Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Bye Bye Twenty Ten.

Well, it just made sense to spend our last day of 2010 with the cute, new Haitians on the block - the Allen Family! The Allens have three precious Haitian kids here on student visa that they are loving. One is Keemberlie's best friend. Included in the Allen bunch are Mark and Whitney (such dear friends) and their two beautiful bio-kids Kalynn and Micah. The Allen family treated us to some seriously thick and delicious grilled burgers and such. We had a blast just enjoying their company and looking towards the hope that 2011 brings for Keemberlie.

Libby was beside herself with all the swords, play-guns, toy cars, and attention. 3 boys and her big-sister's best friend all ready to play with her! What! It was almost too much...almost. It was a chilly night so we had Gracie's cuteness all bundled up. Here are a few pics of the kids as we rang in the new year.
Give us whatcha got twenty eleven!

the cutest bundle of warmth

can't wait for Keemberlie to see this pic

nothin' but joy

star wars smiles

The Smug Look... Isn't he so handsome!

she couldn't scare a fly

happy to be sisters


darth vader in purple wields her terrible green light saber.

gettin' kinda sleepy

chocolate rapunzle, hee hee!

the best smiles

star wars meets bible man!

Christmas in San Antonio

After the long drive home from Charleston we noticed Gracie had a fever. By the next day her fever was up to 103 and it wasn't budging. Over the next 7 days (and yes, that included Christmas day and beyond) we ended up in the ER twice with crazy high fever... the second time her fever hit 106... serious business. We knew Gracie had a virus as she followed many of the same symptoms my dad had while we were in Charleston, but after further testing we discovered she also had a UTI. The two illnesses combined is what sent her fever sky high. I had some panicky moments, let me tell you. And some seriously long nights. Really don't want to repeat that ever again! After Christmas we had some more testing done and found out Gracie has kidney reflux where her bladder sends urine back up to one of her kidneys. So, to prevent further infection and keep her kidneys healthy, Gracie is now on antibiotics for the next year and then we'll retest to see if she's grown out of this condition. The first time we tried to pick up the antibiotics the cost was going to be $400/month with insurance. We were like, uh, no. So the doc picked another one and it's $9 every 9 days. Can do.

Christmas eve, despite the illness, was still wonderful. We had a "Happy Birthday Jesus" family party. This year I made an out-of-the-box tres leches cake. It was AWFUL! After Billy took a bite he sadly said, "happy birthday Jesus." And I said, "we tried." and Libby wrapped it up with "and we're sorry!" We had a good laugh about that. Christmas Eve supper was delicious though and we just might have to make it tradition: homemade potato leak and sausage soup... yum.

Christmas day, what can I say. I'm eager for the day my girls get the whole real idea of it. I'm also eager for the day Libby allows us to see her excitement without trying to hide it. She would not let on AT ALL that she was amazed by the big basketball hoop taking up our living room space. That silly girl! Here's our Christmas in SA in pics...

 the Eve soup.

the present set-up

the love connection

the christmas morning walk

the christmas morning attitude

the medieval castle with dragons and knights. best buy of the century. Libby loves it - which we figured out eventually.

the closest thing to a barn we'll ever have. Gracie's special gift.

the $15 stroller that could have been Gracie's only Christmas gift and she would have been totally content.

the balerina doll and my pretty chocolate

finally a smile. let it go girl! vulnerability rocks!

"water painting" as Gracie calls it.

Christmas in Charleston

So, before we went to Charleston we celebrated Christmas with our friends the Singletary's and the Nolan's.  Here, Libby and Gracie pose in front of our Christmas tree. And below that is a pic of Terry, Karen and me.

And then there was Charleston.... Billy drove for two days so that we would have our own car in Charleston. But the girls and I flew to Charleston because we just couldn't imagine having Gracie in the car for 2 days there and later 2 days back. We were sure that would cause insanity. Gracie is the sweetest, easiest baby until she's in the car. She talks our heads off asking for one thing after another when we're driving. She doesn't stop! So the girls and I had a fabulous flight there and drove with Billy on the way back. Gracie did great on the way back. We were shocked. But later we found out she was really sick... more about that later... Here's our Christmas trip to Charleston in pictures:

Gigi, Gracie and Papa

Camryn LOVES Billy. She was like a little monkey on his head. So funny!

We finally met sweet baby Sage! This is Sage and her beautiful momma (my beautiful SIL) Carissa

Libby and Taylor had a love/hate relationship. By the end of the week Libby had made a solo debut on Taylor's  "Naughty List". It was hilarious. Libby picked on her too (and enjoyed tattling every chance she got) and then at other times (most of the time. really) they played beautifully together. Lots o' WRESTLIN', Chinese style. All kidding aside - they had so much fun!

Gotta love those smiles
Adorable Hunter (big brother to Sage). He is all boy and completely precious!

I have way too many pics of her compared to the rest of the family... but how could I leave this one out? Cheese!

Libby and Camryn enjoy ice cream while Taylor's in school. Sorry Taylor! We missed you!

Camryn with my beautiful sister, Becky.

All aboard the greyhound.

Giddy up.

Carolers from my parents' church came to sing for mom. It was really precious. Brought tears to my eyes.

Libby posing at Magnolia Gardens. She had a special outing with her daddy that day.

My siblings and all our families got together to do a special photo for our parents' Christmas present. Really amazed the photographer was able to get a pic with every child facing the camera. That's six kids all under the age of 7. WOWZA!

We had our family pic done too.

There is a special place in Gracie's heart for Uncle Jason. She's in luv! She couldn't keep her eyes off of him. She just kept batting those sweet eyelashes and calling his name. I think he's in luv too!

Gracie with her great-grandfather. My mom's dad - Bob Strickland, recently found out he has cancer. 

Gigi and the girls.

Papa Santa

My seriously talented brother, Kelly, and his youngest, Sage.
Taylor enjoys her new costume. Isn't she beautiful!

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