Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Very First Day of Preschool

The twins had their very first day of preschool August 18th.

Since we visited their teacher 'Ms. Vicki' in May they have been begging me to go to school.

When the big day arrived Caleb and Carissa were so excited that they got dressed and ready faster than speeding bullets - motivation rocks.

When Jeff and I brought them to their classroom it was not a typical scenario you might imagine on the very first day of preschool.
There were no tears, no screaming, no holding on to mom or dad's legs for dear life. Honestly they just wanted us to be on our merry way so that they could check out all of the cool stuff in Ms. Vicki's classroom.

Jeff had to leave for work but I hung around for a bit trying to snap at least one good picture and make sure all was ok. (Of course, I missed the pic of them hugging Ms. Vicki and I couldn't get them to stand still to save my life) But while they wanted me to leave so that they could enjoy their very first day of preschool on their own, part of me wanted to stay and cherish the beginning of nearly two decades of school.

My heart throbbed a bit as I thought about how quickly they have grown from itty-bitty wee ones in to miniature people. My eyes welled up with tears as I said a halfhearted goodbye (with enthusiasm) upon leaving.

When I picked them up they were so excited to tell me about their very first day with classmates Kylee and Nathan, their Bible story (Noah's Ark), snack time, the toys and the letter 'a'.

Caleb and Carissa rated the very first day of preschool an A+

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Miracle Report

It's a miracle, my mom's bone marrow biopsy report came back...

...and the results show that my mom is still in remission!!!!

This is a wonderful report. We are all relieved and so happy for this encouraging news.

To read more link over to my mom's blog.

And, wish her a happy birthday! She turns 60 today.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Fossil Springs

During our trip to AZ we stayed in Strawberry for 4 days at the 'Cabin Sweet Cabin'. This small town in Northern Arizona has an elevation of 6,047 feet and lies beneath the famed Mogollon Rim.

Only 7 miles from Strawberry is the Fossil Springs Wilderness. We enjoyed two afternoons in this 11,550 acre wilderness.

I was surprised at the lushness of the creek bed because the surrounding dessert is extremely dry. The area has over thirty species of trees and shrubs and over a hundred species of birds observed in this unique habitat.

We drove down in to the canyon on a dusty dirt road to the lower parking lot. Once parked it was only a short hike to this glorious-ness. The stream gushes 20,000 gallons a minute out of a series of springs at the bottom of a 1,600 foot deep canyon. The water is incredibly clear! We could see to the bottom of the creek bed and also saw many small and medium sized fish. The kids loved swimming with the fish!Like many visitors to the Fossil Springs we swam, waded in the water, floated in the current,
and enjoyed the beautiful surroundings.One of the highlights was the rope swings. The kids enjoyed watching people swing on the ropes and jump/fall in to the water. Even though there were some younger (read, more agile)guys jumping off of the rope swings, the kids favorite 'swinger' was Daddy himself. Click on the link below and you can see a short slide show of daddy on the rope swing.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Cabin Sweet Cabin

We spent four days at this sah-weet cabin in Strawberry Arizona.

Courtesy of my Aunt Melanie and her hubby Jerry our family was blessed to use this cozy cabin on our family trip to AZ.

And cozy it was.

During our stay we had lots of 'porch time' in the hammock, the big swing and the white wicker rocking chairs.
Caleb and Carissa sporting their morning jammies and huge, giggly smiles
Caleb and Carissa took these pictures of Daddy with the opposite twin
Uncle B: our surprise visitor who drove 2 pizzas from my favorite joint in the Valley of the Sun. His visit was short but sah-weet.
A beloved brother, aka 'Bub' and 'Uncle B'
My mom, aka 'Nana' was able to join us for much longer than 4 hours. It was more like 4 days. She is a blessing to us all.
Another cabin activity besides 'porch time' was...

filling the bird and squirrel feeders with seeds!
of course Caleb and Carissa thought this was....sah-weet!

And next...our fun adventures at Fossil Springs


Friday, August 14, 2009

No Glitches in Bone Marrow Biopsy

My Mom made it through her bone marrow
test this morning without any complications.
After a friend drove her home she spent the day
sleeping off the anesthesia and catching up on her rest.

Thank you for lifting up prayers."Nana, this hugs for you" Love, Carissa

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bone Marrow Biopsy

For about the past month my mom Sharon's blood test results have not showed good signs of continued remission. It is possible that she has relapsed and that the Leukemia has returned.

This is mere speculation (based on her test results) so no definitive answers will be had until she has a bone marrow biopsy.

So, tomorrow morning (Aug. 14) at 7:00am my mom will be admitted to the hospital and put under full anesthesia for the procedure. Results should be available within a week. After that my mom will evaluate what kind of treatment is necessary (if any).

My mom has endured quite the battle this past year. She continues to trust in God for ultimate healing supernaturally or through modern day medicine. If you want to read more of her story you can click over to her blog

I so appreciate your prayers and support.

Monday, August 10, 2009

IV Reunion

It has been 10+ years since I finished school at NAU. A large group of us who were friends from InterVaristy Christian Fellowship met up in Flagstaff for a weekend of fun and fellowship. It was a great time to connect with old friends, meet expanding families (lots of kids!) and to celebrate God's goodness in and through our lives.

This is a group picture from the picnic on Sunday.
(Pictured from left by families: Naomi Grether, Catina Ivy and baby Joseph, Jeff & Angie Kintner and tots Carissa & Caleb, Mike & Katie Peterson, Evie and Izzy, Mike and Jessica Blair, Justin & Claire Beeler and girls, Mark Staten, Rainy & Brad Schneeflock & 5 kids, Gary Hyde, Curtis & Anna Hunt, Pete & Erin Benedict, Trevor and Chelsea Bush with Colson & Kayson, Timothy & Stephanie Richards, Nicolle Howard and family)(Mark Blair and his lovely wife Jessica)One morning we gathered for yummies at Macy's. As it was 'back in the day' it was a perfect place to hang-out and catch-up!(Peter and Curtis)

On Sunday we gathered for a picnic at Thorpe Park. Curtis was not only our Reunion planner but our Grill-er-extraordinaire. (pic by Claire Beeler)(Colson, Carissa, Lauren, Evie, Caleb)(Jeff & Brad, Rainy & Angie with their 2 year old girls)(Carissa showing off her 'boo boo' which she showed to everyone in the park, including people that we didn't know. drama queen.)
(Katie & Izzy)(Catina with her 3 month old baby boy, Angie & Carissa)
(Caleb and Evie, instant friends goofing around)(Caleb enthralled with playing in the rain)A lousy picture taken from our car of a train crossing Rt 66. Caleb and Carissa loved all of the trains that they saw, especially on the drive parallel to Rt 66 on our way to and from Northern Arizona.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Trip 2009. our road trip in minutes

Road trip Arizona
Total Miles traveled: 1,797

This is the first long road trip we have taken with Caleb and Carissa. They were champs! If it were up to me I wouldn't want to be harnessed in a car seat for hours on end but the tots didn't seem to mind too much.

Traveling with toddlers takes longer than not traveling with toddlers.
At first we took more stops but as the tots got 'conditioned' our time between stops lengthened.

The departure.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
7:30am - depart Colorado Springs
8:20 - Breakfast (Cracker Barrel took forever! Ordering, eating and two potty stops...the minutes flew by)
9:55 - driving
10:50 - gas/pit stop
11:05 - driving, surprised the tots with a borrowed DVD player - watched 'Bee Movie'
12:40pm - pit stop (why it takes 15 minutes for 2 adults/2 tots to go potty I still don't know)
12:55 - driving
2:45 - arrived at hotel in Albuquerque
3:00 - swimming at hotel
5:30 - dinner
7:30 - bed
Bedtime was interesting. We realized (too late) that Caleb is too big for the Pack N Play. He moaned and groaned all night until I finally gave in and brought him in bed with us. It was a fitful night of sleep as Caleb tossed and turned and wanted me to rub his back every time he moved around. In the nights that followed however he got used to the smaller space and slept much better. whew.

Friday, July 24, 2009
9:45am - driving
10:10 - gas
10:25 - driving
1:03pm - pit stop on the side of the highway. Seriously, on the reservation there is no where to stop. Carissa had to pee so badly her eyes were watering. So, we pulled over and Carissa sat on her portable potty and Caleb got his first lesson from daddy about peeing in the bushes. And me? well, I also used Carissa's potty and mooned the highway drivers while doing it.
1:10 - driving
2:52 - arrive at hotel in Flagstaff

Flagstaff to Strawberry
During our short 1.5 hour drive on Sunday from Flagstaff to Strawberry our potty trained son announced that he had to poop. While we believed his 'plea for the potty' there was nowhere to pull off and he said that he could "hold it".

While driving I caught a whiff of what I was hoping was just passed gas. But moments later Caleb announced that he had poop on his fingers. I bolted around in my seat to see that yes, he did indeed have poop and nuggets stuck to his fingers.

What happened? After declaring that he could "hold it" Caleb pooped his pants quietly and then accidentally dropped his fruit snacks. When he went to 'fish' for his snacks in his lap he got more than just his fruit snacks.

It almost barfed (seriously). It was utterly disgusting.

Jeff pulled off the side of the road. We cleaned him up and stuck on an old tiny pull-up of Carissa's that we found in the side of the car door. This was a memory I don't want to relive.

To give the small kid a bit of credit he did tell us he had to go and afterwards he felt horrible about it. He hung his head.

Pictures of our Adventures in AZ to come...

The return.
Friday, July 31st, 2009
8:20am - depart cabin
9:30 - gas/pit stop (crossed state lines, lost 1 hour)
3:15 - lunch/gas
4:15 - driving
6:15 - pit stop (we had to wait for the guy who 'showered' in the sink)
6:35 - driving
8:20 - gas/pit stop
8:30 - driving
10:00 - home sweet home. finally.

Returning from AZ in one day was a stretch.
We learned a few things about our kiddos.
1. they do not sleep in the car
2. they got excited about 'pit stops' in hopes that they might get a treat
3. they still love videos (honestly, a lifesaver on long trips!)