Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Our First Parade

I love our neighborhood!! I love that we have a annual Christmas party, and Easter egg hunt, and other gatherings throughout the year. I had heard that the kids use to have 4th of July parades, but that hadn't happened since we've lived here. Honestly, our neighborhood is a little on the elderly side. People moved here 20+ years ago and may never move out. It's starting to become "younger" little by little- but I love all of our older neighbors. There is a group of women that walk every morning at 8:00 and I am often out with them. Last week they told me that their grandchildren were all going to be in town this week and they wanted to do a little parade through our neighborhood. They were very sweet to invite me and the boys.

We showed up this morning at 8:00. They slowly showed up with their grandbabies, flags, balloons, instruments, hats, and patriotic music blared from their houses. How cute is that?? We paraded up a street to have doughnuts and water. The boys loved it.

I totally get why these families never move- I myself hope to live here forever!!! ;)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Lion King

A year ago we had decided that we wanted to take Nolan to the Lion King when it came to Greenville. We figured- he will be 4 1/2 and will have most likely outgrown most of his irrational fears of things like Little Einsteins and Bob the Builder. Fast forward to current day, and my sweet boy is no more brave than he was a year ago and still runs out of the room when Spud from Bob the Builder comes on. I didn't know what to do because the tickets were expensive and I really wanted to enjoy the show. I had been praying about this for months and thinking through other people we could take instead of him. Jerel, on the other hand, was never worried about it and kept reassuring me that Nolan was going to be just fine. A couple weeks ago Nolan saw a billboard for the Lion King and said "Mom, that's the Lion King and it's playing down town". I never know where this kid picks these things up. I told him that we had been thinking about taking him but he would have to be really brave and would have to sit still for a very long time. I also told him that I wasn't sure he could do it- you know, in a reverse psychology type of way! ;) He reassured me 1,000 times that he could do it and that he was very brave. I never committed out loud to him, but knew that if he was determined he could totally do it. We borrowed the soundtrack from a friend and he listened to it non stop for a week.

Saturday we told him we were taking him down town without Elliott for a date. We still hadn't told him what we were doing.

As we walked up to the Peace Center he said, "Look, the Loin King is here!!". I asked him if he wanted to stand in front of the sign for a picture.

Then we started walking inside and he asked us where we were going. I love this age where they still can't put all the pieces together. Then Jerel told him that we were taking him inside to see the show.

I don't think that he really understood, but since the kid has never been to a movie, let alone a Broadway show, he didn't have much context. Never the less, he was excited.

He excitedly awaited the show to begin and I prayed that he wouldn't freak out!! He did such an amazing job and was totally into the first act. There were a couple times that he was literally shaking because something scared him and he cried when Mufasa was killed but was totally enthralled and I loved when he clapped at the end of the scenes. Once we got to intermission he told me that he really like it but didn't want to see the rest! :) I told him too bad- he would love it. And he did.

As soon as it was over he asked when we could see it again. I told him it would be awhile! We had so much fun with him and I really hope it's one of those things that he will be old enough to remember.

Saturday, June 16, 2012


My mom flew up a few weeks ago and took Nolan back to Florida with her for 10 days. Last Thursday Jerel, Elliott, and I flew down to have a long weekend together and bring Nolan back. Nolan had a great time while he was there and I seriously don't think that he missed us at all. I guess that is a good thing?? :)

This was Elliott's first flight and he loved it. This boy is always up for an adventure!

The boys were so happy to see each other and we had a fun-filled 2 1/2 days.

They swam in the blow up pool. Huge hit!!

Jerel was able to set up a new compute for my parents. I think Nolan possibly loves it more than they do!

Went to the park.

Then we went to Gatorama- which is an alligator/crocodile conservatory and farm. I don't generally endorse anything Gator but the boys had such a great time that I was able to overlook my prejudices!

This child can seriously sweat!!
They were (safely) inches from and feeding this guy (two pictures down, not Jerel :))-

Then we got to watch one of the zoo keepers...trainers...whatever she was, feed these nasty creatures.

I very deeply, very passionately wished that I'd had a spear with me!! GO NOLES!!! ------->

Then they asked if anyone wanted to hold a baby alligator. Nolan yelled "no way" and ran the other way. Elliott said, "yes, please!". And that, my friends, is a fairly accurate picture of these boys! :)

I will say that Elliott was a little timid at first,

but warmed up

and was pretty proud of himself.

After rest time the boys played dominoes with Grandma.

The next day we headed home.

Thanks Mom & Dad for a great weekend. We look forward to invading again soon!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Great is Thy faithfulness!!

A couple weeks ago Jerel and I were talking through a few ways that we have seen God's faithfulness to us in huge ways. We realized that the day we were reminiscing was a year to the day that he had emergency back surgery. When we went into surgery the doctors gave us little hope that Jerel would regain 100% function of his right ankle. He had a ruptured disc with fairly extensive nerve damage. We were willing to trust God with whatever came our way but prayed for total healing. The doctors were amazed by how quickly and how completely Jerel's back and nerves healed. He is now totally healed and doing great. There are days that his back will ache some but he has learned the signs and how to slow down and not agitate it further.

Another area that we are praising God for is with Nolan's eating. I wrote some about his history with eating HERE but basically my sweet child was terrified of food. We survived off of PB&J, grilled cheese, yogurt, apples, and bananas for 3+ years. The state payed for us to have him in occupational therapy until he was 3 and then we were on our own. The last therapist we had recommended that we put him on anti-anxiety medicine for a short period of time so we could get him over the extreme anxiety he had over new foods. I really didn't want to put my baby on medications but his eating was a huge stress on our family so I was open to hearing about it. I talked with a family friend who is a pediatrician and he thought is was a possible good idea and we met with a social worker who thought Nolan could benefit from this medicine and referred us to a psychiatrist. I kept postponing our appointment because I was begging God for wisdom and just didn't have a peace. In the mean time a pediatrician came to the bible study I was in for mom's to do a question and answer time. I asked him about it and he gave a very confident resounding "no way" to the medication. He assured me that Nolan could live off of PB&J for most of his life if he needed to. I immediately felt peace and the issue was resolved. Medication was not the path that God had for us at this time. So, I let it go and didn't even work on trying to introduce new foods for months. I needed a break! I can't even tell you what happened over the course of the next year but now Nolan is an eating rock-star!!! I seriously can only give God the credit for this one. Nolan now eats a huge variety of meats, almost all fruits, three vegetables, and some pastas. That just sounds so normal!! :)

We are so thankful for these blessings in our lives. However, I would also like to say that if Jerel couldn't walk and if Nolan wouldn't eat- God would still be faithful. I know that I would be a fool to base my beliefs on whether or not life goes "my way". Life, thankfully, does not always go the way I think it should. I love that He loves me so much that we will only provide His best. Sometimes His best is really difficult. I wanted to take a moment to thank Him for His faithfulness in these two circumstances!