Thursday, December 13, 2007

christmastime is here

It was the school play today. Grace finally agreed to be an elf (once she discovered - thanks in part to the old-school Rudolph - that there are actually "girl-elves" too). Her big part was to sprinkle magic dust on the other "presents" waiting to go into Santa's sleigh. She assured me by saying, "don't worry its not real magic dust, its just shiny glitter stuff." Too bad, I could use some magic dust!

We've got most of our Christmas shopping done and of course none of it is wrapped. I think we should add another color to the Christmas scheme (you know, red and green) - it should be brown. That way you could just slap a bow on a box delivered by UPS and feel good about it!

Jimmy had a bad ear infection last week and as a result decided that not sleeping between the hours of 1 and 3 a.m. and 5 and 6 a.m. was a good idea. His ear is better and we're hoping the sleeping will come back (and stay!). I must admit we are finally making progress. As a side note, I should tell you that during the day his favorite phrase is "Go Go Go!!!" Its pretty fun. He says it as loud as possible and shakes his little fists, like he really means business. It seems to get louder at red lights.

I've loved getting so many Christmas cards in the mail (thank you to those who have sent them and who might actually be reading this). So far I don't even have a Christmas card started, but I think I might know what we'll have for dinner tomorrow. Does that count for something?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

amazing singer

Here is a link to an amazing gospel singer. She happens to be in my ward. This isn't the best video, but will give you a glimpse of how powerful her voice is. Her name is Nekisha Rhoades

Friday, December 7, 2007


This is for all of you out there who visit but never leave a note! I'm looking for reasonable Christmas ideas for a certain almost 6 yr old girl and I'm also wondering what your favorite Christmas CD is and why. To make it fair I'll tell you that what she really wants for Christmas (which has already been spoken of by certain grandparents) is "Puppy Grows and Knows Your Name" (I am hoping it has a volume control) and my favorite Christmas CD is Vince Guaraldi's A Charlie Brown Christmas.

Monday, December 3, 2007

holiday madness

I feel like we've already survived the holiday madness as we've visited both sets of our parents in the last 14 days. Two weeks ago, the kids and I headed North to the outskirts of Chi-town to visit Salsie and Pops and enjoy Thanksgiving. That Saturday we met up with Nate on his layover at O'Hare and squeezed ourselves into one row on flight to Phoenix. We were met by his parents (Nana and Poppy) and enjoyed our 6 days in AZ. Then we sqeezed back into one row on a flight back to Chicago (by the way, we are so very grateful for our free portable DVD player we somehow scored from our satellite dish provider several months ago). Then Sunday we all drove back home. We've been off and running since we arrived and will hopefully catch up on our lives soon!

Friday, November 16, 2007

poster boy

Well, we can officially tell you.... Jimmy is the new "poster boy" (well really cover story I guess) for clubfeet. Most of you know he was born with this congential problem, started treatment on day 10 of life, and by just watching him move (run, walk, climb, dance, etc) you wouldn't ever guess. Wash U did a story on Jimmy (and really on his doctor) and the specialized treatment they can do these days not involving major reconstructive surgery. So click here to see our very own Jimmy Page! You can then click on "Fall 2007" and on the next screen click - "Ready For Action" to read the article.

And if you are wondering what his feet used to look like, here is a darling picture of his sweet toes taken a few days after he was born!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

it is november, right?

So that means you've got to vote for something. Why not vote for my brother-in-law Coby. He (at the insistence of his wife, Natalie) entered a singing contest with a local radio station. Click here and scroll over to the right to find Coby (contestant #82, wearing a red shirt), watch him sing and then vote. Vote early and vote often!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

my turkey recipe

So, I'm sure you've been pondering how best to cook up that bird in a few weeks. Here is Grace's recipe (written down using her words during Family Home Evening last night). She is pretty convinced this is the one my mom will make for us on Thanksgiving.

8 potatoes
4 cups gravy
1 juicy, fat turkey
10 cranberries
7 tomatoes (whole)

Put the gravy in the center of a bowl. Put 7 tomatoes (enough to cover all the gravy). Put the whole turkey in the oven and cook it up with the rest of the ingredients. (Place them by the turkey.) Take it out after one hour and set the timer for 25 minutes. Then we eat it with the gravy and tomatoes. Even with ketchup.

Oven Temperature: Twenty-Hundred degrees (or the temperature that is just right)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

goodbye october

Needless to say, we are glad to bid farewell to October. I have nothing against October, personally, but this particular one was particularly bad! We did end on a positive note with Trick or Treating in a great South City neighborhood and a fun driving tour of all of the Halloween decorations. Our weather held nicely and it wasn't too hot or too cold for anyone. Grace was more interested in running around with her friends and on the way home realized the folly in that, "Daddy, I didn't get much candy!" Oh well, maybe the lesson was learned (well, maybe!). Jimmy ran all around too, but his favorite activity was taking candy out of the bowl and putting it into another person's bowl (I should mention at this time that in this neighborhood everyone sits out on their front lawn around bonfires and hands out candy from their lawn chair, also in St. Louis it is tradition that the Trick-or-treaters tell you a joke or share a talent in order to earn their candy - Gracie's joke this year, What's it like to be kissed by a Vampire...Its a pain in the neck!") We came home, got the kids to bed and then Nate and I shared some delicious pumpkin muffins. Happy November!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

look mom, two hands!

Gracie got her cast off today (which she giggled all the way through). However, when they pulled the pins out (I couldn't even look, just the thought of them make me very squeemish and at one point I pondered what would happen if I keeled over!) it was very painful for her. They said that it wouldn't hurt too much (really, can you trust what your doctor says?!?), but apparently it did (and Gracie's pretty tough). So she was in agony and I just felt so bad for her that I started to cry (just a few tears, mind you) and of course Jimmy cried because Gracie was. We were quite a sight! But when it was all done they asked if she still wanted to see the pins (she had said that she wanted to before, obviously I didn't want to see them!) she said that she did. Later I asked her what they looked like and she said, "Kind of like the Arch of St. Louis." Shortly after the pin removal she was still kind of upset and then I reminded her that now she can trick or treat tomorrow without her cast and she stopped crying right away and smiled really big and said, "Really!?" And since that point, she's been just fine. A little stiff, but fine.

And as for the car, well we still don't know much yet. Nate was able to get some of his belongings from it (his anti-freeze-soaked white coat and our 'Chicago Greatest Hits' tape didn't make it, but he did manage to get his stethoscope (also soaked with anti-freeze) and other doctorly essentials free). The adjuster was going to see the remains of it yesterday and now it is not just a car accident but a double homicide, so there will be a lot of red tape. We're still hopeful the assailent's mother had insurance (the Mercedes SUV he was driving was her's and for the record - that SUV held up amazingly well, I know Mercedes has a major price tag, but it was the only car that was somewhat recognizable in the impound lot). So now we just have to practice our patience.

pumpkin fest

Sunday night we finally carved our pumpkins. Nate and Grace had full artistic license, while Jimmy and I provided the entertainment for the evening(well really, Jimmy provided the entertainment and I made sure he didn't do anything he shouldn't with the pumpkin carving kit).

trunk or treat

Saturday was our ward's Trunk or Treat. Beforehand Grace got her groove on and dressed as a ninja (what? which picture is of a ninja you ask - it of course is when she's wearing her Halloween pants, holding her bright magenta "ninja purse", brandishing a ninja star, and wearing a vibrant purple ninja mask). Jimmy was supposed to be a Lion, but he seems to cry every time we put his costume on him, so he settled for a fire fighter. Grace was Glinda the Good Witch (note her creative crown, make you think of BK?) Nate elected to be Indiana Jones and I (I know you are wondering what I dressed as) went dressed as a mourner. I am holding a picture of our forsaken car.

Friday, October 26, 2007

not good

Last night, after we had already been asleep, Nate jumped out of bed and looked out the window. It was at that moment I realized I had been hearing sirens. Nate pointed out the sirens stopped right in front of our house. Many of our neighbors began gathering out on the sidewalk (for those of you who haven't been to our home - we are in a cluster of townhomes surrounding a courtyard. We are the house facing the street, but set very far back from the street and all of the homes are behind an iron fence and gate). Before I know it Nate is out there with the neighbors. So I get on my robe (quite a sight I'm sure, wearing my flannel pjs and my big, fluffy robe with my Teva flip flops), and walk out on the porch in time to hear our neighbor say, "Nathan, you didn't park your car on the street did you?" Well, of course he did, he always does. But when I looked over to where he had parked, his car was gone and in its place were two STL PD cruisers. I thought, "surely they wouldn't tow his car just so the cops could park there." Making my way to the side walk, with my flip flops crunching on something on the sidewalk, I see a black car all crumpled up by a pole and I think, "this can't be our car, it wasn't even parked here." But just the same, our license plate was very legible and it certainly was our car (or used to be). And all that crunching underfoot was the tiny glass crumbles of our windshield and other windows.

So you are wondering, what happened? The details are still forthcoming. But I will at this point tell you there were at least 12-15 squad cars, two fire engines and some ambulances that we missed. Later the CSI van/truck arrived and after that a few helicopters. The basic story says that several neighborhoods over to our West (probably over two miles away) the "alleged" criminal(s) fired shots at someone and then attempted to fire at the police (it was only an attempt because he didn't have any bullets left). The police began their pursuit of Mr. Alleged (that is what I'll call him, I guess). And of course Mr. Alleged didn't surrender. Instead he sped away from them through residential areas, mind you, at speeds up to 120 MPH. When he got in front of our house the car he was driving (a Mercedes SUV) spun out of control and hit Nate's car (NOT a Mercedes) and then hit another car (which was moving and sadly had passengers) which then flipped (the car with passengers). Click here for news story. "Mr. Alleged's" car caught on fire at that point and the chase ended. Nate said he had heard the inital "crunch" we guess of his car and that is what woke him up. Click here for more coverage.

So I guess we need a new car. I feel awful about the other passengers, one was DOA at SLU hospital, another is in critical condition, and the other "sustained major injuries." I am so thankful that as far as the damage to us, it is just a car. All of Nate's stuff is in the trunk (like his stethoscope - if you ever wonder why your Dr.'s stethoscope is always so cold, its because he/she keeps it in the trunk!) But we're hopeful we can get it back. So now we wait and see if we really are "in good hands" with Allstate. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 22, 2007

knock knock

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Jimmy's latest trick is Knock Knock jokes. Generally it goes something like this: Knock Knock (or really he says "naa naa") and you say "Who's there" and he says, "Ummmmmmmm, Mama!" and you say "Mama who?" and then he either laughs or moves on to something else (such as pointing out any near by moving vehicle). I love it! And speaking of laughs, this little video had Nate and I laughing out loud this evening. Perhaps if you've recently been to the dentist you may find it hilarious.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

here comes the flower girl

To cap off our "exciting week" Grace was the Flower Girl in a friend's wedding. Another good friend doctored up the dress to enable us to actually get it on (manuvering any clothing over that cast is proving to be quite tricky) and she made a new "Arm Purse" in a perfectly coordinating shade of red. And yet another friend came to the house to give Gracie (what Grace refers to as) a flower hair style. Jimmy suited up for the occasion and really didn't want to stand still for one second in order for us to get a good picture of him. The kids really were the life of the party. It was a fun evening and certainly the highlight of our weekend.

Friday, October 12, 2007

all better

Nothing like a bunch of pink and orange cupcakes to convince you to take your medicine and make you feel all better!
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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

from the E.R. to the O.R.

A call came in yesterday from the Orthopedic office that Grace in fact would need to have her armed surgically repaired. I know that may sound bad, but really they just needed to stick two tiny pins into the bones to allow them to heal correctly. I wasn't too excited about it, and then when they said they set it up for 7:45 TODAY, I was even less excited.

We broke the news to Grace yesterday over fries and Fitz's rootbeer. She took the news in stride (Nate explained everything to her and I realized that he has explained things like that to lots of children and he's really good at it). This morning a good friend (you know she's a good friend because she got up before 6 a.m for us) came over to watch Jimmy so we could leave for the hospital at 6:15 (they want you there super-early). Nate picked Grace up from her bed, she popped her eyes open, put on a big smile and said, "Daddy, are we late for my appointment?!" So she was ready.

She was so happy to meet all of the nurses, doctors, and residents. She was so excited to have a new pink cast (think worse than Barbie pink), and regally rode on her little bed to the O.R. with her entourage of professionals. They leave the parents behind at the double-doors, the ones that separate you from the Doctoring World. It was a new experience for Nate not to cross through the doors; and it was a new experience for me to let my little girl go through the doors.

I walked back to her little room and then started to cry, not too much, but enough that I thought a little walk would do me well. Nate stayed in the room in case the doctor called and as I walked in the hall I saw two more sets of parents at the double-doors, and both of the moms from each set we just wrecks! (Also, it made me feel a little better to see that I was in good company and that I wasn't crying nearly as hard as either of them.)

Grace did very well during the procedure. It was fast and quick and there were no complications. Her doctor said that she'll need to wear the cast for three weeks and then all should be healed up. So that means she may not need her to wear her cast on Halloween (we'll see).

Grace was upset coming out of the anesthetic (they said that is normal for some kids who have never had any before) and she was in a lot of pain. Thankfully they were able to give her some good meds to control it and after a few hours we were able to bring her home. She slept most of the afternoon, and slowly through the evening she's back to her normal Grace-ness (for example, she's a bit miffed that she won't be able to go to Lunch Bunch tomorrow) and she's running around (a bit) and playing with her Buv (that's James, she calls him that all the time).

And so there you have it. We're exhausted, but glad that its over with. I can't believe its only Tuesday!

Saturday, October 6, 2007

it has happened...

I suppose it has been only a matter of time since Grace was born that we would spend the majority of a Friday night in the Children's E.R. This is Grace's spin on the incident:
"Well, Sam and I were running fast and playing hide and seek. Then we bonked. Then we fell down real hard and had an accident. But it was only an accident."

And that folks, is about what happened. We were enjoying a beautiful Friday afternoon at the park with several friends, and about 10 minutes before I had thought we'd leave there was a big crash of Sam (nice boy from Kindergarten) and Grace on the cement floor of one of the picnic pavilions. There was serious crying. Crying that wouldn't even be tempered by a lollipop (right then I knew it was bad). We (that would be Jimmy and I) managed to get her to the car and as she put her hand on the seat and slightly bent her elbow, Grace just screamed.

We got home and found Nate (who minutes before discovered a few messages on his cell phone and the house phone from his wife who somehow stayed pretty cool and collected) all ready for a physical exam of the arm in question. After hearing the dreaded words, "Daddy, I can't move my arm," we called around and found a last minute sitter for Jimmy and made our way to the ER.

The results (this took many hours and several x-rays to determine - one x-ray was even taken of her beloved bunny, Aurora (who, incidentally has no bones to be broken)) are this: "Supracondylar Fracture of the Humerus, Closed." That is a fancy way of saying she broke her arm (or her elbow if you'd like to be technical about it).

So what does Grace think of all this you may ask? Well, she is pretty darn brave and very tough. They gave her some pain meds shortly upon arrival and we gave her some Tylenol when we got home; and that's it. She hasn't taken anymore, she hasn't complained of any pain, and she refuses to take anything (even though we have some that is pink AND bubblegum flavor). She proudly told every doctor and nurse her story and casually mentioned to some that indeed she is not only the quickest girl in her class, she is actually faster than all the boys too.

We will follow up this week with the orthopedic surgeon (who happens to be Jimmy's ortho as well) and will know more about the course we'll need to take. Right now it looks good (that is my way of saying - probably no OR time and in the end it'll heal right up).

I'm sure by now you've seen the picture of Grace the Brave proudly sporting her cast inside her "Arm Purse", wearing her gown from the hospital (when presented with the idea of wearing a gown she said, "Gown?! I love gowns!"), and the tiny band-aid covering her scraped knee. And you can see one of her (many, many, many) x-rays. I've taken the liberty of circling the fracture.

Friday, October 5, 2007

the results are in...

Thanks to all who voted. You've helped illustrate what a hard decision it is for Nate to make. Eight voted for him to do the fellowship, eight voted for him not to do the fellowship, and two voted for him to just give it all up and become a baker (I suspect those two may have been hungry at the time). So what's the Doctor to do? Well, we'll keep you posted.

another week

Well, its been a while since I've posted last. Things have been busy. Last week had me planning and then running from one church event to another. Our ward's quarterly enrichment was entitled "Meet Me in St. Louis." They asked me to run the portion on restaurants in STL. Click here to see what we (Nate and I, because its no fun to eat out without him!) pulled together. Saturday was the General Relief Society Broadcast. Our stake always has a dinner before the 7:00 broadcast, and being in the stake RS presidency, I get to help out with it. Generally we expect around 120 sisters and plan for 140 servings (you know, just in case!) and this time we had over 160! Amazingly, there were enough servings for just about everyone. For dessert we did a Candy Bar and gave each of the ladies a little box to fill up with their favorites - be it M&Ms, Skittles, Kisses, peppermints, you name it. They really got into it. My mom was there (you see the next day was our ward's Primary Program, so my parents HAD to come and see Gracie) and said "I've never seen grown women behave that way around candy." Hilarious. At one point, one woman (who certainly is old enough to have her own grandchildren) emptied out this giant glass jar of Starbursts to get to her favorite color. And speaking of the Primary program, Gracie did a great job. She surprised us by memorizing her lines (she insisted all we she would read them from the paper like the big kids do) and of course knew all the words to the songs. And because she is Grace, she did her own little interpretive dance to each song too. Jimmy sat very still (well "very still" compared to how he usually is) and watched his big sister very closely. We're looking forward to this weekend. Conference is always a nice time to slow down and I think we need some down time.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

dr. daddy goes to washington

Last weekend Nate left for a five day trip to Washington, DC. Why, you may ask, would he voluntarily leave his incredibly beautiful wife and adorable children? For the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery National meeting, of course! For days, Nate and his doctor-friends learned about neck disection, sinuses, ear canals, and of course snot. In between these exciting courses, he managed to see some DC hot spots such as the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, the National Geographic Society, and Arlington Cemetary. Grace and Jimmy were not too excited to have their Daddy gone for so long. Even though we're used to him not being home every night, its a different thing all together to know that he's not even in the same city that we are. Needless to say there was much weeping and wailing from the backseat when we dropped him off at the airport; and much joyous celebration when we went to pick him up. We love our Dr. Daddy, and we really love him to be right here in STL with us.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

dancing with the stars (of peoria, az)

It appears we have even more siblings worthy of video. Coby and Natalie got their groove on and (gathering from the gold medallion around his neck) won a dance competition. Way to go, guys! Click here to check it out! (Maybe there is hope for Nate and I after all, hee hee hee).

Thursday, September 20, 2007

what we did on our summer vacation

In early August we met up with Nate's family in beautiful Park City, Utah. We all had a great time. Check out our pictures!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

bubba and jordan are famous

B & J had some trouble with their wireless company. Instead of waiting for the problem just to resolve, these guys took some serious action. Click here to see!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

first day of school!

Much to everyone's delight, today (finally) is the first day of school. My girl who generally seems to prefer dresses and tights opted for shorts and some Mary Janes. She was a bit apprehensive, but seemed eager to make a go of it. She really likes her teacher, Mrs. Wisdom, and is anxious to make some good friends. I think she'll do just fine, how could she not (especially since her backpack has detachable fairy wings (yes, we did leave those at home) and she has her very own desk at school that already has sharpened pencils in it)! And of course, you will note, some new glasses!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

why i love the post office

If it weren't for the Post Office, I would not have received such surprising information this week. I learned on Monday that Gracie's "Meet the Teacher" day was the next afternoon! And today I learned that somewhere lost in the mail is the notice stating that Kindergartners need to have a backpack that school starts TOMORROW! I love the Post Office.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The Young and the Restless

Who are the Young and who are the Restless? Grace & James are the Young and their parents are the Restless! Grace will finally start Kindergarten this year and Jimmy perhaps may start sleeping through the night, every night (we have such high aspirations).