Thursday, November 29, 2012

family time

enjoying some hot chocolate after working hard to get the christmas decorations up!
some were digging for the marshmellows...:)
i guess they were worn out! love their new sleeping arrangements! tysen loves to be in with his brothers!

thanksgiving 2012

well, thanksgiving was awesome, as usual! the food is always just soooo good....and its refreshing to be with family. in my fam...this was the first time we had all been together in 2 our first gathering with little of course, that called for a family picture. pretty good considering the 10 kids under 9!!! 
 the original 6 all together. and total coincidence that we are in age order also!
its kinda "my thing" family gatherings i get to do fun braids on all my nieces!! 

then, onto the vanderveers! again...amazing food. we missed adam, aimee, reanna and katie...but still had a pretty fun crew!!! we tried to go see the parade of lights in downtown fort worth, but the traffic and lines were unbelievable, so we landed at the stockyards to walk around...had a great time! especially watching andy, payton, and joey ride the mechanical bull!!! (andy stayed on the longest:)


well, my eldest is 9. nine! i would say i can't believe it, but i definitely can. there is a "cool" factor that comes with the pre-teens that he is already starting to exhibit. words like "dude" and "seriously" and "sweet man" are in his constant vocabulary. this kid plays football 24/7. every single day the neighborhood boys are over playing together. i love it. logan also carries a football in his hand everywhere he goes. its the equivalent of a pacifier for a baby. he doesn't leave home without his football. so, even though he did a football party last year...that's what he wanted again! this time we upped the party a little and actually sprayed painted the yard into a field...and had 2 of our college guys come and be quarterbacks so dad could be the referee. 
happy birthday logan!!

quality time

there's so much swirling around us these days in the world of ministry. trying to make sure we make time for quality time. took the boys out for family shake night at chickfila. everyone except andy got the peppermint shake...he always gets the cookies and cream shake. it was ians first time to try it! i love that he still has "firsts" in the world of milk!

date night for us!! it was so needed and so relaxing! after a good burger at grub burgers and grill, we just wandered for awhile at 1/2 price books...then walked around the mall. of course got a cookie...and just sat and talked. much needed quality time.


rewinding again to october, my little nephew grant was born!! tysen and i went to stay with the mcclures for the week...grant was 6 weeks early and stayed in the hospital for over a week getting strong! he is growing steadily now and is super healthy!!
fun to get some good sister time while i was in town. we ate at our madeline...

october review

i'm not sure how the time keeps getting away from me...but here i am going back to october! and we didn't get any pictures from halloween, but i did have this picture of tysen and buddy, gideon, playing in costumes. it will have to do...:)

we loved going to the highschool football games! after one game, we hung around and the boys felt pretty cool being out on the field!!

we made an impromtu trip to keller one weekend to see the family. the boys love feeding the ducks so we did that with max and gra...
logan has a super sweet relationship with graham! graham loves to pull his hat off and then put it back on...over and over again! logan loves to play with him!

Monday, September 24, 2012

getting away

mid august, we began the school year running. and i mean...running. we went from a leader retreat, to event kick-offs, to family in town, to women's retreat...and quite literally, something every night in between. we typically enjoy being busy. andy's a youth pastor, and we believe that to make disciples of Christ, we must be 'living life' with our students. which means entering their world...which means going to games and events and hanging out outside of church. we LOVE it...but if we aren't careful, we can lose our foothold, and we start to drown. one of the things i'm most thankful for in my that the moment i come to him and say "we gotta slow down"...he hears me and responds. we had reached that point right around my birthday...yes, i'm 33 now...:) andy surprised me at youth group...and in front of 72 students and college leaders, he announced that he was skipping the ministry night (that we were encouraging our students to attend) in order to take me out. he told them all that while he loved all of them...they needed to know that his wife and family are more important...and that he has been running me crazy with ministry lately and that i needed a break. and i loved this...he said "every single one of you needs to know that sometimes i have to say no to ministry, to say yes to my family" was several minutes worth of ranting about me and how awesome i am (which i'm certain is debatable)...but i felt so re-charged...just by his willingness to tell others publicly. and what a teachable moment for all those students. i must be the luckiest girl in this world.

he proceeded to take me out the next night...away. like to a hotel in houston away. he had arranged some
UH-MAZING college students that were willing to stay with the boys and take them to school. that's another huge blessing we have here...we don't have family close, but we have the BEST leaders in our group and i can't even believe they are willing to help us so much!

my favorite dessert in the world. cookie cake...and this was a cookie

school started!

i'm finding that my blog posts are slimming down...and what's worse, that i'm not having any pictures to talk about! i've got to get better about taking more pictures!
 first day of school. EVERYONE was thrilled!
 tysen's first day of pre-k!!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

early birthday

well, my middle man is turning 7 next week. and since his bday is on wednesday...which is our craziest day of the week...we decided to celebrate with him early. he invited a couple of friends over and we had cake...then went to the pool to swim!

he still loves ben10...and this is the "real people ben10 movie"...

ian's quote "now i can be hawkeye!!"

being super goofy...but he asked for a chocolate mint cake. this is the cake my mom made for me every year growing up. its a family favorite...but it has milk, so he has never gotten to eat it! until a few weeks ago after his NAET treatment...and obviously, he loved it! and luke

apparently he wasn't interested in taking a picture with his parents.

the birthday gang...logan, kylie, ian, luke, tysen, and tj


last month we got in a visit with the brotherhood. at least 15 years in the making...maybe more.
its a rarity to have friends like this. and now our kids get to grow up together. look at this slew of boys!

keaton, wyatt, gra, logan, sweet halle girl, tysen, max, luke, ian

the brotherhood...

...and their wives

Friday, August 3, 2012

naet treatment

for any parent or person who deals with allergies...this is a worthy read.

last week our lives changed. anyone who knows me, knows that my middle kid, ian, has been allergic to milk since birth. he was on soy formula as a baby because he would violently vomit regular formula. at 9 months, he had 2 tiny bites of my icecream...and within 15 minutes he had hives and a swollen eye. a couple of times he accidentally got his brothers cup of milk...and would be vomitting within 10 min. if he ate a cookie or bread or cracker that contained milk...his throat would itch, and he would get splotchy hives around his mouth. i've carried an epipen in my purse..."just in case". this is what i've been used to for the past 7 years...and we have totally cut milk from his diet. as he has gotten older, he has noticed that he doesn't get the same things as his brother...and he has been SO sweet about it...but it always broke my heart. he can't eat lunch at school, we take a peanut butter sandwich in case the restaurant doesn't have an option for him, he had to have a separate treat at birthday parties...etc, etc.

until last week.
we heard from a few friends about a dr. in denton, tx who does an allergy elimination technique called NAET. she does a series of natural tests to determine allergens, then uses accupressure to eliminate them. it took me some time to wrap my brain around it. and honestly, i still don't get it. :) but, last week we went and ian was treated (we actually found out that he was allergic to milk, fish, smoke, and weeds)...she describes allergies as sort of a gliche in your system...its related to the nervous system...but your body doesn't recognize a substance and it attacks it as a toxin. so..this treatment is essentially "reseting" your system to know that it doesn't need to attack a certain substance. and i promise you, when she explains makes complete sense. she was so open to questions (i called 3 times before my appt with more questions)...more than anything, if you're interested, i would encourage you to call them with your questions, but feel free to ask me too!

this is my sweet kid praying before his appt...wish i had recorded that precious prayer.

ok, so the procedure is bizarre. ian holds a vial of the allergen in one hand...and she presses on his other raised arm. if he is allergic, he cannot hold his arm up. she presses on his arm, and there's just nothing he can do to resist the pressure. so...she goes through the series of  most common allergens and sets aside what he is allergic to. then, he holds the vials in his hand (it will depend on how many you are allergic to and her treatment plan but we were able to do all of ian's)...and he lays on his stomach while she does accupressure along his spine. he does a series of breathing patterns while she repeats the pressure points...and when he turns over, his arm is strong and resistant...still holding those same vials.
yes. its crazy. worked.
the major catch is that for the next 24 hours, he had to completely stay away from those allergens (which she will explain and tell you exactly what to do depending on your allergy)...but after that...its done. we went back in for a re-check (which isn't always necessary, but i wanted to since i live out of town, but was still in denton that week)...and he was cleared for all those allergies.
there were no drugs nothing potentially harmful...just a natural and holistic treatment! one week later, he has had a completely normal diet...with zero reactions! we are soooooooo excited for him...and in all honesty, i can't wait to plan my meals for this next week!!!! :)

**this was the part that i was NOT prepared for. the past 7 years, we've trained ian to stay away from anything with milk. and he knows very well what happens when he doesn't. so there was a mental part that i was not expecting at all! the first day he tried a few sips of milk, then just got weirded out and said his throat felt weird. i was stunned and shocked and thinking, "you have got to be kidding me...this didn't work". he wouldn't try anything the rest of the day. that evening we had burgers, and he saw the nacho cheese doritoes, and for some reason, that sparked his interest. he asked if he could have some, and he LOVED them! usually he would have broken out with splotchy hives around his mouth... but there were none! he started a piece of cake that contained milk, and did great with it...but i was talking to my brother about it all, and as he listened, he just shut down and wouldn't finish the cake. i began to realize the mental part was the hardest part for him. he was really scared to try anything! when he didn't react to the chips, i was pretty confident, but he wasn't yet. the next morning he ate yogurt with zero reaction (he should have been vomitting). he asked for a bowl of cereal...but then asked if it was real milk. i said yes, and after 2 bites, he said that his throat felt weird and he was done. i felt super confused. we had our follow up appt...and the dr explained that sometimes...with kids who are older and know what's going on...its scary to try these things...and their mind can create the symptoms they know they are supposed to be feeling. for more severe allergies, she definitely recommends coming in for a follow up appt before trying the allergen...
slowly but surely ian began to gain confidence that he wasn't reacting to anything anymore! and yesterday was the kicker...he drank chocolate milk...with NO reaction! i about cried...its just still so amazing!
so--if you have or know someone who has allergies...check this treatment out. it has changed our life!