Sunday, November 2, 2014

Halloween Part 1

Legolas from Lord of the Rings

noah 5 square

Elsa from Frozen

eden 4 square

Spiderman from…himself (or herself as the case may be.)

yaya 4 square

Sunday, October 12, 2014


Eden gorgeous


yaya gorgeous


Noah handsome

Are you there blog? It’s me Angie…

First, does anyone get that reference right up there in the title? If so, you are my people. If not, I still love you.

Blog? What blog? I have a blog?! Life moves at a rapid pace, it is hard for me to keep up…blah, blah, blah, blah. Who really cares why I haven’t put fingers to keyboard. If I am being totally honest, I just haven’t had the desire to blog. Possibly because, life is too fast, and frankly I am too overwhelmed by it most days to want to rehash it out on the blog. Years from now, I’ll be all sad that I didn’t keep up with all the memories. Ummm, no. No I won’t.  All this to say, “Hello blog, it’s me Angie.” Perhaps I will stay and chat for awhile.

So yeah… Yaya turned 4. We partied. Woot! Different blog post, different time. We went to Atlanta to see the rockin’ awesome speech pathologist, Dr. Riski,  in July. It rocked and we got a new speech game plan. Returning home, God put us in touch with a different speech therapist, this time at Children’s Hospital. It was a miracle we got in. Thank you Jesus. With the new speech approach Yaya is making much progress. However, her palate is still 3 mm too short and will require surgery. Another nasal endoscopy is in her future…this Thursday, in fact. Pray hard. She has to comply with the scope or we wait…again…six more months.

Summer school for the girls was wonderful. Yaya was able to stay with our beloved Ms. Mary and Eden was in Ms. Myra’s class. Transitioning, Eden was a bit nervous. However, Ms. Myra is a wonderful soul and Eden really enjoyed her. As luck would have it, Eden would also get her in the fall. Real school started in August and the girls are in separate classes. While we know this was a good decision on our part, the girls don’t agree. They have both requested to be together again in Kindergarten. Who knew?! Their teachers are perfect for the specific girl each are teaching. Yaya has Ms. Sheri, while Eden as you already know, has Ms. Myra again. Going five days a week, tires the girls out by Friday, but it has allowed Noah and I to have a more productive week. I didn’t take any work on Fridays, so Noah and I gained a day of school together.

We love homeschool! Everyone should be this lucky. I am tutoring Noah’s Foundation class at C.C. this year and it is a blast!! Our class is wonderful. I adore the kids! Saying that I was stressed out at the beginning of the year would be an understatement, but now I’ve pretty much got a groove and I really enjoy tutoring the class. Noah is doing stellar this year in school. Proud doesn’t even touch it! Because last year was such a grind I was apprehensive about this year, however, it has been super. Essentials (Noah’s grammar and stylistic writing class) is a breeze this year! Who knew! He actually learned something in all my mania about this class last year! Also, last year, math made us both want to gouge our eyes out, but this year we are breezing through it and enjoying ourselves. All in all the education front for all our kiddos is wonderful.

Being out of commission most of the summer was hard not only me but the entire family, including my parents. We would not have survived my ankle surgery with out them. Also, without my C.C. community of Mama’s life would have been pretty miserable for Noah. Really they are our family now, not just a community. Truly they saved summer for Noah. Any time someone was going to the pool or doing something cool, they would drop by and get Noah.  Lord, pour out your blessings on these amazing families!

I have just been released from physical therapy and I am so thankful. Although I loved going, our schedule and bank account just can’t accommodate PT anymore. With Yaya doing speech 3 days a week, and one of those days is downtown Birmingham, our calendar fills up fast. Plus, at any given time, someone is either in a doctor’s office for some bizarre condition, or in surgery or in therapy. Oh I forgot to mention Eden’s surgery this summer! Adenoids ripped out. Why? Well, to prevent ear infections since her eardrum ruptured. You can imagine how pleased we are that Eden has had an ear infection since two weeks AFTER her surgery to prevent them! Nice. We cannot shake this freaky ear infection, it is going on 5 weeks now! Just this past week we had to take her to the ENT to get her ear vacuumed out…yes, it is as awful as it sounds! Well not really, it didn’t hurt but it was scary and loud. She screamed like a banshee for her father. On the up side, while there Yaya got to see the atomizer that will numb her nose for the endoscopy and she got to hold and check out an adult scope. (She will have an infant scope for her procedure.) But that was nothing compared to the freaky fever virus Eden caught that culminated in an all over body rash. And let’s not forget the smokers cough and cold symptoms that have accompanied that. Lest I forget and leave the medical realm…Eden also had an MRI this summer. Talk about a nightmare, don’t even get me started. All is well with the MRI so I’m not even going into it.  We just like to give all our money away to doctors. We think they are so cool.

Big news for Eric…he turned 40!  That is also a separate post, but we had an 80’s themed party and it was awesome! He is however, falling apart now which is not as awesome, but it cracks me up, so that is all that really matters. Welcome to my world honey! So….Looking into the future, I see; a nasal endoscopy, Halloween, perhaps another surgery for Yaya, Thanksgiving, Eden’s 5th Frozen birthday party and Christmas. Nothing major. Why does it feel as if I am rocketing out of control to the end of this year?

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

To see or not to see

We knew this day would come. It should have come a lot sooner, if we’d have been better parents. My awesome son, Noah, picks up his first pair of glasses today. When I was in the 2nd grade I got my first pair. Eric got his in the first grade. We thought waiting until the 5th grade to have Noah’s eyes checked was a good plan of denial. If we didn’t KNOW he was blind…well then he really wasn’t. Right? Yeah, no. The good news is that he isn’t so much “blind” as his eyes are at different powers. One eye is 20/25, not bad. The other is at 20/40, still not too bad. But the difference between the two is the problem. He is struggling to make his eyes focus. In standard Noah fashion, he has taken it all in stride. He likes his glasses and they make him look about 14…Mama doesn’t like that part. So without further ado…


Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Leg Up

In November 2013, I twisted my ankle…you know how you do, step wrong and your ankle buckles. No big deal. By January 2014, my right ankle was still not happy with me. I decided to get it checked out and I was sent to physical therapy for 6 weeks.  I felt like I had improved significantly and so ended PT. Enter Snommagedden.  This was the huge freak snow storm that crippled the entire city of Birmingham.  While walking in 9 degree weather with my children a half mile to safety, I turned my ankle again. Working my PT program I thought would get me right back into shape…and it would have, had I not twisted it again on a sinister small wooden block. Dadgum those wooden blocks! On this particular “twisting” I actually fell to the floor crying. It was a true, “MAN DOWN,” moment. Crawling downstairs I flopped onto my bed crying. This would require another trip to the orthopedic. Changing doctors was a must, my first ortho did not have a a very good bedside manner. After getting the switch and seeing the new guy I started a second round of PT. Sadly, it was no dice. Another trip back to the new guy and his prescription was to try to live life for the next 4-6 weeks and see how bad it gets. Clearly, PT was not working, if after 6 weeks it wasn’t bearable then surgery was in my future.  I knew after two weeks that surgery would be in my future.

Here’s where things get cool.  I have a friend who has had ankle surgery so I called her and we chatted. She gave me the name of the ankle specialist in the same othro group I was already involved with. While I felt a little foolish asking for my 3rd doctor in this group, I did it anyway and I’m glad I did.  On June 16th, I saw Dr. William D. Krauss with Southlake Orthopaedics  and 48 hours later he was preforming my surgery! Brostrom-Gould Lateral Ankle Ligament Reconstruction was the name of the game, that plus another more recent procedure that I didn’t catch. I’ll spare you all the medical garbage of what happened but essentially, the first procedure would stabilize my ankle and I’d be in a cast, non-weight bearing for 6 weeks! However, I was a good candidate for the second procedure that was basically like wrapping duct tape around the interior of my ankle. Because of the second procedure I would be only 2-3 weeks in a non-weight bearing cast, then in a walking boot for 4 weeks. Yes! Much better! So in a whirlwind I was admitted for outpatient surgery with 48 hours notice to get my post-op care lined up.

As always, my parents came to the rescue! Wouldn’t you know that Noah would have nighttime scout camp the same week I had surgery and Eric was the trained leader for his group. Praise the Lord for my parents. Noah didn’t have to miss a single night! This all happened so fast that I found myself at home with my leg propped up in a cast wondering…”What just happened?!” On my first day I found that my real pain was in my pinky toe and on the side of my foot right below my pinky toe. Weird. However, if you took a look at my cast you could see a thumb print where someone was holding my foot up as they were casting it. It was impinging on my foot. So the next day I went back to the hospital to get a new cast. When they removed my cast my foot was actually indented where the cast was pressing down on my foot. My little pinky toe was bright red. Poor pinky. Cast number 2. Hot Pink. Bring it. I wish I could say that this was the last cast but on day two my achilles was killing me and sure enough there was a weird indent back there. Apparently my second cast was put on with my foot pointed instead of  in a more right angle sort of way. This trip was just to the ortho office thank goodness. This time she took all of my bandaging off and I could see my foot. Shockingly there was no swelling. I had been a very good girl. I could see the incisions a little and it didn’t look all that bad. Third time is a charm cuz it is now 5 days later and I’m in the same cast. Yay! I never thought I’d be glad to have a cast on, but I sure am. When she took off all the bandaging I could tell how fragile my ankle really was, I was glad to have the cast put back on. Now, eight days out…I’m not so thrilled with non-weight bearing casts.  I never really appreciated how much you need to be able to stand on two feet to do things. Praise be to God, my friend who referred me to Dr. Krauss also lent me her knee scooter, crutches, cane, shower seat and walking boot!!!!  How awesome is that?!  So now I’m scootin’ around the house pretty good. I have a follow up on June 30. They will take off this cast and probably put a new one back on. I would love to be in the boot on the 30th but I doubt that will happen. My parents went home for a rest on day 7 and will be back up for Yaya’s birthday and then stay a bit more. They are such a gift and blessing to us. God also orchestrated it so that the girls would be in summer school  during the 6 weeks I am down. So three days a week they go to school from 9-1 and it is a much needed break for everyone. So that’s about all the boring news I have regarding my foot. I leave you with pictures of my cast and the girls painting my toe nails for me.

First Cast


Second  cast



Third Cast ready for a shower (only my family would take a picture of this, while laughing at me…nice.)


Pedi from my girls


Monday, June 2, 2014

A Bunch of Words

Friends, friends, friends, here come a bunch of words. I am constantly struggling to not be overwhelmed by the prospect of blogging, which is weird, since I typically enjoy it. Plus, it catalogs our family’s history. So many life events are rushing by and I indeed manage to catch most of them in photographs but they are just sitting in my camera or phone or laptop. But an update needs to be done and here it comes.

Mother’s Day, it came filled with many homemade cards for myself and my own Mother, who actually got to be with me for Mother’s Day. Noah picked out some cute things for me such as a giant fuzzy purple pillow that says, “Happy Mother’s Day.” He also picked out his own card and gave me purple bubble gum. I got beautiful things from the girls (and their amazing teacher, Ms. Mary) made at pre-school.

noah outside mday cardcard face noah mdayInside card noah mday

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End of School Year program with Classical Conversations. Finishing up our “formal” school year was so  much fun. Both the last day of class and later the end of school year program were really enjoyable. I am so thankful to God for this incredible group of families and outstanding homeschool program.


SAT. Stanford Achievement Test. Yep. Already started Noah on this path. He took the SAT for his grade level (4th) and did OUTSTANDING. May I take a moment to brag a little. My incredible son had an overall grade equivalence of 5.7, meaning he is functioning like a 5th grade student in the 7th month of the school year…so almost a 6th grader. Just finished 4th grade mind you and testing a year ahead. Thank you homeschooling. If he were to brag he’d want you to know that his science grade equivalent was 9.4, 9th grader in his 4th month of the school year. Yep. Freaky smart in science. 

Eden’s little surgery. Like her brother Noah, Eden had one ear tube that didn’t fall out normally. So, she had to have it surgically removed and then have a patch put over the hole on her eardrum. It was the fastest surgery ever. She did fabulous. Preparation was the key. She knew exactly what would happen and she was a trooper. I held her to the, “you can go no further” point, then set her down on the hospital bed. She didn’t cry, nor did she look back but put on her brave face and off she went. Five minutes later the surgeon was in our room saying she did great! What?! Then 10 minutes later she was back with us. She was a little tired, but did great post surgery. Mama’s brave girl!


Summer Homeschooling. We are doing Math, Science and Spelling over the summer. Noah would have likely scored much higher on the SAT  if I had taught the poor kid how to spell. Somehow spelling has gotten overlooked. So I am working with Noah this summer using a great program called, All About Spelling. We are starting from ground zero so needless to say he is flying through it but it is laying a great foundation to build on. Learning all the rules to spelling is so helpful, I promise you, no one ever taught me the stuff we are learning together. Plus, we are having a really good time. Who knew? Math is just grueling. For both of us. Not even joking around. However, we temper that with Science. Answers in Genesis is our Science. We are only doing science because he just enjoys it so much. Molecules and Chemistry…woo hoo, bring on the fun! Don’t you just wish you were me?!

Then there are the girls. I am “summer schooling” them too. Unlike Noah, they love it! They are also doing All About Spelling and are doing super! I can’t believe it! They are learning to spell and read! Practicing writing their name and tracing all their letters and numbers is a big hit. I just racked up at the Dollar Store finding a ton of little workbooks with Disney characters and such that are numbers and letters tracing books with other little games inside.  Also, I have several fun Montessori math jobs that they are really enjoying and of course there is art. I

Gotcha Day. Adoption Day. Relinquishment Day. I never know what to call that day. May 14, 2012. The 2 months or so leading up to May 14, 2014 were very difficult. But it was like switch was flipped on May 15, 2014.  She is doing really great, all things considered. Can’t believe it has been 2 years!

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Yaya’s speech. Hmmm. Hard to explain all this, but I’ll sum it up with this: her palate is not functioning correctly so articulated non-airy speech is not happening. Yaya started to struggle with speech around February of this year.  Which is really frustrating because she is so smart. She talks in huge sentences…but we only get half of what she is saying. She knows all her phonograms and knows what sounds every letter makes. Including the 4 sounds for Y and O; the three sounds for A and I; and the two sounds for E, G, and S! But she just can’t pronounce them! Hunting down the problem has taken up many months and we still haven’t discovered what the problem really is. Scoping her nose while awake was one terrible method we tried, it isn’t painful, but if you are not prepared for it cognitively and you have sensory issues…it is a train wreck. After this traumatic procedure we were told we would have to wait 6 months and try it again and see if she would be compliant for the scope at that time. Hubba Waaaa???? Yeah, no. So our amazing speech wonder woman, Melissa has begun doing things to help prep Yaya for the next scope. Wow! I love this woman. Another suggestion she made was to equip Yaya with a program that we can put on an ipad and it will talk for her. With much anticipation and excitement we go tomorrow to get our “borrowed” license to test out the program for a month. Yaya has been able to play with the program once and she LOVED it. We are praying for success with this program. It will be freakishly expensive but if she can communicate, I’m good with selling a kidney to pay for it. I jest. It will be like $300.00 plus the cost of an ipad to put it on. Not kidney worthy but still steep.

In the meantime, my Mom hooked us up with another resource out of Children’s of Atlanta. A woman she knows has a son with cleft who had gotten frustrated with her son’s lack of speech progress and sought other opinions. They are now on a path that will allow their son to begin school in the fall. We hope to get an appointment to see the Director of Speech Pathology at the Children’s Hospital in Atlanta. I have been told that “the scope” is not the only thing that can solve our mystery. Apparently there are other non-invasive techniques that can be used. God love and bless our speech therapist, she agreed to go to the appointment with us! So thankful for her! So now we hurry up and wait. More on this topic as it unfolds.

Surgery anyone? Why, yes please, I’d like some! Not. Okay so my right foot has been bugging for like 7 months now. I’ve done two rounds of a 6 week course of physical therapy with no real relief. An MRI showed that the ligament that stabilizes my ankle is chronically torn. So the thought is to go in with to anchors and a suture, and pull my tibia and fibula bones together to stabilize from the inside, allowing my ligament to heal. The surgical gold standard for an unstable ankle is the Broström procedure modified by Gould. There is the link if you want all the medical garbage and pictures. Sounds all hunky-dory until the words, “non-weight bearing for 6 weeks in a cast” come tumbling out. Followed by the words, “knee scooter and no driving”. Sigh. Seriously? It is summer in Alabama! I have two preschoolers! Kill me now! Soooo, I have my prescription of Wellbutrin waiting for me at the pharmacy so I don’t  have a total panic attack when the put me in a cast for 6 weeks!! Having said all this garbage about surgery…I don’t know for sure, sure, that it will happen. I go in for my second opinion on May 16th. I’m sure there will be a blog post to follow. Below is some cool tape from physical therapy…sadly PT did not work. Pray for THIS foot please.


In preparation for the possibility though, we have moved our bedroom upstairs which has made all our children ethereally happy. Truth be told, we have a lot more fun and cuddle time upstairs now on our big king size bed. The girls like to come in and snuggle in the morning and often at night we all play around on the bed and let kiddos drift off to sleep before transporting them to their own beds. Noah’s nighttime anxiety had gone way down and I like not having to climb a flight of stairs when the girls cry out at night. So it is a win/win for everyone.

Whew. I’m worded out. I think that is all friends. I have no idea what I’ve written here but it is close to what I’d like to record, with I’m sure tons of typos and run on sentences and perhaps some that don’t even make much sense. I’m to tired to proof it. But here we are one big happy family. So thankful. P.S. Yaya is eating a S’more for the first time so she is chewing in this picture below. The one below that was her response when I asked her, while her mouth was full,  if she liked S’mores…two thumbs up.



Friday, April 25, 2014

Christmas Eve…yeah I know.

Christmas Eve with the Powells. A tradition for sure. For the past four years now we have spent Christmas Eve with our dear friends, Zeb & Holly Powell. The first two years we ate McDonalds, but the past two years Holly has cooked, thank you Jesus. This year’s feast was by far the best! Holly made the most amazing potato soup we have ever eaten! It was heaven in a bowl! Racing around the house were the 3 girls and Noah. In a shocking display of yuletide cheer and love, Yaya and Lily Kate ended up in a hug-fest, something not typically done by either of these girls. Somehow, sweet Zoe eluded my camera this year and I have no pictures of her! In a wonderful turn of events, our awesome niece Halli, was able to come spend a few hours with us on this special night. As always, my parents were there and for reasons unknown to us all, Lily Kate developed a particular affection for my Dad and took many pictures with him. All in all, it was a wonderful way to celebrate the coming anniversary of the birth of our Lord Jesus. I can’t wait for next year!

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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Finale!

Ms. Wanda saves the day! Just when we thought Easter was over and no family picture was to be had...our sweet neighbor provided us such an opportunity. About 5:30 p.m. there was a knock at our door. It was Ms. Wanda our neighbor who has a gorgeous backyard and fish pond. Often we find ourselves in Ms. Wanda’s backyard because we visit our old fish, Fishstick, who now lives in her incredible Koi pond. Ms. Wanda wanted to know if the girls would like to hunt eggs in her backyard...well YEAH! So she left to hide the eggs and we met her down at her house. The girls got to hunt real Easter eggs that Ms. Wanda had dyed the night before. It was so much fun and a great way to end our day. Plus, we finally got our family picture! Thanks Ms. Wanda!

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Easter, for real.

So this is Easter 2014. All I could capture was the aftermath. To all you awesome Moms who got those amazing pictures of your family in matching pastel colors and some how everyone is smiling...I salute you! And I envy you! However, to all those awesome Moms, like myself, who had clothing wars, clothing malfunctions, tardy family members, resistant children and couldn’t get it together enough to remember a camera (or that a phone IS a camera) let alone shoot a picture...I salute you! I am you! Hunting eggs and the thrill of Easter baskets abounded in our home this morning. Nothing says, “Risen Lord” like a purple mythical warrior dragon Easter basket (Skylanders). We had a huge egg breakfast that only Eric and I really ate. Eden got dressed and her dress itched her, so she got redressed. Noah was dressed with the greasiest hair imaginable, how did I miss telling him to shower? Eric is super sick with a sinus infection and was up all night with the girls, who each had nightmares, so all three of them slept together in a twin bed. Yaya...God love her, hated her cute China girl dress. However, in a stellar Mom move, I didn’t let her change, ‘cause for the love of Heaven...HE IS RISEN, just wear the stinkin’ dress for Mommy! Then we had a potty emergency as we were getting in the car to leave for church, late. We ended up taking two cars and sending Eric with 2 kids because he is leading Children’s Church today. I stayed home with the 3rd child patiently waiting for their bowels to move. Yet through it all, I am grateful. So very grateful for Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross for a sinner like me. Thank you Jesus, for life eternal with you and life temporary with this family I love so much here...and one day there, with you.

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To Dye For

Dye eggs...check. So this year I didn’t buy a new egg dying kit. I knew that I had some colors left from last year. What I didn’t know was that there were only four colors, and they didn’t mix well. Hence the rock color eggs and prolific green eggs, something that made Yaya immensely happy. To offset this lack of color I grabbed my acrylic paints and let Noah and Eden “paint” their eggs like the professionals do. They all had a blast which was the point. We ate most of them for breakfast the next day, as we don’t boil our eggs...we live on the edge.

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We were Egged…and we liked it!

We were egged and we loved it! This was such an awesome idea of some sweet friends of ours! While we were away from our home, our friends came over to our home and hid Easter eggs in our yard and left us a note. Noah and the girls had a blast finding the eggs! After all the eggs had been found, Eden was walking in the house and said, “Mama, it would be a sweet thing for me to give Yaya this egg.” She held up a green egg. Yaya’s favorite color. With a Mama’s pride in my heart I told her it would be sweet but not necessary. She replied, “I know Mama, but I want to give it to her.” So, she did. Thanks Miller’s for giving us a great day and me a sweet moment.

Egged copy

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Egg Hunt at The Station Church

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Hunting eggs, jumping on inflatables, blowing bubbles, taking train rides, and fellowshipping with friends is how we spent this day! Can I say that I love our church. This was our outreach event for the Easter season and it was spectacular. All the kids and adults has a wonderful time! Can’t wait for next year!

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Empty eggs are what the kids found, they turned in their baskets full of eggs to get a bag of candy. Brilliant idea! The field was full of thousands of empty eggs and the bags of candy were enough incentive to get children to pick up every last one of them. Face painting was also a huge hit. I had a blast at this task for about 2 hours. The unicorn you see on Eden is an Angie original!

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