Friday, February 25, 2011

A Phone Call

I received a phone call today.

From our adoption resource developer. We call her "the adoption lady."

It seems we are getting closer! She said she has to finish writing our home study and turn it in to her supervisor. She has to take a few pictures of our family. She said by mid-March we should be able to start the process of choosing our child (or children).

Choosing our child.

Catching Up on Other Things

We recently participated in our local AWANA Grand Prix. This is a very anticipated event in our AWANA schedule! The kids get very excited about making their cars and racing them. Even the adult and youth leaders get in on the action!

TNT clubbers' (3rd - 6th graders) cars

Will placing his car on the track

Mike, ready to release the cars in the TNT races

Will was SO excited to place 1st in Design! He's been trying to win 1st Place Design for a couple of years now. He made a submarine this year. He christened it the USS AWANA. If you look closely to the left side of the submarine, you can see that he even made a little propeller (by taking apart one of his dad's fishing lures) and attached it to the rear of the sub.

Kate (participating in the leaders category) builds her car for speed. But she always manages to come up with a pretty cool design as well.

Kate ~ the double winner ~ won 1st Place in both Speed and Design!


How do you celebrate Valentine's Day in your home? I certainly don't like the way it is such a commercialized holiday (like all holidays). I don't like for my husband to feel undue pressure to run out and spend money buying things just to convince me of his love for me. 

On the other hand, I don't think it's a bad idea to set aside a day to focus on showing our love for each other. So... in our house, we meet somewhere in the middle. We do give gifts, just little expressions of our love. And we try to focus on becoming more loving to others, as well as trying to develop characteristics that make us more lovable.

This year we gave our daughter a beautiful red rose, to tell her that like the rose, she too is beautiful all year long and not just on this one day. My husband and I want her to know that she is special, that she is created in the image of Almighty God. And that she is a treasure to us. This is a turbulent time for her--those teenage years--when she is forming in her mind an idea of what true beauty looks like. We want her to know that it is so important to focus on being beautiful on the inside... of being conformed to Christ's image. We want her to find her beauty and her worth in Christ alone.

Don't we all need to know that? That what this world says about us doesn't matter. That despite what the media tells us, beauty and worth are not measured by our dress size, or by whether we are wearing the latest fashions. That we are created in the image of God, and that we are to reflect His glory... that's what true beauty is. If you are a daughter of the Most High King, then you are the apple of His eye! And that is beautiful. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Basketball Play-offs and Championships

The girls' JV and Varsity Basketball teams at Appling Christian Academy (Kate plays on both teams) made it to the State Tournament. The JV team won the Region Championship, as well as the State Championship! The Varsity team was runner-up for State Champions!

We traveled to north Georgia for the second round of play-offs and for the "big dance." The games were very exciting! We played ball games Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Friday morning at the Assembly to recognize the Region winners

JV Girls Region Champions!

JV Girls State Champions!

The seniors accepting the 2nd place trophy for the Varsity team

As you can see, we had an exciting basketball season! Unfortunately the boys' Varsity team didn't make it to the play-offs, but our boys' JV team made it to the second round of play-offs. However, all the teams worked hard and are to be commended.  

Update on Mike

Mike started physical therapy for his knee on Friday. Now he is feeling the pain! They said he would.

He has to go to therapy twice a week, and he has to do several exercises at home several times a day. He also has to continue the ice therapy three times a day. (And yes, my poor family does a great job of tolerating me following them around with a camera ready at all times!)

As you can see, he is never alone. (Ha Ha) Lizzie jumped up onto Mike and decided to lie there with him while he was using the ice therapy brace.

This is what his knee looked like when we took off the bandaging. Ick! Of course it looked much better after we cleaned the wounds with peroxide. He doesn't have to wear the bulky bandaging now. We just have to keep the wounds clean and covered with steri-strips. Bathing is an issue because he hasn't yet been released to get the wounds wet (other than dabbing them with peroxide).

He goes back to the doctor for his post-operative check-up on Wednesday when he will be given a brace to wear.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Mike's Knee Surgery

We arrived at the hospital at 6:45 this morning. We left the hospital at 10:20 this morning. In and out pretty quickly. Fairly uncomplicated procedure. God is good.

He has spent most of the day in the recliner, as to be expected. Surprisingly, his pain has been tolerable. So much so that he has chosen not to take the pain medicine the doctor prescribed, but Tylenol instead. Hmm.

He begins physical therapy on Friday. They actually want him using his leg as soon as possible. In the meantime, he has to use ice therapy for the swelling and inflammation. It's a pretty neat contraption they sent us home with, a machine kind of like a small cooler that holds ice water which is pumped through circulatory tubes connected to a brace wrapped around his knee. Pretty cool. Except that I have to keep adding ice, because he has to wear it continuously, night and day for the next 3 days.

He is not one who enjoys sitting very much either. He's a fairly active type, so he has already become quite bored. Lord, help us over the next few days :)

Polar Ice Therapy

This is a picture of the inside of Mike's knee. The arthroscopic surgery is really cool, as it allows you to watch the procedure being performed. This image is one of the lesser gross-looking ones. Not sure just what is happening here... I know the doctor had to remove a bone fragment that had broken off the knee, as well as the tissue build-up around the fragment. He also had to remove part of a certain band from the side of the knee.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Plantar Fasciitis, Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, oh yeah, and Knee Surgery Too!

I've been having heel pain in my right foot for over a month now. I'm not one to complain much with pain, so I've been taking ibuprofen and just hoping it would eventually go away. Not so.

I finally decided to go to the doctor last Friday. I was diagnosed with plantar fasciitis. What in the world?? Apparently I have somehow injured my plantar fascia.

So the doctor set up a treatment plan involving stretching exercises, ice therapy, an anti-inflammatory drug, and wearing this hideous night splint.

Sleeping in this contraption is not much fun. The first night I woke up what seemed like every hour, it was so uncomfortable! The next morning, as I was telling my husband about it, he laughed when he realized that I had not readjusted those long straps that run along the outer edges. I had them pulled too tight and my foot was pulled too far up! Good grief!

The next night I loosened the straps a little, but still I wasn't taking any chances. I took Tylenol PM before going to bed and I only woke up twice. Now it doesn't hurt my foot to wear it, but it is cumbersome and I have to sleep with my foot out from under the covers.

I have to admit that wearing this splint has helped a great deal. And I'm doing my exercises and taking my medicine. So I hope the recovery time won't be too long. And I hope that I don't have to take the cortisone shot that the doctor mentioned. Ouch!

I was supposed to have a follow-up appointment with the doctor in two weeks to see how much progress I am making, but I ended up having to go back today because I've started having some numbness in my toes. When I called the doctor about it, he told me that numbness was definitely not a symptom of plantar fasciitis, so I had to go back to see him today.

He said it could be a couple of different things, but he thinks it is tarsal tunnel syndrome, and that wearing the night splint is aggravating the nerve. So... he said I won't be wearing the night splint as long as he would have liked. And it really seems to be helping the most :(.

Fortunately, the initial treatment plan for tarsal tunnel syndrome is basically the same as for plantar fasciitis (except for wearing the night splint), so I will continue the same exercises. And starting next week I will begin sleeping in the splint every other night, gradually leaving it off altogether. Then I will have a follow-up appointment with the doctor in one month. If I still have the numbness in my toes, he will do a nerve study to see exactly what's going on.

I'm supposed to be staying off my foot and resting it as much as possible. Ha Ha! When a doctor tells a woman to stay off her foot, he may as well put a cast on the foot if he actually expects that to happen! Seriously, as a busy wife and homeschooling mother, I'm not so sure I'm allowed to stay off my feet :) Especially considering the fact that my husband is having knee surgery next week, and he won't be allowed to walk or put any pressure on that leg at all for one week following the surgery.

So, actually he'll be the one laying around staying off his feet, and I'll be up and about, taking care of him. But that's ok. I'm not complaining about that. It is my privilege to take care of him and pamper him a little. I am so grateful that he works hard to provide for our family, and that he allows me to be a stay-at-home mom! And he really is helping me in the evenings with cooking supper while I prop up in the recliner and try to rest it a little. I'm just glad that I'm not having surgery too (the doctor did say that surgery was a last resort if the other treatment options didn't work). Now that would be something, wouldn't it, if we both had surgery and had to be laid up recovering at the same time! Thank goodness our all wise heavenly Father has not allowed that to be!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

2010 Highlights


Kate's small group, with their leader, at DiscipleNow

Australia Co-op with the home school group

Ryan moved back home and decided to commute to college for the 2nd semester, so on some days I had all 3 doing school work at the same time. It felt like the old days :)


Enjoying the snow. Very unusual for the deep south.

Upward Basketball

Kate's 14th birthday party with friends


Awana Grand Prix
Will's car placed 3rd in speed. He was going for design with the wii remote :)

Granddaddy and Uncle Billy's visit

Rick and Christie's farewell reception
We had to say good-bye to our Youth Pastor (of 7 years!) and his family. They left our church in order to to do a church plant in Orlando, FL.

Spring Pictures
Will - 5th grade, Kate - 8th grade


Easter morning
"He has risen; He has risen indeed."

We make the Easter Story Cookies every year. Each year, I think they have outgrown this tradition and will not want to do these, but they always surprise me!

Newly certified scuba divers in our family: Ryan is behind the instructor (the man in the red suit), and Will is to the right of the instructor.

celebrating Ryan's 19th birthday

Birds Co-op with the home school group


Will, receiving his 3rd Book Award during the Awana Awards Ceremony

our vacation to Panama City Beach, Florida
What started out as a wonderful time with friends ended so sadly, as our friends experienced a terrible tragedy in their family. If you missed that post you can read about it here.

All-Stars Softball
And this is how we spent most of our summer, traveling to games. Kate played shortstop most of the time, but she also played 3rd base, pitcher and catcher.


Vacation Bible School ~ Saddle Ridge Ranch

Even the youth helpers and adult workers enjoyed playing games.

We had an opportunity to host in our home two young men from a church youth choir on tour this summer. Playing Guitar Hero with my sons. 


Our church's annual July 4th picnic at Lake Mayer

Lazy summer days playing in the pool

St. Simons Island, Georgia


August brought a transition to our house. Kate began 9th grade at a small Christian school. The first few weeks were bumpy, but she has adjusted very well and is doing wonderfully, both academically and athletically. We just miss her very much at home.

August also saw Ryan moving out again. He transferred to another college, and this time he and his friend are renting an apartment, rather than living in the dorm.

Kate was part of the Eagle Cheer Squad, and cheered for the Eagle Football Team.


Jekyll Island Field Trip to the Georgia Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Center and the Tidelands 4H Center

We got a puppy! Her name is Lizzie and she is a Dashalier (a miniature Daschund/Cavalier Spaniel mix). This is our first inside dog :0 House-breaking and training have been an adventure for sure!


at the Georgia National Fair in Perry, Georgia
We don't show any animals, nor did we enter anything in the exhibits, but we had a wonderful time watching the livestock shows, seeing all the exhibits, enjoying the entertainment, and eating all the great food!

the Eagle Cheer Squad
The Eagle Football team played for the Georgia Christian Athletic Association AA State Championship. We didn't win the game :( so we are the runner-up, but we had an exciting season!

Mike and his daddy ~ celebrating birthdays
Mr. Vinson is 84, Mike is 42


Daddy - Daughter time
at the Auburn vs Georgia game, in Auburn Alabama

The beginning of Will's on-going saga of sickness, which turned out to be Mononucleosis and it lasted for weeks.

Kate played basketball for the Lady Eagles. She is number 4. Mike is one of the coaches.

Will's 12th birthday. He was still sick on his birthday, and didn't get to have a party with his friends. So we plan to have something for him this summer instead.

Thanksgiving means getting together with family. But in our family, it also means "the Iron Bowl." The show-down in college football in the state of Alabama. Auburn Tigers vs Alabama Crimson Tide. Growing up, you pick your team, and in some cases it's a house divided, as with my daddy and me.


the Christmas card picture

The Accident. This has been an on-going incident that God is using to teach me to trust in Him.

our trip to Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

Many memories have been made through this year. Many lessons have been learned. God has blessed our 2010 in ways I couldn't have ever imagined. He has taught me so much. That He is all I really need. That apart from Him, my family is the greatest blessing He has given me. That life is short, so cherish the moments. That life is not always fair, so cling to Him, trust Him. Live, Laugh, Love. But most of all, love.
1 John 4:19