Monday, August 31, 2009

The Adventure Begins: Jeremiah and Sierra, Fall 2009!

While my good friend Karen student teaches this Fall, I have the great honor of taking care of her daughter, Sierra, who just happens to be one month older than Jeremiah. They always have so much fun together!!! Today was the first day that I babysat for Sierra. Sierra and Jeremiah have had quite a good day so far, and are napping at the moment. I decided to take this "down time" to post some pics/details on our blog. So far today, the two cuties have enjoyed a walk in the double stroller, racing cars down the hallway, dancing to music, practicing animal sounds with Baby Einstein, coloring pictures, and making music (out of keyboard/drum/guitar toys). Sadly, our morning walk was cut short, when it started to sprinkle just a bit. :( I just have to add: I recently bought the double stroller from a posting I found on Craigslist for $12!!! What a deal!

This is what we have planned for the rest of the week:
*Tuesday: mall walk/lunch date scheduled with some of my friends
*Wednesday: "splish splash" play date with our M4C play group
*Thursday: still "undecided" (possibly swimming with my friend Emily)
*Friday: play date at our friend, Allison's house (five babies all together!!)

What a fun, busy week! No matter what, I praise God for this precious time I have with Jeremiah and Sierra. What a blessing to be able to watch them grow and learn....together!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Beach Day (One and Only this Summer): Virginia Beach Oceanfront

Yesterday, we spent just a bit of time at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.  In previous summers, we've made it to the beach every other week, or at least once a month.  But since we were gone almost the entire summer (end of June, all of July, beginning of August), we obviously haven't had many chances to "hit the beach."  We decided this weekend was the perfect weekend to go, because there was a surfing competition going on.  About eight years ago,  I learned to surf, and even though I'm not that good, I still love to participate.  I especially love to watch other people (who are actually really good!) surf.  Because I've done it quite a few times, I know it takes great swimming ability, major balance, and extreme muscle control.  So I am just amazed when I watch "real" surfers!!  Enjoy the pics!!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Ocean Breeze Waterpark: Virginia Beach, VA

Today, we went to Ocean Breeze Waterpark with our friends, the Wood Family. Ryan (age 9) was in my first grade class three years ago, and since then, I have become quite good friends with his mom, Amber. Amber and her husband, Johnny, invited Jeremiah and I to join them today, and we were so happy to go! Jeremiah and Randy (18 mos.) had a blast together, as always. The last time I went to Ocean Breeze was over three years ago, when I worked at a summer day camp for ASCS. We used to bring the day campers there every Tuesday. This was Jeremiah's first time there, so it was fun to see his reaction to everything. Ocean Breeze had a wonderful little baby play area for Randy and Jeremiah to splash around in, complete with mini water slides and a lazy river. How fun for them! Amber and Johnny were kind enough to watch Jeremiah and Randy (a big job--to chase after two toddlers!), while Ryan and I went on ALL 16 of the water slides together. We had such a great time! God blessed us with a beautiful, sunny day. It was supposed to rain, but thankfully, the rain held off until late afternoon, as we were leaving the park. What a fun day! See pics below!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Glad To Be "Home Again, Home Again, Jiggity-Jig!"

Has it really been three weeks since I last updated this blog?! Wow! Time flies! We had a wonderful time in Wisconsin, but we are so glad to finally be home! We returned home one week ago Tuesday, and have been busy busy busy every since, catching up with bills/paperwork/house stuff, hanging out with friends we haven't seen all summer, etc. So I am now just getting the chance to post pictures and write details about our two week trip in Wisconsin. God kept us safe through all of our travels (flying and driving) and blessed us with being able to introduce Jeremiah to tons of family and friends. God also brought us through one of the hardest things we've had to go through: seeing our son in the hospital (more details below: keep reading). Through it all, God was there, every step of the way....just as He always is!

Here are the highlighs of our trip:

Seeing Jake and Calle's New House
We started off our two-week (7/28-8/11) trip to Wisconsin by flying into Chicago, IL, and driving 2 1/2 hours up to Jake and Calle's house (brother and sis-in-law/bride and groom!) to stay with them at their new home in Madison overnight. It was great to see the home they just purchased, and epsecially great to see them!

Visiting College Friends
The next morning, we drove up to Trego, WI to see Lisa (a friend from college) and her adorable son Ryan, who happens to be just three months older than Jeremiah. The last time we saw each other was when we were both pregnant with the boys, so it was fun to have the boys meet for the first time. They played so well together. Jeremiah especially enjoyed Ryan's HUGE play gym and car. That evening, we drove down to Eau Claire (my college town!) to meet up with my friends Sherri, Ashley, Sarah, Amber, and Bethany for dinner at Texas Roadhouse. It was so fun to see two pregnant bellies: Sarah and Amber are both expecting babies!! That night and the next day, we stayed with Jeremy's family in Chippewa Falls (just next to Eau Claire) and had a blast with them!

Meeting Uncle Shane for the First Time
At the end of that week, it was finally time to drive to Sturgeon Bay (eastern WI) to see my family!! My older brother Shane was already there, and it was fun to introduce him to Jeremiah. :) Jeremiah had a great time playing with his Uncle Shane. Since Shane's family wasn't there yet, and Jeremy also was not there yet, we decided to go on a "date" the next night, just the two of us! What a blast! We ate cheese curds, had ice cream, watched a sunset, watched fireworks, and talked for hours. What a special memory!

Church Picnic
Every summer, my hometown Church, First Baptist Church of Sturgeon Bay, has a Church Picnic. Since we live so far away, and are rarely home in the summer, I haven't been to one of those picnics in a long time! So I finally got to attend one, and I saw lots of old friends! Fun!

The week of the wedding, family started pouring in! This was my favorite part, because I just love having everyone together, especially since it hardly ever happens. On Monday, the rest of my brother Shanes family came (my sister-in-law Janette, my nieces: Anastasia and Alexia). Unfortuntely my nephew Nate was unable to join us. :( Jeremiah met Janette, "Stasia" and "Lexi" for the first time! That day, my sister Chasey and her family also arrived. Jeremiah knows my sister's family well, as they only live three hours north of us in Virginia. It was so awesome to see the cousins playing together that week. We just missed Bronson and Taylor (who came just before the wedding) and of course Nate, too (Jeremiah's other cousins, my niece and nephews). Chasey and her family were staying right down the road from my parents house, at Bridgeport, so we all enjoyed splashing around in the two pools together! How fun!

Family Pictures/My Dad's 60th Birthday
Since my dad will be turning 60 this month, my mom decided to suprise him with a birthday party (since most of our family was there by that time--two days before the wedding) and also hire a photographer to take family pictures. We had such a blast! I think my dad felt really honored!! Here's the link, if you'd like to look at the pictures (you don't have to have a password, but rather, just have to type in your email address):

Getting Ready for the Wedding
The week of the wedding, we were all busy getting things ready for the big day. Three days before the wedding, all the "ladies" in our family (me, Calle-the bride, Chasey-my sister, Janette-my sis in law, Nana-my sister's mother in law), helped Calle decorate her programs. We shared some great laughs together! The day before the wedding, we helped decorate the tent, where the reception would be held. That night, we enjoyed a wonderful rehearsal dinner (fish boil!) at Scaturo's (where Jake and I used to work!) and Jeremiah got to meet my grandparents, his Great-Grandma and Grandpa Walker!!

Wedding Day
It was supposed to rain on Jake and Calle's wedding day, but we prayed, and thankfully, God blessed us with a beautiful, sunny day! What an amazing outdoor wedding! It was held at Wave Pointe Resort/Marina, right by the water!!! I had three jobs: doing the flower girls' hair (my nieces Lexi and Madison), being Calle's personal attendant, and helping run the sound for the wedding! We all had fun dancing together too!

Toward the end of our trip, we faced one of the scariest things we've ever been through:

Jeremiah was hospitalized for Pneumonia...

Here's the story....

On the morning of the wedding, we took Jeremiah to the ER because he had a 105 temperature. The were able to lower his temperature, and the also took a blood test, which indicated he had a virus. They sent him home, with instructions to give Tylenol/Motrin every three hours and keep him hydrated. So Jeremy stayed with him all day while I went to the wedding (they stopped by for just five minutes, as that was all Jeremiah could handle---he was so sick). Later that night, we took him back to the ER because he was not being very responsive and was very lethargic. We were in the ER with him all night as they gave him a battery of tests: spinal tap (to rule out menangitis--Praise God that was negative!), nasal influenza test (that was negative), blood tests (still viral), heart monitor, oxygen monitor, and a chest x-ray. The chest x-ray found the beginning states of Viral Pneumonia. So he was put on oxygen and give IVs the rest of the night and we were admitted into the hospital for all of Sunday. God worked a true miracle, and my Monday morning, the doctors and nurses were in shock by how well he was doing. They gave him another chest x-ray and his lungs were completely clear! Amazing! What a miracle! God is so good! On Monday they discharged us, and gave us the clearance to still fly out on Tuesday, to return home to Virginia. This was a very scary experience, but God was with us every step of the way, and even though we were worried about our precious little boy, we felt God's blanket of peace around us the whole time. We know that God allows us to go through things for a reason. We hope that someday we will be able to use this story to share with others how BIG our God really is!!!

Visiting College Friends in WI: Lisa/Ryan, Sherri, Ashley, Sarah, Amber, and Bethany

Jeremiah's First Time Meeting: Uncle Shane/Fam, Great-Grandma/Grandpa Walker, lots of Great-Aunts/Uncles

Wisconsin Moments(Visiting Renards Cheese Store, Hanging Out with Grammy and Grampy, Wedding Suit, 5th Haircut) / Jake and Calle's Wedding