Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Happy 9th Birthday!

On Sunday, George turned NINE! Another year has passed us by and as always I am amazed at the many ways a child will "grow-up" in only one year! Unfortunately, he has entered the "embarrassed-by-affection" stage. (At least in public).

George on his first birthday. Baby Boy looks so much like him!

I probably say this every year but it is always true in that George is a huge help to me! He is very responsible in helping with the little ones. His sister adores him and loves to get piggy-back rides from him. He also helps with Baby Boy in any way that he can. While he is only 9 he watches out for his younger siblings while working on the farm and at the races or just in playing outside. One of George's favorite things to do is drive our golf cart around the yard and he is quite good at it. He enjoys building with legos which is one thing he really wanted for his birthday.

This summer George has wanted to earn extra money to save for a remote control truck and so he has been cutting grass for Opa (his great-grandpa) each week and others when needed. From what I hear, he does a good job.

While George has struggled with reading due to being mildly dyslexic, he perseveres and his tutor has repeatedly said that she has never had a student that works as hard and does as well as George. We are so proud of him!

I still love George's freckles, despite the fact that he doesn't!

This year we were at the races and so "officially" celebrated George's birthday last night. I love tradition and try to create birthday traditions for the children. George is all for that and reminded me on Saturday night to make sure he woke to streamers in his doorway as always. I have made a reusable one with ribbons tied to rope which makes it easy for me and fun to walk through a doorway of ribbons. He chose his breakfast of caramel rolls (not something I make often as they are not healthy in the least). For his birthday meal he selected: corn on the cob, fruit salad, his favorite pasta salad (w/cheese, peppers, radishes) and beets. Yes I did say "beets"! (My craving when pregnant last summer). This boy takes after me in many ways. For the main course we had grilled chicken wrap sandwiches.

Birthday ribbons in the doorway is a birthday tradition.

George wanted an off-road race track cake this year modeled after the track we were at this past weekend. I am getting a bit tired of decorating grass and dirt type cakes but alas, I have a bunch of boys here. It was yummy though! George's favorite is chocolate mint which of course is my favorite also.

You can't tell very well but there are jumps on the cake and his Daddy's race car is taking the checkered flag. I let George help out with decorating this one.

Happy Birthday to my firstborn! You are growing into a special young man. I know God has great things in store for you.

If you are interested, click HERE to read about George's birth story.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Goings on

It is the end of July already, can you believe it?! I was feeling a little overwhelmed with that thought today. Summer is always busy for us being the racing season and at times I feel like it is just passing me by. Racing is a fun thing to do as a family, but it is a lot of work. We are headed to a race this weekend and thankfully this one is only 40 minutes away! We still are staying over one night in the motorhome as John is racing Friday night at 9:30 p.m. and by the time he finishes that would be way too late to drive home. I am wondering if the children will all stay awake to even watch him.

I never did update on the last race which was two weeks ago in Bark River, MI. We really like the area and especially like the Bible Church we attend when visiting. They are always so welcoming and ask how racing is going, etc. My parents were able to come and cheer John on and it is always nice to add to our fan club. In the first race he was in second place when he lost 2nd gear (okay, I know it isn't good but am clueless as to what it really means but maybe some of you know what I am talking about). However, he was still able to keep the competition going and was holding for third place when the two in the lead got in a tangle and took each other out in the last lap and John crossed the finish in FIRST!!! That was so exciting!

John was not able to fix his transmission for Sunday's race but ran without 2nd gear. He was not expecting to be on the podium at all but found that during the race he was not only able to keep up with the lead pack but also gain on them. It was an amazing race that we were on the edge of our seats for and John finished in FIRST again!!! It turns out that it was a miracle that he won both days as when the transmission was taken apart it fell apart and it should not have even worked at all. That is pretty amazing and I know that God was watching over John every step of the way.

So the past two weeks John has been putting in a new transmission and shifter in the midst of every day life. Kind of crazy around here. Never a dull moment, although I would really enjoy one right now.

Here is John's fan club minus his Mom who is taking the picture and his Dad who is a spotter for the race. He stands past the railing on a platform right in line with where we are seated (can't see him here).

Friday, July 18, 2008

Show & Tell Friday -- Baby Gadget

One of my favorite baby gadgets is the baby safe feeder. I bought one back when George was a baby and at that time it was a simple one, white mesh with a plastic rim that screwed onto a handle. We would take it everywhere we went and it was especially handy at restaurants to keep him occupied with food while we ate. I could fill it with whatever veggie or fruit was on my plate or at the salad bar. The white soon became quite stained and did not look appealing and now other companies have updated the design.

Baby Boy had his first taste of food in a mesh feeder this week while we enjoyed our meal. The look on his face was priceless as he sucked on the fruit, then stopped to study this thing in his hands, and sucked again. He has had a bit of watermelon, cooked carrots, and mango. The mango he did not want to let go of for anything when it was time to clean him up. Obviously this does not work with all food and so I will now begin to use my next favorite baby gadget, a baby food grinder. Maybe another post.

To see other Show & Tells please visit CanadaGirl.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Baby's doctor visit

Baby Boy had his checkup at our family doctor this week. While he was in the hospital they had a pediatrician consult. She had thought that Baby may have asthma being that he has been in the hospital twice in his 8 months (first was RSV though) and he has had eczema so badly which is related. She wanted to put him on a daily preventative inhaled steriod which I was not comfortable with. Afterall, this was his first problem with breathing. It began with a cold, then croup and turned to an asthma-type cough. It is very similar to what George had when he was a toddler. That was one of the reasons we totally changed our eating habits/lifestyle. Thankfully George outgrew his need for breathing treatments with every cold by the time he turned 4.

Anyway, in talking with our family doctor, she agreed that we will watch Baby and next time he gets a cold see how he responds and if it would become the asthma-cough again we'll start breathing treatments and will evaluate at that time. She gave me a compliment in that her husband, also a doctor, discharged Baby from the hospital on Thursday and cleared us to go up north. He told his wife, our doctor, that if it were anyone else, there is no way he would have allowed them to go anywhere. He said, "She knows what she is doing!". I guess having six children does give me a little credibility at times. 

Friday, July 11, 2008

Whirlwind couple days

I thought I posted the other day about Baby Boy going to the hospital but realized that I had only saved it as a draft. So I did just post that. But as an update, we are now up north at another race and Baby Boy is doing much better. The doctor is leaning toward this being asthma and after a day and night at the hospital with many breathing treatments we were able to go home. I went home and packed our motorhome the fastest I have ever done -- an hour and hoped I had everything. I called John a number of times the rest of the night with things that I thought of but of course I missed a number of things which we ended up buying today. So, here we are and continuing with breathing treatments every 3 - 4 hours and through the night. He is also on an oral steroid and an antibiotic to prevent possible pneumonia as there was a "haze" on his x-ray. Throughout this Baby Boy has remained happy as can be. The doctor at the hospital told me that he should not look so happy because he was really sick and his lungs were working so hard. I guess his nickname could be "happy wheezer" which is what they dubbed him at his last hospital stay. So I have not slept in my bed and I miss that but thankfully was able to get a good night of rest last night as these whirlwind few days have been quite exhausting. Anyway, we are off to go swimming and this post may sound a little rushed or confusing and if so, sorry but I wanted to update.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

To the hospital again!

Just a quick post to let you know that I Baby Boy is being admitted to the hospital with breathing problems. Our little ones have been sharing yucky germs lately and he finally picked it up. He had croup on Monday night so we were up for a few hours treating that. Last night he was coughing quite a bit, even with the breathing treatments we did. I thought I better have him see the doctor before we head up north tomorrow, just to be sure. Well, today his chest is sucking in when breathing and his nostrils are flaring and the doctor would rather he be in the hospital and hopefully only overnight. He had a breathing treatment there but didn't respond as well as she wanted. Please pray that this would clear quickly. We are supposed to leave tomorrow night for the weekend and today is my packing day. I am not sure what we will do at this point. I'll let you know when we are home.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Baby Boy is 8 months!

Baby boy has certainly been changing as of late. For awhile I thought he would be like his sister, just content to sit and watch the world go by but I guess not. He has been rolling from his belly to his back for awhile now which caused problems sleeping. Seeing as he only sleeps on his belly, when he would roll over he was unable to fall asleep until we rolled him back over. Suddenly, the other day I found he had rolled from his back to his belly all on his own and now it seems he has always been rolling. He also began to lift himself up on anything he could grab hold of. He looks like a little body builder sitting at the base of my chair here, grabbing the bottom rung and pulling himself up. This week he started a new sound, every dad's favorite -- "da da da da da!" He also cut his first two bottom teeth. So many changes in just a matter of weeks!

His baby days seem to be flying by but I am thankful he is such a cuddlebug. Over and again I enjoy the exhilarating feeling of holding him in my arms, taking in his baby smell, feeling his breath on my face, and his chubby little arms wrapped around my neck. There is absolutely nothing like the feel of a baby in your arms! God is so good to give us such wonderful gifts!

I am trying to think of a blog nickname for him as "baby boy" and "he" are not too exciting. My nephew recently held him and said "he has too many rumples! So I thought of "Rumples". My Mom calls him "Michelin baby" and my sister calls him "Chubbers" but then the name has to carry him into boyhood. If you have any ideas please comment and let me know.

This picture is a little blurry but I like it as this is how Baby Boy looks most often. A smile beneath the thumb. He loves his thumb and will suck either one. He is a very happy baby and it doesn't take much to make him smile.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Annual Strawberry Picking

Last weekend the boys and I went with my Dad to pick strawberries as we do every year. This time my sister and my nephew joined us for the fun. The boys worked well, had fun and our buckets were full in no time. Although, they only like to pick the big strawberries and tend to leave the smaller ones for us to come behind and pick. We have been eating strawberry everything this week: strawberry bread with strawberry butter, strawberry milkshakes, strawberry-orange julius, and just plain strawberries as there is nothing quite like the taste of fresh picked berries. I am too busy to make any jam at this point so am only washing and freezing the berries whole as we go through them so quickly making smoothies and such.

Here is our group.

Tank and his big strawberry

This is where I found Tank when we got home. He had only picked enough strawberries in his bucket for himself so he sat down under the tree and enjoyed his berries and has a red mouth to prove it. :)

Muddy Racing

We are enjoying the summer and I am sorry I am so slow in posting! I wanted to share a few pictures from my husband's last race. We were in Crandon WI and were able to stay with my in-laws who live nearby.

The weekend was good and my husband is now in 2nd for overall points. He came in 3rd on Saturday after the two cars in the lead pulled off due to car problems. Sunday was a rainy day and that combined with the dirt track made for a muddy mess. My husband did not relish the idea of racing in that but the show must go on. We stood in the rain watching as the cars made their way around the track mostly staying far away from each other to reduce the mud on their face. My husband finished the race in 2nd place which was wonderful but it was a tough race for him as we found out that the tear-offs for his helmet either ran out or were stuck. John was unable to see anything at one point and ended up lifting his visor for at least 5 laps. When he came back to the pits he was a mess, his car was a mess, and his new racesuit (from his sponsor) was a mess. He had mud in his eyes and needed to flush them out and he said they felt gritty for a day or two. John said how the race dragged on and he just wanted it to be over but he persevered and did a great job!

Sunday morning we went to church and then had a picnic lunch at an area lake. John is looking at the storm clouds approaching.

Getting out of the car after the race. He looks weary but he was happy to be finished and in 2nd!

You can see how muddy the visor is which is why John couldn't see anything. Typically the plastic tear-offs slide past to give him a clear view. So you can see what was flying at his face when he lifted his visor. Yuck!
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