Saturday, March 31, 2007

Baseball Game # 1 (I'm counting the jamboree as a scrimmage)

Drew had his first baseball game last night. Since Mikayla had just had surgery, I decided that I would stay with her and let Craig take Drew to his game. Poppi, Mimi, Jonathan, and Jessica were also going. I had Craig take my camera (which he hated - it makes him feel like a tourist) so I would at least get to see the game in pictures. I also asked him to call me with updates! I just knew Drew was going to play one of his best games and I was going to miss it!Drew gets ready to catch some balls! Check out that stance!Drew (number 12) waits with his teammates in the dugout for his turn to bat.
Drew, the first batter of the inning, patiently waits for the other team to get ready so his coach can pitch.He hit a single! He actually hit three in this game, scoring some RBIs. Everyone commented on how hard Drew was hitting - Craig, Daddy, Coach Craig. Daddy even said one of Drew's hits would have gone to the fence had a player on the other team not knocked the ball down with his body.An extremely focused Drew gets ready to run home!
Our future Major - League player! His last time at bat during this game - he went 3 for 3 in this game! His team won 18 - 9! Way to go Red Sox!!

I was sad that I missed this great game - Craig said the other team was really good too! I was right where I needed to be though last night. Miki really wanted to go last night, but I was too afraid for her to be out in the cool weather!
Drew has many more games this season that she and I will make it too!

Friday, March 30, 2007

Tonsils and Adenoids No More!

This morning, we had to be at the Ambulatory Center with Mikayla at 7:30 for her surgery to remove tonsils and adenoids. We got up at our usual time got dressed and then headed off to get Drew to school. We dropped him off at ten after 7, and Craig worried the whole time about whether Drew would make it okay. He's never had to walk into the school by himself because usually mommy is with him. He usually hangs out with me until the bell rings, but this morning he sat in the hall and read with the other boys and girls. He seemed to do just fine, but it is very stressful. I got a taste of what other parents go through on a daily basis!

After dropping Drew off safely at school, we headed to the ambulatory center. When we arrived Mikayla enjoyed looking at the beautiful fountain in the lobby, and playing with daddy while mommy filled out papers. Once Poppi got there, it was all about him! She played with him the remainder of the time while we waited for the admitting nurse to call us back.

When the admitting nurse called us back, Mikayla gave Poppi a kiss and we headed back. We had only been back there a couple of minutes when we looked up to see our Pastor, Glenn Rusher. He is such a godly man, and we feel so blessed to call him, not only pastor, but friend! Once he got back there and gave Mikayla a hug, Mikayla started asking for Poppi, so Pastor Glenn went back out and got Poppi!

Pastor Glenn looks on as Mikayla plays with Poppi. We are all back where they checked Mikayla's vitals and prepping her for surgery. Aunt Jennie calls Craig's cell phone to let him know that she and Mimi are there. He asks the admitting nurse if it's okay for them to come back to see Mikayla. She agrees, saying You can pray, but then everyone but mom and dad will need to go back out because we are only supposed to have 2 family members back here. After we pray, Pastor Glenn, Jennie, and my mom, and dad begin to hug Mikayla and tell her they will see her when she wakes up. She started crying for my dad, and wanted him to hold her. The admitting nurse said "no, you stay, if she is going to cry like that, you stay!"

Mikayla shows off her cool thermometer. She kept trying to take it off of her head!

Ms. Angie, a family friend, works at the ambulatory center. Ms. Angie's son and Drew played on the same basketball team. We talked to her about the surgery during basketball season, and she let us know that she would try her best to be there to help with Mikayla that day (this was in January, so she wasn't sure about her schedule for March). We were so pleased to find out when we arrived that Angie was working today. She came out while we were waiting for the admitting nurse to call us back to talk to Mikayla and Mikayla gave her a huge hug!! Angie is wonderful! She was so great with Mikayla - made her feel as comfortable as possible. Here she is telling Mikayla exactly what is going to happen - "you will get a hat like mine and your bear will get a hat and I will walk you back. When we get back there, Rex (anesthesiologist) will put a mask on your face that smells like candy (Mikayla chose bubble gum), and you will go to Monkey Land". She went on to tell Mikayla that not everyone gets to go to Monkey Land. You can see how interested Mikayla was in this!!

The admitting nurse said that everyone could come back in for a minute before they carried her back, so Craig went to get Mimi, Jennie, and Pastor Glenn. When it was time for Mikayla to put her hat on, she started to cry. She knew that it was getting close to time for them to take her back. Poppi put a hat on to convince Mikayla to put hers on. She did and smiled for this picture! Then, Ms. Angie picked her up to head to "Monkey Land". At this point Mikayla started to cry, not a loud mad cry, but a scared quiet cry. We all gave her kisses and told her we loved her and that we would see her when she woke up as Ms. Angie carried her off. When she cried it really got to all of us, but we knew this had to be done. We also knew she was in good hands, and that Jesus would take care of her!

We had been in the waiting room about 5 minutes when Angie came out to tell us that she was asleep. We are so thankful that she was working today!! We waited another 25 minutes before a nurse called us back to talk with the doctor. Dr. B told us that Mikayla did great during the surgery. He told us that her adenoids had probably been causing her more problems than her tonsils. He said she had a generous supply of both, and that we would notice a tremendous difference with them out. He said that the nurses would call us back to see her in a few more minutes.

After about 10 more minutes of waiting we were finally allowed to go back to see our princess. She was still pretty out of it when they first put her in my arms. The nurses had been holding her and loving on her. They all kept saying how sweet she was and how they wanted to take her home with them. One of them said she's like a little magazine baby. I was glad to finally hold her in my arms! It had been a long, emotional morning for all of us!! We stayed in recovery a little over an hour where Mikayla had a little apple juice, and began answering our questions with nods and shakes of her head. She also kept making faces with her mouth and tongue making everyone laugh. Her mouth was still numb and her tongue was swollen and we think it must have been bothering her because she kept trying to stick it out. It was funny to watch, but when Craig would laugh at this, Mikayla appeared to get upset.

Finally, about 10:30 this morning, after 3 hours it was time to take our angel home! Daddy gets prepared to carry her out to our van. We are so glad that her surgery was a success and that it went smoothly! We so appreciate every one's prayers. Please continue to pray that Mikayla had a quick, easy recovery!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007


Here is our little man in his first pair of glasses! He picked these out, and I think he did a wonderful job! He has received lots of compliments since he wore them for the first time yesterday. They called and left a message Monday that they were ready, so we left from school and went to pick them up. He's been wearing them ever since. He takes them off every once in awhile to give his eyes a rest, but he doesn't mind putting them back on. I think they make him look like a doctor - Craig says he looks like a professor! Either way - he looks really smart. They also make him look more grown up.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Drew's Jamboree

Last Saturday was another busy Saturday with Drew and Mikayla! Mikayla had dance from 11:30-1:00 to practice for the finale dance at recital. Then we were to be at the ball fields for Drew's jamboree at 2:30.

Mikayla did well at dance once she got back in the studio with Miss Nicole! The Saturday practices are optional, but Miss Andrea encourages everyone to attend because its the only chance that all of her students get to practice the finale together. Today, only four girls including Mikayla attended and the other girls were a lot older than Mikayla. That made her nervous at first, but once she got back there she was okay. I didn't take my camera, but I peaked in a couple of times and she was dancing right along with those 8-12 year olds trying everything they were doing! I am happy to announce that another picture of Mikayla and her friends dancing in the competition can be found on the Showbiz Talent Website. When you get to the site click on the button on the bottom right for the photo gallery, then click on Spartanburg and pictures should come up. If you click through their picture is toward the back since they danced on the second day! It's a great shot - a close up that I missed!

Drew was so excited about his game he couldn't stand it! That's the only thing he had talked about all day so when we arrived at the fields he was ready to go. He and daddy threw some balls while they waited on the team before us to finish. Mikayla and I went over to watch as Bryson was playing. Mikayla wanted to play with Breanna, and I wanted to watch one of my students! After their game was finished, it was Drew's turn to head out onto the field. They all looked so cute in their uniforms - and they all looked so much alike I had a hard time telling them apart!

Drew's team were out in the field first. Drew gets ready to catch some balls. Unfortunately the team they played Saturday didn't have anyone to get a ball to the outfield so Drew was pretty bored! I'm sure we will play some teams that will give Drew a workout!

Drew gets ready to bat for the first time in the Mites League. I thought Drew might have a hard time since he had never played in a game with umpires before. Here he doesn't look nervous at all!

Drew hits the ball and gets ready to run! We were so proud of our baby! He went 2 for 2 during the game!
Drew waits patiently to run to second base.

Drew and his team "tag-up" after the game! Our boys were so excited.

Coach Craig talks to the guys after the game and presents the game ball to a much - deserved Zachary! He also told the guys they won the game, 5- 4! GO RED SOX!!!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Drew's First Trip to the Eye Doctor

I'm sure after reading the title, most will want to know right away "does Drew need glasses". I'm going to start at the beginning though, so you will have to wait (unless, of course, you skip this and scroll to the bottom of the post - haha)! I'm sorry to report that I don't have pictures of this - I didn't think about my camera until we were there and Drew was sitting in the chair.

At our school, our nurse completes a hearing and vision screening on every kindergarten student at the beginning of the year. From this screening, she marks who may need to be re-checked. Then, from the re-checks she decides whether they need to see a doctor to have their hearing/vision checked.

I found out about a month ago that Drew needed to have his vision rechecked by our school nurse. About 2 weeks ago, our school nurse contacted me to let me know that in the first screening, one of Drew's eyes measured 20/40 and the other measured 20/50. While rechecking his eyes, she found that both measured 20/50. So, after speaking with her, I knew he needed to have an appointment with our family eye doctor (Dr. McPhail).

Since I needed new contacts, I made Drew and myself an appointment for this afternoon. I had tried to prepare Drew as best I could for this appointment, but I wasn't sure how extensive an eye exam would be for a five year old.

When we arrived, Drew was first to have his "pre-tests" completed. He looked into the machine so the tech could measure the curves of his eyes. Then, she performed the "puff test" which checks for glaucoma. When I found out that his exam consisted of this test, I was worried about how he would do. I thought once she got the "puff" in the first eye, he wouldn't want her to "puff" the second eye. He did fine through both "pre-test" handling the "puff" better than mommy does! Next it was mommy's turn for the "pre-test", and the tech let Drew come behind the machines with her to be her "helper". Drew loved this part, and I'm even beginning to think he might want to be an optometrist when he gets big.

Next it was time to go into the exam room with Dr. McPhail. Drew wanted me to go first, which was the best idea because he could watch to see what would be coming for him. He watched as Dr. McPhail determined my prescription by asking "which is better" after he flips the dials on his machine. Drew then watched as Dr. McPhail used the light and mirror and looked in my eyes. Then I agreed when Dr. McPhail asked if I was going to let him dilate my eyes. This is the part I dislike the most (a close second is the "puff test"), but I agreed anyway! After he put the drops in and my eyes got over the shock of the stinging sensation, I was able to put contacts back in while Dr. McPhail started with Drew's exam.

Drew did well during the exam up until the part where Dr. McPhail started asking "which is better". You would have thought Drew was answering a question as part of some major test the way he was struggling with the answer. Finally Dr. McPhail stopped and explained to Drew exactly what he needed to do, and the examination continued. Dr. McPhail was very good with Drew - patient and understanding. Drew asked if he was going to put drops in his eyes and I was surprised when he did. Drew was very surprised by the way the drops felt, and he started making the funniest face. That's when I really wished I had my camera!!

Dr. McPhail had been talking to me during the whole process of my exam and then Drew's about Drew's eyes. He said "he got your eyes" before he even began my exam - the only thing I could think was he gathered that information from the "pre-test". He later said he doesn't appear to have your near-sightedness, but he does have pretty strong astigmatism as you do. From this, I was pretty sure he would need glasses even before he finished with Drew's exam. So, while we waited for the drops to dilate our eyes, we walked over to look at frames.

When we got back into the exam room, Dr. McPhail examined Drew's dilated eyes first. Drew had a very hard time keeping his eyes open as the doctor used his bright light. I was getting on to Drew, but the Dr. said "mom he's okay, he can't really help it - it's his blue eyes". He also went on to say that Drew did excellent for a five year old boy. He said "I would rather see 10 girls this age over 1 boy this age - boys this age are more dramatic". He said "but we are glad to have Drew as part of our practice, he did a great job, most 5 year old boys I'm ready to give away, I will keep Mr. Drew". Then it was my turn to have him look at my eyes - this went relatively quick compared to Drew's struggle. Then we found that yes Drew would need glasses and they would need to be on a permanent basis - so he even needs to wear them while playing sports.

So, after paying for our exams, Drew and I went back to choose his frames. He settled on a pair of wire-rimmed frames that really looked nice with his face. I liked the brown wire-rimmed ones better, but he chose blue. it was since I want him to be happy with these glasses and want to wear them. I was a little shocked to see that his glasses were more expensive than my contacts. (Shows how long it has been since I've bought a pair of glasses - I would be lost without my contacts!!!)

Excited he is - he wanted to get his glasses today. It was hard for him to understand that his glasses have to be made. So, now we wait! We go back on the 28th (if they don't call us before then) to pick up his new glasses, and hopefully my contacts. Look for a different-looking Drew in pictures soon!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Mikayla in the newspaper!

This afternoon I got a call from Mikayla's dance instructor, Miss Andrea, to tell me that Mikayla's picture was in the paper today. We receive a hometown news publication every Wednesday, and Miss Andrea had put an advertisement in it using Mikayla's picture. I was very surprised, and I couldn't wait to bring in our paper to check it out! Sure enough, on the second page, there was an ad for Rising Star Dance Company with a big picture of Mikayla smiling in it! This was taken by Miss Andrea during one of her dance classes. If you look closely you can see that she has her hat on from her penguin costume (to see the complete costume, scroll down). I love the saying at the top - Where Great Dancers Start Small! Mikayla started with Miss Andrea last year when she was 2, and Miss Andrea, Miss Nicole, and Miss Hailey have done an outstanding job helping her become a dancer! They have lots of patience with the little ones, and they give lots of one on one attention - even at times toting Mikayla during dance class! I'm sure Mikayla will continue to grow as a dancer under the guidance of Miss Andrea and Miss Nicole! We think she's already a pretty great little dancer - especially at just 3!!

Monday, March 12, 2007

Dance Competition!

On Sunday, March 11, Mikayla participated in her first dance competition - the Showbiz National Dance Competition! I was worried that she wouldn't dance since the last few times her Company has danced, she has not participated. She says she doesn't like them people looking at her! Boy was I surprised to see her on that HUGE stage doing exactly what the two older girls were doing!! Craig and I were purchasing some dance parent merchandise when I heard her music come on. I said "THAT'S HER", and Craig said yea and she's on stage. Luckily it wasn't very crowded as Mikayla's group was the first to dance. We went running down the aisle along with Mimi and Jennie, cameras in hand snapping pictures the whole way. She did such an outstanding job along with Abbi and Annabeth!! After they danced, we watched as the other little girls competed in the Petite and Junior categories. After the other girls finished Mikayla along with Abbi, Annabeth, and all the other girls and boys went on stage for the awards. Mikayla's group received first place in the 4 and under category (Abbi and Annabeth are 4 and Mikayla is 3). They were the youngest girls who competed Sunday. They received a trophy for the studio and first place ribbons for the girls to bring home. After all of the places were announced, they announced the top 10 groups with the highest scores. In the eight and under division, Mikayla's group placed 10th. We couldn't have been more proud of our girls!! Especially since all of the other girls in the top 10 were 6 or older!!!! Our girls even scored higher than some of the other groups with older girls. Ms. Andrea showed me their score cards tonight after dance and our girls scored a total of 270 points out of 300 - each judge gave them a 90 out of 100!! Woohooo! What an accomplishment! Go girls!!! We just kept telling Mikayla how proud we are of her - she says she can't wait to dance on that stage again!! Abbi, Annabeth, and Mikayla compete as they perform on stage to Superstar Give my Regards to Broadway.

Here they are as they finished their routine - woohoooo GO GIRLS!!

Mikayla, Abbi, and Annabeth go up to receive their award for placing in the top ten overall!

Abbi, Annabeth, and Mikayla pose for a picture with all their awards! We are so proud of our girls!!

Busy Week - Dance, Teacher of the Year, Baseball...

Last week was as busy as ever! I'm not sure we could have squeezed something else in if we tried! On Monday, Mikayla had dance and then I had to be back at school at 7:00 for a PTA meeting and spring Open House. Then on Tuesday, Mikayla had dance again and I had to pick up their pictures that we had taken at the studio at the end of February! Also on Tuesday before I left school I found out that I had been chosen as our Teacher of the Year! I was very surprised and honored at the same time! To be nominated for this by my fellow teachers after only 6 years in the classroom was such an honor! It was announced to the other teachers at my school on Wednesday morning so I received many congratulatory wishes! After school on Wednesday Drew had baseball practice. Thursday afternoon we didn't have any activities so I cooked dinner and we hung out at the house! On Friday night my daddy took us out to dinner to celebrate a belated happy birthday for mom and to celebrate my recent honor! I feel so blessed to have such a supportive family!

On Friday, Drew had baseball practice. When we arrived we found out that our practice field had been double booked (again!). The coaches decided that our teams could scrimmage. That actually proved to be the best practice we could have in fact! The kids really got to see what a game would be like. For Drew he was able to see that you wouldn't get a hit every time and that this year they count strike outs. He did really well and I don't think it will take him long to realize that it's not the end of the world if you don't get a hit every time. It helped when I shared that Poppi and Uncle Jonathan didn't get hits every time when they played either!
Mikayla reads with Claire during baseball practice. She loves having her chair and books with her!
Drew gets ready to hit the ball! Look at that future Atlanta Brave - particularly Chipper Jones (hey a mom can dream can't she?)!

Drew on second base waiting to run again.
Drew plays the field - he does a great job of backing the other guys up!

I wanted to get a picture of how dirty Drew got during practice. So... after practice he and Mikayla pose for a picture in the back of our new van. Gotta love that South Carolina red mud - see Drew's face and hands!

Monday, March 05, 2007

Basketball Banquet

Last night Drew had his basketball banquet at church. It was a wonderful banquet! The church brought in a professional illusionist who did a fantastic job, and he was also a pretty good comedian! At the end he brought a wonderful message about salvation. During the illusions, he asked many people from the audience to assist him.

Mr. Richie (Blake's dad) was chosen to go on stage to assist with one "trick". He couldn't have chosen a better person - Richie cracks me up every time he's around!

This was such a funny part, as this Marine had to jump up and strike a pose and say "I have the tweezers".

The pastor of the church (not our home church, but a great church nonetheless) assist with one of the "tricks".

Some of the audience members caught mini basketballs that were thrown - Drew caught one and Craig caught one for Mikayla. Then these five lucky children (including Bryson and Blake) found numbers on their balls to get a special prize.

Drew poses with his award for participating in Upward this year. All of the children who participated in basketball or cheer leading received these wonderful tote bags. Drew can't wait to use his on a sleepover with Mimi and Poppi and Aunt Jennie! Drew had a wonderful time playing for Upward this year, and I'm sure we will be a part of this wonderful program again next year!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Happy Birthday Mom!! (and more)

The past week has been an extremely busy week for our family. We had dance Monday and Tuesday night. Then Wednesday was my mom's birthday. We called her Wednesday morning to sing to her, and then we all headed out the door. Drew had been complaining of a tummy ache all morning and had even gotten sick in the middle of the night Tuesday, but because he never ran a fever I asked him to try to make it at school as long as he could. My assistant was not scheduled to return to school until Thursday (she had been in NC for a week visiting with her son and his family as they welcomed a new baby girl), and I didn't want to leave the classroom with two substitutes. When we got to school, his tummy was not feeling any better so we ended up leaving shortly after we arrived. He never ran a fever and he was feeling better by Wednesday evening. We even went over to my mom and dad's house that night to give Mimi her birthday gifts. Mom seemed to really enjoy her day (I hope to have my pictures on here soon)!
On Thursday, we were back at school and I got Mikayla registered for 4 year old kindergarten. Thursday was so rainy, but on Friday it was beautiful. After school (while daddy finished up at work) we went to the park with Bryson and Breanna. We had a wonderful time, and I was so grateful that Nanda asked if we would like to join them. Drew practiced baseball with Mr. Jim and Bryson while Nanda and I played with the girls on the swings and slides. We all had a wonderful time. You would know I didn't have my camera with me for this - I could have gotten some precious pictures!
On Saturday, we had our first baseball practice. We were hoping that Drew and Bryson would be on the same baseball team this year, but that didn't work out. I am so grateful that Drew will be playing on Coach Craig Bishop's team again this year. Coach Craig was Drew's first coach on an organized team, and since Coach Tim (from last year) was not moving up this year we had been praying for Coach Craig. He is an amazing coach who is wonderful with the kids. He has so much patience, and it is about more than competition with him. He teaches his kids teamwork, cooperation, and he believes that they are all winners when they are trying their best and having fun. That is what is most important to Craig and I as parents as well. I was so relieved when we found out that Craig was able to get him on his team. At the first practice we got a chance to meet the players on Drew's team and the parents. Drew knew a lot of the guys from his first year, but he didn't play with them last year because they all moved up. Two of the little boys on Drew's team are in my class at school - Sumner (Coach Craig's son), and Garrett. They both played with Drew his first year. Drew also played with Brendon his first year - his mom and I reminisced about how he and Drew were. The other little boys on his team we did not know before Saturday, but they all had such wonderful personalities. Drew had a wonderful time with coaches Craig and Jeff, and really enjoyed working with the guys on his new team! I could really see how much he has grown since his first year. We are enthusiastically looking forward to this year!! I don't have pictures from this first practice because I left my camera in the car - I will have some of his practice this week!
After baseball, we went to get lunch and then took Mikayla to dance practice. Ms. Andrea has been scheduling several Saturday rehearsals to get all of the dancers in the studio at the same time to practice the finale dance for recital. These rehearsals seem to be going pretty well. At first Mikayla would get nervous because the older girls were in there with her, but now she has gotten more used to it. Ms. Andrea commented Saturday that the little ones were really doing a good job - they attempt everything the older girls are doing! We can't wait for recital!!
After we got home we cleaned the house then went outside to wash my van. There was red mud (from the practice baseball fields of course) on the outside and inside of the van and it was driving me crazy! Once we had a clean van, we all got cleaned up to go out to dinner!
We had such a busy week last week and this one is already filling up with many activities. I hope to have my camera with me more this week though!!

Last Basketball Game for 2007

Yes we are still here - I'm sure some were wondering because of the lack of recent posts. We have been super busy here, but my goal is to do a better job of updating more frequently. If not, I'm afraid I'll get so far behind I'll never get caught up. You see, our two little ones - our angels - have been keeping us on the run. Drew finished up basketball last Saturday, February 24th (see pictures below of his final game of the season), and then moved directly to baseball with his first practice being yesterday. Mikayla is also keeping us busy with her dancing. So... Oh yea, did I forget to mention that Craig is also working 70+ hours per week. That's happening so much lately - I'm forgetting things. Since I typically have a terrific memory, it is very aggravating to be so forgetful!! I still feel so very blessed to have my hard-working husband, and my two precious angels. I'm loving every minute (okay almost every minute) of being a wife and mommy!
The lights went out in the gym directly before Drew's game started. They started their game in the dark, but the lights were back on shortly after their game started. Oh yea - notice all the posters hanging on the wall. Since it was the last game of the season, they had spirit day and invited parents/families to make posters for their favorite Upward player/cheerleader. Guess which mommy forgot? You guessed it - Drew did not have a poster hanging up for his last game. Talk about a mommy feeling terrible. It helped a little that four out of the six players on Drew's team (including Drew) did not have signs, but I still should have remembered! Grrrrr
I'm just glad he wasn't upset!!! Drew dribbles down to get ready to shoot. The little guy that blocked him during this game was the son of the coach for the other team. He was blocking Drew really well the whole game. Every time Drew got the ball the coach for the other team would say "that's long shot" and his son would get on Drew. I guess he remembered Drew making all those long shots this year. It was great fun to watch.Mikayla and Poppi love watching and cheering for Drew! Drew dribbles the ball down court. Go Drew Go!!Drew gets ready to take his shot - it was good! He didn't get to shoot as many shots during this game because of the good blocking by the other team, but he made most of the ones he shot!All the players listen and watch as the coach of the other team lets one of his players make a shot. That's the great thing about Upward - all children are winners no matter what!

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