Monday, September 29, 2008

Bikes, Blues & BBQ!!

Every year, Fayetteville hosts a bike rally called, Bikes, Blues & BBQ. It has grown to be the largest motorcycle rally in the United States benefiting local charities! This was our 3rd year in a row to go with our good friends, David and Jessica. As usual, we had a blast and Zayde enjoyed the sights and sounds.

I decided to ride on their bike with David, and Jessica rode in our car. I was very nervous and David didn't help out at all- he thought it was so funny when he gassed it, taking off at a stop light! (I thought it was funny, too. =) I kept squealing and pinching David's side when he scared me!)

Jessica and David

The Hickman's

We had a pre-dinner at Jose's. Later on, David and Zack ate BBQ, while I had a funnel cake... Mmmm!

Zayde loves riding on tricycles and bikes, so this motorcycle was right up his ally- he loved it!

Zayde also loves riding on his daddy's shoulders...

Zayde and Mommy
(FYI: Zayde was NOT into smiling for pictures this night.)

Me and Jessica posing with a robot- they have some of the neatest sights there!
(Yes, Jessica is pregnant and looking beautiful! No, I am not pregnant, although I look like it in this picture for some reason.)

This bike matched Zayde's outfit!

Poor Baby, it was 11:00p.m. before we left. Zayde was so tired that he fell asleep in his daddy's arms. (It made for a sweet picture, though!)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Good Food, Clingy Baby and Speech Therapy...

1) Good Food! While in Texas, Zack and I either had junk food, snacks or ate out for EVERY meal. We were given a credit card from the company we were working with for food, since meals were not provided (well, edible meals- but that's another story). So when we got home, we wanted some good country cookin'! Zack is an excellent cook and can whip up anything! On our first night back, he made country fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, and biscuits. It was delicious...

Zack's plate- he thought it looked the best since it had more gravy and pepper.

2) Clingy Baby! Zayde has been extremely clingy since we've been home. He has wanted us to hold him non stop. But, that is fine with me!! I'm enjoying the extra hugs and cuddling. This is him loving on Zack before he had to go to work this morning (hence the nasty, cut-up tshirt.) Zayde did NOT want Zack to leave. He has cried every time one of us has had to go somewhere.

Zayde now officially has way more hair than his daddy! =)

3)Speech Therapy?? At Zayde's 15 month check-up, his doctor asked how many words he was saying. Well, he actually said, "So, he's saying Mommy and Daddy plus 5-10 other words. Right?" NOT! I informed his doctor that he said ZERO words, not even Momma or Dada. The doctor was not very concerned at that point, because Zayde had just gotten tubes in his ears, and he felt like he was hearing better and would start picking up on words faster. He told me that if Zayde was not saying 5-10 words (other than mommy and daddy) by 19 months, to call back. So at 19 months (3-1/2 weeks ago) I called back, because he only said 4 words other than Momma and Dada. The doctor recommended early intervention speech therapy and gave me the number for an early intervention speech therapist. I received a call from her today, and we will have his consultation visit on Monday. However, he has learned several new words over the past few weeks- he is now up to about 10 words (he'll be 20 months in 6 days.) I am curious to hear from all of the mom's who read my blog how many words your child was saying at 19, 20 months. I know several babies Zayde's age who are already putting together 2-3 word sentences. I'm trying not to worry, but it's hard knowing that your child is behind in any way. I guess I'm more shocked than anything, because I really thought with my preschool that, if anything, he would be advanced. I have not worked with him near as much as I would like to, because I have 3 preschoolers who I'm trying to get ready for kindergarten. I've been doing so much with them, I guess I've neglected my own baby!

Anyways, I've been told, "Go for the speech therapy, what could it hurt?" And, I've been told that it's ridiculous for a 20 month old to be in speech therapy. What do you all think?? How many words did your 19-20 month old say?? I look forward to hearing your thoughts, opinions, advice, etc.!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

We're finally home!

Well, one week in Texas turned into two weeks!! I don't even know where to begin, the past two weeks have been so crazy! Zack and I drove handicap accessible vans to Southern Texas with 12 other drivers to help evacuate. We drove a total of 2,896 miles from the time we left home on the 8th to the time we returned on the 21st. My sister kept Zayde for the first week and my parents kept him for the second week. He ended up getting pink eye, which caused a fever and runny nose that last for 3 days. It just about killed me being away from him while he was sick. I am so thankful for my sister and parents for taking such good care of him. It was sooooo hard being away from him, but I knew he was in good hands.

Our schedule was crazy!! We drove from one place to the other all over Southern Texas at all hours of the day and night...

September 8th- Left Arkansas at 5:30pm and drove to Waco, TX
September 9th- Arrived in Waco, TX at 12:30am (Stayed in Hotel)
September 9th- Left Waco, TX at 7:30am and drove to San Antonio, TX
September 9th- Arrived in San Antonio, TX at 12:00pm
September 9th- Left San Antonio, TX at 4:30pm and drove to Beeville, TX
September 9th- Arrived in Beeville, TX at 7:40pm (Slept at a local shelter on cots)
September 10th-Left Beeville, TX at 7:00pm and drove to Corpus Cristi, TX
September 10th-Arrived in Corpus Cristi, TX at 11:30pm (Slept in a hospital parking lot in our vans)
September 11th-Left Corpus Cristi, TX at 6:30pm and drove to Houston, TX
September 11th-Arrived in Houston, TX at 11:00pm (Slept at an old air strip in our vans)
September 12th-Left Houston, TX at 9:00am and drove back to San Antonio, TX
September 12th-Arrived in San Antonio, TX at 1:00pm
September 15th-Left San Antonio, TX at 5:30pm and drove back to Houston, TX
September 15th-Arrived in Houston, TX at 11:45pm
We were trying to sleep in our vans in a parking garage with about 200 ambulances- sleep did NOT happen!
September 16th-Left parking garage (with no sleep) at 3:45am and drove to the Convention Center in Houston, to pick up a patient and transport to San Antonio, TX
September 16th-Arrived at the Convention Center at 4:00am
September 16th-Finally left the Convention Center in Houston, TX at 6:00am (still no sleep)
September 16th-Arrived at the base in San Antonio, TX at 9:30am to have patient assessed and receive directions for the appropriate shelter to take her
September 16th-Left the base in San Antonio, TX at 9:45am to take patient to a local church that was set up as a shelter
September 16th-Arrived at the church at 10:15am to drop off patient
September 16th-Left the church at 10:35am
September 16th-Arrived back on base in San Antonio, TX at 11:05am
September 16th-Finally got to cots and fell asleep for the first time in over 24 hours at 1:00pm! We slept on cots for the next 4 nights.
September 20th-Left San Antonio, TX at 3:50pm to go home!!
September 21st-Arrived home at 2:00am- yea!!!! We woke Zayde up and he just laughed and laughed while I cried and cried! I will NEVER leave my baby for that long again!

This picture does no justice in showing how packed the gas stations were as people were evacuating. There was a vehicle at every pump, and lines of vehicles out to the road waiting to get gas. You could hardly walk inside the store because of all the people, and the lines for the registers and restrooms were extremely long. I've never seen so many people at a gas station at midnight before!

One of our vans waiting to get gas...

This is the hospital where we slept in our vans one night. The night we got there, people were still coming in and out. By the next morning, they had sand bagged the entrance and boarded up the windows.

...the boarded up windows.

...Some of our group eating breakfast at a local diner after a good night's rest in our vans. (Ha!) The waitress at the diner said that they were staying through the hurricane and would be open the next day. I hope they are all okay!

This was our home away from home for the majority of our trip. We were stationed at this air force base in San Antonio where there was a huge warehouse room with cots set up for us to sleep on. After sleeping in our vans, these cots felt wonderful!

In our down time (which was a lot) we played games. Here is Alan, Zack, me and Melissa playing "Phase 10."

There were shuttles that ran from the base where we were stationed to Downtown San Antonio. We walked "The River Walk" and visited "The Alamo."

Melissa and Amy on The River Walk

My cousin, Melissa, was one of the drivers that we went with. (You might remember her and her family from my Florida post.) I am soooo thankful that she was there! We were able to stick together when taking restroom trips, shower trips (which were in a portable trailer- it's kind of like a porta-potty, except a porta-shower- Yuck!), naps, playing games, etc. We really enjoyed hanging out and getting to know each other better. We were together 24 hours a day for 13 days- I miss her already!

Zack and Amy at The Alamo

This is our group (minus a couple) at Hard Rock Cafe in San Antonio.

Monday, September 8, 2008

My Smart Boy!

Zayde loves books. He goes to his room at least once a day and "reads" his books, jabbering away as he turns the pages. I love to watch him "read"!

Side Note: Please keep Zack and I (and Zayde) in your prayers this week. Zack and I will be leaving Zayde with my sister for a whole week!! We are going to Texas to help with any evacuation needed for Hurricane Ike. Please pray for travel mercies for us as well as a peace and comfort for Zayde (and me:) while being away from Mommy and Daddy for an extended amount of time for the first time ever! Thank you for your faithfulness and devotion to the Lord in prayer!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Word on Wednesday...

Sorry I missed my W.O.W. yesterday! With the long weekend, my days have been mixed up all week. Anyway, here's my W.O.W. a day late...

Nehemiah 8:10- "...for the joy of the LORD is your strength."

Job 8:21- "He will yet fill your mouth with laughter and your lips with shouts of joy."

Psalm 33:1- "Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him."

Psalm 66:1- "Shout with joy... all the earth!"

Psalm 90:14- "Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days."

Psalm 126:3- "The LORD has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy."

Romans 12:12- "Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."

Galatians 5:22- "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy..."

1 Thessalonians 5:16- "Be joyful always"

Genesis 30:13- "Then Leah said, 'How happy I am! The women will call me happy.'"

Proverbs 15:13- "A happy heart makes the face cheerful."

Galatians 4:15- "What has happened to all your joy?..."

James 5:13- "... Is anyone happy? Let him sing songs of praise."

Psalm 68:3- "But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful."

Are you happy? Are you joyful? Sometimes it is so easy to get caught up in being a "good" Christian that we forget to proclaim the happiness and joy that we have in knowing the Lord!

My husband, Zack, has been in Texas for the past eight days. He has met many people and made some friends. He has been hanging out with one particular individual who Zack says is, "One of those guys that you sometimes envy and want to be like. He always seems so happy and carefree. He is always laughing and playing around, having a great time." Well, Zack found out last night that this guy is an atheist. Wow. Isn't it so sad that someone who not only doesn't know the Lord, but has turned his back on Him completely, seems so happy and joyful that a Christian notices!? Now, I am NOT saying that Zack is not happy or joyful or has not been an example of God's true joy. But we know that this guys' happiness and joy is only temporary and totally artificial. (My sister actually knows this guy, and knows that he is really very unhappy and has lots of problems in his life right now.) It just made me start thinking. Others around him, who don't know his personal life, just see this self-proclaimed atheist and how happy he seems- someone who always has a smile on his face, always doing something funny, always has a joke to tell, always having so much fun. Do people see me and think how happy I am? Do they say, "Wow, she is full of joy, always smiling and having fun!"? I am truly joyful, but do I show it? I want to make heads turn and be so different from the world, because I have the true joy of the Lord! From all the verses above (and more), God tells us to proclaim His goodness, shout with joy, and be happy! Let's show the world what a joy it is to have Christ in our lives!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day Weekend Fun!

This weekend, Zayde and I went to Zack's family's lake house for Labor Day. Zack left Thursday morning for Texas to help out with the Hurricane Gustav evacuation, so he was unable to join us. However, Zayde and I did enjoy our weekend! There are 4 grandkids on Zack's side of the family. Zack's younger sister, Jeana (who has 18 month old, Eli) has lived in Maryland & California for the past 4 years. Her husband, Stanley, is in the Marines and is now in Japan. Jeana is back home while Stan is overseas- we wish he could be here with us, too! This was only the 2nd time we have had all four grandkids together- it was great!

Zayde playing with the big kids!
Tyler-5 and Chloe-3

Eli and Zayde playing together!

Eli and Zayde are only 4 weeks apart- it was so much fun watching them play and laugh together. Eli was born with Down Syndrome and many medical complications. He has been in and out of the hospital his entire life, but is doing very well now. He is still on a ventilator, oxygen and feeding tube, but that doesn't slow him down a bit! He is so active and has the sweetest personality- he is such a cutie!

Aunt Amy and Eli...

Zayde and Eli

Swimming at the lake...

...still my little climber!

Although it was pretty humid, Eli enjoyed being outside and watching the kiddos play.

Night-time campfire... is possible to spend the weekend on the lake and not make smores?

Tyler enjoys his smore!

Mommy (Jeana) and Eli playing...

Jessie (Zack's older sister) roasts a marshmallow.

Aunt Jessie and Eli

Zayde: "What's that?"

I can't resist those big blue eyes!

Tyler, Jeana, Holly, Zayde, Amy

Amy, Jessie, Jeana- we had SUCH A BLAST this weekend!

Jessie and Jeana are so much fun, always joking around and being silly. Jessie and I were best friends in high school before Zack and I started dating, so hanging out with them reminds me of the good 'ol days! I'm sure I could find an old picture of the three of us in high school if started looking...

Memaw and Eli enjoying the shade.

Mommy and Zayde

Aunt Holly (Zack's youngest sister- 13) and Chloe I said, always goofing around!

Zayde loves his beach ball.

Tyler was an excellent swimmer!

Chloe loves the water- this girl has no fear!

Zayde enjoyed riding on his baby raft- he almost fell asleep!

The Grandkids:
Eli-18mo, Tyler-5, Chloe-3, Zayde-19mo

We hope you had a great Labor Day weekend!