Friday, August 29, 2008


I will have to get pictures of this but I didn't get them today. For quite sometime Marlee Anne has been talking about an inflatable jumpy toy her Aunt Debbie gave the girls years ago. She doesn't remember it but has seen it in pictures. Well I found it online and ordered it. Marlee Anne was gone to Mackenzie's and Mike blew it up. When she came home she was so excited to see it and played in it the rest of the night. This morning she started laughing and said Michala. Michala had climbed in it all by herself. It was so funny.

Another long update

I have to admit to avoiding updates lately. I should do better so that they don't end up being so long.

I have to start this by saying we got a phone call and Abe's stomach x-ray was clear. PRAISE GOD!!! I am hanging on good news these days.

Well Wednesday morning I got a phone call from our friend Lynda. She is Mary Elizabeth & Michala's physical therapist. She was letting me know she had all day available if I needed her. She could sit with the girls, go to the doctor with us or whatever. Gotta love those kinds of offers. I told her I would let Tracy know and if she needed her she could call her. Lynda called back and said what if I come now while you are getting ready. Sounds great. Well she walks in with a crock pot and all kinds of food. She was going to cook supper for us to have when we got back home. What a blessing!

Lynda is there just in time to feed Michala while I feed Mary Elizabeth. Abe is being a good boy and sleeping. Lynda even helps Marlee Anne with her school work so that will be done before Tracy gets there.

Tracy gets there and goes over stuff for the day. Then Mike walks in and we head out.

We get to Egleston and go right back for his x-ray. Hardly any wait. He is such a big boy and does great with his x-ray. We have time to eat real quick before heading to Scottish Rite. We stop by the cafeteria but for some reason floods of memories come back and I couldn't stomach it. It was the stranger feeling. On the way out we run into Miss Frankie. It was great to see her.

We get to the doctors office and get called right back. I didn't even have time to fill out the papers. He comes right in. He is almost sure he felt Abe's testicle. He wants to do surgery before he is 1 year old. We will schedule that soon. If he is able to move it down he will. If not he will remove it. It just can't sit there because it's a higher risk for tumor/cancer. It was a very good appt and we both liked the doctor.

We head home and every one has done great! We get everyone's night meds and try to settle down to start again the next morning.

I get up in plenty of time to get everything done and everyone ready without having to rush too much. Mom is coming to stay with Michala so I get her fed and change her. When I go to put her new diaper on I rip the tape completely off of it. OK now sweat that's not how my day is going to go. WRONG!!!

OK next time I say I am making appts for 3 of my children to have check ups and shots all at the same time PLEASE tell me no. This was one of the craziest oh yeah I can do it moments I have had in a while.

We had made a thank you basket to take to the doctors office. I could not have made it through these past 14 years (Mary Elizabeth had Dr. Ross as her peditrician until she moved) without this wonderful peditrician and her amazing staff. Well I get everything in the van with the help of mom and Marlee Anne including 3 children. Then I, yes that's I by myself take Mary Elizabeth, Marlee Anne and Abe for their check ups. OK people offered to help. Mike even said he would go with us. OH NO! I can do it! I honestly thought I could do it and still be calm and peaceful! WRONG AGAIN!

We get there and they tell us Marlee Anne has to pee pee in the cup. OH MY!!! Marlee Anne loves to go with the others for their appts but she HATES to go herself. I could see the anxiousness in her eyes. Then she goes mom I have to WHAT? OK Mary Elizabeth is in her wheelchair right outside the door of the restroom while I am holding Abe and trying to help Marlee Anne pee pee in the cup. Just picture Marlee Anne on the potty of course after she has responsibly placed a whole roll of toilet paper on the lid. I am squatting down, holding the cup for her while trying not to drop Abe, who is looking around trying to figure out his view of the room from that angle he is being held at. OK no go. She says she just couldn't go. OK no biggie.

We get out and sit down and she says oh I have to go. OK back again we go. Same thing ALL over again. No go. She just couldn't do it. OK I am getting strung out a little here. I told her to please let's not try again until she knows she can do it. She is 6 years old and here I am telling her this. Yeah right mom.

We get called back to the room. The nurse holds the door, Marlee Anne pushes Mary Elizabeth, I am still holding Abe and I carry his carseat. We get back there and have to turn right around and get everyone weighed. Well not Abe cause he is just there for shots. I have to stand on the scale and weigh Mary Elizabeth and then without her and then subtract. The one big thing Mike doesn't know about me is how much I weigh. It's a big joke when we take the girls to the doctor. Well Marlee Anne says mom how much do you weigh. I won't tell her. She says tell me I wanna tell dad. LOL!!! She is such her daddy's child.

This nurse is fairly new and has never seen Mary Elizabeth. I wasn't even worried until she took her temp and said oh she is only 95.5. I explain to her why and we head back to the room.

Marlee Anne passes her hearing and vision test with flying colors. WOOHOO!!! We are so proud! She answers all the questions nurse Lee Ann is asking her. She does very good.

Then it's Mary Elizabeth's turn. Everyone there knows us and it has been so long since anyone went over those questions with us with the Mary Elizabeth. It hit me so hard. I was determined not to cry. I was already stressed and I really didn't want to add to Marlee Anne's worries. We get past it though thankfully!

Oh Mary Elizabeth is 52" I think. I have it written down but I better type it here so I will have record of it. She weighs 37 pounds. Marlee Anne weighs 50.5 and is 46.5 inches.

As the nurse is leaving the room she hands Marlee Anne a gown and ask her to take her clothes off and put the gown on. I see that look on Marlee Anne face and think oh no this is not going to be good. She says yes mam' to the nurse but as soon as she leaves she looks and me and says why do I have to take my clothes off. It has been so long since she has been she doesn't remember taking her clothes off I don't guess. We make a game out of it and she is ok with it.

Dr. Patonay comes in and Marlee Anne starts chatting away with her. Marlee Anne was doing great! Next it was Mary Elizabeth's turn. She does have an ear infection. I suspected that and was glad to get her some antibiotics and drops. Dr. Patonay wants to try Pedisure with her again to see if that adds some weight. Mary Elizabeth has always had a hard time with Pedisure because of the fiber but she said now they make low fiber.

It was time for everyone's shots. Marlee Anne decided ahead of time that Abe would go first and she would hold his hand. He cried but was over it as soon as I picked him up. Marlee Anne was next she is STILL crying over that shot. No not really but it took her so long to stop crying. She had a really hard time with it. Mary Elizabeth made a face but took her shots like a big girl. They checked their iron too and it was good.

We headed out and I asked Marlee Anne what she wanted for lunch. Taco Bell of course. Then before we got there she said she didn't want it. She was really feeling bad.

I get home and mom heads out. Here I am with fussy Michala having one seizure after another. Then my three that had just had shots. WHAT have I done. I have learned my lesson. I just hope I remember it. I really didn't want to have to ask someone to come sit 3 different days when I could do it all at one time. Not again! I hope!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


For the past week and a half Abe has been screaming from midnight to 5 AM. Colic - well that's what I thought. HIs peditrician said no problem not at this late in the game so if it continued let's check him. Went in Thursday and she checked him. She gave me some formula to try. We are still supplementing some. She thought maybe he has developed a lactose intolerance. She also wants him to have a stomach x-ray. He has continue to cry and Sunday morning started running a fever. The fever went away but I took him in today to be checked. She is still concerned about his stomach.

His x-ray will be done Wednesday at Egleston. Are any of ya'll working Wednesday? If so we will try to run up and see ya'll depending on how long it takes to get the x-ray done. We have to be at Meridian Mark to meet with the urologist at 3:30.

On a wonderful note he gained weight! We were all so excited in the doctor's office. He gained 7 oz in 2 weeks. WOOHOO!!!

Marlee Anne is doing good. Studying hard every day. She is such a huge help to me. I have to remind myself each day that she is 6 and I should let her be a 6 year old. The other day I got upset with her. I had to stop and ask God to change my heart and remind me once again she is a little girl. Not a grown up that should have to be faced with all she is faced with. That night when I went to "bed" she had put a drawing there that she had made for me. I started crying and she came to me. I told her thank you and she said I just wanted you to feel better and not be sad. She is so good and we are blessed!

Michala! Say her name and it says it all. LOL!!! She is not liking this stormy weather. Her seizures are horrible, she is whinning and screaming. Nothing makes her happy lately. I do have to share this with ya'll though. I am amazed at how her little mind works sometimes. This afternoon I was desperate to find something that would help her feel better. I couldn't hold her because I was about to feed Abe. I fixed her a bottle. A very special treat we don't do that often since she drinks from a sippy cup. She was so excited. Well when she finished it she started hitting the bottle on different things. She went to the refrigerator with the bottle in her hand and hit different things to hear different noises. She hit a plastic picture frame on there. I guess she like that sound. She took the frame off the refrigerator, put it on the floor and started hitting it with the bottle. Then she pick the frame up and hit it against the side of the bottle. It was so neat to sit back and watch how she tried different things to get the different sounds.

Mary Elizabeth - my angel girl. She is doing good. Staying up all night and sleeping during the day. She does that worse than other times. Getting those days and nights mixed up. We have to get Abe used to her talking though. When she "talks" or "sings" real loud Abe cries. He hasn't figured out it's her yet I don't think.

Mike is doing good. He played with the girls all day Saturday so I could go crop. Then Sunday he took Michala and Marlee Anne to play putt putt. The weather ended up getting bad but at least they got to get out and have fun together.

I had a wonderful day Saturday cropping. Some friends from Mike's office, two sisters of theirs, two of my cropping buddies, an old friend from school (Terri, it was Donna), a friend from school I didn't remember (still got to look that up) and my sweet sweet cousin all rented a scrapbooking cabin for the weekend . Tracey won a 50% off coupon at Abe's fundraising crop. She invited me to come down Saturday to crop with them. I took Abe with me and no worries there because there was always someone willing to take care of him. We had a wonderful homemade lunch and supper. I got several things accomplished and best of all I had a terrific time laughing and fellowshiping with them. It was a much welcomed time. Thanks ya'll!!!

OK I guess that's it for now. Prayers for Wednesday's x-ray and doctor's appt for Abe please. Also Mary Elizabeth, Marlee Anne and Abe go for a check up and shots on Thursday. I know I am crazy for doing 3 at once but oh well.

Thanks so much for your continued prayers!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Our weekend!

WOW!!! What a weekend! Saturday we had a great afternoon out. We all went to Red Robin to eat. Mary Elizabeth especially likes it there because it's loud and she can talk without us trying to keep her from interrupting others. Michala pigged out on the fries while Abe slept through the whole supper. Marlee Anne loved it because it included playing arcade games with her daddy. I was happy to sit across from my husband of 22 years knowing he was happier there than he would have been at a fancy restaurant with just the two of us.

Afterwards Marlee Anne & I went into Hobby Lobby for some paper. You can never have enough paper. RIGHT? She and I always have fun in stores no matter what.

On the way home Mike wanted to know if we wanted a dessert. I said no but he went to Dairy Queen any way. He said after 22 years he was celebrating with dessert. He got a waffle sundae. I decided to get a butterscotch dipped cone. YUCK!!! It was not what I remembered. Michala started whinning as soon as she saw it cause you know she loves her sweets. So I fed her my entire ice cream. Mike asked Marlee Anne if she wanted any thing. She said well I did want Taco Bell. OK yes we did feed her at Red
Robin but she was still hungry. Mike said well we already passed Taco Bell. She said ok. Being the sweet daddy he is he turned around and went back just for her. She was so happy and ate every bite.

On Sunday Connie & Cheryl took me to see Mamma Mia. OH MY!!! If you have seen it it's a must. I LOVED LOVED LOVED it!!! I have to tell you that this entire thing was so pleasant for me. They had already planned for my sister to sit with the girls and Abe went with us. Connie had already bought our tickets and Cheryl treated for our snacks. On top of all that it was such a feel good fun movie.

I came home to a delicious anniversary meal prepared by Uncle Papa. He cooked all of our favorites. Beef and pork tenderloin along with baked potatoes and sweet potaoes, bread, salad and sweet tea. Oh and homemade orange pineapple ice cream. We couldn't ask for anything more.

I was so blessed to have such a wonderful weekend! Hope ya'll had wonderful ones as well. Thanks for all the anniversary wishes!!! These pictures help tell why we are still married after 22 years.

Monday, August 18, 2008

new project

Ok so now my new project is doing monograms for cars. Here is one I did for my sister's car. I am still doing the quotes for the walls too but added this in with it.

Friday, August 15, 2008

22 year ago

WARNING: I drank a coke tonight. Caffiene this late is not good for me. This could run long!

I have to laugh as I am typing this. This time 22 years ago we had just had our rehearsal and dinner. My bachelorette party was going to play putt-putt then going back to my house for everyone to spend the night together. OK are ya'll done laughing? Those of you that were there know what a wonderful time it was. I was a wild child indeed. Honestly if I had to do it over again I would do the same thing.

One thing I remember so clearly is it being my last night at home. I remember daddy being there to pick on us once again. He would even sometimes go outside and walk around to the back door to knock on the door and scare us. I am so very thankful tonight for so many things. My heart is overflowing with joy. I am blessed!

I remember I wasn't nervous at all. I was so very excited to be marrying Mike. I don't think I was ever so sure of anything in my life. Mike always tells the story that he wasn't nervous either. He was out washing his car at 1:00 in the afternoon. Aunt Linda who lived next door to him came out and said aren't you going to get ready. She was actually waiting on him to get in the shower so she could write help me on his shoes. That way when we knelt to pray that's what you would see. Well that is if you weren't praying and you were looking around. They told me about his shoes right before I walked down the aisle.

Afterwards I found out he and Raife, our ring bearer, were on the floor playing with cars in while in their tuxedos. I said all that to say neither of us were nervous. I don't think either of us had any doubt we were doing the right thing. We laughed during the ceremony and really enjoyed it.

As I think back to that day and all the special people that played a part in making it happy I smile. Thanks to each one of you. I am so thankful to each of you that have shared in this 22 year journey with you. Lisa said she hopes God blesses us with 22 more wonderful years. ME TOO!!!

God is so good! I have dear childhood friends that I still have today. Wonderful hometown friends. Internet friends far and wide. I smile when I think of the internet. If it had not been for Michala being diagnosed with Aicardi syndrome I do not know when we would have gotten the internet had it not been for that. The night we came home from Michala's doctors appt we went to Kim's house to look up information. The first Aicardi mom I met was Anna from Hong Kong. We still keep in touch.

OK so I am thankful for the internet. The other day our TRAK (true random acts of kindness) list wrote list of our top 10 things about that group. I haven't done my list yet but my top thing would be Tracy Ruizcalderon. She was my first experience with TRAK. Once she told that list about us and that Michala had just been diagonsed with cancer our mailbox was flooded. I had never experienced anything like that from people that I didn't even know.

Sorry about getting totally off track here. This really started out being something to help me put down in words those precious memories of 22 years ago.

I can smell my daddy, feel his hand touching mine and hear my mama gasp as he raised my veil to kiss me. She thought he had messed up and didn't remember what to do. He and I had planned that and didn't tell anyone else. Once again proof that God knows what He is doing. He knew my rock would soon be going home and I would need another rock to carry me through.

My brothers Tommy and Bryant drove Mike and I to the Ritz Carlton after our wedding. We checked into our room and they waited while we changed clothes so they could take my dress and Mike's tux back home. We got changed and were going to go eat at Steak and Ale. They decided to join us. I still do not know how that happened but it turned out alright. Well at least until we got back to our room and Tommy sat down to see what was on TV and Bryant had to make him leave. Well maybe it was the other way around. Either way one of them was not ready to live their little sister.

SKIP to the next morning. We flew out the next morning to Jamaica. We had an amazing honeymoon there.

Well I wish I could share more of the past 22 years. I am sure that I will along the way.

OH and another reason why I love this man so much. Monday night we were at Spa Sydell Night at Camp Sunshine, Ann said Mike do you want to go next and he said no let Kelli. When I sign us up I always put his name first so he was next in line but he let me go first.

Today on our anniversary at the same time we got married 22 years ago our friend Georgette is getting married. We want to wish she and Kevin as much joy and happiness in their marriage as we have had. We love ya'll!!!

Thanks ya'll for enduring this rumbled message. It's good to share my heart and celebrate with ya'll. Oh and the picture is of course Mike and I (ain't we purty) along with our flower girl, Julie Howell and our ring bearer Raife Baker.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Marlee Anne's pictures

OK so if I don't post Marlee Anne's pictures she will be so upset. When she saw me taking pictures of Mike and Abe she had to join in. She even put on a white shirt to match them.

Another reason

Mike does a bible study with a friend of his. This one was on Grace. Ya'll hear from me a lot more than you hear from Mike so I thought I would share this with ya'll. I asked him if it was ok first.


8 Concerning this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. 9 And he hath said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my power is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Wherefore I take pleasure in weaknesses, in injuries, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.
2 Cor 12:8-10 (ASV)

I have not asked God why my children were given difficulties. Yes, I have asked for them to be healed, to be made whole, to be normal. Yet to no avail. They continue to suffer and I say that all is well with my soul. My grace is sufficient for thee: for my power is made perfect in weakness. In reality my heart is broken, not just into two equal pieces, but into thousands of pieces. It hurts physically and mentally. I am tired. Daily, from minute to minute I am at the point in the marathon where it is just so easy to stop, to plop down to seek out the temporary relief that rest would bring. In one ear the command to stop is getting louder and louder and in the other ear faintly comes the words do not stop, keep going, one foot in front of the other, - keep going! My grace is sufficient for thee: for my power is made perfect in weakness. I love my wife and my children more than I love myself. This was displayed to me by the way my parents raised me. I was taught that love must be shown though commitment and service to others. That irregardless of my own personal shortcomings I must make sure that my best be given to them. I have prayed in earnest to exchange my good health for their poor health. I so much wish that it could be so. My grace is sufficient for thee: for my power is made perfect in weakness. At one point in this journey, I was concerned that their life might be in vain. With limited abilities and no capacity to communicate, I feared that others would not experience the blessings that God had stored inside them. Now I finally realize that they were sent here so that I might understand how much God really loves me! My grace is sufficient for thee: for my power is made perfect in weakness. Of one thing, I am certain I will not quit. I will persist. I will run the race. A race that will not decide who was the quickest, but a race that will reveal the depth and breadth of His love.

Lately I have been asking God WHY a lot. Yes I have heard you are not supposed to do that but God knows me, He knows my heart, He knows I wonder and have questions so why not ask.

I have been wanting to update the blog and different whys kept coming to mind. I wanted to share these pictures with ya'll so I thought I would share this WHY. There are many reasons WHY I love this man so much. We are coming up on our 22nd wedding anniversary. Have each of them been rosie? NOPE! NO WAY!!! There have been tough days. Thankfully the laughs, hugs, smiles and kisses have overtaken those tough days.

Thankfully when the case worker told us over 15 years ago, after Mary Elizabeth was born that we had a 50% chance of our marriage not making it because of her challenges we stood strong and vowed that we would show her. Thankfully we said well we will take that 50% chance that we do have of making it and run with it. Then when Michala was born another case worker came in and told us our chances of making it were even less. Again when Michala was diagnosed with cancer they came in and warned us. Someone forgot they should have warned us what a challenge a typical child was going to be. LOL!!! OK so you know what happened when Abe was born. I thought oh no here we go again.

Now do not get me wrong it's still not a bed of roses but I wouldn't take anything in the world for the man God blessed me with. I say everyday that our marriage is proof God knows what he is doing. I hope the fact that Mike hasn't walked out on us shows you just what kind of man he is. I know some days it would be easy to walk away but his heart won't let him. He loves us too much. I will share that in a little while. He has a tender heart but a strong one.

OK ya'll may get bored with me this week so I will just post these messages on our blog. I want to share the many reasons why I love this man. These pictures tell it all about the first reason that I love him so. Daddy and his little man. Mike loves this little boy so very much.

I am sure I have shared this before but after Mary Elizabeth was diagnosed and we were told all the things she wouldn't be able to do I grieved. I cried for the little girl I lost. I wanted her to take dance classes. I wanted to walk with her to the school bus that first day of school. I wanted to see her daddy walk her down the isle on her wedding day. All those things were gone. Little did I know the rare blessings He had in store for me with that precious little girl. I cry for Mike because I know the hopes and dreams he had for his little boy. He still has hopes and dreams for him. They have just changed a little bit at least for the time being.

Our focus and prayers have changed. As they have our love for each other has grown. We live a little lighter, laugh a little harder, and love a little deeper.

For today I am thankful for this man in my life. This man who gives until he has no more to give. This man that ask for nothing. This man that with one touch can make me sigh, with one look can make me smile, with one word can make me laugh and with one minute with our children can make me cry.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Green Peas OH WHY?

Abe ate green peas for the first time today. OH YES his look says it all. He sat in his highchair for the first time too. He kept sliding down in it though. I think it's safe to say he is not crazy about green peas. Maybe when they are not all mashed and YUCK! He even closed his eyes in hopes I wouldn't give him any more.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Abe's 6 month check-up

Today Abe had his 6 month check-up. He got one of his 4 month shots which contains three in one. He will go back when Mary Elizabeth & Marlee Anne go for their check-ups in a couple of weeks for his other shots.

Oh the lovely developmental questions. Thankfully when I got home I got an email reminding me that life is not measured my milestones but memories. I needed that today. The only question I wasn't able to answer with a yes was the head control. He is rolling over both ways and holds his head up when he is on his tummy.

His right testicle hasn't descended so we will be going to the urologist on August 27th. They like to do surgery before the 1st birthday. I prayed so hard that it would descend before today. I KNOW I KNOW it's not uncommon. Today all that is not helping me though.

He gained a little more weight but dropped more on the growth chart. Once his test results are back about him breaking down fat we will decide about a g-tube. Another surgery. Not an obstacle I was wanted to face.

Each time one of these things happens it's a blow to my heart. OK so I am supposed to learn from this. God is trying to mold me to be more like Him. Boy this is tough. I am not feeling very moldable right now.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Those eyes

After Abe's eye surgery I kept looking at him thinking how he looked so different. I was thinking they didn't do anything to the outside of his eyes so how could he look different. Finally it hit me and I realized that he has eyelashes now. They were always so goopy or tearing that his eyelashes were always matted. Thanking God for those beautiful eyes.

Our vistor

Michala's Aicardi sister Dakota and her mom Jen came for a visit from Florida. It was so wonderful to get to see them. They are part of the blessings of Aicardi syndrome. Without that we never would have been so blessed with their friendship and that of other families dealing with Aicardi.

Marlee Anne was quite the little hostess. She loved having them come spend the night. She wanted to make sure they were comfortable and had everything they needed. She is already planning for them to come back.

It was really sweet to see Michala and Dakota interact with each other. No words just longing intent looks. Dakota was lying on a blanket and Michala went right up to her to see what she was doing. She was very good for a little while. Soon she decided it was time to pat Dakota. Didn't take long and it was too hard so she had to leave the room.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

My other vinyl

This is the vinyl I did for the archway in my dining room.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Fundraiser for Abe

Night At The Museum

Movie Night

August 8, 2008

9:00 – movie begins

$5 donation per person – includes popcorn

Drinks and candy for sale also.

825 Springtime Drive
Lawrenceville, Georgia 30043

All proceeds benefit the Abraham Hopkins Fund.
Checks can be made payable to the Abraham Hopkins Fund
Bank of North Georgia.

· Please bring a chair or blanket to sit on.

· Additional parking please use Rock Springs Elementary School parking lot.

· Pool will be closed during this event.

· No drop offs. Atleast one parent must stay.

Please contact Kerry Jablonski for further information 770-513-0539.