Christmas is over…

January 5th, 2014

This year (well technically last year since it is now 2014) I have heard more people than ever before say they did not want to decorate for Christmas.  I’m not sure if it had something to do with the later than usual Thanksgiving that left less than a month to get ready for Christmas, or if everyone is just too busy to do all that it takes to make Christmas the Christmas Pinterest causes us to aspire to.  I know I seriously debated decorating.  grinch

Who doesn’t love the Grinch and sweet Cindy Lou Hoo?  I think Christmas just seemed a little shoved down my throat this year.  Please Hobby Lobby do not put out Christmas ornaments at the end of the Summer!  I want the Christmas season to be set apart, special… not just a ploy for businesses to make a lot of money off of consumers.  So this was my train of thought as I was preparing to reminisce about our 2013 Christmas.  It was a bit BAH HUMBUG, until… I started swiping through the images on my ipad.  Looking at those pictures throughout the Holiday season reminded me that even though I may not have been in the right spirit, the right spirit was all around me like a big multicolored light fat santa hug.

I have been intending (very best intentions) to update this blog for a while and being enrolled in school full time and all the other things going on around us it just hadn’t happened.  So I was prodded pushed by a small world encounter.  My long time bloggy friend Kari, who I have actually met I believe three times in real life happens to be cousins with my nieces very very special teacher of many years (Darlene Turner) who happens to be BFF’s with Izzy’s wonderful teacher Melanie!  So somehow my Melanie ended up somewhere with Kari and it was relayed to me that I have been a slacker blogger!

The first task for getting ready for Christmas is taking a family photo.  I had decided to skip this part this year.  Amanda decided we would not skip it!  It’s always been a little challenging to get a photo of everyone or all the kids and get a good picture of Isabelle.  This year she was a super trooper and did very well, we even got some bonus pics!  I was glad Amanda pushed for Chinese food and picture taking because it was a fun evening with all the kids.










The last week before Christmas break was a week of parties for Izzy.  After school on Tuesday we all met up at her best boy’s house to celebrate Christmas with him & his family).  Izzy and Nathaniel always enjoy seeing each other.




Wednesday mom and I took lunch to the class (taco chicken, rolls, cinnamon rolls, broccoli salad and salad).  After lunch we had the gift exchange.  It was so much fun to be with the class for the afternoon.  They are our people and we love them.


Thursday we all went to Bass Pro for our annual Santa pics and activities.   Brandy and Izzy enjoyed shooting arrows and the three of us had fun riding on the carousal.  After lunch we all went to Abuelos and enjoyed mexican food.  Iz liked the flavored tea and the spicy mashed potatoes.





We had several family Christmas celebrations…

One with the kids… opening presents and a taco bar.






 Emelia made this reindeer sweatshirt for Amanda.


Christmas Eve in Bethany.


Christmas Day at home.




And Christmas evening at my brother’s home.

All in all a very merry Christmas.  I hope you had a merry Christmas too.




October 29th, 2013

We had a really fun weekend!  Bailey came home to spend the weekend, I had not seen him since before I went to Seattle.  Amanda and Lorenzo also came to stay the weekend with us.  I was mentioning to Matt that when the kids were little my fantasy was for them all to get on that big yellow bus and be at school all day, but now I love them to all be home with me!

We planned a fun day for Saturday.  I made baked potato soup(very fattening but worth the treat).  Paula (Gram) & John came down from Tulsa for the day and even Izzy’s bff Para Brandy came to spend the day with us.  Mom and dad delivered three pans of fluffy hot rolls.  We got pumpkins to carve and because it was a little rainy we decided to endure the mess inside.  It was definitely a mess but worth it.

Baked potato soup…

8 slices bacon
1 onion, diced
1/2 cup flour
3 (14.5 oz.) cans chicken broth
5 potatoes, baked, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
2 cups half & half
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup sour cream
salt & pepper to taste
cheddar cheese
sour cream
How to make it

In a Dutch oven cook bacon until crisp
Remove and crumble, reserving drippings
Saute onion in bacon drippings until tender
Add salt and pepper
Stir in flour and cook for one minute, stirring constantly
Slowly add chicken broth; cook, stirring constantly until thick and bubbly Add potatoes, parsley and half & half; cook for 10 minutes
Stir in cheese and sour cream.
Garnish with cheese, bacon, chives and sour cream.

Brandy helped with izzy’s pumpkin.  Izzy did not like putting her hand into the slimy pumpkin to scoop out the guts.  Everyone had an idea of what they wanted to carve.  Izzy had a hello kitty pumpkin, Amanda chose a minnie mouse design, Emelia chose Ariel and Matt went gangster old school carving.

I also made Bailey’s favorite pumpkin chocolate chip muffins, although not many were left to take back to college!





summer is over.

August 22nd, 2013

I have been prompted by a few people to update my blog.  I looked at the posts and realized it has been over four months and SO much has happened since April I am not sure where to begin so as boring as it seems I will go in chronological order of events 🙂 …


Izzy went to special olympics again this year in Stillwater.  We had a great time and she won some awesome medals!  There was a crazy hotel incident, the school reserved rooms at a really creepy place but Tracey came to the rescue and found rooms for us all at the Marriot.  This was almost a miracle from Heaven above considering rooms were booked clear to Kansas for SO!  We were thrilled to get a great suite and Iz and Than even had some quiet time before sleeping.




Amanda graduated from the University of Oklahoma May 2013!  She is going to apply to Occupational Therapy program in January.  We were very proud watching her walk across the stage (twice).  We had a fun family party at 360 Meridian after the big graduation.



Bailey finished his freshman year at Oklahoma State University, Emelia completed 9th grade and Isabelle finished fourth grade.


Iz and Than had a fun bowling trip to Shawnee.  They have a cool ramp that she could push the ball off of.  We teased her about having a “date.”  She smiled.



We finally got a jogging stroller!  Yay!

Isabelle was severely burned while we were loading up to leave for a trip to Branson.  Emelia had microwaved soup and had it in a mug with a lid that was bumped and exploded the soup onto her legs.  We rushed her to the Emergency Room where she was given pain meds and bandaged.  She had to go to the hospital weekly for wound care.  She is such a trooper.  That accident literally gave me nightmares for weeks.  I hate to see her in pain.  So awful.

image image

We made it to Branson and saw Joseph, wax museum, ripley’s etc.  It was a fun trip and Isabelle enjoyed it even with the burns.  At the Joseph show, Isabelle and I were placed on handicap alley… a row with spaces for wheelchairs and then a companion chair.  I don’t really like this area and noticed an elderly couple wheel in what looked like a CP man in his late forties.  At first I thought how depressing, but just being there throughout the show beside them I saw the mutual love and it was inspirational.  When that show started with dancing wheat stalks I thought, “oh my… this is going to be some modern dance type show.” but It wasn’t.   It was very good.




We celebrated Izzy’s  11th birthday at Nathaniel’s house with a surprise birthday party with lots of orange decorations and cheesecake (her favorites)! There was even a barbie fashion show by Moriah and her friends.  On her actual date of birth we went to Cheesecake Factory and then to the mall for mani/pedis.  Isabelle got orange nails.


Amanda had a minnie mouse birthday!  She loved it!   She requested indian tacos (which i had never made)



  • 3 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 3 teaspoons Baking Powder (slightly Rounded Teaspoons)
  • 3/4 cups Milk
  •  Water As Needed To Get Dough To Come Together
  •  Vegetable Shortening Or Lard For Frying

Preparation Instructions

Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Stir with a fork as you pour in the milk; keep stirring for a bit to get it to come together as much as possible. Add just enough water (about 1/4 to 1/2 cup) to get it to come together. Cover the bowl with a dish towel and let it sit for 35 to 45 minutes to rest.

When you’re ready to make the fry bread, heat about 1 to 2 inches shortening/lard in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Grab a plum-sized piece of dough (or larger if you want larger fry bread) and press it into a circle with your fingers: place it on a clean surface and begin pressing in the center and work your way out, stretching it as you go.

When the circle is about 4 to 7 inches (however big you want it) carefully drape it into the skillet. Allow it to fry on one side until golden brown, about 1 minute, then carefully flip it to the other side using tongs. Fry it for another 30 to 45 seconds.

Remove the fry bread to a paper towel-lined plate and allow it to drain while you fry the other pieces.

Serve warm!

I made beans for those veggies only people and then meat for the others, guacamole, salsa, etc. It was YUM.


Isabelle was scheduled to go to Children’s Hospital to have dental work done under anesthesia.  She has a wicked bite reflex preventing dds from getting into her mouth without losing a finger or tool.  So, we didn’t know what would actually be needed but the plan was to go in and clean her teeth well and make any repairs necessary.  Hours into procedure we were called to say they needed to remove four front bottom teeth.  It was an unexpected shock to say the least and we felt like at that moment there wasn’t another option.  I very much regret not pursuing another opinion and having those teeth preserved.  It’s something that I can’t take back and another reminder of how cruel this not so new (9 years now) special needs world can be.


Mom made my favorite dinner for my birthday and then me and the kids headed to the mountains to stay with Gina at her house there for the weekend.  The kids enjoyed riding four wheelers and shooting guns.  We had a few interesting incidents… like riding up to a creek to drive through and seeing a man and woman bathing and washing their clothes… this was a dirty creek.  Anyway, it was interesting and something you don’t see often or ever.



The day after we got home it was time to move Bailey back to Stillwater.  Iz had a girl day with Brandy while we got Bailey moved in his dorm.  He is in a apartment type dorm with four bedrooms.  I think he will really have a great year.

So you’re all up to date on the important stuff.  Amanda is now taking some science to boost that gpa a little higher before January… Emelia is loving her first week of sophmore year… and Isabelle is loving fifth grade.  We got an email today saying her eye gaze communication device has been approved! So very exciting!


march madness

April 5th, 2013

I had to look at Twitter and Instagram to remember what happened since I last wrote on the blog…

The first thing I mentioned on the social media arena was that Amanda and I went to “Gear Up for Graduation,” at the University of Oklahoma.  It was a time to order graduation announcements, get cap and gown, and take pic in cap and gown.  She did all the above for her upcoming commencement and then we celebrated with a super fattening lunch at my all time favorite place, Victoria’s.  If you ever find yourself in Norman, around campus corner you have to go to Victoria’s and get my all time favorite “Best of Victoria’s,” in which you choose three pastas. I get spaghetti with marinara, fettuccine alfredo, and either lasagna rolls or whole wheat linguine with mushrooms (my mouth is watering at the thought).  Any excuse to go to Victoria’s is a good one.


I guess March was all about the Italian food because the next big thing in March was Emelia’s fifteenth birthday that was celebrated in Stillwater at Joseppis.  It’s the Italian version of Eskimo Joes.  I took Bailey there in February for his birthday and brought much of my lunch home.  Emelia likes to eat my lunch leftovers and loved what I had, so she decided that was where she wanted to have her birthday dinner.  There were a few problems with that… it’s 90 minute drive, and Bailey had class on her birthday so meeting us would be a problem.  I decided to make a night of it and we went as a family.  It was a lot of fun.  We did have a miscommunication and Bailey and Faith ended up getting our table for ten an hour early.  He improvised by ordering several italian sodas and some appetizers so all was well.


Amanda and Lorenzo came from Norman to go with us and then slept over so I could take them to the airport early the next morning.  They FINALLY made the trip to Disneyworld for the honeymoon!  They had such a fun time. It really is the happiest place on earth.


While they were in Florida, Emelia was in Dallas having a weekend of pampering and leisure with Gram and Jane Ann.  They had spray tans, facial, massage, mani pedi… etc.  Bailey, Izzy, and I went with my friend Gina to her house in the mountains.  We rode four wheelers and practiced shooting guns.  We had a lot of fun and will not soon forget being chased by the mean dogs on the four wheelers, or the man saying he knew I wasn’t from around there in town at the redbox (He asked if he could return his movie and I said, “no.”  I was just kidding) Driving through the water and getting splashed.  Seeing Bailey hit every target he placed with the shotgun.  It was fun and I enjoyed watching him enjoy it.  Iz got to ride on the four wheeler and even wanted to try shooting the 22.  With a lot of help she actually enjoyed it.  I am a little afraid of guns but I did learn if you know what you are doing and are safe it is ok.






My sweet Uncle Ronnie passed away in March.  He was so kind when Izzy had her accident.  He visited the hospital several times when we were in Childrens and then when they moved us to Dallas he brought his RV down and placed it so that we would have a home base amongst the hospitals.  It was really going above and beyond and we were so appreciative.  He will be missed, most of all by his wife of many years Margie.

Matt and I made a date of going to the dentist for cleaning appointments at the same time!  We got good reports and went to Mcallisters for lunch and tea (because it’s the best there).

Izzy has been doing great with the power chair that is on loan.  She is driving all through the halls of the school using her head.  She is such a smart girl.  She had her Nini day over spring break at Cheesecake Factory. She loves cheesecake!  She also got first place on her artwork for special olympics.  Melanie described how she used a sponge to make her owl.




snow and rain and appointments, oh my.

February 25th, 2013

This has been a month of appointments! Trying to get Izzy’s new foot splints ended up being more difficult than it should have been.  After fitting we had to do appt with PCP so he would authorize referral… then they denied requesting peer to peer!  Dr. Herndon wasn’t thrilled with that, but fortunately he convinced insurance company that she does, in fact, need AFO’s.  Good grief!  We also spent a few grueling hours at the pediatric dentist.  Izzy has such a strong bite reflex she almost panics when you try to force her to open her mouth.  By the end of that visit we were both wiped out.  They referred her to Children’s Hospital to another dentist in April to schedule sedative dentistry.  (insert heavy sigh).



We both paid a visit to our old massage therapist, craniosacral, myofascial friend BEAR.  I stopped our weekly visits a few years ago when she had hip and then spine surgery so it was just time to return.  That and the fact that my shoulder was in pain that was getting worse and worse!  He pointed out that my shoulder was forward three inches when he saw me and then told me my collar bone was out of socket when he started working on me.  He said if I could stand ten seconds of excruciating pain we could get it back in.  Honestly that pain wasn’t as bad as the nerve ending pressure points he did on my back… but hopefully it will help.  I know the cause and am working on a solution.  In the meantime I am hoping visiting bear will help.  He was so happy to see Izzy and worked on her.  He said her brain felt more normal than the times before that he worked on her.  He was pleased with her and said she looked like she was getting better.  Izzy likes Bear, he’s definitely a character…

We had a thundersleet storm last week all night and then lots of snow.  Emelia made a snowgirl she named Snowmelia.  It was pretty cute.  She forfeited her real hair extensions for the cause, I guess her hair has grown longer than those extensions now anyway!


I met Amanda to find a business suit for a job fair at OU.  She is getting excited about graduating in May with her Bachelor Degree!  I’m sure I’ll mention that in many blog posts to come.  Because I am a proud mom and all that. . .

We are also gearing up for the special olympics this spring.  Tracey (aka Ruth), Nathaniel’s mom has been working with her very creative, t-shirt designing son Austin to make our group some really cool shirts!  He came up with a really great design.


Izzy’s class has had fun times this month…  we had our valentine party at Poblano Grill.  Izzy enjoyed potatoes rice and cheese sauce by the spoonful.  The teachers, moms, and Camilla spent an evening having dinner to celebrate Ruth’s birthday.  We have so much fun together.

image image

birthday boy

February 11th, 2013




Me, Amanda, and Izzy headed up to Stillwater for birthday lunch with the boy.   He had class until after two so we had to plan for a late lunch, which gave us an excuse to let Izzy play hooky and ride along.  It was a really good time of the day to eat lunch in Stillwater!  Normally any of the Joe’s (Eskimo Joes, Mexico Joe’s or Joseppis) are really crowded at lunch time but by three they are very quiet!


Saturday evening we had dinner with all of Bailey’s favorites!  I made two types of chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, (organic and whole grain as requested!) green beans, peas… and we had cheesecake!  It’s very special to have all the kids around the table.






I’m very proud of my now 19 year old boy.  He is sweet beyond compare, handsome inside and out, and intelligent to top it all off.



January 31st, 2013

This month has been all over the place in many ways.  The weather in Oklahoma hasn’t ceased to be a surprise almost daily.  I took Isabelle to an appointment yesterday morning to be fitted for new AFO’s (foot splints worn in standing and on bike).  It poured rain as we drove into the city and when we got to Hanger Orthotics I had no choice but to get drenched assembling her chair and running into the building.  I got a little cranky… I don’t like to get wet!  Bill Barringer is a great orthotist and worked quickly and efficiently to cast her feet and make molds for the new AFO’s.  We chose a sassy zebra print! Izzy went to school when we finished and was almost dry because I had covered her except for her wet feet!  Brandy was quick to dry her socks and get her warmed up!  I guess it was good rain therapy.

Camilla had arranged another trial for a power chair (the one she can drive with her head) and the rep had cancelled a few times due to equipment problems and sickness.  The chair he brought turned out to be too small but her is bringing another asap.  She did get to try it out a little anyway.  They said that Eric connected the hand toggle switch to move it back to the therapy room and while they were talking Izzy found it and started moving!  She’s funny.

We unfortunately haven’t been spared from germs this month either!  Bailey had to visit the dr. on campus at OSU for strep throat.  I went last week and was given the diagnosis of bronchitis and sinusitis (yuck).  Emelia has coughed her way through January and our little health nut Izzy is a little congested but overall the healthiest of the crew.

It was a year ago yesterday that Lorenzo proposed to Amanda.  I love this picture capturing the moment of the proposal (bachelor style)… I love amanda’s smile and stance.  She looks like a little girl in this picture.

proposalThey are the happiest and cutest couple!

I’m working on a surprise gift for Bailey’s birthday (feb 7).  I am hoping I get finished by then and I will post a pic.

Izzy also had an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon for x-rays to check her back and hips.  Everything looked good.  Dr. Herndon said we will be visiting twice a year for four years to make sure all is well.  I remember our first visit with Dr. Herndon.  I thought he was so cold and rude.  After going through two surgeries and many visits I have found him to be a very caring and kind doctor.  Best of all he is an excellent surgeon which was the reason we stuck it out!  It’s amazing how just the right people cross our path.



It’s 2013…

January 7th, 2013

We spent the day ringing in the new year with family… an unplanned dinner turned out to be really fun. Mom made the usual black eyed peas, which are not as nasty as some considering they are from the garden and frozen. She always insisted I have at least a spoon full even though we never bought in the “luck” theory. I think it was just an excuse to get me to eat them. I cooked a turkey. Amanda and Lorenzo ended up coming for dinner and all together you have an almost party!

It has been a nice Christmas break. I’ve enjoyed having Bailey around a lot. He actually left last night so he would have all day today to locate his classes. I miss him. We also got to see a lot of Amanda and Lorenzo! They stayed a couple of nights here for Christmas. I loved that. Everyone under the same roof!

Matt and I drove to Norman yesterday and had dinner with Amanda and Lorenzo. We went to Ted’s (yum)! and then drug the guys to the mall to see if anything was left at the Victoria’s Secret sale. Not much. Matt always asked why the only thing I come home with from there is more like sweat pant suits rather than the things on commercials. Ha.

New Year, new goals and plans. I do have one tiny little baby resolution I haven’t spoken out loud much. I want the option to change my mind… although I plan to start the process this week so we’ll see. If it all comes together I’ll let you in on it.

We had a really nice lunch at Tracey’s (Nathaniel’s mom) house. I took this:

red velvet cake

Tracey made steaks and pasta with alfredo…. It was a nice lunch and great to spend the afternoon with our school group!

I took Emelia to the eye dr. last week and her glasses finally arrived Friday! We spent the afternoon today getting our nails done with Christmas gift certificates to our nail place. She even had her brows waxed! Even my dad noticed! Ha.

IMG_2430 IMG_2257 IMG_2352 IMG_2353 IMG_2346 IMG_2342 IMG_2229


December 23rd, 2012

I ordered these rectangle cookie cutters in november after seeing Pioneer Woman make these!

So I made and refrigerated the dough which emelia said wasn’t good. After dinner I baked them and amanda and faith helped decorate them.

It was fun! I also made chocolate dipped marshmallows. They make a great breakfast. Just saying.


Almost Christmas.

December 20th, 2012

I haven’t blogged since October (I was sent a text reminder  – thanks Darla)…

Last time I blogged I mentioned the death of Collin, the following week another near drowning child, Madison (10 years old) died unexpectedly in her sleep.  Two others passed away this week.  It’s been a strange time including the murders in Connecticut.

Izzy has been having trials of eye gaze software communication devices.  It is pretty amazing where technology is going!  She said several sentences today using eye gaze.  We had a fun class field trip Monday to see Junie B. Jones at the Children’s Theatre.  We ate lunch in bricktown and then visited the cutest Santa ever at Bass Pro Shop (or the weapon store as I like to describe it).  It was a bitter cold day, but lots of fun.  The group in her class are just the best.  Iz has been working in the stander and standing from sitting position with Camilla, and also riding her bike.  She is a hard worker!   The video I am linking to shows individuals using this system to communicate.

We had a great Thanksgiving holiday.  We all went to Tulsa on Thanksgiving Day and then celebrated here on Friday, after hard core black friday shopping of course.  I was officially finished shopping for Christmas around the first of December but have had a lot of little last minute things since.  Not sure if being ahead of the game is such a great thing!  I love love love picking out gifts and giving them.  That’s my favorite part of Christmas!

I expect Bailey home tonight for his Christmas break and look forward to a few weeks with him.  Amanda finished up too so hopefully we’ll see her a little more.  I did spend the day with her Wednesday, she met me at a conference on the communication device.

The last week has been a blur of activity and the upcoming week is promising the same busy-ness.  I love this time of year!

If I don’t blog before Christmas… MERRY CHRISTMAS!   (love ya.)