Joy is very infectious; therefore, be always full of joy.

~ Mother Teresa

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Quick Update

Wow! What a crazy couple of weeks! Things are improving by leaps and bounds. I went to therapy yesterday, ready to show off all I can do... which my PT was excited for... but then he taught me what I can't do yet. LOL Yea. not. *sigh*

I can't walk backwards. I can use my right foot to step sideways, but if I step left first, my right foot can't follow. My strength is crap. Squats are a fun game of left side pulling right side everywhere. Pulling myself up onto my toes with both feet is funny... I can do it when I allow my left foot to lead, but if I try to do my right foot (putting all weight on it and letting it pull me up) it doesn't work. I can use the stretchy things to do bi-cep, tri-cep curls...if they let me use my shoulder. If I have to use my elbow (which I do...I just didn't for the 1st set he had me do) I can do the motion, but not with resistance. It's fun.

I am walking better. In the mornings I can walk without much of a visual limp. (I can still feel the weakness but can hide it well) By the evenings I am totally limping again though. They say that is normal. I just find myself annoid by it. LOL. Stairs are easier in the morning... and irritating at night. Mornings are great. Evenings suck. And how many people have morning social events.? bah. humbug.

My speech is almost perfect in the A.M. as well... but I struggle at night. I told my speech therapist as much yesterday, and he asked me the best questions EVER! He asked if I was getting a nap EVERY DAY. I said no... I often fall asleep for a few minutes here and there all day long, but I wasn't taking naps on purpose. He was surprised and apologized for not telling me that sooner. My brain NEEDS a 1-2 hour nap everyday. huh. GO ME!! Best prescription I EVER got! Bwahahahaha! Bigger words with an R, B or a TR in the middle I really struggle with. Also when I talk fast (ok..normal for me) my words will stall and I stammer a bit. My most favorite (not) is the recurrent brain farts though. I can be in the middle of talking about something and it is all of a sudden gone. Now I know I used to do that a little bit before... but not like now. It's a lot. And really OBNOXIOUS. (and yes... I can almost say that word now without stalling in the middle! BWahahahha)

Today has been a sleeping day. I slept until 10 am (11 hours of sleep). Got up. Ate breakfast. Did some research for my health and Cam's migraine, picked up a few things, and promptly fell asleep shortly after noon and slept for another 3 hours. *blush* I could have gone back to bed shortly there after too! They tell me sleeping a lot is common after a stroke... I just wish they had told me that sooner! I wouldn't have fought it so much! Bwahahaha!! It was TORTURE for me to fight not sleeping more in the previous weeks! But i thought it was silly that i was sleeping so much and pushed my exercises more instead! Now i know I will do better in ALL aspects if I sleep more. Sign me up! ;)

I was suffering from an acute sense of A.D.D. for a little over a week and half. It was like I couldn't tune anything out and felt SOOO over stimulated all the time. Thankfully, that seems to have improved the last 2 days. My poor kids were perplexed that things I used to ignore, now made me crazy. I felt bad, as I am not one to snap at people very often, but they all got it at least once. Dinner time was the worst. I was trying to concentrate on using utensils, and they were yammering/bickering/picking at each other or trying to talk to me. I really struggled with that. My poor kiddos. Even Jes got a few backhanded comments for making things complicated. I have tried so hard to be kind and upbeat about all of this... but I just couldn't do it all the time. Good thing they all love me huh? :)

Anywho... Christmas was crazy/fun/hard/awesome, but I will post about that later. Just wanted to give you all an update! Tomorrow is 4 weeks since my stroke and I can't believe how fast it has flown by... and how blessed I have been! :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Festival of Lights 2010

Continuing our tradition, we enjoyed a fun evening with the Throckmorton's. Suzie made us a killer meal (Cheese Manacotti...Yumm!) As per tradition, we laid the seats down in the back of our car, and all the kids piled in the back. The Dad's settled in the front seats and we drove a few blocks to the city's...

On the way there we sing Christmas songs at the top of our lungs. The Dad's just roll their eyes. LOL
Poor little Jack was NOT pleased with the singing though! *Giggle* He wanted us to be quiet. 
The whole city park is set up with different scenes made entirely out of lights and we just drive around and enjoy them, while listening to Christmas music they broadcast to our car. 
It is magical!! 
Adi loved them!! 
Caleb loved the cowboy/camping ones! 
This kids love that we open the back window and they can hang out and see it all... 
This picture the boys in the group are going crazy over the huge dinosaurs and a volcano spitting lava! (I was on the wrong side of the car to get a good photo of them) They LOVED it! 
The Castle in "Toy Land" 
"Dashing through the snow in a one horse open sleigh...." 
Adi climbed on top of whoever was sitting closest to the thing she wanted to see. She really LOVED the lights! We could have gone back through it over and over and she likely never would have gotten bored. It was so cute! 
Another of the boy's fav's! The dragon!! 
It was bumpy near the Nativity, so this was the best photo I could get, but I *love* Nativities, so this was a favorite for me :) 
This photo is of the Bear (white) catching the fish that were "swimming" in the river. It looked like they really were swimming! It was cool! 
Toy Soldier from Toy Land... yes we drove through it all again. It was worth another lap. If Adi had had her way we would have kept going! LOL 
"That light is so bright Mom!!" 
The crew 
Jack was asleep within blocks of the festival 
And poor little Adi cried herself to sleep she was so disappointed to leave the pretty lights!

We drove around looking for more lights, but it was too late in the evening for many of them to be on, so we headed back to Throckmorton's for dessert and a few games. It was a lovely Christmas Eve Eve.
We are so blessed to have such good friends! Thanks for helping make one of our favorite traditions be realized this year Suzie! :) We really enjoyed it!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Caleb's dreaming of a White Christmas?

All day yesterday it snowed on and off. We had a few inches and the kids were thrilled! Last night it was Caleb's turn to say prayers. He thanked Heavenly Father for the snow, and then asked if He would please send us more.

When we had Caleb look out the window today he gasped "I guess I prayed a little too hard!"

We woke up this morning to a heavy blanket of fresh snow! Jes had to borrow the neighbors snow blower because it was so labor intensive! :)

Two day total!

 And then... this is just what was new overnight!
 Fun to shovel off a driveway huh??
 Jestin's poor truck is going no where fast! LOL His tires are terrible so he is stuck in the snow at home :)
 Cub was SOOO pleased to get out in it... we had to send him back in to get pants on! He came out to get busy in it in his PJ's! (tee hee)
 Cam suited up and was on a mission!
 Cody was a good sport and helped his Dad do driveways and sidewalks throughout the neighborhood.
 Cam's plan was the biggest pile they could make... and then turn it into a fort!
 Dad and Cody had a blast throwing snow at him! LOL

 Catch that Cam!
 Hey! Good catch!! :)
 Caleb and Cam packing it down. The kids spent almost the entire day outside. They came in after dark and had to be run through the bath to get warm. It was a perfect snow day! Even Caleb's last day of school before Christmas break was cancelled because of the snow... but he got so much pleasure from playing with his siblings in the snow he didn't even mind.
 It snowed almost all day. This was our table in the back yard.
 I love how it was coming down... and how it covered Jes' truck.
We had to dig out the chickens too! LOL

And it's suppose to snow all day tomorrow into Thursday...

I think we are going to have a White Christmas this year!

Ewell's "Christmas Eve" Party

Every year we have a party for "Christmas Eve" with the Ewells. Usually it is the Sunday before Christmas, and this year was no exception. We all look forward to the great company and great pot-luck meal. This year again... was no exception. :)
It took me a little while to get down the stairs to the basement family room, but once I got there, they settled me into a comfy chair and party we did!

It was nice to visit with Jes' immediate family. We haven't seen any of them since before my stroke, except for Jes' mom who has come down and helped with laundry a couple of times. We sure have missed them all!

Jes' sister Katie & her hubby Greg

Jes' brother Tyler and girlfriend Melissa

Papa & Gram (Jes' Dad and Mom)
After all the yummy food... it was time for the traditional visit from Santa Clause! He always brings new Jammies to all the kids! We were excited to hear what the kids wanted for Christmas, since they had kept their lists mostly secret, knowing that Christmas was going to be a little different this year...

Whisper what you'll bring to me... tell me if you can!
Cody with Santa
 He wouldn't tell Santa what he wanted for Christmas. He said that there wasn't anything he "needed". He was happy with what he has. (Earlier discussions about Christmas wishes revealed that he was just happy that his mom was ok... nothing anyone could buy him could make him happier. :*-) He is such a great kid!)
Aunt Millie with Santa

Baby Jaysen was NOT pleased! LOL

But Santa was ok enough to give knuckles to! Tee hee hee!

Hmmm... was Caleb a good boy??

He was happy to get a present from Santa!

Camer's and Santa
 Cameron had many of us in tears. He told Santa he wanted his Daddy to get a good job for Christmas!
(I am telling ya! I have great kids!!!)
Ty's cute girlfriend Melissa's turn!

We teased that all she wants for Christmas is a ring... and we don't mean on the phone! ;)
She is just awesome and we hope that she will become part of our family soon.

Santa and Mrs. Clause
Isn't this the cutest picture ever??

 Caleb in his new PJ'S with his new toy too!

Ninja Emma
Her new jammies are so cute and pink with kitties! :) 
Where's the snow??

So... after the chaos of everyone opening their gifts at once, and getting changed into their warm new PJ's, I turned to Caleb and said, "Hey! I didn't hear you tell Santa what YOU wanted for Christmas"
He replied that "he didn't ask, so I didn't tell him."
I said to go quick and tell him now before he leaves!
He quickly replied, matter-of-factly, that he didn't think it was the real Santa anyway because it sounds like Grandpa. I laughed and said, "Oh really?"
To which he added: "Besides, he doesn't gots snow on his boots. The real Santa gots snow on his boots!"

How can you argue with that?? Bwahahaha!!
So... we are left wondering still what our kids really want for Christmas this year, and hope between what little we guessed and got them, and what a sweet Secret Santa stopped by and left (a few early presents that are making Caleb crazy LOL), that this Christmas will be magical for them.

Though... with the miracles of healing they have witnessed with the recovery from their mom's stroke... I don't know if store bought gifts can even measure up.
Heaven Father gives the most amazing gifts.
We are humbled at our Christmas miracle this year...
And we are so thankful for His greatest gift... his Son Jesus Christ.
Merry Christmas to one and all!!