Beautiful Life

Hey child up and go; A big world is out there waiting for us to live in every day. Outside you will find, there is love all around you; Takes you, makes you wanna' say; That it's a beautiful life and it's a beautiful world and it's a beautiful time to be here, to be here, to be here. -Fisher

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Middle Child

Once upon a time, Isabel was the baby in this family. 
And she liked it there!

She was the only girl that lived in this house.
Except for Mama.

But, I don't count!
Except that she is one big Mama's girl.

But, Isabel was never been crazy about being the only sister in the house.  She wanted a little sister for as long as I can remember.  Since the day she could talk she asked for one. 

She was beyond thrilled when we decided to adopt a sister.  And again when we told her we were adopting a brother.  But, to this day, I don't think our diva realized just how tough it would be to get stuck in the middle some days.  Actually, I don't think she thought about the fact that she'd be in the middle.  Until she landed smack there.  Not the oldest.  They get to do all the cool stuff.  And not the youngest.  They get away with everything. 

Slap in the middle. 

But, she thinks that getting to be an older sister is way better than being the baby.....even if it does mean landing in the middle.  

Some people think that the middle kid gets shoved in the corner and forgotten.  Just ask my sister, Jennifer *eyeroll*.  She'll give you an earful! 

But, I assure you, Isabel wouldn't let that happen!  It is not in her nature not to be noticed.  She is loud.  She is spontaneous.  She is a force to be reckoned with!

 She is usually in. your. face. 

You will notice her. 

Trust me!

And don't you worry about her not getting her fair share around here.  Plus, she has people.  People in her life that make sure she feels special.  I mean, other than us.  Because we do work at making all our kids feel special.

But, her aunts and uncles, cousins and grandparents do too.  And her Godparents are awesome!  Rather than giving her things for all her birthday's and Christmas's, they find out what she'd like to try and they pay for it. 

Iceskating lessons ring a bell?  Yep, that was them.

And, the latest?

Some horseback {or in this case, pony-back} lessons!
Something she's been wanting to try.

So, on a beautiful day last week, she got her chance!

She loved every blessed minute of it too!

It's hard to tell if May loved it as much.  But, I like to think she was happy. 


Her instructor was a great guy. 
He was good with Isabel, but also great at giving a little attention to the littles.
And that was just nice!

After a one hour lesson turned into an hour and a half.....just because Mr. David loves his job, he then let Asher take May out for a spin around the ring. 

And managed to squeeze in a quick ride {back to the stables} for Claire as the rain came down. 
But, see the smiles on all the faces!

We have been so blessed to have been able to see our kids have all kinds of experiences. 

And we have been so blessed to see Isabel move from the baby into the role of older sister.
She's doing a great job, too!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Day Brianna Went To College

Here she comes!

With all the other freshman.

And there she goes!  Off to school.  All grown up. 

And all moved in.

Why yes, that is almost all of our family!
Crammed into her dorm room.
'Cause doesn't everyone bring there parents, aunts, cousins and grandparents to college with them?

So maybe that isn't normal.
But, some of us {not sayin' who} needed a little special time to get used to the idea of Brianna at college.

Some of us, needed to see it for ourselves to know that she was going to be a-okay.

So, we went. 
We saw.

We are thrilled with her choice! 


Clearly some of us {not sayin' who} are not thrilled with any of it!

But, I know some other people.....

That are super proud!

And very excited for our girl!

And that's not even counting her parents.

They were so excited.....ahem.....they just had a little trouble saying goodbye.

That's all!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

To Do

As another summer slips away, I think of my to-do list and the many things on it that I did not get to.  I wonder why I even make a summer to-do list?  I know that June will be dominated by swim team commitments.  Throw in a quick trip to St. Louis, doctor appointments, dentist appointments, and the occasional house guest.....or 11...... and well......there isn't much time for a to-do list. Then again.  Maybe it's just the wrong to do list!

So, what did I get done this summer?  You mean besides sitting poolside with a cool drink {of water} in hand?

Let's see......

I got to witness yet another miraculous achievement in the life of a child born with spina bifida and given little hope for a normal life as a toddler, when Claire swam 25 meters without the help of  lane lines a floatation device. Not once, but three times this summer. And while her coach was instrumental in this, her Mama spent a lot of time in the pool with her outside of swimteam practice.  So, I think I will check that off my list.  Not that it is mine to claim.  It is Claire's for sure. 
  • Make sure Claire continues to Ooooo and Ahhhh her adoring fans. ✔
I was able to train yet another Gour child in the fine art of sleeping in.  Asher entered our family late in the school year and therefore had to be fast-tracked  for the summer sleeping schedule!  Like a true Gour, the boy mastered the skill with flying colors.  Sorry if you can't get your kids to do it, but I can.  So, I'll just check that off my list too.

  • Insure that Mama doesn't have to see the angelic faces of her precious babes before 9am-ish. ✔
I can't check off the list that was able to keep our family eating well during the summer.....'cause I so failed at that.  We didn't go so far as to partake in any Golden Arches{if you know what I mean} fast food, but suffice it to say that it was bad.  Bad!  Twizzlers at the beach kinda bad.  But, to look at the bright spot....Twizzlers or not, I live near the beach and got to go.  A lot.  Not as much as I wanted, but enough to make me thankful I'm not one of those land locked souls that don't. 

  • Buy a juicer so you can detox your family after the summer-o-junk-food and catapult them into a whole new level in freakish nutritional intake and raw/organic/vegetarian eating! ✔
I didn't get to paint the upstairs hall.  Or the stairwell.  Or the Foyer.  I didn't get to re-grout the kitchen tiles and seal them.  I didn't get Paul to finish building a play set in the yard for the little kids.  Or get the back yard landscaping spruced up.  But.....

  • Got to know Asher's Godparents better by having dinner with them almost every weekend. ✔
  • Spent time with sister and her family when they visited for Asher's birthday. ✔
  • Got to take Isabel on her first airplane ride.✔
  • Threw birthday party for child that never had one. ✔
  • Spent quality time with future son-in-law, YoYo.....oh, and his precious family!✔
  • Took walk downtown with sweet friend and remembered why I love living here!✔
  • Rode wave-runners for the first time and had a blast with sister. ✔
  • Watched children grow like the weeds in the back yard. ✔
  •  Found sand dollars and whelks at the beach.✔
  • Took long walk with sweet daughter on the beach. ✔
  • Read three books.✔
  • Was a good influence on two nieces and one nephew....I hope! ✔
  • Hang out with a little monkey {Casey} and her mama!✔
  • Learned to grind wheat and bake bread.✔
  • Dropped niece off at college! ✔
So, maybe I didn't get my to-do list done.  But, I think I like this list better! .

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Asher has been a part of our family for five months now.  And for that entire time he hasn't had so much as a sniffle.  Until Thursday morning. 

I knew something wasn't quit right when he laid down on the couch right after breakfast.  That boy doesn't just lay around in the mornings. 

After taking a few minutes to enjoy the peace and quiet I immediately went to check on him and found his head to be a bit warm for normal.  A thermometer confirmed my suspicions.  His temperature was 99°.

His temperature rose as the day wore on and eventually he reached 102°.  He complained of his stomach hurting, then his head and his mouth.  But, mostly he just laid on the couch and did nothing.  He did drift off to sleep for a few short cat naps too.  All this behavior, very unusual for Asher. 

But, by the evening he was back to himself.  Still had a fever, but was up and playing.  No congestion.  No stomach ache.  No complaints.  And he ate dinner. 

So here's the thing.....what do you do?  I never rushed my three older kids to the doctor for a fever at four years old.  If they had no other symptoms or complaints I would wait it out a few days.  It was usually a virus, ran it's course and that was that. 

Claire is a different story.  If she runs a temperature, there is a good chance it is a bad thing.  I will always take her to the doctor right away.  She doesn't complain until it's a full blown ear infection/sinus infection/uti or whatever.  And when she goes downhill, she goes fast!

But, this boy is new to us.  We don't know his body.  We don't know how he reacts to being ill.  So, when he woke with another 99° temp this morning, we heading in to our doctor. 

And boy was it a good thing!

A quick swab of his throat revealed the culprit. A strep infection.

Poor guy!

Although, don't let this face fool you.  As soon as we got home he was off and running with the pack again.  But, apparently it has finally caught up to him.  He has been up crying twice tonight, just since we put him down a few hours ago.  I have moved his bed back into our room for the night so he won't disturb anyone else. 

Thankfully, I was able to get two doses of antibiotic in him today.  Hopefully, he will be feeling much better by this time tomorrow. 
Quarantine?  I think it's a little late for that!  Now we just have to wait and see who will come down next.  Given the fact that he accidentally spit IN my face and mouth at the doctor's office today while he was talking, I'm either going to get it or I'm immune to this germ! 

I know this isn't his first illness.  His papers say he was found in a hospital with a respiratory infection.  But, this is his first illness with us.  I don't want him to be sick, but I'm thankful we can take care of him this time.