A Normal Visit

Ge and Granddaddy live so close to where Emmie’s specialists are that we have to make sure we plan visits not just during appointment times.  July meant we could visit without any agenda except to just visit with them! We also got to celebrate some June and July birthdays. The kids re-learned how to play Five Crowns Ceili Rain and Silas each made a pen with Granddaddy (using a lathe).

And no visit would be complete without a trip to Steak n’ Shake for breakfast!  Granddaddy enjoyed a rare treat of snuggling with our Super Ems.

Newest Character

Nope, Tobin isn’t here yet.  We’re still in July on this here ol’ blog.  When we lost our sweet Sunny girl at the end of May, we were left with a big hole in our family.  Tot, our little cocker spaniel acted out some and seemed generally lonely.  I started searching for a dog that would fit in our family and stumbled upon a rescue shelter near our home.  They listed a cute little three year old “cockapoo” and we decided we needed to meet her.

She fit right in.  She was a puppy mill dog and had been rescued in October of last year along with her puppies that, we were told looked like cocker spaniels and poodles.  Her name was Molly but I felt like she looked like a Lulu from the moment we met her.  She met the kids and just got right in the midst of them happy as can be.  Tot was excited to meet her too.

And home with us she went.  After a bit of work on potty training. She has settled in to be a great dog for our family and a good companion for Tot.  She is more than willing to give Emmie some kisses every time she requests it and loves to curl up with any kid that calls her to snuggle up.  She cuddles with Tot when we head out (sharing a crate because they want to) and loves to get cuddles with us every evening.

We’re pretty certain she was abused by a man and took awhile to cuddle up with Mark and trust him.  But now she’s as happy as can be with him.

The most fun thing is that when she gets excited she can jump about 5 and half feet straight up.  I would love to train her to do it on command. Because of this little talent…and the lack of curly hair, several of us thinks she is part springer spaniel and part English pointer.  Who knows!  She’s 100% a part of our family now.

Every night Tot and Lulu conspie to take over our bed.  Mark hasn’t given in yet. Lulu loves to cuddle with her toys after she properly “dismembers” them. And cuddle with Emmie when she sneaks in to our bed in the mornings. Tobin makes a great doggy pillow.

Thankfully, Lulu loves to go as much as Tot and our family!  She’s a great traveling dog.  Okay, well, she drools when gets excited and then loves to cuddle with Zoe.

Birthdays in July

The first of July always sees us celebrating two big birthdays:  the United States of America and Mark.

This year was especially special, Papa and Grandmere were able to come up.

Of course books were read! And watching fireworks in the back of Papa’s truck was a big treat. Mark’s actual birthday included a cajoon…a  percussion instrument.  His birthday cake request:  Ice cream sandwich cake.

Super Sibling Sidekicks

We get asked often about our kids’ responses from all of the things that Emmie has gone through with neurofibromatosis type 1.  I think I understand what they are asking but all we know is this:

Emmie’s siblings absolutely adore her.  It amazes me how, from the first time they met her, they have all been tender and caring and loving towards her (truth be told:  that is how all of them have been with all their new baby siblings).  When we found out Emmie had NF, they never wavered in their devotion and love and support.  They understand (with wisdom beyond any I can explain) that we would give them the same kind of attention if they needed it (when she needs that extra medical attention).  Any bump, bruise or fall…even now…leads to several siblings running to make sure she is okay.  We have been open and honest with them, at their appropriate age level, about each thing she has faced.  When they ask questions, we answer them honestly.  They are Emmie’s strongest cheerleaders, pushers, supporters.  I could not imagine Emmie not having them!  In turn, they have taught our kids how to be compassionate to others.  I believe the kids are learning to have empathy for others who may not be quite like them.  They are learning that people are all created in God’s image even if they have bumps on their skin, visible plexiforms or severe learning issues.

Liam and I were talking one day and he asked me if I could have one wish, what would it be.  I said that Emmie and others did not have to born with NF.  Liam replied wisely, “But Mama, if Emmie wasn’t born with NF, then you wouldn’t have met all the amazing people you have.  Maybe we should just wish there would be a cure for NF!”

So, when people ask me how the kids handle all of Emmie’s “attention” I respond absolutely truthfully, Emmie is the favorite sibling.  Not our favorite child (we work not to do that) but she is definitely a favorite in the siblings.  And when I say that Emmie has Super Sibling Sidekicks, I am definitely sharing the truth.

Proof is definitely in the pictures too!  These are just a few I have managed to capture and don’t even come close to showing all of their love! That’s Emmie behind the book.  Ceili Rain is a wonderful book reader for her. And a good napping companion.  When Emmie fell asleep, Ceili Rain placed the blanket on her. Siblings make excellent pillows.

Staying warm together.

You have an awesome chance to be a part of Emmie’s sidekicks even if you aren’t a sibling!  Donate or join our NF Walk team today!  Our walk is less than three weeks away.   Donations to our team go towards research to help end NF and get closer to our wish!

June Randoms

We had big plans one evening to take the kids to a frozen yogurt places grand re-opening.  However, their re-opening was a bit more successful than they had anticipated and they were closed and completely sold out by the time we got there.  Quick stop at the store, and we had our own frozen yogurt/ice cream gathering! Emmie loves to wear flexi clips and often wants to get a picture of them. Rite of passage.  Liam learning to cut grass. Grandmere found this cute fabric and I had a chance to make it in to a dress!  Emmie loved it.

Late one evening, Bryant was playing with the metal toy shopping cart.  Pushing down on it, it popped up and met Bryant’s chin.  Consultations via text and a quick run to get liquid bandages and he was all bandaged up.  Another ER stitch avoided.

Since Zoe finished her orthodontic adventures, Josiah and Ace were evaluated next.  Josiah had a tooth come out prematurely and, as a result, the other teeth moved forward.  He won the next round of braces because he needed to make room for the new adult tooth.
Before

After

In June, we found that Facebook now has a fun camera feature and the video of our bunch using it were too good not to share.

Okay, so I got in on it too.

Josiah Turns Ten!

Josiah’s birthday fell on a Wednesday which meant a mad rush to get all things in to celebrate his birthday and make it to church on time.  Despite the rush, he enjoyed his celebration of making it to a decade.
Someone got really excited about Josiah’s gifts.
He asked for a sarlacc cake.  I think I delivered it okay.

Be careful!  It bites.

Fins Up!

Liam and Silas joined a summer swim league this year.  It was quite a learning experience but the boys had a wonderful time. They both improved a lot and Liam quickly showed out that the backstroke was his fastest stroke.  Silas improved greatly on his freestyle and backstroke.
One of the dad’s had some mad skills in sharpie drawings.

After the district meet (and last swim meet of the season for us), we went to a local sno-cone place and watched a train go by!