from Oregon, brought presents for ALL the kids.  They thought that was a SUPER great idea!  She brought them each a darling new outfit!!!

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  078My last little Ferguson is a few days away from turning 1!

How is that possible?!?!

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~T

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Kitties & Chickies

  We had a visitor awaiting us when we came home from vacation.  A new furry little Ferguson:

Saprina the kitty, rescued from a tree by our house sitter while we were gone.

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To say my kids are infatuated with her is a bit of an understatement!

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Tylan announced at supper tonight, that it was REALLY great that we had a cat now, so she could eat the mice.  Otherwise…….those mice would sneak into our house and eat all our CHEESE!

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This is our first pet kitty you know.  I am NOT a cat person, but I just might be a bit smitten myself.

Key word: MIGHT

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Sophie was not to sure at first, but after the customary butt sniff, deemed Saprina fit to be a part of our outdoor family.

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“Wait, did you say OUTSIDE?”

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Yup, sorry Saprina. This Momma is allergic to kitty cats, no matter how cute they are. Outside you go and outside you will stay…

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Exploring the great outdoors is exhausting!!!!!053

Awwww!  {melt melt melt} I think I’m smitten with a kitten. (Shhh! Don’t tell!)

   In other Furry Little Ferguson news, remember our Silkie Bantams?  They were baby Silkies when we left for Florida and viola! 

2 weeks later……..

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We came back to BIG teenager Silkies that had outgrown their pen and need for a heat lamp.  We promptly moved them to the old chicken coop, separate from the other chickens. 

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They don’t call it “Hen Pecked” or “Pecking Order” for nothing.  It is for their own safety that they remain separated from the original chickens until further notice, so they live to see another day.

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“I got my eye on you.”

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Funny little Fur-babies!

~T

Back to Oz

  Our Florida trip is done, suitcases unpacked, laundry caught up (for but a moment).  Here are all the rest of the photos from an amazing 2 week-long dream of a family vacation!  (Thanks Drea for sending me home with all the photos you took, too! Very helpful as I filled in the blanks on all these Florida posts!)

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Paxton found the glass dining room table quite perplexing!

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Hello homemade Long John Donut.  I love you.

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One of those embarrassing Bring A Trail of Toilet Out of the Bathroom with you moments.  Paxton seems unfazed.

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What is it with Paxton and toilet paper this week????????????

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Now this is a drool-worthy Birthday dinner if I ever saw one!10861084

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This is my plate, wonder where everyone else’s is?

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Avery’s 3rd birthday:

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Heading home again:

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  It was a pretty uneventful trip home, other than the second plane having a broken Air Conditioner.  Oh the misery of hot little people wanting to be held in a stuffy plane with only 2 seats on each side of it and barely any cool air blowing!  Ugh.

Oh, and that 1 extra suitcase I had to bring home?  Yeah, it about put us in a major bind as we had trouble finding room for everything in the Tahoe!

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THE END.

Thanks for sticking with me through my “Family Vacation Slide Show”.   🙂 Tomorrow, its back to the Land of Oz.

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~T

A Day at Disney

  Part of this Florida trip was a surprise stop at Disney for a day of fun.  My kids had no idea what was in store for them, since we had been referring to it as “Going to Dairy Queen” the entire time.  (if we didn’t call it SOMETHING, one of us would’ve slipped up!) Destiny wondered why we’d be going to Dairy Queen in Florida since we have one in Kansas? 

  So first, we went to Ocala to see Uncle Chad and Aunt Lauren, visit the Furniture Store called “The Carriage Trade” that Chad manages for Dad, and visit a couple of their favorite restaurants they wanted to take us to.  We made a day trip of it, knowing all along, we’d drive to Orlando that night and stay in a condo there until the next mornings big “Dairy Queen” announcement.

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Let me be a commercial for one minute:

Carriage Trade has over of 4,000 pieces of new & consigned name brand, quality furniture and décor, all in one big 30,000 sq. ft. show room. It is SO fun to walk around and see all the cool stuff.  If you live close by, you should go, you seriously can’t beat these prices!!!!!! 

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Watching Uncle Chad hard at work

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We ate lunch at Lorito’s , this authentic Italian hole in the wall restaurant.

Oh. My. Goodness.  In-stinkin-credible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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We put away 2 larges in about 10 minutes flat.

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We spent the rest of the day hanging out at Chad and Lauren’s so the kids could nap.  Papa gave Tylan a wooden replica of the Sprint Car he used to drive when I was a kid, so you can imagine that kept him entertained the rest of the afternoon!  Look how proud he is!  He gasped when Papa handed it to him and couldn’t believe it was his to keep. “Do I get to take back to Kansas?” Sure buddy.  “WOOOOAH!”

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  Sweet Lauren made the girls’ day by French braiding their hair. (I have GOT to learn how to do this, with 2 girls I have NO excuse not to know how!)

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They treated us all to Brewster’s Ice Cream for snack time.  What a darling Ice Cream place! We don’t have a Brewster’s which is too bad, it was great!!!! Oldies music, bubbles blowing from the roof top, hula hoops and free ice cream for little ones.

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We left after supper and arrived late in Orlando with the kids sleeping in the back of the coach.  We carried them in and put them 3 wide in the bed, away they slumbered, having no idea what the next morning held!!!!!!!!!!!!

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 Sweet dreams little ones! Tomorrow will be such an amaaaaaaazing day!

  They woke up bright and early, ready to eat the cupcakes Drea had promised them the night before if they’d lay down and go right to sleep.  (Apparently, Grandma’s have all sorts of privileges we momma’s do not! Like bribing with sweets for breakfast!)   🙂

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As they ate, we talked about what kind of fun adventures we could go on while we were in this fun condo for the day.  Papa says he already has some fun plans for us.  Then, real casual-like, “We are going to Disney World today….

The photos, although not the best, tell the rest of the story:

The little kids got it right away, squealing and saying Yay!

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 Sweet, responsible Destiny had to think about it a bit longer, saying “I thought we didn’t have any money for extra things right now.”

(Can you tell she has been paying attention during our year of financial discipline?! That, and when she had asked about Disney in the past I told her we’d have to save up all our dollars for a long time before going.)

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We assured her that Papa and Drea had it covered and were treating us to a day at Disney.  THEN the smiles came! 

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“Wait, we really ARE going?  TODAY?” (Giggles)

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“We are going to Disney! We are going to Disney! We are going to Disney!”

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Getting 4 adults, 4 kids, a cooler, a diaper bag and 2 strollers into the tram was interesting!

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  It took us an HOUR to get into the actual park.  Wow! Guess we won’t be popping out to the coach for lunch and naps after all!

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First stop, Mickey Ears and meeting the Princesses:

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Look at Avery staring adoringly up at Belle….Pax thinks she’s pretty great too!

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IMG_6457Later, we saw Rapunzel, but her line went CLEEEEEAR around the building. The kids were bummed!

All that was forgotten though, when they got to meet Buzz Lightyear!

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We stayed from 9 am – 7 pm with happy kids, I couldn’t believe it!  Pax napped on and off in the stroller, and Avery even took a nap!  She must have been exhausted, because she stayed asleep when transferred to Daddy’s arms for the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. 

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  By 7 it was stormy, they were unsure of whether or not they were going to have the evening parade or not, so we called it a day.  I wish now that we had pushed through for the 9 parade, but man, at the time…we were DONE!  Our rule of thumb is to leave while everyone is still happy.   🙂

  We got back to the condo just in time to take a swim in the big tub and off to beddy-by. 

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It was an incredible day!  Thanks Papa & Drea for blessing us with this AMAAAAZING trip!

~T

Sunset Cruise, Sea Sick & Sweethearts

My dad planned a special surprise birthday outing for us birthday ladies: Drea, Lauren and I all had birthday’s in July and August.  I think if you average us out, we all turned 30 this year.  tee-hee 🙂

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1095  So Dad announces he is taking us out for Drea’s birthday and Aunt Ashley sweetly offered to babysit the kiddies.

(They had a blast by the way, and asked when I could leave again so she could babysit some more….)

  The surprise was a Sunset Dinner Cruise!!!!!!

  No joke! I was so excited!!!! I mean, you just don’t get date nights like this in Kansas.

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We head upstairs on this lovely boat, to the top level, where he has reserved a table for us.  We found this:

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  Woah! What a thoughtful Daddy I have. I was so blessed and blown away at this amazing evening he had planned for us, as well as the fact that he bought flowers for all of us and dropped them off at the boat earlier that day.

“Grrrr, Clay! Way to make us look bad!”

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My new “I’m Not Mommy Tonight” shoes: My first pair of BCBG’s!!!! (they are TALL)

Man, I love the discount stores here!

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The food was amaaaaaazing!   Thick slabs of Prime Rib with both Creamy Horseradish & Dill sauces, Lemon Salmon with some sort of white cheese butter sauce, rice, steamed veggies, salad and rolls.

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For dessert we got Key Lime Cheesecake, Red Velvet Cake and Death By Chocolate cake….then the server surprised us with this darling birthday cake!

More dessert? SURE, why not?!

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At this point, we were stuffed and waddled out to the back deck to enjoy the view:  First these dream homes, then later, a gorgeous sunset painted by the Creator Himself.

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Thanks, Daddy for a great birthday celebration!!!!!!  Between my surprise party in Kansas and this birthday cruise, I can’t imagine a better way to turn 30! 🙂

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   One of my goals while in Florida, is to eat as much seafood as possible.  We were supposed to get to take Papa’s boat the 45 minutes it takes by sea to get to dinner, but it was POURING down rain! So we drove there instead, hoping to take the boat out afterwards.  We ate at this great little sea food place.  Oh man, was it ever delicious!!!! 

  Kansas seafood doesn’t taste quite the same now.  🙂

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IMG_6469  The rain stopped just as we finished eating, so we headed to the dock to get the boat. 

Check out this “Boat Garage”, they store the boats 4 high. You just call ahead they have your boat down and ready for you to take out for the day.

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  Ty was in HEAVEN!  He sat at the front of the boat grinning the ENTIRE TIME.  Every time Papa revved the engine, he’d turn around and just grin from ear to ear.  Little motor head!

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Pax had that finger going left and right as fast as he could to show us “Dis” and “Dat!” Sweet big boy!!!!

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   It was so peaceful and the view was just stunning!  I would never get tired of watching the sun melt into the ocean each evening.

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  995Unfortunately, this was the part that Avery and I got very sea sick, it sure can sneak up on you quickly!  We headed back before anyone had to sea food again. Oh, I mean see their food again.  (I am cracking myself up here…..)

  Once on shore, she was fine.  This Momma took a bit longer to stop swaying inside, but it was all good!

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   What a fun way to end the day!

  The last weekend we were in Florida, Papa and Drea offered to put the kids to bed for us, so Dale and I could go walk on the beach and watch the sunset.   Oh my goodness, do you know how long its been since Dale and I could just walk together….no car seats, no diapers bags, no sweet sticky little hands grasping ours or sweet ones walking between us. It was wonderful!

  We kicked our shoes off and strolled along the waters edge, just talking and walking until we could no longer see our blanket in the sand. 

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We doubled back just in time to plop down on our blanket and enjoy the sunset.

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  Told you I’ll never get tired of seeing the sunset down into the ocean!!!!!! 

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Especially in the arms of the one who still makes my heart go pitter patter. 

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  So, are you tired of hearing about our vacation yet? Sorry, there is just so much to document! Remember, I plan to make this into a book each year for my kiddos, so bear with me. Only 1 to more post to go, maybe 2: Disney, Avery’s birthday, plus all the leftover pics that I can’t catagorize! See, that’s not so bad, right?!?!?!

~T

Wedding Bells

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  My baby brother, Chad (FINALLY) proposed to his girlfriend, Lauren, a few weeks before our Florida trip.  She said “Yes! It’s about dang time!”  (Ok I am not for sure that’s what she said, but I bet I am close…)

YAY!!!!

  After much debate, they decided to get married while we were in Florida.  Meaning they planned the entire thing in…….

20 days. 

Can you IMAGINE?!?!??!

  They did this so we could be a part of it, bless their hearts!!!!!  They knew there was no way we could save up to fly back again this year.  Lauren pulled it off, and it was AMAZING! 🙂

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  They asked our children to be part of their big day. They, of course, were thrilled.  Lauren’s wedding colors, Fushia & Tangerine Orange, were the ones I had picked out for my wedding 10 years ago, but I guess I was ahead of the trends, because back then we couldn’t find anything in those 2 colors, and people looked at me like I was NUTS! lol 🙂  To say I lived vicariously through Lauren would be a small understatement, I had so much fun sending her cake and flower pictures using those colors. And, she let me pick the little girls flower girl dresses! {squeeeeeeeal}

I immediately began scouring bridal sites….too expensive and too fancy for an outdoor Florida wedding.  Then, I remembered Etsy, my favorite new addiction.  I hit the JACKPOT, praise the Lord, finding a gal on there who would sell me a 3T fushia and tangerine tutu with matching headband for $20 AND custom make me a matching size 7-8 with flower clip for $25 by Monday (it was Thursday I do believe). 

  And boy, did she deliver!  These tutu’s are made from an excellent quality tulle and the hair accessories are well made.  I HIGHLY recommend her!   Check out her shop here at Caroline’s Boutique, and please tell her Tonya from Kansas sent you.

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We love you Uncle Chad & Aunt Lauren, thanks for making us a part of your special day!  xoxo

Here are the photos from their amazing day!

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Proof that I should’ve taken my children’s photos BEFORE the wedding rather than after: 

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(But who has time for that when trying to do hair and get little people dressed between afternoon naps and a 3:00 ceremony!?!??!)  🙂 

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Considering that we were drenched in sweat by this point and ready to go inside, they did very well.

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I had Chad and Lauren’s photographer snap a family photo for me….easier said than done.

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SO close, thanks Ty!

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I tell ya, the more kids you have, the harder it is to take a good family photo!

Oh well.

Congrats to Mr. & Mrs. Bontrager! We are SO happy for you two!

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~T

Headin’ to the Beach

  Out of the 2 weeks spent in Florida, we only managed to make it to the beach 3 times, even though its only 10 minutes away.  Gotta love life with young kiddos! 🙂

   This was Avery’s first time to be old enough to remember the beach.  Last time we went to Florida, she was this age…..Where has the time gone?!

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  Papa and Drea loaded us all up one evening to go to the Jetty to see if we could spot some dolphins.

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  We did eventually spot some, but not as close as they sometimes come, Papa said.

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Paxton sure seemed intent on staring at the water, I was amazed at his interest.  136

137Oh wait, he’s dozed off again. Poor tired kiddo!

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Once he woke up, he loved to look at the water, even copying the big kids by pointing at the dolphins….

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We decided to go wade a bit before heading home for bed.  The beaches here are just littered with shells, I couldn’t get over it!

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Paxton’s first time at the beach….

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Yup, not feelin’ it!

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Beach Attempt 2 took 1 1/2 hours to get out the door, 6 adults with very full arms, trudging through the sand….only to stay 30 minutes before the rain clouds rolled in.  Nice.

Beach attempt 3 was a roaring success, with us making it there mid-morning and staying late into the afternoon! Woo hoo!

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Our “Camp” for the day

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It was a PERFECT day! (Despite the fact that all the Kansans got burnt, even with sunscreen!)

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{SIGH}

Can we go back now? Pul-eeeeeeease!?!?!?!

More to come Monday….

~T

Florida Fun

  We just got home last night at midnight from an AMAZING trip to Florida thanks to my Dad and Drea.  Nearly 2 weeks of non-stop fun in the sun!  Trip highlights included Uncle Chad’s wedding, a surprise stop at Disney World, swimming at the beach, boat rides and so much more. 

  I will take the next few days to share photos of our grand adventure.  Bear with me though, I took 1200-some photos over the 2 weeks and am still trying to get caught up on bills, mail, phone messages, laundry and unpacking in addition to weeding through said photos.  Not to mention our cupboards are BARE and I need to make and menu and go grocery shopping.

  Check out this table I had Dale set up in our room the week before our trip:

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  This is where I packed us. You are going to be so proud of me, out of all these choices, in the end, I only took 2 suitcases and 2 carry on bags for the 6 of us for 2 weeks, thankyouverymuch!  (However, I did have to bring an entire extra suitcase home thanks to some new birthday gifts and clothing bargains.  Too bad the airlines charge $25 a bag, that ticks me off!)

  We got up at 3 am the morning we left.  I was not sure what I was thinking, booking that early of a flight, but there are limited choices out of our small town.  The other flight option put us arriving at 10 pm and blowing the whole first day, so I took a chance that our kids could handle it, and you know what?

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They did AWESOME!

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Pax napped on a bed pillow across my knees both flights like a little champ. (*Note to you traveling Momma’s, this is my FAVORITE airplane travel tip: Take a bed pillow along! It frees your hands up to help the other kids or read a book. Baby sleeps much more peacefully because they are not hot and sweaty in your arms.)

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  The other kids played and colored flight #1, did great during our 1 1/2 hour layover in Atlanta and watched a movie flight #2.  (reason number 1001 to limit daily TV, it’s a special treat and they didn’t MOVE a MUSCLE during this 2 hour flight!)

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Apparently tray tables are super fascinating as well.

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 028 We arrived right on time to sunny Florida.  Papa and Drea aren’t equipped for 6 extras in their sporty vehicles, so Papa picked us up in their coach. The kids thought that was super awesome!

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  Thoughtful Drea loaded the fridge with lunch fixin’s so we were able to eat sandwiches while we drove the hour to their home.  Check out the view!

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  Our fearless driver, Papa:

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We traveled nice and comfy on the recliner front seat! 🙂

  First thing on the agenda when we got to the house? Unpack, then a dip in the pool.

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Traveling is such hard work, everyone was wiped! Pax got sleepy early, so it was off to bed for him well before the sun went down!

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  The other kids needed  to get to bed too, but first? A game with Papa.

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Then, hanging around the pool with Drea and a lizard visit.

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Avery says “Bleh.”

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  Destiny caught the teeniest little lizard! Somehow during his release back into the wild, the kids accidentally made his tail fall off. Oops! Poor lizard, good thing it grows back. It totally thrashed around and made everyone grossed out, long after the baby lizard ran away to nurse its wounds!

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NOW is it bedtime?  3 am was a LONG time ago!!!!

  Nope, the kids are still going strong.  So, how about a quick round of “Golf” out back. 

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Oh well, we are on vacation, what can it hurt? But only for a little bit then it’s off to bed, Mr. Sunshine is on his way to bed too!

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There is so much more to share, and  I am sorry to leave you before I even get started with this trip, but this is as far as I got on the editing for today. 

  Come see me tomorrow!  🙂  I promise this won’t be like those boring hour-long click and whir slide shows of yester-year. 

There are lots of fun photos to come!!!

~T