This year, Andy decided it was high time we start a new Thanksgiving tradition. On Thanksgiving morning, before heading to Papa and Granny's house for a feast, we loaded up the kids and headed to a nearby mountain to go trail walking. While hiking, we talked about the many things are are thankful for -- our many blessings given by God. It was a hit with the whole family! We'll definitely be keeping up this tradition.
This was an exciting *first* for Jasmin, who had never been hiking. Jasmin is 10.5 years old, and she is living with our family for a while. She and Nichole call each other sister-cousins.
Some people seem to think we have a lot of kids. We like to think this is normal. (It is, right?)
Okay, so maybe five is more than some people have. But we still get to walk alone and hold hands for a few minutes here and there. So it works.
Today, we were very thankful to live in Phoenix. The weather is amazing right now!
The night before the Thanksgiving feast at school, Keandre cried himself to sleep. I may have shed a few tears, too. It's heart-wrenching to watch your friends prepare all week for a special meal, and know you can't participate. Holidays that focus almost exclusively on food are especially hard for those with multiple severe food allergies, or Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disease (EGID), or both.
Surprising Keandre at the school Thanksgiving feast.
When I shared how broken I felt over my little boy's pain, my lovely sister-in-law, Sarah, suggested a creative new way to prepare his safe foods. That was just the sort of idea this tired Mama needed! (My creativity is a bit shot at the moment....stress will do that to ya! ;)
Andy stepped up to do the creating, and the end result was a fun surprise for Keandre. He loved it! I think he really appreciated the effort Daddy put into making his lunch special.
Sometimes, even with a healthy lifestyle and good nutrition, you get hit with illness. It seems like half the people we know have the flu right now! We've been under the weather this week, too. It can take a while to get through a household of 8 people. Fevers, nausea, achy body, coughing fits, we've seen it all. We're not too bad off, for the most part, just a lot of resting, napping together, and extra TV time. Andy and I were hit first, so at least we can take care of the others now.
We learned that while under the weather, you might decide to try out a baby bottle for the first time ever - and like it! Daddy enjoyed the snuggle time. (Can you believe how long her hair is getting?)
And you might start sleeping in unusual places.
Your big sister, too.
Then one brother....
There are downed children and comfort items everywhere we look. Poor sweeties. It hit little Isaac today, so Anna-Lise is the only one to escape the bug so far. (We're rooting for you, Anna! :)
Keandre has been sleeping around the clock for 2 days now, but as of tonight, his fever is finally dropping.
These two snuggled up and watched Curious George 2 next to me while I napped. This is the life, right? (Ha...Lucas would disagree!)
We haven't had the flu in 3+ years. At least we got it over with early this season, right?
What do you do to build your family's immunity during the winter sick season? (blog post on that soon)
We decided to let our rabbits breed again, in hopes of ending up with a couple female bunnies we can tame better than the last set. Since they run free in our backyard, we weren't aware of them having a litter until Andy was working out back and discovered four baby bunnies hopping around on the patio. The kids are, of course, overjoyed! We put them in a hutch so we can tame them. They are getting plenty of love and attention from our kids and the neighbor friends. Nichole and Leslie are pretty much inseparable lately, and Lucas and Chez are playing a lot, too!