Sunday, November 6, 2011


It was my goal to write something after we moved in August....and then September....and then I promised a fellow blogger that I would write something in October....and now FINALLY here we are in November and I am going to take advantage of the day-light-savings-extra-hour-of sleep and work on the blog tonight.

Since I last wrote, we took a mini-vacation to Chincoteague Island shortly before we left Pennsylvania and we really enjoyed some down time before the craziness of moving half-way across the country. If you've never been there, it is really cool and right next to Assateague Island, VA (where the infamous wild ponies are). We got to see the ponies, dolphins, swim in the ocean and we left with some new Hermit Crab friends. Camden's 7th birthday was celebrated on our way there and he enjoyed the special birthday vacation.

Camden, Adalynn, and Broderick really enjoyed the ocean. They weren't as fond of the sand sticking to everything or even the salt water. But they loved it nonetheless!

 The infamous wild ponies that inhabit the island.

 We tried to take this photo ourselves by propping the camera on a table, but a good Samaritan saw us struggling and offered to take a few pics of us all together.

 It didn't turn out exactly as we planned....but I still love this photo of the kids jumping on the beach!

 Camden inspecting his Hermit Crab.

 Broderick was very excited about his!

 And here is Adalynn after she realized that her Hermit Crab was more than just an Elmo shell....she did NOT like it when it started crawling.

Our previous bout of bad luck continued when we were on our way to Wisconsin initially. We stopped in Indiana to visit family and see friends before they went to Abu Dhabi and Afghanistan and John fell about 15 feet from a rope type swing onto the bank of a lake....it kind of put a damper on our moving plans. Although he wasn't seriously injured, he was very sore and in a lot of pain. And then once he felt a bit better and we left Indiana for Wisconsin we found out about 2 hours from our final destination that the house we had signed a lease for, here in Wisconsin, had been sold and we needed to find somewhere else to live. What a crazy beginning to our new start back in the mid-west.
And here are the kids in Bloomington, IN with our best friends, Heather and Jesse, before they left for Abu Dhabi and Afghanistan.

I do have to say the bad luck has pretty much ended there. We did have some furniture replacement/insurance/Pottery Barn issues but finally have that all settled and we are really settling into our new home (at least our temporary home). We have replaced a lot of the furniture that was lost in the flood and we finally have a couch, loveseat, and chair as well as a dining room set (which I think was what we missed the most).

The boys have started their new school (an inquiry-based charter school) and they are loving it. Adalynn enjoys going to school every day with mommy and is enjoying 4K. I am adjusting to my job and John is really enjoying his. The boys just finished playing football and Adalynn has been having a great time at gymnastics. Broderick, John, and I all celebrated birthdays during the month of October. We've enjoyed trips to both Madison and Milwaukee and are discovering all that Wisconsin has to offer.
At the U.S.'s largest vendor-only farmer's market in Madison. Honey Crisp apples are AMAZING and cheese curds are pretty cool!

I can't believe we have a fourth grader, a second grader, as well as a pre-kindergartner! And yes, Camden got a major hair cut!!

Adalynn loves gymnastics and the boys had a great time being on the same team this year. They also enjoyed rotating and playing multiple positions throughout the year.

 Happy 10th birthday to my >100 lbs., >5' little man! I can't believe that you really are becoming a little man!

We had a blast spending the weekend in Milwaukee and seeing the Admiral's play! The boys love watching hockey games and it was extra special that they got to be on the big screen several times throughout the game!

It is so nice to be within 5 1/2 hours of family. Adalynn and I flew from Milwaukee to Indy in a brief 45 minute flight for my sister's baby shower and we  all just made a trip back (driving) to see to the baby. We are planning on a trip back for Thanksgiving and for Christmas. It has been forever since we have been able to do either. I am definitely looking forward to it.
 Here's Adalynn and my niece with my sister during her shower.

Seeing the baby was fantastic!! Waylen is adorable and the kids are excited to have a new cousin.

 We had tons of fun while in Indiana to see the baby. We were able to see other family, watch my nephew march in semi-state band competition, as well as go to the orchard that John and I went to growing up. Broderick and Camden loved carrying the hay bales around and building this structure.

Other interesting/exciting news since we've been in Wisconsin is Adalynn finally had another team visit with the craniofacial team at UW-Madison Children's Hospital. She was seen by the speech and language pathologists, audiology, ENT, dentists, geneticist, as well as the plastic surgeon. We saw a total of 7 specialists in 4 1/2 hours!! We are expecting her next surgery to be this coming spring or early summer. It is hard to believe it is that time again. They will do some work on her nose and her lip and possibly close one of the fistulas (holes) in her palate. She is also continuing speech therapy here through the University and we are currently battling with the school district to get her additional therapy through them. She does have some nasal emissions and is struggling with some specific sounds. It is sad to see her teachers as well as her peers not be able to understand her. Hopefully with some strong prodding we will get the school district on board. Her initial evaluation through them says she does not qualify. I am hoping the information from her clinic visit as well as my background in special education will help as we begin the first of many battles regarding her needs. Wish us luck!

That leads us to the end of October with Homecoming parades and Halloween: I think we created the best Halloween costumes ever this year! We used cardboard boxes, plastic food storage containers, hot glue, and spray paint and made LEGOS!!! We've never gotten so many comments on their costumes as we did this year and they were so easy and cheap to make. The kids really liked them as well!!!!

We also have enjoyed the yard that this rental house has and I think it might be our favorite part! It is so great to have somewhere for the kids to run and play as well as a driveway long enough that they can ride their bikes in. I think this is the first house we have ever lived in where more than 2 cars could fit into the driveway. We (well I should say John) spent several hours today raking leaves in this massive yard and for the first time ever my kiddos got to jump in leaves. What a great afternoon!!!


  1. Imagine my surprise when I got online and saw this update! Wow!! The children are getting so old looking - especially Adalynn because I can remember her still such a baby. Reesie was talking about Camden the other day and it made us really miss you guys. Glad to hear everything is going so well and you are happy and healthy! Happy birthday to Broderick. :) Now .. don't let so much time pass by before the next post. ;)

  2. First, I must say that you have such a beautiful family! Second, as a mommy of a daughter with a cleft it is so fun to see your beautiful daughter grow up and hear about her experiences. Best of luck with speech and working with her school on getting her the help she needs!

  3. It has been FOREVER since I have signed onto blogger. I can't believe how big the kids have gotten and how much has changed for your family. We have also made a big move, from CA to Oklahoma back in March and are still trying to accept all the changes that came along with that. Adalynn and her curls are just SO beautiful. How did I get three kiddos with stick straight hair with I have the curliest hair? :) Praying you have a VERY Merry Christmas!