Monday, June 30, 2008

Out with a Bang!

I am head over heels in love with the July Kit at Crop Addict. The kit is jam packed with so many goodies this month and I loved working with it. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Home from one of my favorite places

This weekend Ken and I took the boys down to Anaheim for a trip to Disneyland. I seriously love this place! I wish we could go more often because it is a place that just makes me happy. Even in the stress of diabetes, grouchy toddlers (and 9 year olds too), and long lines, we just have so much fun as a family. I am already planning an 8x8 mini album of the weekend. Yay! So much to catch up on, but for now here is one photo from the weekend...

Yep! I love this place!!

Friday, June 27, 2008

We are Having a PARTY ....

over at Mojo. The fun starts tomorrow at 9am eastern (8CST / 7 MST / 6 PST) - so come on over and join us! We will have challenges, games and a whole lot of scrappy fun!!!

So grab your suit and we will see you there!!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Go Bulldogs!

A little shout out for the hometown boys who won the College World Series last night!! What an amazing run they had that ended in an incredible victory. Fresno State has never won a championship in ANY men's sport so it was big on that account and I heard last night on ESPN there has never been a team in any sport in the NCAA that was seeded as bad as the Bulldogs were to win a national championship! Gotta love college sports!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

2 altered projects

I'm back in the saddle again! I finished the K to go with Jackson's J for their bedroom door and I love the way they turned out. Then I wanted to make up a little something to have out for July 4th and I remembered this older Sweetwater line in my stash. It was perfect for the giant Rusty Pickle letters.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Dumb Storms!!!

Well we were hoping that there would be big storms to keep us in Fresno just a little bit longer. BUT nope - they were just bad enough to delay the flights and make them VERY VERY BUMPY!!!! I have flown through weather before - but last night was the worst I have had to experience. Rachel kept asking:"Mommy why is it so bumpy? Is the pilot having a hard time?" I am guessing he was not having the best time flying but we got to Dallas safe and sound and only an hour and a half late. Fortnuately our Midland flight was also delayed so we were OK. This morning I woke up to wind that felt like it was going to carry my house away!!!

We had a fabulous week in Fresno with Jennifer and the boys! We were glad to see Jackson's graduation, participate in the Walk to Cure Diabetes, Rachel went to VBS with the 2 big boys (she was in Jackson's class), we all went to a baseball game on Father's Day, went to Costco a few times, had some Cheesecake factory, got some Animal style fries and cheesburgers at In-N-Out several times, Jennifer and I took the kids to see Kung Fu Panda, we spent some money at the Scrapbook store, Rachel lost a tooth and the fairy came and brought her a 'fancy' dollar (a bill rolled up and tied with gold ricrak), Jennifer and I got a chance to go see Sex and the City and we just had a whole lot of great fun!!! Time to start planning the NEXT family get together!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

June is busting out all over!

These are my layouts and project for the June kit from Crop Addict. Head over there and pick one of these yummy kits up - you even get this super cute letter to alter. I grabbed another letter K to alter for Kenny too. So fun!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

We'll save the walk pictures for a bit later, however we had an awesome time yesterday and Jackson was celebrated in a way I can't begin to explain in words. He is just amazing to me! Amazing!Amy and I had a rather lavish day planned for our men-folk today. We started the day with homemade breakfast followed by an incredibly moving service at our church this morning. A quick lunch and a change of clothes and we headed to Chuckchansi Park for a Fresno Grizzlies baseball game. It was hot, but we had fun! After the game we came home and made a yummy tri tip supper for the family and ended the day with brownie sundaes. It was fun and relaxing and I hope the guys enjoyed it. Happy Father's Day!!!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

My Friend and a Graduation

Today was the last day of preschool for our little guys and we had a great day! Jackson hosted a pizza party to say thank you for raising money for his walk while Ken picked up Amy and Rachel from the airport. It was so fun to see the kids all playing together again. After supper at In -N-Out Burger we headed to the preschool for Jackson's preschool graduation. He was a bit nervous but sang his little heart out and said his name slow and clear, just like they practiced. I am so happy to have my friend here to experience so many special events in our life this year.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

BIG day tomorrow

We have a busy day planned with lots of end of school fun, a thank you pizza party at the preschool for helping us raise money, Amy and Rachel arriving, and finally graduation. But the most important thing for me tomorrow is celebrating the many years I have shared with my sweet husband. We likely won't have a moment to ourselves in the busy-ness of the day, but I love him just the same and really wouldn't have it any other way. Life is best because he is beside me. I love you honey!!!

Sensor Days

You have all probably heard the screaming from our home on a pump sensor day, LOL! It is not my favorite day of the week to be sure. Yesterday was this day in our world and I wanted to give you a glimpse of these afternoons in my life.
10:00 am set out insulin and sensor to warm to room temperature
12:00 pm check blood sugar and treat high of 244
12:30 pm anticipate how many grams of carbs Jackson is eating in his lunch and deliver insulin through the pump to get the medicine on board to combat the food. Put on numbing cream for his pump infusion site. From this point on Jackson is not allowed to eat or drink anything with carbs until the sensor is fully turned on and working properly.
1:00 pm insert pump infusion with smaller needle and put on numbing cream for sensor
1:45 pm get Jackson calmed down for sensor insertion
2:00 pm insert sensor with really big needle
2:15 pm attach transmitter and wait 2 hours for initialization into Jackson's bodya
2:30 pm weak signal alarm from pump (why is it not working? lots of worry on the mommy end)
3:00 pm freak out since weak signal won't stop (call Ken, still crying to figure out what to do, he says, call Medtronic)
3:30 pm call to Medtronic to find out why we are having the alarm sound, try to deal with Jackson getting hungry and antsy to go play
4:15 pm Sensor should have turned ony by now, but it has not on this day
4:30 pm Sensor Error Alarm
6:05 pm Finallly, sensor has initialized and we can begin receiving data from the sensor

Basically, yesterday and most every time we insert a new sensor, Jackson is not allowed to eat for close to 6 hours. Try it, it's not easy. And it is really not easy for a 5 year old. It is a long day that is just part of our life right now. I probably hit some scar tissue and that is what caused the alarms, but we truly don't know and we just have to keep troubleshooting until we make it work. Not fun, not fun at all.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Only a Few More Days Until the Walk ....

... and Rachel is SO excited to be doing the Walk to Cure Diabetes with Jackson!! We were all together for the 1st walk Jack's Pack was part of in 2005 and in 2006 we - the vanderkooi's - walked in Denver without the Allreds who had moved to California. Rachel wore a shirt that said "I am walking in Honour of my Best Friend Jack". Last year the Allreds formed the California chapter of Jack's pack and we formed the Texas Jack's pack.

BUT this year we are heading to Fresno to walk with the Allreds. Jackson called Jason daily until Jason agree that we could all go. Rachel said to me in the car the other morning "Mom do you know why we walk in the diabetes walk? It is so that we can raise money to get the diabetes out of Jackson. That's why it is called the diabetes walk." I love that she is learning to be aware of fund raising for her best friend at such an early age. Her Change for Jackson jar is full and ready to go to California. Won't you join Rachel in helping our team reach our fund-raising goal ...

Here is a link to Jackson's donation page and a link for Rachel's. Does not matter who you donate to - all money is going to help cure Diabetes!!!

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Final Countdown

Hi everyone! Jen here - a quick reminder that this weekend is the Walk to Cure Diabetes. The T-Shirts are ordered and they are stinkin' cute if I do say so myself. Jackson is going to love them! We have more people walking with us than ever and most of them are Jackson's friends. It is so wonderful to have all the support around Jackson on a daily basis and even more fun to have everyone walk with us in the search for a cure. Today we are looking for 10 people to donate $10.00. It is so simple and every amount adds up. I know so many of us look at our budgets and say times are tough and I don't have a penny to spare. It is true for me, but I can easily look around and give up Starbucks for a couple of days or place a smaller scrappy order. Can you find a place to cut for one week in support of Jackson? Click on the link above and donate directly under Jackson's name or let me know if you need our address.

We appreciate everyone who has already sent checks or donated online. We are about halfway to our goal and I believe we can still fulfill that goal. God is good! Please pray for our family and for Jackson as we celebrate the special lives of those suffering from this horrible disease.

xo, Jen

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

It is ALL Jennifer's fault ...

Here it is 1:18am ... and I am up reading the most incredible blog - And seriously unless you have an hour to sit and read this blog don't start ... it will pull you in - you need to sit and read and bask in the miracle of this story! This guy is awesome - their story is amazing - and his photography rocks. If you are having a bad day - go RUN read some of his stuff. He is funny, he is informative, he is the Dad to the cutest baby girl since Rachel (no really!!), and the husband to one of the most courageous women ever!

Anyway as I read on the blog that they were going home today after all they have lived through in the hospitals I was reminded that it was June 4th. It is my 1st cat's birthday - if she were still alive she would be 30. And while it happens to be Kitty's birthday - no laughing I was 6 when I named her - that is not what reading Nate's blog got me thinking about. I realize that today is the anniversary of when we brought Rachel home from the hospital. Yup 6 years ago on June 4th, 2002 we brought our beautiful almost 5lbs baby girl home. 8 weeks after her birth BUT 3 weeks before her due date!!

I also got to thinking - and be careful I am about to go all philosophical here ... why do people say that there are no real miracles? I mean I know that I have personal experience with miracles - neither Rachel or I should actually be here. But we are ... and I can see - for no medically sound reason my eyes got better - I was blind and then suddenly I was not. But those are miracles that noone can deny. I was thinking about those miracles that people don't recognize ... the things like me and Jason looking to buy a house in Fort Morgan that had an interested buyer and not being in love with it. Then buying the house down the block only to find out that the interested buyer was the Allred family. This was no accident - it was what some people call a coincidence - or what I like to call a mini-miracle. I love that God has a plan for us and while I sometimes wish I knew a bit more of that plan - I think He has done a bang up job with my life so far - I think I will just trust Him and His plan!

OK to end on a less philosophical note ... Angie from Simple Scrapbooks Magazine is blogging about our Sweetwater Retreat this past weekend in Fort Morgan. I loved what she had to say about me and Jennifer today ... "Jennifer and Amy are so much fun...these are the kind of best friends you always dreamed of having when you were a little girl. They finish each others' sentences, go on group vacations with their's like they were separated at birth." Just want to point out that this is another one of those miracles - in a million years how did a kid from Halifax Nova Scotia end up meeting a kid from Wichita Kansas in little old Fort Morgan Colorado? It is in the plan people - it is IN the plan!! To read more about our retreat check out Angie's daily postings this week - she is doing a different part of the retreat each day She took fab pics and has a flair for telling the story!!!

OK so with all this said ... my little red-headed miracle is yelling my name. And while it is the middle of the night and Jennifer's fault I am up ... at least I was already awake when Rachel woke up!! So thanks Jen!!!