Thursday, July 24


Today it has been three years since I began Abigail's blog. I enjoy looking back and seeing all the fun (and the not so fun) events in her/our life. However, it's been difficult to keep up three blogs, so I have decided to merge them. I have been contemplating this for about a year, and I have finally decided to give it a try. I will continue to post the events of her life, but I'm going to move it to my main blog, Consider it all Joy. I will keep this one up and may occasionally post something, but for the most part, it will just be an archive of the past three years. For those who are only interested in Abby and not the other goings-on in our family, I will tag all posts specifically about her with an Abby label so they can easily be found on that blog. I will also have specific labels for posts dealing with fetal alcohol effects because I know some people are interested in that aspect of her blog. All your comments and visits have been greatly appreciated!

Wednesday, July 23

A Real Bed

When we visited our friends on the 4th of July, they told us they were getting rid of their daughter's queen size bed for a smaller one and wanted to know if we wanted it. Abby has been sleeping on a full-size futon that we used to use as a couch when we lived in Memphis. It's about 12 years old and has seen better days! It's also the bed our guests sleep on when they come, so we have been wanting to get a new bed for her. Though we were wanting a full-size bed, we decided to go ahead and take it since the queen is only a couple of inches wider and it was free!

Ward giving horse rides.

Ward and Cindy hadn't been to our new house yet, so Monday they drove out with the bed and spent the day with us. It was a nice time of fellowship, and Abby was very excited to get a her new bed. It's much higher off the ground than the futon, and she loves it! We're very grateful for the gift, which even came with a set of sheets. I'm sure Gramie and any other guests will be grateful too!

Thursday, July 17

County Fair

We have never been to our local county fair. There are several reasons: It's always on my birthday weekend, it's usually scorching hot, it costs way too much money, and overall lack of interest, I guess. However, this year some friends of ours had some animals (remember the cute bunnies?) entered in the fair as well as doing some horse riding. We found out that the day before the fair officially opens, all the animals are there and you can get in for free to see them.

So last Tuesday I took the kids over to see what our little fair had to offer. Abby was very excited (Ryan was underwhelmed) when I told her we were going to see the animals. She wanted to see them all, and we did. We saw the horses, pet the sheep and pigs and cows, saw the bunnies and chickens and geese, and last of all, we saw the goats.

That's the same bunnies, and they have grown!

Even Ryan enjoyed the animals once we got to the bunnies and goats. Abby kept wanting to see the dogs, but I finally convinced her they don't have dogs at the fair (at least not our fair).

I know next to nothing about equestrian events, but they were doing some contests while we were there. We sat and watched a couple of competitions, and both kids really enjoyed that. Abby is dying to get back on Jesse, our friends' horse, so hopefully now that the fair is over, she will be able to get a quick ride in soon.

Abigail and Jesse.

Monday, July 14

Our Philosopher

Abigail and Daddy were sitting by the campfire one night this past weekend while I was cleaning up after dinner. As they sat together, Abby asked Daddy, "What if it's all just a dream?" Daddy was a little taken aback and asked her, "What if what's all a dream?" She responded, "Everything. All this," indicating around her.

I surely never expected to hear that rattling around in her little mind!

Camping at the Beach

Abby loves adventure! Needless to say, she was pumped for our camping trip at the beach. Once we arrived and she saw all the "beautiful trees" to climb in, she was overjoyed. While Daddy and I set up camp, she and Ryan (and some boys from a nearby campsite) climbed trees and ran around having a fantastic time. After the camp was set up and a fire going, we walked to the beach for a quick look at the ocean and then back to the site for some hot chocolate...oh, wait, Abby didn't get any. Before we left home, she got into the food box, took my bag of hot chocolate, hid under her bed, opened several packets and ate them (of course, making a huge mess in the process).

Abby had been wearing sandals when we arrived, and in just a little over two hours her feet looked like she had been walking through the ashes of the campfire! It wasn't long after cleaning up her feet and donning shoes and socks that we made the final trip to the bathroom, which wasn't exactly close to our site. It was after 10:00pm when we finally crawled into our sleeping bags for the night. It took quite a while and a story from Daddy before the kids calmed down and went to sleep.

It was just a little after 5:00am when the kids woke up, and I knew there was no getting them back to sleep. In order to let Daddy sleep longer, I got up with them, took them to the bathroom and then we tried unsuccessfully to light a fire. It was pretty chilly, so I made some hot chocolate for the kids...after her great disappointment the night before of not getting any, I allowed her to have some this time. After about two hours, we started cooking breakfast and woke up Daddy to see if he wanted a hot breakfast of French Toast with us (he did).

Then next thing we did was go to the beach. Like I said, it was chilly, but the walk warmed us up somewhat. We checked out the interesting forts people had built out of driftwood, did some geocaching, admired the scenery, and just generally enjoyed walking along the beach. Even a wind-hating sand-hating noise-hating girl like me loves a walk on the beach!

Inside the pirate fort that was built right near our campground.

There was no need to buy firewood at this campground! All you had to do was gather up an armload of driftwood and carry it back to camp. Abby is always finding great sticks when we go for hikes, and she was in her glory with thousands to choose from.

One of dozens of sand angels Abby made during our trip.

Each time we were at the beach, Abigail would fill her pocket with "pretty things" she'd find: shells, rocks, sticks, etc. We took to calling her Jingle Shells because when she walked the shells would all clang together and make a jingling noise. Daddy and I were cracking up every time she'd run because she would leave a trail of her treasures behind her as they would fall out of her pockets. We tried several times to get it on video because it was so funny (to us, anyway) but weren't able to really get a good clip. In the picture above, she's re-gathering all her "pretty things" she lost during a sprint, much to Ryan's impatience.

After walking a mile up the coast and then back, we went back to our campsite and had some lunch. Then we drove Daddy to the jetty so he could do some fishing. For some reason (probably because we told them it wasn't safe for them to stay and fish) Abby was terrified of the jetty. She's normally so bold and throws caution to the wind, but she gripped my hand tightly as we walked a short distance out on the jetty and said goodbye to Daddy for a few hours.

The kids and I then went back to the beach, armed with buckets, shovels, bulldozers, etc. They spent the next few hours digging and rolling and playing in the sand. The wind was blowing something fierce, and my legs were freezing making me wish I had worn long pants. But the Abby and Ryan seemed oblivious to the blowing sand and cold air and had a blast playing together and separately until we saw Daddy walking down the shore to us.

He had caught a fish and needed to go clean it, so I stayed a bit longer on the beach with the kids before going back to camp for some dinner...which would now include Vermillion Rock Fish! After dinner we enjoyed the campfire and even made some S'mores. Abby is the only one who actually likes them in our house. Mommy just ate the chocolate, Daddy toasted marshmallows and then had some chocolate, and Ryan had a chocolate graham cracker sandwich.

The next day we celebrated "Ryan's Day." We all slept much later the next day, but Daddy woke with a bad migraine and had to give himself a shot. So after a quick breakfast, Abby, Ryan and I, got on our bikes and rode to a large sand dune near the campground so Daddy could have some quiet and hopefully sleep off the meds and the migraine. I helped Abby climb three-quarters of the way up this big sand dune when she turned and ran back down. Then she sat at the bottom and cried because I wouldn't come back down and help her up again! Eventually, she decided it wasn't nearly so difficult as she was making it and scrambled up to the top to join me. We marveled at the view we could see from up there: Tillamook Bay, the ocean, rocky outcroppings from the sea, the jetties, and gorgeous blue skies. Too bad I didn't bring my camera, huh?

Daddy surprised us by finding us as we were riding back to camp. He said his head still hurt so I suggested we drive into Tillamook and do a geocache and have some ice cream while we were there. He was up for that, and so was everyone else. We stopped first at the Blue Heron, yet another place in Tillamook where they make cheese.

The fun part for Abby was feeding the alpacas and farm animals. She has always loved animals, and getting to feed and pet them is one of her favorite things to do.

Everyone was hungry so we let Ryan choose where we would eat since it was his special day. We ended up at McDonald's (big surprise), and the kids played there for a while before we took them to the "real" cheese factory and (more importantly) creamery! We ate the delicious ice cream (it is SO much better there than the store), looked at the boat they have out front and then drove back to our campground.

When we arrived we immediately packed up buckets, spades and toys and walked to the beach for an afternoon of sun (and freezing wind and blowing sand) and fun. Both kids were dying to get into the water! I admonished them that they were going to be very cold if they did, but they were not to be detered by a little bit of cold wind.

Abby had a fabulous time for all of about 10 minutes. She slipped and fell at one point which got her wetter than she had wanted, and after that she was so cold she just wanted to go back to our campsite. I got her dressed in dry clothes and wrapped her up in a blanket hoping she'd change her mind, but once I saw her lying curled up on the sand with her back to the wind, I took pity on her and took her back and built a warm fire! Truthfully, I wasn't sad to leave. I wore pants so I wouldn't be too cold, but the wind and blowing sand was really irritating me.

The next morning we took Daddy to the sand dune since he had missed our first venture there. He brought the camera this time also, but, sadly, there was a cloud bank covering the coast so we didn't get the view we had the previous time. Once we left the sand dune, we rode our bikes to the jetty and found a geocache before riding home to pack up.

Our camping trip was over, but we had had a good time. On our way back through Tillamook, we decided to have one last ice cream cone. Abby chose strawberry and enjoyed every bite! We did a couple more geocaches before making the final leg of our trip home, of which Abby slept about 80 percent of the way.

Wednesday, July 9

Fishing With Daddy

Daddy recently "acquired" a canoe. It's actually not ours, but the owner said we could just keep it until he is ready to use it, which will probably not be for a while. Daddy is thrilled! He's taken Ryan out in it a couple of times, and then weekend before last he took Abby to a local lake for some fishing. Abby caught three fish: a trout, a perch, and a blue gill! She loves the canoe as much as Daddy, I think.

Sunday, July 6

Fun Craft

The kids' Sunday school class is taking a break for the summer. Ryan will be promoting to another class, and I wanted to thank their teacher for her ministry to the kids. The kids made a simple bookmark out of beads and string for her, and they also made this cute vase. It was so easy and turned out really great, though I forgot to take a final picture. It's just Mod Podge and tissue paper and ends up looking like a piece of stained glass!

Wednesday, July 2

Princess Bruiser

Daddy has been calling Abigail Princess Bruiser lately. She just can't get through a week without some injury, and last week's was a doozy. She was climbing the play structure by using a stretchy jump rope that was tied to the top. It came undone, and the wooden handle smacked her in the face. Though you can't see it very well in the picture, it was very swollen and turned a very pretty shade of purple as well as giving her two black eyes before finally healing up this week.

We had an appointment with the pediatrician the next day, and when he asked her how it happened Abby said very seriously, "Let me tell you the whole story!" She then proceeded to start her story a year ago when Granpa and Daddy built the play structure! Thankfully, there were no broken facial bones, just a bruises and sore spots.

Thursday, June 26

Tea Party

Just enjoying a tea party on a lovely summer day!

Everyone is praying except the hostess who is eyeing the treats!

Wednesday, June 25

How Cute Are They?

Abby and Ryan were invited to a friend's birthday party last week, and they had lots of fun. The highlight of the party for Abby (and for me too) was their three-week-old bunnies!

These have to be one of the most adorable things I've ever seen or held. Abby was in awe of their tiny ears and feet and really wanted to take one home!

Abby also had fun petting and chasing their dog, chickens, and holding one of their full-grown rabbits. She wanted to ride the horse too, but we had to save that for another day when there weren't so many people around who would also want a ride.

Monday, June 16

Summer Freebies

The kids' swim lessons ended about ten days ago, and we haven't decided if we can afford another round next month or not. So in the meantime, we are taking advantage of the free lessons offered this week at the pool. Because it's on a first-come-first-served basis, we got there a bit early to sign up, and then we walked next door to the elementary school to have some fun on their playground while we awaited our turn in the pool. Abby loved that there were so many swings!

Though it was much more chaotic than our usual lessons (we're usually the only ones in the shallow pool), Abby and Ryan did fine. They had some openings in the class after ours and they allowed us to sign up again, which the kids thought was fantastic... a whole hour in the pool!

After swimming we went to the middle school for the free lunch program that is offered in the summer. Since we homeschool, the kids get a kick out of eating at the school and seeing the classrooms and everything. I figure it's one of the few benefits we'll ever receive from all the taxes we pay, so I may as well take advantage of it.

Wednesday, June 4

Astronaut Sighting

Abby used to say she wanted to go to the moon someday. Though she hasn't said that in a while, she is always up for an adventure. While the van was being serviced last week, we took the light rail downtown to go have lunch with Daddy. As we were walking through Pioneer Courthouse Square, we saw a bunch of people in space gear. They were promoting our new space museum and giving out "astronaut food." The kids got a kick out of seeing the space suits, and it was fun to try the freeze dried ice cream sandwiches, though Abby was the only one who really liked it. She ate three of the four bars we were given!

Monday, June 2

Eye Doctor

Abby had her checkup with the eye doctor today, and I'm happy to report that she has perfect vision. Well, she's a little farsighted, but apparently that's normal for children (Ryan is too).

The ophthalmologist also looked at her red bump under her eye and agreed with Ryan's doctor that it is a chalazion. She told me I can finally stop the hot compresses as they don't do much good at this stage (I kind of figured that out by now), and she gave me some ointment to put on twice a day. It will still take a while to completely resolve, but hopefully in a couple months it will be gone.

But just when I thought it was all good news, she had me look through the microscope at Abby's other eyelid. She has another plugged gland! Though it's not swollen or red yet, we now have to put hot compresses on that eye in hopes that it will prevent a full blown chalazion like we had last time.

Sunday, May 25

Granpa Visits

Abby was so excited about Granpa coming she kept asking me about it for days and days and days. Finally the day arrived and we picked him up at the airport.

Poor Granpa was to get no rest though. The next day we put him to work installing our fence! It was, of course, raining half the time he was here. After getting rained out of work on Sunday, we took the kids to Out of This World to run some energy off.

Granpa went above the call of duty and climbed up into the play structure and slid down the slides with Abby for about 30 minutes! (Having been inside myself, I know it's not the easiest place to maneuver through!)

Abby was delighted to have him playing with her. She loves her Granpa.

Tuesday, May 20

Abigail seems to really benefit from swimming, so we put the kids back in another session this month. Any activity where she has to use both sides of her body at the same time and makes her brain "cross" over both sides is really good for her. Plus, she absolutely LOVES it, particularly being underwater.

We will take a couple weeks off and then sign them up for the summer session of lessons. Hopefully she will do well among lots of other kids. We have been spoiled with our small classes of two or three!

Saturday, May 17


While we were at Ryan's eye surgeon, I took the chance to ask her about Abby's stye that still hasn't gone away. Dr. Goodman said that it is more likely what's called a chalazion, and not a stye, though they are similar. Whereas a stye is red, sore lump near the edge of the eyelid caused by an infected eyelash follicle, a chalazion tends to develop farther from the edge of the eyelid and is not caused by infection from bacteria but from a gland becoming blogged with oil secretions.

The treatment? Same thing we've been doing for months: warm compresses four to five times a day. It really hasn't seemed to be helping, so I've gone in spurts where I do it for a week and then give up. However, Abby has an eye exam next month with her opthalmologist, so I will keep doing it until the visit and see what the doctor says then. Ryan's surgeon said there is an ointment that can be prescribed for stubborn chalazia, so perhaps we will get some of that next month.