Friday, May 29, 2015

We're Stylin'

Kaitlyn lost another tooth this week. It's pretty cute to hear her talk.
She really likes to do her own hair, and the more accessories, the better.  Caitlyn, a girl from church, gave her a flower headband.  She doesn't understand why it doesn't match every outfit she owns.  It has every color in it, after all!
I love my beautiful, spunky, independent girl!

Staying occupied

We had some work to do in the office at the church, so the kids were keeping themselves occupied on the stairs.  You would have thought a herd of elephants was coming through with all the commotion.

Random 5 on Friday

1. Big news for our family... we put an offer in on a house, and they accepted it.  Now we wait for an appraisal, bend over backwards to meet all the conditions, and pray all goes smoothly. To say we are excited is a huge understatement!

2. I am potty training Natalie this week.  She is stubborn, but so am I. May the strongest will win!

3. The tooth bandit has visited Kaitlyn's mouth once again.  Rates have sure gone up since I was losing teeth! It's pretty cute to hear her talk and pronounce her 's's with both of her front bottom teeth missing.

4.  Our nephew, Anthony, is graduating from High School this week, in Oregon.  I wish we could be there. Seeing all these kids graduate sure makes me feel old.  It also reminds me that my kids will be graduating and out of the house in the blink of an eye, and I want to be sure to cherish all of their growing up years.  There really aren't that many of them!

5. I hate ticks.  I've never seen so many in my life! People around here see them as a fact of life. I still freak out every time I see one on the kids or in the house. It's gonna take me a while to get used to the nasty little things.
The Pebble Pond

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A dog and her boy

The kids were running around being super loud while Anthony was on an important phone call, and wouldn't heed my warning to quiet down.  I finally told them to sit on the floor in the living room until he was off.  Talon plopped down on the floor, looking like the world was about to end, and Kallie promptly came over to comfort her friend.
She loves the kids, but Talon is her favorite. It might have a little something to do with the fact that it is his chore to feed them, but she has always been fond of him.

Memorial Day 2015

We had a big barbecue at our house on Memorial Day.  We had somewhere around 30 people over. It was a lot of fun! It was my holiday to work, so I slept in that morning and was able to participate in the afternoon before I went to work.
We had The Slettens even brought their ice cream maker and we had homemade ice cream.  
Owen trying to hide from the camera.  Gotcha!
The Grill Master
The weather was really nice... really hot, actually.  Then, right before I went to work, a storm rolled in, and it down-poured.
Jared and Jessica playing ball with the kids
We are so thankful for the friends that God has blessed us with since moving to Minot.

It's fun to get together to celebrate the holiday, and have a day off to relax and be with family and friends; but let us not forget that it came at a price. We pause to say 'Thank You' to those who gave their lives that America may be free. May we never forget their sacrifice.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Homeschool Graduation

We had the homeschool graduation on Sunday.  Anthony April and Guy Pearson both graduated.
Talon and Kaitlyn were excited to participate in the ceremony. They got to march in and sit with all of the school kids, and sing in the choir.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Urology Update

On Wednesday, we took Kaitlyn to meet with the pediatric urologist in Bismarck. The original thought was, that we would attempt the Deflux procedure, keep her on her daily antibiotics, repeat the VCUG in a few weeks post-procedure, and see if it worked.  Dr. K said that he would be happy to try Deflux, but told me that it was unlikely to work with Grade IV reflux, and he has seen so many patients come back after the procedure, he only recommends it in children with Grades I and II.  To be honest, I half expected this response, as her doctor in Oregon felt much the same way.  Since it is fairly low risk, and there is no surgery involved, he left the option up to us to try. He was very hopeful that it would work on the right side, as she only has Grade I reflux at this time.
The next option would be robotics.  This procedure would require 4 laparoscopic sites or "puncture holes", a guided robot does the surgery, and the healing time is a little faster, but there are some added risks.  The procedure is still so new, that the success rate is fairly high so far, but there is really no way to see the long-term effects because the procedure has only been around 4-5 years.
The last option would be a complete ureteral reimplantation. It would be an open procedure, the surgery would be a couple of hours long, the healing time is longer, but the success rate is 98%. I felt like he might be pushing me toward robotics, as he is the one that does all of them for the area, and it is less invasive. I finally asked him, "If this was your daughter, what would you do?". He said, definitely the open complete reimplant. He said if robotics wasn't successful, she would be back getting the full surgery anyway, and there was just not enough data at this point for him to know what the long-term success of it would be. That was good enough to persuade me to do the complete surgery. He also said, that since he is going in anyway, he will do it bilaterally (on both sides). The probability is high that she would eventually develop worse reflux on the right, and we would be back in to do another complete surgery, therefore causing even more scar tissue to develop, and increasing the risks for complications later. She will have to have a VCUG every year for a while, to make sure there are no issues, but she will be able to come off of her daily antibiotics right away. She will have to be in the hospital for 3-4 days, and the healing time is longer. While I feel bad about that side of it, I do feel like we are making the best decision for long-term success. Her surgery is scheduled for August 6th.
We are so thankful for all of the prayers on her behalf, and would ask for them to continue. Pray that God will guide the doctor doing the surgery and the staff caring for her. Also, pray that she will have strength to go through it, and a swift recovery with no complications.

(To read previous posts related to this, click on "Kaitlyn's Kidneys" under "Tags" on the sidebar)

Sunday, May 24, 2015


Papa and Daddy have been scheming lately to get hunting dogs, so they can hunt pheasants. They got Granny to buy into it, and this week, they brought home a bouncing baby girl. Literally. 
She is part German Shorthair, and part Weimaraner. She is about 7 weeks old, spunky, extremely cuddly, and so adorable! They named her "Cami" (mostly because she looks like she is camouflaged). 
Papa taking her for a walk.
She's already getting a bit spoiled. I don't know how many treats Papa gave to her the first day, but she sure enjoyed them.
She decided to start her hunting career with something a little easier to catch than pheasants.
Here she has captured herself some dandelions.
I rolled her over on her back to rub her tummy. She really liked it, but would look around periodically as if to say, "Is this okay?".
Welcome, to the family, Cami-girl!

Friday, May 22, 2015

Off to Bismarck

We went to Bismarck on Wednesday, so Kaitlyn could meet with the pediatric urologist.  We had to get up pretty early to get on the road, but the drive was beautiful.  The weather was warm and gorgeous. 
(This is Lake Sakakawea)
 And this is our traveling crew... all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, and chillin' with their shades.
 Natalie being her crazy self. Nolan will never admit that he's tired, but make him sit still in the car for very long, and he's dozing off.
 Someone else is ready for a nap
 But when I asked her if she was tired, she looked at me like I was nuts.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Happy Sprinter!

When we drove to church this morning, it was drizzling and super windy.  North Dakota type windy.  You had to basically run across the parking lot to keep in a forward motion.
When we got out of church, it was starting to hail, and the wind was blowing so hard, it whirled around and pelted you right in the side of the face. The temperature was starting to drop drastically, as well.  We were staying at the church to have a birthday party for Kaya, Kaitlyn's friend.  By the time it was over, there was a full-on blizzard outside.  Snow was swirling around, and starting to rapidly accumulate, and the roads were very icy.  I was shocked.  This was probably only the second Sunday, since we've lived here, that I didn't grab our coats before we left home.  We all regretted it.  It was freezing out!  We had to stop and grab some groceries on the way home, and we watched as big trucks half slid around the corner that they were turning.
This was the snow accumulation on our back porch when we got home.

I suppose I shouldn't have put away the winter clothes yet, but good grief... it's the middle of MAY!
So, I guess... Happy Sprinter!