Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The true purpose of a belly button


This time of year is crazy for most of us. I feel like my days are currently filled planning around Christmas gatherings and school functions, while trying desperately to finish my own shopping and work amidst finishing picture orders and Christmas cards for others. When I get one thing accomplished, I suddenly remember yet another thing to add to my list. It's pure craziness...but it also makes the Christmas holidays so much sweeter...time away from computer work, shopping, and hustle-bustle and more time with family...lots of time with family. More time for snuggles, laughter, and memories being made. I look forward to that in the upcoming few weeks!

In the mean time, this is a snippet of what it looks like when we do spend good quality time together. We definitely may not be your average family...

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Our wonderful Thanksgiving weekend...in pictures


Friday, November 26, 2010

Numerous "firsts"



First off, it was definitely a first that my husband offered to put Christmas lights on the house, and it was a first that I actually shopped for the needed equipment.
Then it was a first the when he hopped onto the roof of our house, he also offered a hand to our 2 daughters...a first that aged me about 10 years and gave me multiple times of prayer with God. For in my eyes, I could totally "see" one of our kiddos losing their footing and plummeting 15 feet to their state of paralysis. My dear husband, on the other hand, could see that it was a wonderful "experience" for them. Ppshaw. Seriously? We are going to leave them at be?
Thankfully (as according to their mother), the 2 oldest kiddos grew rather bored with having to stay put on their part of the roof and asked to get down within just a few minutes. And then the dear husband continued his endeavor of the yearly adventure known as "risking your own life" while putting on Christmas lights. It was the first time in 10 years of our marriage that lights have donned the outer part of our home...and we are all very happy. Thanks sweet pea...you are the best (even though we totally need to fix that upper part of the roof)!!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Why turkeys have feathers


Emma (beaming with preschool pride): Look at the turkey hat I made in school!
Me: Oh nice. Why is there a dot on its belly?
Emma: That's his belly button. I wanted to draw his boobies too, but they wouldn't let me.
Me: Hmmmmm. Good.
Emma: I just wanted it to be a nakey turkey, but Lily's mom (parent volunteer) told me no.

At what point do they kick a kid out of a nice Christian preschool? And I'm guessing that having turkey breasts for Thanksgiving may exacerbate our problem. Bring on the honey ham.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Milestones


A child's first year is often documented through milestones...first smile, first time slept through the night, first foods, giggle, sitting up, standing, walking, words, royal thrown-down tantrum in public. After those first couple of years, a lot of the "firsts" are conquered, and our thoughts of milestones in our children's lives seem to diminish with time.But when you really think about it, life is made up of a series of milestones...no matter how old you get. They consist of little steps through life that show everyone around that life is moving quickly...one milestone after another.
Today was a special day in the life of a little miss Emma Ferrell. It started like most other Saturday mornings...Dad wakes up with the kids and fixes them cinnamon rolls (what can I say? I have one awesome husband who lets me sleep in on Saturdays). They all dress themselves in mixed-matched clothes and drape strands of their uncombed bedheads into the frosting from their breakfast. They watch an exorbitant amount of Spongebob and head outside to play while their lazy no-good mother pulls her rear out of bed.Shortly after waking this morning, Jay barreled into the house with "you've got to come and see this!" Walking out in my own disheveled sweat shirt and pajama pants, I saw my middle child riding up and down the street on her bike without training wheels...looking like she had been doing it all her life. How does that happen? How does it just "click", and they know how to do it?I'm proud of my sweet little Emmabear. She's growing up so fast and is turning out to be one amazing kid.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

"I yam what I yam!"


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Venturing out from under a mother's wings


I lived outside as a kid...well, not literally, but we were outside all the time. Quite a few of my childhood memories are of climbing trees, making mud pies for our pretend bakery, building a club house with spare wood around the yard, exploring the crawl space under our house, riding our bikes up and down the street with no hands (I thought I looked totally cool doing that too), and pretending we were boxcar children when playing around some old abandoned train cars on the outer part of our little town.
As parents in today's society, we tend to live with quite a bit of fear in letting our children explore our environment on their own. I am definitely included in that group of mothers who want to be with their children at all times in order to keep them completely and utterly safe. We live in Florida, where it seems by news reports to be the kidnap capital of the US. That freaks me out. I have heard two stories lately of children getting run over by cars while riding their bikes...again, freaks me out.
When thinking of all these "worst case scenarios", it makes me want to gather my children up under my wings and never let them go anywhere without my watchful eyes on them continuously. The world is a dangerous place, ya know.
However, I have recently realized that in preventing my children from doing things that have the potential for physical harm, I could also be preventing them from growing mentally and emotionally in a way that they may need. By climbing trees and monkey bars, they have to make decisions and be confident in their decisions, and they know that if they make poor decisions, the consequences are painful. By exploring the woods, they grow in responsibility of being capable of maintaining direction of their location and gain courage of tackling an area that may have bugs and critters and animals. They earn their sibling's trust as they help one another tackle rough terrain and different circumstances without the aid of an adult around.
These are amazing learning opportunities for the kids, and more than anything, it is so much fun. Since relinquishing my strong hold on "I must see you at all times", they have loved and begged to go outside and play...for hours and hours. They have created a "girl's club" and do everything outside, from reading and doing homework to eating meals and snacks. They have made trails and "houses" and obstacle courses...the possibilities for them is really endless.
Even the little man gets out there is small spurts (though I'm not quite ready to let go of the reigns of total responsibility of him quite yet and make sure I can see him at all times...baby steps). It took a while (and gradual nudging from my dear husband) to allow them to explore their world without me, but it has been an amazing experience for everyone.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Why I dread wintertime


Late fall and wintertime in Florida is lovely. The girls have spent hours after school playing in the woods around our house lately...making their own little forts and houses, complete with palm frond beds and pine tree stump reading nooks. The weather in the middle of the day is absolutely perfect...the mosquitos are pretty much gone, it has been cold enough at night to be less concerned about snakes, and the humidity has decreased dramatically. Its truly the most perfect time of the year here.

Except for one thing...This is also the beginning of "sick season" here. And for the past 3 years, I have dreaded this time of year. Like some regular kiddos, Nate seems to stay sick during the cold months of the year. Unlike most other kiddos, his gut takes a hit each time he is sick, and it is so difficult to stay ahead of the GI issues when this happens.

Nate had a cold about a week and a half ago...a runny nose/cough cold. He laid around for a few days and had some reflux and retching, but seemed to do fairly well with the cold. That was until his GI system mutinied on us for a little bit, causing him to expel quite a bit of bile. His gut has been slow going since that, but he has still done okay. It felt like he was getting "out of the woods" and really improving...until yesterday.
His heart rate was really increased yesterday, but that isn't uncommon for the little guy either, so I didn't think much of it. However, he started complaining of intense belly pain again last night and when I picked him up, I knew instantly that he had a fever. I hate sick season.
With any fever, he tanks quickly. Its always difficult when he is sick because you never know what the illnesses will do to him. You never know when the right time to go in for fluids will be. You never know if his gut will stop functioning. You never know if this is just a measly virus or something more serious. Basically, when Nate is sick like this, we stay on pins and needles until we know that he is okay again.

I'm hoping for a measly little virus with no repercussions so he can get outside exploring the woods with his sisters like all boys should do.

Prayers for the Lanford family


I have mentioned the Lanford family on here before...a dear friend whose girls are the same age as Abby and Emma. Skye's husband, Chad, has been suffering with brain cancer for the past few years, and Skye has gracefully shared their difficult journey on her blog: http://thelanfords.com.

Chad passed away early this morning.

Please keep this precious family in your prayers. Lift Skye and her girls up during this extremely difficult time as they mourn the loss of their husband and father.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Photos for Mito 2010


It was one of the coldest days we have seen in months. We started off the morning by scraping ice off the windshield of Jay's truck with a credit card...we Floridians don't often own real bonefied ice scrapers. In a pinch, a credit card comes in handy to scrape off a thin layer of ice. We Floridians are also known to be quite resourceful...sippy cups can be used as urinals, bean bag filling as snow, credit cards as ice scrapers.

I started the morning in a fleece coat, gloves and wool hat. Due to the low temps, I was secretly wondering how many would cancel...not a one did. It was an amazingly successful day! It turned out to be a gorgeous sunny 60-something degree day, and the photo sessions went beautifully. We are waiting on a few more donations trickling in, but a rough estimate of the earnings puts at more than last year's total for this fundraiser. I'll have a more accurate number in the end, but it is looking like we made about $1500.

Tackling a disease with no cure sometimes feels like we are sitting and spinning our tires, but helping gather funds for UMDF makes us feel like we may be making a difference...for research, for treatments, for a potential cure for mito. For Nathan and so many others afflicted with this disease.
Thank you to all who participated and helped with this fundraiser. Thanks for helping us make a difference!

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