Friday, February 27, 2009

Laura's New AFO

Last week we embarked on a new journey. One where Laura's foot will be held in place by an AFO for awhile. I must honestly say that after fighting it for so long, seeing her foot being held correctly and watching her walk almost normally has done my heart good. Knowing that 'cute shoes' will require a much more diligent search is something I can live with. Meanwhile, we went out and purchased a PT endorsed pair of New Balance tennies that are grey, pink and white. While they don't go with much of her dressier wardrobe, she wears them every day and loves them. And so it goes.

Here are some pictures of her in her AFO. And for those of you who have a kid with atypical/complex feet, you'll relate to the big toe stance well. :)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

She's Another Year Older

Our precious Laura had another birthday this week. She turned five. Five. My baby is five! Where does the time go? How is it that I can barely remember the difficult times we dealt with when she was born? Where did the wee thing we struggled to keep alive go? Was she ever really that tiny and fragile? Did they really diagnose her as a failure to thrive and say she would never develop normally?

Oh if they could only see her now...

They'd find her right where the Lord wanted her, growing healthy and happy in the midst of the family that God made just for her. They'd find her busy taking care of her babies, learning all of the things she needs to know at this stage in her life, helping to make her own birthday cake, and keeping us all on our toes. Who cares that her baby bottles periodically become guns so she can safely traverse through her brothers 'war zone' with her baby in order to 'safwe' get to the grocery store. Or that she knows far too many details about Indiana Jones or Star Wars characters since she loves to get right in the middle of whatever her brothers are doing? What matters is that she is content and loves life, thinks pink is the best thing going as any true princess at heart would, and that she will grow up to be a wonderful, devoted wife, mother, and strong woman of God.

Yes, she's five. Where, oh where does the time go?

Rabbit Run - Especially When It Is Cold!

One of the benefits you get from a blanket of new-fallen snow is seeing just what lives with you every day in and around your house. Last week a hawk, with his prey clutched in his hand, landed right in front of our window. I realize that he'd wandered outside his normal hunting grounds because of the heavy snowfall, but it was a reminder that nature lives with us despite our human desire to just take over everything in our path.

This morning I was reminded of the little creatures that we've watched grow up under our very own shed. Yes, we've fed generations of the little guys even when we weren't thrilled about it. And their brothers, sisters, cousins and friends live all over our development. This morning it was fun to follow their nightly wanderings around the house, finding all of the spots where they stopped for awhile seeking warmth, and seeing just how they wander in and out of the bushes. In the picture above you can see where they obviously spent some time overnight pressed in to the snowbank for a bit. And I think there was more than one of them cuddling there.

I then found a bunch of little footprints coming out from under the gate. You can see where they've dug a path in the snow under the corner. And on the other side of the house I found where they went back under the fence, as well as several places along the way where they stopped to cuddle for awhile. I couldn't help but wonder what that hawk might have done if he'd seen them out and about. And I realized that as much as they drive me crazy, and as much as I feel frustration as the bunnies eat my plants, I wouldn't want to see one have the same fate as the starling did last week. Remind me of that this spring when I put out new flowering plants, would you?

Digging Out Again And Again

Ever have one of those things that keeps repeating over and over again, drivng you nuts? Like a song you can't get out of your head? Anyone remember "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood"? Or perhaps the Barney theme song? Or any other preschool ditty that just popped in to your head? Or how about a commercial that lacks intelligence and yet you can't get it out of your mind? Or some activity that you must do over and over again even though it just may drive you slowly crazy? Or perhaps someone who just keeps following you around when you want some privacy? Yeah. Me, too. And my nemesis is snow. It just won't stop. It keeps coming, and coming. In spurts from a spit to a foot or more. And then more comes the next day. And so on, and so on. You just can't get away from it here.

Here's a picture of the tree in front of the house a few weeks ago. Pretty, isn't it?

And our bush by the driveway fence. I just liked it at that moment. Of course it was the beginning of days of snow so I was feeling generous.

Here is Laura's climber on the back deck. She was amazed with how much snow it held. Little did she know it was only the beginning.

Jonathan went out that afternoon to help the men shovel.

Matthew started on one side of the driveway.

And Don the other.

He worked his way down and around

And here's the whole, beautiful mess before we started to dig out.

It was a beautiful snowfall. And I enjoyed it, if only for a moment. Soon another inch or two joined it. And then even more. And more. It just kept snowing. It snowed so much that January was the second snowiest month ever here. As in all of recorded weather history. Oh goody.

But soon it warmed up. We had two whole days of above freezing temps and sunshine! The snow melted off the roof, the icicles dripped themselves almost dry, and the streets and driveways that had been shoveled and plowed dried up leaving them very passable once again. And all of the snow piled up everywhere started turning that lovely shade of brown. It actually seemed like spring might be early this year. Perhaps Puxatawney Phil knew something we didn't. Perhaps we might dodge the bullet this year! After all, we'd already hit our average snowfall amounts for the whole season and we were only halfway through it.

Alas, it was not to be. Two nights ago and just as the new month got under way, a storm that was only supposed to drop a few inches in a general snow fall hit a newly melted spot over the lake in its way in and picked up steam. Lots of it. Before it ended, this little 'clipper' would drop over a foot of light, crisp snow on a few select counties in the area referred to as the secondary snow belt. Trust me, anything that has the words 'snow belt' in it can't be good. Apparently winter isn't done. Spring isn't near. We are only halfway done. And here's all the evidence you need:

Here's a view from the front porch. The bushes are buried!

And a view from the other side of the bushes. The bench is buried and the windmill is getting close!

The poor bushes! I'm not sure they'll recover completely. But then I feel that way every winter yet they stand majestic once again every spring.

And here's the boys sledding hill they made after the last snowfall and used again last night.

And the mound by the mailbox is growing...

Here it is from the other side. Our poor mailbox. It may get swallowed before long.

And here is Laura's climber and the snow piled up on the deck. Even I was amazed at how much there was.

And our house this morning. You'll note that we have yet to clear the sidewalks. We'll get to that soon. Or it will melt off all by itself. Yeah, that's it. It will melt. Someday soon. Really. Even here. :)