Blogging and Praying that I never forget these days . . . .

Days with Bebe & Big Daddy

This year my parents planned several Christmas events with Max and Mary Kate in mind.  They took them on their annual Polar Express Train Ride.  They both love taking this trip with Bebe and Big Daddy.  Once Thanksgiving gets here Max starts asking about the train ride.  He reminds Big Daddy every year about buying tickets.  After the ride, Max and Mary Kate talk about it for several days.  Mary Kate is excited that "new baby Charlotte" will get to go with her next year.  

Another night during the Christmas season they went on an adventure to look at lights.  Bebe and Big Daddy took them to a lights display downtown that is synchronized to music.  Max was really pumped after this night.  He talked and talked about how the lights went with the music and how many "hundreds" of lights were in the park.  At the end of the trail of lights there was a tent full of kiddie activities.  Of course, Max and Mary Kate got to play and ride everything.  Mary Kate told me all about the train and Max was thrilled over the "spider jump" with bungee cords.  

I am so thankful to have parents that love spending time with my kids.  Max and Mary Kate think the world of them and I believe my parents feel the same way.  I love seeing them giggle and laugh together.  I know real well how special grandparents can be when they are in your everyday lives.  I am so blessed to have had those in my life and even more blessed that my kids are getting to experience that kind of love as well.

Grinch Day

December 13, 2012
Max's class celebrated "Grinch Day" this week.  The week consisted of various snacks, the story, and helping the Grinch's heart grow.  The kids helped his heart grow by doing random acts of kindness for one another.  Max got to place a heart on the Grinch for helping another student.  He was super excited when I picked him up that day.  The day they watched the cartoon the kids were suppose to wear green like the Grinch.  Since his dog is named "Max" we decided that Max needed to go in costume at the dog.  I worked hard on making him a hat with the reindeer antler and then we added a tail, a collar with name tag, and a string of lights.  He looked good by the time Jay and I were done with him.   I kind of think that we were more excited than he was about the outfit.  Oh well!

Of course, since we were taking pictures of Max, Mary Kate had to get in some too.

Seeing Santa

Santa was a success this year.  We had no tears and fussing!  Max was quick to tell him that he wanted a blue remote control car like his Daddy's.  When Santa questioned about other wishes, Max told him to surprise him.  Hahaha.  Funny kid.  Mary Kate was a little shy, but then warmed up with our prompting.  She told Santa that she wanted lipstick and a TV for her bedroom wall.  Yes, only 2 yrs old and wants a TV like her big brother.  I guess we will have to wait and see what Santa brings.  I cannot wait!!

Christmas Arts and Crafts

December 8, 2012
Saturday we had an impromptu arts and crafts day for Christmas.  Several of us wanted to do some hand print crafts to save the memory of our kids' small hands.  We decided to get together and help each other manage kiddos and get it done.  We had lots of fun and made a big ole mess.  At one point we had eight kids wanting to stick their hands in all at once.  It was complete madness at moments, but totally worth it.  I absolutely love getting messy with the kids.  We all ended up with some great projects for keepsakes and gifts.  We really missed our sickly friends and their babes, but we aired on the side of precaution and not sharing germs here at Christmas time.  We plan to have a spring day of crafts for Easter, hopefully everyone can attend.



12 Weeks Post Op

November 30, 2012
I have finally come to the end of my restriction time on paper!  I am now twelve weeks out from surgery.  I feel better and better as each week passes.  Although, I am getting stronger I can still notice some physical restrictions within my own body.  It is truly amazing when you pay attention to what your body is telling you.  I feel twinges when I pick up something too heavy or use my right arm too much.  My incision and sternum are still too tender to wear a bra comfortably.  Jay jokes that I have given them up forever.  No. No.  When Jay and I run my incision still swells some from the jarring and my rib muscles cramp from the movement of my lungs.  I also struggle a little when I try to grocery shop by myself.  It is difficult to steer the cart once it starts getting heavy.  I have been educated during this healing process at just how much we use our chest muscles everyday.  These are all minor discomforts that are relieved with simple rest, stretching, or motrin.  I am thankful everyday to have come so far in my recovery.  I know that one day I will "feel like me" again.  I just have to be patient. 
With the end of my restrictions this week I got to return to work today.  I was so excited and a little bit nervous and anxious.  I am ready to get back into the daily grind with everyone at the hospital.  It thrills me to have all my hospital friends back in my daily life.  Today was great to be able to take care of my patients, think with my nursing brain, organize myself, start IVs, and just ne in the hospital.  I loved all the hugs and shocked faces when staff  and docs saw me behind the desk.  It felt great to be there with them all again.  With this return to normalcy, I am also challenged to keep myself  "above the muck."  It is so easy when life is normal and calm to overlook our blessings.  I am less likely to be overly grateful and thankful for everything that comes into my life.  One of my goals is to change this part of my life.  I have spent the past three and half months reflecting, loving on my family, and growing in my Christian walk.  I am no where near perfect and I know I will have days that I fall way short of my goals.  But I know there are things that have changed in my heart and in my mind.  Right now I see things in a more divine light.  I want to stay this way.  I know this means that I am going to have to work at it daily.  Learn to keep my mouth shut when it shouldn't be opened, forgive, walk away, stay positive, and above all else remember to have time to praise God.  There will be hard days and days when I'm in a bad mood, but I want to strive to succeed.  When life is going like you plan it, it is hard to not get bogged down in this world with daily living and stresses.  I want to make a point to love on others, spend quality time with my family, and rise up to the occasions.  Now that my physical body is almost recovered, it is time to make sure that my mind stays renewed also.

Parsons Thanksgiving

November 24, 2012
Again this year we enjoyed Thanksgiving at Uncle Tony and Aunt Linda's Farm.  It was definitely cold this year, but we all still had a great time.  The men enjoyed some time at the gun range.  The women enjoyed to warmth of the barn or the fire.  The kids had fun riding the go cart, golf cart, and power wheels.  We all filled our bellies with some great turkey and all the fixins.  Then we played a great game of Minute to Win It.  It was wonderful to relax and laugh together after our stressful fall.  Our family endured a lot this year as we faced my scary heart surgery and lost our grandfathers.  It was a time to be extra thankful for the bond we have as a family.
The Parsons Gun Range

Dad, Jon, Jay, and Josh

Max loves to shoot the guns!

Time to EAT!

Birthday cake for the October birthdays in the Parsons Family

Bebe and Mary Kate

Buckethead:  Each team must bounce three balls into the can on one partner's head

Face the Cookie:  One team member must move a cookie from their forehead and into their mouth without using their hands.

Bobblehead:  One team member must obtain 125 steps on a pedometer while bobbing their head

Hanky Panky:  One team member must remove all tissues from a box using only one hand

Elephant March:  One team member must use their elephant trunk made of panty hose and tennis balls to knock over a row of cups on the floor.

Junk in the Trunk:  A team member must shake 7 balls from a tissue box attached to their backside with a belt

Suck it Up:  Each team member must transfer one of each color skittles onto their plate using on the suction of a straw and their mouths

This Blows:  Each team must use the air from a balloon they blew up to knock all their fifteen cups from the table

Defying Gravity:  Team members must keep a balloon in the air without using hands or feet

And the winner is Josh and Zak . . . but wait . . . confessions after the game revealed that the scoreboard was tampered with . . . Josie and Uncle Tony actually completed all the tasks!  Congrats!

More Gymnastics

November 21, 2012
Kerrigan and Mary Kate are both still enjoying their gymnastics class.  They are both learning to listen to Coach Lisa and wait their turn.  They are being challenged with walking on the beam, jumping on the tumble trac, and forward rolls.  This week Coach Lisa started working them on backward rolls. We sure did miss Emmalynn at today's class!  It is going to be so much fun to watch these girls grow up together.

Thanksgiving in NC

November 17, 2012
Since Jay's sister's family cannot make it home for Thanksgiving this year, we went for a visit.  Shannon and I cooked Thanksgiving on Saturday so our families could celebrate together.  We had a great time relaxing and catching up with them.  We even started our Christmas shopping during our stay with them.  We cannot wait until they are home for Christmas. Max and Mary Kate really miss their cousins when they are not home.

Kindergarten Field Trip

November 16, 2012
On Friday Jay and I attended Max's first field trip.  We went to the Discovery Center in Murfreesboro.  Since my brother Jon wasn't on shift that day, he agreed to take Mary Kate while we did the field trip.  She had a great time visiting the Volunteer Fire Dept that Jon works at on his off days for Murfreesboro Fire.  Then Jon and Josie took her shopping.  She told me that they went and got new lipstick (one of her favs right now).  Jon laughed because he said as soon as they went into Target she pointed out the popcorn and blue slushies.  Lol.  No, I never get them that, Uncle Jon, I don't know what you are talking about!  Hahaha.  My kids definitely know their routines, even when it comes to shopping at Target.

After dropping off Mary Kate we headed over to the Discovery Center to meet the buses of Kindergartners as they rolled into town.  They were all so cute as they piled off the buses.  Since their school doesn't have busing this was most of the kids first time on a bus.  They were all excited about the ride and the upcoming day.  The center had all kinds of learning stations that the kids could get their hands on stuff to see how it worked.

The first room was full of fossils.  Hannah and Max dug through their box and compared it to the pictures on the information sheet.

In the next room we got to learn about and pet several types of animals.  Mrs. Miller liked touching the hedgehog.  It was funny the way it flinched each time someone touched it.  When it flinched it made all of us jump.

Another room was a learning experience with a screech owl.  He was a little fellow with big eyes.  Max was pretending to be an owl when I snapped this picture.

Once outside the kids all stopped and posed for a group photo.  Our next station was learning about pond animals.  The instructor had a corn snake for the kids to pet and multiple other water creatures.  Then she gave us each a net to catch tadpoles and fish in the pond area around the center.

Ella, Max, and Nate taking a break for lunch

Claire, CallieBeth, Talan, and Nate looking in the pond

Baylor, Max, and Will Barrett playing in the water tables

Mckenna and Jennifer riding the bike

Max dressing up like his MFD uncles

Go Flames