Friday, February 27, 2009

SNOW Mountain

I don't know what I expected out of an event at Snow Mountain, but considering it was taking place in the deep south, I certainly wasn't expecting this:

Abby kept telling us she got to ride on the snow in a "tool", and we just kept making excited faces and saying "that's awesome!" It wasn't until Josh's mom sent me the pictures from their weekend that we finally knew what she was trying to tell us. She got to sled down the man-made "snow mountain" in a tube. Here she is getting ready for her turn...

...and here's what she had to look forward to!

Some of the other fun things they got to do were build a snowman stand by a snowman that another little boy there built...

...and have a snowball fight with PaPaw!

Natalie had a great time making snow angels...

...but I'm not sure Abby really understood the concept.

GrandPam said the girls' favorite part, though, was splashing around in the puddles in their new froggy galoshes.

Thank you PaPaw and GrandPam for a fun and fabulous weekend!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Quiet Weekend

What are some of the characteristics I think of when I think of Abigail? She has a tender heart, she loves to serve by helping others, she's one smart little cookie...and she talks.

She talks a lot.

Remember when I mentioned how much she looks like Josh's sister, Rebekah? Well let's just say they're alike in more ways than one. (I love you, Seester) :-)

Our family was supposed to head over to Marietta this past weekend to visit with Josh's family, but after "the fall" we decided to stick around here. But because GrandPam had already gotten tickets to Snow Mountain (which is Stone Mountain covered in a bajillion tons of imported snow!), Abigail and her cousin, Natalie, still headed east for the weekend.

So just a couple of hours after she left, we noticed something. Man, was it quiet! I will say was neat to spend some devoted time "talking" with the little two, but we sure missed Abs.

A whole Snow Mountain picture fest is coming, but here's what was going on in our house for the weekend:
Before we could play, Jack and Izzy had some very important business to take care of on the remotes:

But then it was time for a game of chase:

Oops...took a spill!

Of course, there was definitely some "flat-on-the-floor-getting-tickled-until-you-can't-breathe" involved!

But that can only last so long. There was a time for rest as well. Whether it was cuddling with a favorite blankie...

...or curling up with a favorite buddy (and yes, there is a story behind the "beans" shirt)...

...we all enjoyed an afternoon of rest.

But of course, that was short-lived, and we were up and going again soon. We read some books:

And we laughed at how much fun it is to wear "box hats":

But best of all, we posed for the camera and let Mommy get some sweet shots:

What a weekend!!

And in case you were wondering (and I know you were!), yes, we did spend a good bit of the day in our jammies!!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Top Ten

As we've been walking through these past couple of weeks (sorry Honey, no pun intended!), we've been talking about some of the things we're thankful for. It's something we like to do when things seem to be kind of rough...especially when things seem to be rough. Despite the hardships we face at times, we still recognize that we're incredibly blessed. We have a peace in our hearts that can't be shaken by any of the external circumstances of our lives. We have a joy that can't be stolen by the sorrows that may come our way. We love, and we are loved.

And that's something to be thankful for.

Now with that said, I give you a Top Ten of some of the other things we're thankful for:

10. Family. In a matter of hours of Josh's accident, four family members from four different cities had come to be with us and the children. I was still feeling pretty overwhelmed at the time, and it was such a welcome relief to have them step in and take care of everything that had to be done. They've been there for us in countless ways during this ordeal. And I'm pretty sure the kids would think it was just perfection if they all moved in full-time!

9. Friends. Our friends have gone out of their way to support us in whatever we've needed during this time. Whether it was meeting us at the house to get Josh upstairs when he first got out of the hospital, going to the pharmacy to get his prescription filled, or driving him around while he can't drive himself, our friends have ministered to us in so many ways.

8. Children who can sleep through almost anything. I think I mentioned this in a previous post, but despite the chaos of what was happening at the foot of the stairs, the munchkins never made a peep at the top of the stairs. That was one of the first blessings we recognized out of all of this.

7. Wheelchairs, walkers, and bath chairs. Really. You have no idea.

6. Meals on wheels. Our church, family, and friends have provided almost all of our dinners since we got home from the hospital. And that's more of a blessing and a help than I can possibly express!! Our delightfully happy children lose a smidgen of their joy around the 5:00 hour. They're tired, they're in extra need of cuddling, and they're hungry. And that makes for a tough time for me trying to get dinner prepared (especially with another larger family member who's feeling the same way as the little ones!)

5. Laughter. Those first few days after Josh's accident weren't exactly teeming over with laughter, but we definitely found moments (in between Josh's morphine-pump pushes) to laugh together.

4. Outside-the-box thinking. Family and friends have really been thinking about ways to serve and help us. And it's been neat to see some of the great ideas that have come from containers to refrigerate leftovers (from the fantastic dinners we've been given), paper plates so that we don't have to worry about doing dishes every night, magazines to keep Josh entertained when he was stuck in the bed, bagels and cream cheese for breakfast the next morning, and the list goes on. I'm definitely tucking some of these ideas away for when it's our turn to serve someone else!

3. Yahtzee. Do you know how great this game is?!? We lay in bed and play it every night now!!

2. MedJet. In case that doesn't ring a bell, that's the company Josh works for. At the time of his wipeout, he didn't have a single day of vacation or sick leave; however, they gave him a full week of time off to spend at home healing (not to mention the two days they gave him while he was still in the hospital). Josh is so happy there, and he would love for you to check the company out ( (Yes, that was most certainly a shameless plug. But really, check it out!)

1. The peace that comes from knowing that God loves us and that He works all things together for our good (Romans 8:28). We don't always understand His ways, but we always trust in them.

Today was a big day for Josh...the surgeon had told him he needed to be out of work for at least two weeks, but just one week into that time frame, Josh felt like he could go back to work full-time. So after about an hour of getting everything ready last night (I felt like I was sending him off for his first day of school), he was ready to hit the ground running this morning. I'm just full of inappropriate puns today, aren't I? :-)

I was kind of resistant to his going back so early, but much to my pleasant surprise, he did great today. He's a little tired tonight, but he's feeling wonderful after "finally becoming productive again". His words...definitely not mine! Our prayer and the prayer of many others has been that he will have a fast recovery that defies what the doctors said was possible.

Looks like he's well on his way.

I ♥ Black & White

This week's theme on I ♥ Faces is "b&w". The thing I love about black and white photography is that you can take almost any shot, turn it from color to b&w, and it seems to automatically take on a deeper, more emotional feel. This is one of my all-time favorites of Jack (as you can tell from our blog header). He has the most gorgeous eyes, and this shot totally captures that. His eyes are definitely the windows to his soul...and what a happy little soul it is!!

Click on the button below to see all the fun b&w entries for this week's contest!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Guess What's In There

Oh, what a difference one week makes. At this time last Sunday, we had only been home from the hospital for 24 hours. Josh was only awake for a small percentage of the day, and his only means of transportation was by wheelchair or walker (and even that was limited by his pain and fatigue).

Now that he's been home for over a week, he's having much less pain, he's able to do a lot more, and he's moving around much better. We even went to church this morning! It feels so good to get back to doing the things we love.

And one little thing that we love is playing this goofy game that you probably haven't heard of. I've mentioned it in a previous post...anybody know about "CornHole?" CornHole used to make an appearance at casual company parties at Josh's previous job, and he loved it so much that my sister, Bethany, and her husband hand-crafted a CornHole game to give Josh for Christmas last year. But it wasn't just any CornHole was a Boston Red Sox version!!

This is us several weeks ago playing CornHole out in the driveway:

Check out his form...Josh takes great pride in his beanbag-throwing skills. (He's actually being a total nut because he knows I'm taking pictures!)

As you can imagine, CornHole in the traditional sense isn't going to be on Josh's to-do list for the next couple of months while he's on crutches. So in thinking of something they could do to lift Josh's spirits, Bethany and Bailey had a brilliant idea! See for yourself...

It's a teeny-tiny version of CornHole, and each of the beanbags is tied to a string so that Josh can pull it back again after each throw. Hysterical!!!!!!

I laughed until I cried when I saw what they had done. Perfect gift! Oh, and back to my post title...guess what's in there!

Yep, that's right! Sweet little Emma (on the right) is going to be a big sister!

And Brayden (at just two years old) is going to have two little siblings in September. Hooray! Please join us in praying for the health of our newest little niece or nephew (by the way, Bailey's trying to convince Bethany to let this one be a surprise...that's what we did with Izzy, and it was so much fun!)

Please pray for Bethany also as she has a lot on her plate being pregnant with two little ones to care for as well. She developed gestational diabetes with Emma, and she's more likely to have it again with each subsequent pregnancy. She needs to be covered in prayer for rest and health during these next few months.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Who Will It Be?

It's been really surprising to learn what we took for granted before Josh's accident.

Getting dressed independently. Going up or down a staircase without having to sit on your bottom. Making a sandwich.

These are just a few of the things that Josh hasn't been able to do since last Thursday. But I can see it happening...we are officially re-entering normalish life now (albeit very, very slowly). The activities above are actually things that Josh has begun to accomplish on his own over the past couple of days. And while they may seem minor to you, they're pretty big milestones for us!

It's been so hard on Josh to be forced to take a spectator role in our home. He's normally extremely hands-on with so many of the daily happenings around here, but when the surgeon talked with us in the hospital, he explained to us how vital it was for Josh to be completely non-weight-bearing on his right leg for around two months. He said that any amount of weight at this point could rotate and pull away any or all of the twelve screws holding Josh's leg and ankle together. And who wants to have that gruelling surgery redone?

On a side note, we've got a little bet going on around here. Feel free to play along if you'd like!

Learning to walk is a slow, arduous task that requires great dedication, effort, concentration, and persistence. It's not a skill that comes easily, but once mastered, it brings with it freedom, independence, and joy.

So who will it be?

Who will be the first to take those all-important first steps?

JOSH or IZZY? :-)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


What do you say we take a little break from the drama that's been going on around here over the past week?

I've mentioned this fun new site ( before, and I just happened to look this afternoon and saw that this week's photo contest theme is "Wonder". I immediately thought of this picture that I took of a pint-sized client not too long ago. I love how intrigued she seems with my camera. She kept staring right at me, and I was able to grab some really sweet shots as she tried to figure me out.

Make sure to check out all the fun faces at I ♥ Faces!!

**OOPS--just checked the site, and I missed the 6:00 deadline. Oh well, she's still such a cutie-pie that I'll leave her picture up for all to enjoy! :-)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A "Leisurely" Stroll

Today has been a good bit harder for Josh than yesterday was. Yesterday was the first day that he didn't feel pretty rotten, so he tried to get up and go a lot more than he probably should have. And he's paying for it today. His pain is managed very well, but it's going to take a while to build his endurance back up. And he's feeling wiped out from going to his doctor's appointment, sitting outside for awhile watching the kids play, taking several trips up and down the stairs, and going for a stroll around the neighborhood.

If you need a good laugh, let me tell you what "going for a stroll" entails around here these days. First of all, it took every bit of 25 minutes to get everything situated to go out. And that doesn't even count the 30 minutes of mental prep it took to get ready. Once Josh had made it down the staircase from our bedroom to the living room, we had to figure out what to do with the kiddos while we got him down the front steps. Keep them inside and risk Josh getting tripped up with one of them? Or send them outside and risk one of them taking off towards the street? Neither sounded like a very good choice, so I opted to hold Isabel and give the other two jobs to do to help Daddy. That, combined with the fact that they were intrigued with watching him manuever his way outside, kept them close by.

Once we were out, it was time to get the "lightweight" wheelchair out of the van for Josh to sit in. And boy, am I glad they sent that one, because if 107 pounds is "lightweight", I can only imagine what the normal one would feel like! (That was a bit of an exaggeration, but my biceps would probably beg to differ.)

OK, so now Josh is strapped into the wheelchair, Izzy is in his lap, Abigail and Jack are holding hands, and we're ready to go. I start to push the "lightweight" chair that now contains 240 pounds worth of my family, and I made it all of 8 feet before a near-disaster. As the chair went from the driveway to the street, it tipped forward and came nauseatingly close to dumping all of its contents (smashed leg, baby, and all) into the road. But the crisis was averted (barely), and we continued on.

Another 8 feet, and Izzy decides she doesn't want to sit in Daddy's lap anymore, so now I'm wearing her in a baby carrier across my chest, and I'm still pushing what feels like a bazillion pounds ahead of me. To get our math in for the day, we added up how much weight I was then responsible for transporting (myself included) to guess?

399 pounds (NOT an exaggeration!)

When we first started out for our walk, I was thinking how chilly it was and how I wished I had grabbed a jacket on the way out. When we pulled back into the driveway, I was sweating bullets and was ready for a six-hour nap!

I make it sound like somewhat of an unpleasant afternoon, but it was actually a really sweet time for our family. The weather was gorgeous, the company was even better, and we talked about how blessed we are. We've got a lot to be thankful for!

Please pray for Josh's spirits tonight (as well as his physical health). Today's been a harder day for him. Thank you, and we love you!

Monday, February 16, 2009

It's Good to Be Home

We're definitely learning a new way of life around here. Since Josh is supposed to keep his foot elevated for two weeks, and he's on "no-weight-bearing" status for 6-8 weeks, our daily routine is looking drastically different than it did at this time last week.

The first difference you notice when you walk into our house is the enormous amount of geriatric orthopaedic equipment we have now.
And that doesn't even count the all of the bathroom gear!!

Another change you might see is our new eating arrangement. We're big on sitting at the table and enjoying our meals together as a family. But since Josh is limited on being able to come downstairs, we moved our Valentine's dinner up to him. :-)

This is definitely proving to be a challenging situation, but we're making the most of it. Josh still manages some cuddle-time with the kiddos...

...and Jack knows how to add excitement to almost any situation!

Doctor's Appointment (WARNING: yucky pictures attached)
Josh had his first post-op appointment today, and he got a great report. The doctor said his leg looks super for four days after surgery, and he was really happy with today's x-rays. The plate and screws are all in just the right places (too bad they're the only things holding his bones in the right places!)

Part of me wishes that I had taken a picture of Josh's foot and leg before the surgery because it's impossible to know how horrendous it looked if you didn't see it for yourself. I'm guessing, though, that you're probably reading this and thinking how thankful you are that I didn't take that picture. Well, if you're not the "intrigued-with-medical-issues" type, then go ahead and quit reading now. Because here's what his ankle looked like when they removed the dressing today:

We're guessing the shorter incision is about four inches long, and the longer one is maybe 6 or 7 inches. There are also four other smaller incisions around various parts of his ankle. These pictures don't quite do it justice...Josh was really interested to see how it all looked, but they had to take him back to x-ray in the wheelchair because the sight of his ankle just about did him in!

As we've been talking about how everything played out last week, we're realizing that God really protected us and provided for us in so many ways. One of the biggest blessings is that our children slept through the whole ordeal at our house that morning. There was screaming, crying, alarms being set off (OOPS...forgot to turn it off before the paramedics arrived), three firetrucks and ambulances coming down the street with full lights and sirens, six paramedics working at the bottom of the stairs just below the kids' bedrooms, neighbors coming in and out, and many other things going on that didn't exactly lend to a peaceful start to the day.

But they never made a peep.

And that's even more of an exceptional blessing when you know how completely terrified Abby is in this type of scenario. I'm normally pretty level-headed in emergencies, but I have no problem admitting that I was a full-blown basketcase that morning. And I can only imagine how the kids would have reacted if they had seen what was happening.

This is only one example of things we've noticed looking back on that day, and we know there will be countless others just like it in the weeks to come.

Please continue to pray for Josh's recovery. He has to see the surgeon every two weeks until further notice, and we are asking God for continued quick improvement. Please pray for me as I'm stepping into a new set of roles in our home. I need strength and patience throughout these next few months. And there are some others factors that play into this for me...please just pray for my peace. This has proven to be much more of a traumatic experience than I would have ever thought it could be.

And to those of you who have ministered to our family through calls of encouragement, meals, visits to lend a hand with the little ones, babysitting, and other acts of service, we have been so touched by your love. I don't know what to say to people that really have helped you keep going with "life as normal", so I'll just tell you that we love you, we appreciate you, and we thank God for you. Seriously.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


I'll flashback to the hospital first...

I kept having to do the "I'm a photographer" disclaimer because I got some really funny looks carrying my camera around. I didn't take many shots, because documenting this process never even crossed my mind until I came home to pack a bag for the hospital stay.

One thing was for certain, in this age of medical horror stories, the surgeon was doing everything in his power to make sure he operated on the correct leg.

Not only did Josh have "yes" and some procedure initials written on his knee, but he also had several other indicators on his foot and ankle from when he was in the ER.

Is it even necessary to point out the irony here?

Josh had bones protruding from various parts of his leg, his ankle was non-existent, and when his left foot pointed up to the ceiling, his right foot pointed straight out to the right. But just in case none of that registered on the creepy scale, they marked him all up with "x's" and "yes's". Hey, better safe than sorry, right?!?
A little less than 24 hours post-op, the physical therapist came in and got Josh up and moving. Of course, "up and moving" meant hobbling from the hospital bed to the chair using a walker...that was all he had in him to begin with.

But the second day after surgery, she really kicked it up into high gear, and they took a stroll down the hallway.
I'll catch you up on some of the home shots later. We're about to enjoy some vegetarian spinach lasagna courtesy of our meat-loving friends, the Cobbs. Now that's friendship! :-)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

What It's Really About

I don't know about you, but Valentine's Day really snuck up on us this year! We went into the hospital early Thursday morning, and when we got out today, the special day was here. Josh and I have never really been big on the "Day of Love", but I think it may have started having a little more significance for us as of today.

There have been so many times over the past three days that I've talked with God about my precious he lay on the floor of our foyer crying out in agonizing pain, as he lay on the ER bed silent from sedation, as we exchanged kisses and "I love you's" when they wheeled him away to surgery, and as I saw him for the first time out of recovery.

This has all the makings for one of those "I didn't know what I had until..." stories, but thankfully, I am (and always have been) keenly aware of the blessing God has given to me and our children. Josh is such a man of faith, kindness, integrity, and love. He loves us, and he loves his Maker even more.

The house is quiet now.

Josh is resting comfortably upstairs.

We'll all sleep under one roof tonight.

God has blessed us immensely, and for that, we are so thankful.

I know I promised pictures today, but it's been a long day. I'm going to close here, grab a couple of warm, homemade muffins (thank you Craig and Alissa!) and go upstairs to spend time with my precious husband.

After all, it is Valentine's Day.


Last night took a bit of a turn in the wrong direction when Josh began running a pretty high fever. His nurses kept a really close eye on his temp. throughout the night, and thankfully it was back down to normal early this morning. We were told that this might keep him from coming home today, but thankfully it didn't, and he's resting comfortably in our bed at home now. We're all wiped out and ready for a nap, so I'll post another note (complete with pictures) later.
Thanks for your prayers...God has answered them in so many wonderful ways!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Please Pray

I'm sorry that I haven't gotten this out's just been a whirlwind these past two days. Josh took a spill down the stairs early yesterday morning, and broke his leg/ankle. I'll spare you the details, but let's just say that it was immediately obvious what had happened. Because of the excruciating pain and the fact that the little ones were sleeping soundly upstairs (it was a tremendous blessing that they didn't wake up to see what was going on!), I called 911 around 5:45 in the morning, and by 10:50 Josh was in surgery with an excellent foot and ankle orthopaedic surgeon. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

As I ran down the stairs when it happened, Josh was screaming that he had broken his ankle, and he had severe deformities of his foot and lower leg. The firetrucks and amulances (all three of them) were here within a few minutes. They did what they could to stabilize the injury, and they started an IV right there in the foyer to give him morphine because he started to go into shock. My next door neighbor came to stay with the kids while I left right behind Josh for the hospital. Once there, they did x-rays and saw that Josh had dislocated each bone in his ankle and had broken his tibia and fibia in four places. They were having a hard time managing his pain(he was maxed out on morphine), and they were concerned that one of the bones was going to tear through the skin, so the ortho. doctor came down to do a reduction under conscious sedation. The pain was much more manageable at that point, and he went in for surgery shortly after that.

Once the doctor got in his ankle, he realized the injury was even more severe than he had originally thought. So the surgery took longer than expected, but he said it was very successful. Here are the stats from the surgery and Josh's recovery:
six incisions
1 metal plate
12 screws (two of which will be removed in 10-12 weeks)
2 weeks out of work
6-8 weeks on a walker and crutches
8 weeks without driving
and several months of physical therapy

There are several additional factors that play into this scenario (I'll tell more about that later), but please pray for all of us during this time. I have so many specifics to pray about, but I'll leave it at that for now. I don't know when I'll be able to write an update...maybe tomorrow if we get to go home. God has already answered several specific prayers, and I know He'll give us everything we need during this time. Please pray that we'll remember that when we get discouraged!

We don't have access to e-mail while we're at the hospital, but we have our phones. Love to all, and thanks for your prayers and for the help so many of you have already given to us!! You have ministered to us in countless ways, and we really do thank God for you (Phil. 1:3).

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Funny

After meeting Josh for lunch, the kids and I headed over to Kohl's to do a couple of returns. We've got a nice little budget going right now, so I knew I couldn't go full-blown shopping, but I did want to grab something in place of the pants I was returning.

Sit back, get comfortable, and imagine this scene with me...

I'm wearing Isabel in the baby carrier, I'm pushing Jack in the stroller (not the small umbrella's the tractor-sized Graco stroller that you can put entire car seats into), and Abby is walking beside me holding my hand. I've already scoured the Misses section, but nothing there fit quite right. Now I'm off to the next section over to find some replacement pants. I think to myself, "Ooh...I love these. Let's give them a try."

So now I'm entering the JUNIORS dressing room with my pint-sized entourage in tow (keep in mind that the diaper-bag-for-three counts as a whole other child itself). As Abby, Jack, the semi-truck stroller, the 58-pound diaper bag, Izzy (who looks like a half-asleep tree frog plastered against my torso), and I squeeze into the dressing room designed for an 76-pound teenager, I hear something peculiar.

What is that? Are you talking to me?

Ah yes, I know that voice.


And it tells me to look in the mirror at the hilarity of my situation. Am I really a 31-year-old shopping in the Juniors section? And more than that, am I really a 31-year-old mom of three shopping in the Juniors section?

So I wiped a couple of goopy noses, changed an atomic diaper, stared Irony right in the face, and chanted I. Will. Not. Wear. Mom. Jeans. Then I paid for my size ___ cute jeans, went straight to the minivan and spent the next 11 minutes loading up my loot, the aforementioned "stroller", and each of the four children I had with me (that includes the diaper bag).

I don't know about where you live, but it's GORGEOUS here today. My Juniors jeans and I might just have to take the kids for a walk later. Enjoy your day! :-)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

In Lieu of Wordless Wednesday...

...I'd like to share a little dialogue I had with Abby this morning. We work throughout the day on "academic" skills in the context of the regular playing and conversing that we do. Here's proof that we have a ways to go:

ME: Abby, do you know what rhymes with "cat"?

ABBY: Umm, hat?

ME: Yes, good job! Do you know what rhymes with "cup"?

(thoughtful silence)


ME: Super! What rhymes with "cup"?

ABBY: Fishsticks!!!!!!!!

Note to self: keep working on rhyming words.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Eyes Have It

That's the theme for this week's contest on I ♥ Faces.

When I saw what the theme was going to be, I immediately thought of this picture that I took a year or so ago of Abby. I love capturing all of her different expressions, and this is one of my favorites!

Make sure you check this site out! It's got contests for children, adults, and pets, so join in the fun. And congrats to Anna (who got me hooked on this fun little contest)...her daughter's picture was on one of the collages on the website. She's a doll!!!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Did you ever wonder?

Did you ever wonder what a two-year-old boy (who is bored out of his mind from "taking it easy") would do with 90 seconds alone with a pair of scissors.

Wonder no more...

Now I'm definitely not complaining. I'm fully aware of the fact that the damage could have been MUCH worse. No new haircut. No destroyed books. And most importantly, no missing fingers. So we've survived our first "guess-who-found-the-scissors" moment! :-)
(And in case you're wondering, that face is a mixture of guilt over what was done and fear of what's to come with a smidgen of excitement about getting to play with the grown-up scissors.)