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Matthew's MAKE-A-WISH TRIP!

Matthew's MAKE-A-WISH TRIP!
Wishes DO come true...our FAMILY in FLORIDA!! :)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

we have been BUSY....

yep, just enjoying our time together!! we have been doing tons of playing, visiting, and just enjoying our time together...it has been FUN!! joshua has been a bit sick, as are alex and matthew....they have all been coughing, sneezing and stuffy...so we took JOSHUA into the drs on wed 26th because they wanted to make sure and check him because of the possiblity of RSV and him being so small...so there we go and THANK GOD we did because....HE WAS WHEEZING!!!!!! so he started him on NEB TREATMENT!!! OMG, i just about FREAKED OUT about that!! so, here is a picture of him on neb treatments....


james has been enjoying being a daddy again with the boys....and with that came.....JAMES GIVING JOSHUA A BATH IN THE SINK!!! yep, here are some pics and video's of that wonderful day...


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we did a lot of visiting but mostly we just hung out and just were together. we did some AFTER CHRISTMAS SHOPPING which was fun. we ended up getting the "kids" (our nieces and nephew) on thursday and they spent the night with us so we watched TRANSFORMERS together!! it was really fun!! james LOVES his kids!!!

that saturday (29th) we did some more shopping (YES WE SPENT TOOOOOOO MUCH MONEY!! we said we were making up for all that time away from each other!) and then we had some family come over for a little together time....we played a GREAT game of PHASE 10...if anyone has every played this game it is SOOOOO MUCH FUN!! and JAMES won!! stinker! he also had a bit of drink which he paid for the next day....awwww...i think he was feeling good with just the fuzz on the top!! but he went and did more than just the fuzz!! poor guy! he SWORE he would not do that AGAIN!! :) needless to say, we hung out all of SUNDAY because he was hurting too bad!! oh well...

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL....

wow, we have been having some FUN in our home! we have just been ENJOYING having james home with us and just spending time with him! after a good night sleep for all of us, we woke up the next day (Christmas EVE) and decided we needed to go SHOPPING!!! yep, we did just that! it was fun...james wanted to buy some gifts for his kids and we needed to just be together....so we did some SERIOUS SERIOUS shoping!! YAYAYAYAY...it was just like old times....us, just out having fun and doing NORMAL things! we also went to his FAVORITE store and we looked around there for a while (BASS PRO SHOPS)...he wanted to buy some gifts from there too! well, that night, we had a GREAT TIME because we had a VERY small EVE PARTY at the house for our nieces and nephew, sil & her hubby, my mil & sil...we had some TAMALES, chili, rice and other yummies!! it was really nice and everyone was just happy that james was HOME! after doing some eating, the kids and all of us made our COOKIES for SANTA! that was fun, something we started LAST year and they really enjoyed making them, decorating them, and taking them home with them to put out for santa!! it was awesome! and that night, our DEAR WONDERFUL SIL, saved our SANITY by staying with us and helping us by WRAPPING OUR GIFTS FOR US!! if she had not stayed and helped us, it would have taken us until the WEE hours of the morning...as it was, with she and i doing the bulk of it and james helping out some (he is not very good at it) we did not finish unitl after 1am!!!! soooo THANK YOU!!! we truely appreciate what you did for us that day!! YOU ARE THE BEST!

Christmas day was everything it was suppose to be....our family TOGETHER....we got up in the morning and the boys were sooooo excited to see if santa had come...and when they walked down the stairs and saw that he HAD......they were soooo excited! so were we! to see the look on their faces was just AWSESOME! well, before we could open our presents, we did our tratitional thing and SANG "HAPPY BIRTHDAY" to JESUS and told him THANK YOU and that WE LOVE HIM...then they got around and OPENED THEIR GIFTS!! i know, i said that i would not BUY them too much this year but we found an excuse to ALWAYS buy them SOMETHING....so they made out like BANDITS!! it was just FUN to watch their eyes light up with joy....and james described the scene in our living room as the scene from A CHRISTMAS STORY where there is paper EVERYWHERE....that was our room! but it was AWESOME! afterwards, we had a party there at our home and we had SOOOOO MANY people that showed up! we made TURKEY, GRAVY, STUFFING, CORN, MAC & CHEESE, MASH POT, GREENBEAN CASSEROLE, ROLLS and soooo much more! it was just nice to be around family and have them feast with us!! we are just SOOOO THANKFUL and feel SOOOOO BLESSED!! here are some pics of our days:

OUR BOYS ON CHRISTMAS DAY!


DADDY WITH HIS 3 BOYS....


GRANDMA WITH HER YOUNGEST GRANDCHILD...


PICTURE OF CUTENESS....taken by ALEX...LOOK AT THOSE CHEEKS!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

JAMES IS HOME!!!!!!!!

i am soooooooo happy and feel sooooo blessed because JAMES IS HOME!! we were able to surprise the BOYS and that is a miracle in itself!! for over 2 months now, i have kept a SECRET from these boys....it was WONDERFUL!!!!! so many people have called, stopped me to ask me when he was coming home and when i would say (if the boys were around) NOT TILL JUNE, they would have this wierd look on their face and get ready to ask me some other questions until they saw my face and i was either winking or giving them a sign, that they realized that i couldn't tell them the correct day because the boys where around....it was fun to try to create new ways of saying what i needed to say without giving it away...and it was fun seeing everyones faces and they tried to do the same!! well, it started like this, since the 19th of dec, i have been on pins and needles KNOWING that james should be home soon. it kept slipping out that when james came home or whatever and i would have to catch myself before the boys found me out. it was really funny! anyway, i felt like i kept getting updates on james, he was delayed due to this or that and it was OK because as long as he would be COMING HOME i really didn't care WHAT DAY or HOW LATE because i just KNEW i would be seeing him!! so that friday EVENING when i finally got the concrete flight plans, i was ready! i started my email going and my phone calls trying to call all those that had wanted to be there....i was getting soooooo excited! soooo, i my wonderful SIL had these shirts made for us with a picture of james on it and we all had one! sooo, now i had to explain, WHY we were wearing these shirts with dads picture on it, why we were going to the airport on SUNDAY the 23rd and also WHY all these other people were going to be there!! talk about trying to do it on the spare of the moment! soooo, i told alex that we were going to take a picture FOR daddy and that is why we had the shirts on....the reason we were going to the AIRPORT was because SANTA was going to come off the PLANE and we were going to take PICTURES with him....and the reason everyone ELSE was going to be there was because they ALSO wanted to take a picture with santa for daddy!! :) i think i got all that PRETTY GOOD! sooo, that morning, i woke up REALLY early, got dressed, woke up the boys and got them all ready to go and by the time the nurse came in at 0730 (he had NO IDEA what was happening) we were OFF!! so, when we get there, and THANK GOD we got there early, we found out we had to get a BOARDING PASS to get us thru security to go meet james at the gate....and we were really BLESSED that they let myself, the nurse and the 3 boys over there! they don't NORMALLY do that! so as we go about getting thru security which OMG was just CRAZY!!! (if you have not done that in a while, we had to take our shoes off, take matthew out of the wheelchair, break the wheelchair apart and stick it on the radar thing, and the same thing with the carrier and then pass thru the metal thing and then put EVERYTHING back together!! what a PAIN!!! soooo, after all of that, we headed over to the gate...i was getting SOOOOOOO EXCITED and i was also getting nervous...SO we get to the gate and i don't realize until MUCH later that the reason everyone was watching us was because we were the ONLY ones there to MEET someone...everyone else was there leaving san antonio!! so, as we are there waiting i see james PLANE coming in and i tell alex, 'hey, that is SANTA'S plane!! let's wait over here in front of this pilar so we can see when he get's off the plane' alex was soooo excited! so we are looking down the gang plank and i ask alex, "do you see SANTA?" and alex is just looking down there and he says, not yet....i told him that he is wearing RED....he says not yet...then that is when he sees DADA!!! here is a VERY short clip of the moment he saw dada:




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and another clip of that moment:



Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books
i had everything planned and when it was time to record, i just LOST IT! it was soooooooooooo emotional that i couldn't THINK!! but i was so glad to get these short little clips!! oh well!! anyway, after a whole bunch of minutes huggy and talking we started to make our way to the baggage claim and the WHOLE WAY, alex and matthew could not keep their EYES off of daddy!! and daddy had joshua in his arms, alex on his neck, and matthew holding his hand...awwwww....it was WONDERFUL! there was also plenty of his family and friends there to greet him! i am just SOOOO PROUD OF HIM!!

soooo, we also had channel 4 (NBC/WOAI) there to interview him...i could never find it on the net so i video taped it from the tv that we recorded so forgive the poor shot of it!! here they are...

HERE IS THE 5:00 NEWS ON NBC:
video

the 10 pm news:

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing - Photo Books


james hit the ground RUNNING...after we left the airport, we went out to eat at EL PICO DE GALLO mexican restarant for breakfast and then when we got home and we surprised him and the boys with some decorations (thank you k&m for the banner and my cuz T for coming over while we were gone and decorating!!) and he was so happy! we got right down to business and just hung out and cuddled! and he was DETERMINED to go to to see the LIGHTS at SANTA'S RANCH with our kids and my nieces and nephew!! so there we were, going out there! we had a GREAT first day.....here are some pics... here we are, first family picture!! james and his 3 boys... our little family... all our family and friends...

Friday, December 21, 2007

well, getting NERVOUS!!

YEP, the time is fast approaching when JAMES should be coming HOME, PLEASE GOD!! i am sooooo excited!! it has been HARD trying to KEEP from saying that he was coming home to my 5 year old....it has been HARD talking in CODE when someone is here or someone calls on the PHONE!!!! yep, that is all you hear from everyone...everyone has been soooo NICE and excited to see james....we are all anxious for him to COME HOME!! he called us today and told me that as of 0930 our time, they were going to go into LOCKDOWN and go thru customs (taking 6 hours!!) and then at 2130 our time today, they SHOULD be on the PLANE ready to LEAVE THERE!!! he is STILL not sure what his flight is going to come in or when or what time or WHATEVER!!! it has made it REALLY HARD to coordinate EVERYTHING!! and poor james, there is NO PLACE to sleep when they are in lock down!! so he is just walking around waiting to board a plane...poor guy....

well, i just got the phone call from james....he is coming home on SUNDAY the 23rd and will be arriving in san antonio at 9:25am!! we are soooo happy!!!!! we are sooo excited!! WE ARE SOOOO PROUD OF HIM! i can't wait to see him and hold him...and the boys.......wowowowowow....they are going to be sooo happy!!!!

i gotta to go to sleep....i was up all night with matthew who is still SICK!! and now joshua and alex are too....sigh....this weather is CRAZY....one day hot, cold, dry, wet etc and any combination of it all!!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Ali Al Salem UPDATE! (james)

Hello all and Happy Holidays! How is everybody doing?
Great! I am doing very good right now. I am about 1
day shy of flying home. Today is the 20th and I fly
out tomorrow out of this place, God Willing. I am at
a Camp called "Ali Al Salem". Can't really say much
about this place also, except that is one step closer
to home. Yeah!!! Right about now i am so ready to go
home. It is boring here right now, just walking
around and getting coffee and stuff trying to kill
time till tomorrow morning. I have to be there at
0730hrs on the 21st to get my flight info and probably
go through customs to get checked before flying out.
Ya'll take care and I'll see ya'll when i get home.
We will be spending Christmas at my house this year so
ya'll are more than welcome to come by. Take care and
save some of them tortillas for me. I have been
waiting for some. Buenos!!!!

Love from Ali Al Salem,
James

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

soooooo EXCITED!! :)

it is SOOOOOO CLOSE now for james to COME HOME!! i can't even TELL YOU or DESCRIBE to you how excited i am GETTING!! today, we were at our homeschool playdate and one of the mom's started to talk and i started to talk about james and i almost LOST IT!! i have NOT CRIED during this whole time and just the THOUGHT of james coming SOOOO SOOOOONN...it is too exciting! right now, at 11pm, he is starting to make his WAY HOME!!! yep, he was leaving at 8:15am his time and that is RIGHT NOW!! how exciting! he starts to leave from IRAQ tonight at 11pm our time and then he has to go to KUWAIT and then from there he has go to another base somewhere there in the middle east and then from there he might have a night layover (briefings) and then from there he will fly somwhere in EUROPE and then from there somewhere in the states and then from there to dallas where he checks in and then from dallas HOME!! wowowowowow....a lot of traveling!! and we are ANXIOUSLY awaiting his ARRIVAL! i think of all the things that he will see!! alex, he is getting SOOOO TALL! and is sooo smart and can read now....matthew, he is BIG and he can now stand against the wall and is talking more...and then there is JOSHUA who when he left,weighed in at 5 lbs 13 oz and was 2 DAYS OLD...he comes home to him at over 11lbs and almost 4 months old...WOWOWOWOW....we are soooo happy and excited and the boys don't even KNOW YET!! i can only IMAGINE what they are going to feel seeing their daddy coming down the airport!! i plan to tell them that we have to go pick up SOMEONE at the airport and then hopefully be able to go to the loading area and see him coming off the plane!! for a couple of days of R&R...wowowowowow....when he came home in aug, it was 4 QUICK days...he was HOME and then we had a baby and then he was GONE! i can't imagine what 15 days will be like!! YYIIIPPPEEEE!!! i can't wait to surprise my boys!

Monday, December 17, 2007

a lot of things going on...

wow, it has been a bit since i posted!! there has been A LOT of stuff going on....

this weekend was the funeral for the beautiful baby that passed away...it was really tough to see her in her little casket....she was soooo beautiful....it was so hard to hear the family grieving soooo.....it was really windy that day at the graveyard and a couple of times it REALLY blew and the father would cry out "i love you too, baby, know it is you..." man...it just BROKE your heart.....it was really hard...i had a cake done for them....the mom asked me if i had a cake for matthew and i said that i did (when he was going to pass away) and i told her that it had said "happy birthday matthew" but he was only 5 days old....she told me I WANT A CAKE TOO!! sooo, i brain stormed with the sister and we came up with what to put on the cake.."J.N., WE WILL CELEBRATE YOUR LIFE!!" i wish there was MORE i could do for her....

well, i have been frantically doing all the things you need to do when your loved one is COMING HOME!!!! I CAN'T BELIEVE that in less than a COUPLE OF DAYS, my husband will be HOME FOR 2 WEEKS!!! I Am sooooooo excited!! you can't even IMAGINE how excited i am unless you have been there!! it has been just SHY of 4 months since we saw him!! WOWOWOWOWOW....we have seen him in pictures but not in the flesh...i can't even imagine what alex and matthew are going to do when they see him!! it has been sooooo hard to not say anything to the boys....and people keep asking me in CODE THANK GOD if he is coming and when etc...it is kinda funny!!! but as of RIGHT NOW, YES, he is coming and it will be sometime AFTER the 19th....but what ever day he comes in, he gets 15 DAYS from the moment he signs in!! SO, he doesn't lose any days if he comes in later....i am tooooooo excited!!! :)

you will also note a new TAG section to the RIGHT!! what i am doing is taging EVERY POST to make it easier for you to find something...ESPCECIALLY about james and IRAQ...i have had quite a few people ask me how they can see those post...so now, just click on IRAQ and you will get all the post about that topic!! it is taking me a WHILE to do all these last 2 years but i am ALMOST done!! :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

a TAPVR baby has earned her wings....

yes, my new friend with the baby with TAPVR.....i found out early this morning that the beautiful little girl had passed away....i am so sadden for this family who i had JUST started to get to know...i met them about 2 weeks ago and when i went to visit the PICU with matthew....i later took the mom a gift bag full of goodies and got to see the little girl who was BEAUTIFUL with big eyes, lots of hair and who was soooo alert....i had JUST talked to the mom on monday about the upcoming MLH party on tues 11th and how we would meet up there (her and her son would be going) and we were excited because it would be fun etc.....well, when i got there to the party, she was not there...i remember i kept looking around for her and teling my other 2 buddies that i hoped everything was ok, and wondering why she had not made it etc...i thought about her thru out the party.....after i got home and settled everyone down, it was too late to call her so instead i emailed her telling her i hoped everything was fine and that she was missed and just to call me whenever...well, last night, FOR THE FIRST TIME IN FOREVER, i actually got up off the couch, closed my compture and went to bed by 1030!! amazing!! :) when i got up this morning, i had email from a friend who had visited the family last night after the party and found out bout the baby.....i am so sad about this....if i had gone w/my instincts and called her at the party or if i had fallen asleep when i usually did, i would have known sooner....

unfortunatly, so is the life of families with CHDs....you never know....i know of a family who's little boy was doing WONDERFUL 4 years after he was born w/the same condition as matthew and just w/in the last couple of months, they are going in for a pacemaker....just never know...

sooooooo my thoughts and prayers are with this family as they deal with the pain and loss of thier tiny beautiful baby.....i pray for STRENGTH & COMFORT for them for the coming days ahead....

Sunday, December 09, 2007

i thought i would be doing another type of post...

but instead i am writing a post about NOT doing something I SHOULD have done!! what am i talking about? well, i am talking about today, i didn't have a nurse.....NOT A BIG DEAL...right? well, i had PLANNED on writing about how i took all my children to church today BY MYSELF because i knew the nurse would not be here (he had called in for today and tomorrow).....alex had sunday school today....i had set my alarm clock for 6 am so that i could get up, dressed, dress my 3 kids, get all of matthew stuff that he needed for the morning and we would be OFF by 7:30ish to be able to get everyone down and alex to class by 8am (the church is only 5 mins away) instead, when the alarm rang, i kept hitting SNOOZE and then after 20 minutes, decided that it would be TOO HARD to do it ALL BY MYSELF....WWWWHHHYYYYY?!?!?!? i felt sooooo bad after i got up at 7 am because matthew had woken up and we had NOT GONE TO CHURCH!!! there is NO EXCUSE for that!! a year ago, i did NOT have a nurse with me all the time.....i did everything BY MYSELF! and here i am, deciding i could NOT go to church.....makes me so mad at myself!! but TODAY i have made a decision, i am NOT going to be so depended on the nurses!! YES, matthew is HEAVY going up and down the stairs, YES, he does not walk so i HAVE to carry him to the car, get him settled and take down his BIG wheelchair by myself, YES i DO have a newborn but that is NOT a big deal.....today i have made a decicion that i would NOT let it rule me if the NURSES were not here for the day......WHY do i have to stay at home JUST because i don't have a NURSE today?! WHY?! i KNOW i can do it, just might take a bit of extra work but I WILL START TO DO IT!! today is the LAST day i stay home BECAUSE i don't have a nurse!!!!!! that is NOT an excuse!!!!!!!!!!

so, wow, this post was going to be a self pity post but instead it turned into a: i have MADE A DECISION post!!! on tuesday, if i DON'T have a nurse during the day I WILL go to the park with my boys (so, H if you are reading this, we WILL be there at the park because i will NOT let this limit me!!)...

i also had a comment made to me that i didn't know how to take....someone told me the other day, "why do you have male nurse?" and i replied, "matthew is REALLY heavy (he is dead weight) and the stairs and such he gets really heavy and a female nurse might not be able to carry him and do all the things he needs done...etc" and i went onto explain....they then said, "hmmmmm..that is wierd, so&so have a boy and they ALWAYS had FEMALE nurses" and i again replied, and explained AGAIN why i had a male nurse etc, and they said, "well, i guess so&so is not as heavy, I GUESS"....AND THEN they made the comment that, "i bet it is wierd because you can't be "natural" around them.." ooooookkkk, like i am going to be in my underwear if i have a FEMALE nurse around?!?!?!?!?! at first, i didn't know how i should take it and i wasn't mad and i am NOT mad just don't know what to think about it!!! if a FEMALE nurse can carry matthew then they would BE HERE!! matthew nurses are AWESOME....they are GREAT and they REALLY take care of him and i have NO WORRY that he is too heavy or can't carry him etc!!! he is a BIG KID!!! and if anyone has carried him, they will TELL YOU how heavy he is!! anyway, just one of those comments that you just don't know how to take!!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

wow!! what a GREAT DAY today was!!! :)

today, we had a VERY BUSY but AWESOME DAY!!! we started off the day by going to a birthday party for our little buddy from our homeschool park day day!! it was really nice to see them away from the park! unfortunatly, we only could stay there for a little bit and then we had to RUN...why you say?? because we went to ANOTHER WONDERFUL STARLIGHT STARBRIGHT EVENT!!! awwww...what a GREAT TIME WE HAD! and it was a BEAUTIFUL DAY we had (we had SHORTS ON!!) it was like 75 degrees or so! i was worried that it would be TOO cold for matthew and THANK GOD, it was just a AWESOME DAY!!! WELL, let me tell you what a WONDERFUL time we had YET AGAIN with this organization! we started the day by going to the IMAX MOVIE called SANTA VS THE SNOWMAN in 3D....i had never been to the IMAX and what a awesome place that was!! I was sooooo excited!! :) ok, the kids where too!! they treated us to popcorn & drinks....the movie itself was sooooo much fun! alex didn't like to wear the glasses because it was too scary seeing everything coming at him! he told me he was worried about it...but he liked the movie and was laughing and clapping thru it all! he told me he liked it but he didn't like when it came at him!! then matthew would keep the glasses on for a bit and he would LAUGH and LAUGH when he saw them coming at him!! but then he would take off the glasses...he was watching the moving and eating his popcorn!! :) i loved the graphics on the movie! WOWOWOWOW...is all can say! maybe i can get james to go with us again!! it really was nice!!

after we finished with the movie, we went ahead and moved on to the ALAMO...we walked down there and there was this person there from STARLIGHT STARBRIGHT and he handed us some software for a new video game called 'The Tuttles Madcap Misadventures: Starlight Starbright Charity Challenge (www.tuttlesfamilygame.com)'

Los Angeles, Calif., (November 28, 2007) – Starlight Starbright Children’s Foundation®, Legacy Interactive and Animax Entertainment today launched The Tuttles Madcap Misadventures: Starlight Charity Challenge (http://www.tuttlesfamilygame.com), a casual platformer style downloadable videogame that pairs having a good time with doing good. Actors William Shatner, Bob Saget, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ashley Tisdale, Dominic Scott Kay, Dave Thomas and Dave Coulier contributed their voices to the animated game. Supporters can try the game at http://www.tuttlesfamilygame.com and purchase it for $19.99 with $15 of that amount going to Starlight to brighten the lives of seriously ill children and their families.

and basically, this is a charity event that is a game....this helps raise money for the STARLIGHT STARBRIGTH FOUNDATION! soooo, if anyone is interested in purchasing this game and SUPPORTING A WONDERFUL ORGINAZATION THAT HELPS CHILDREN WITH SPECIAL NEEDS, PLEASE GO TO THE LINK ABOVE!! they do such WONDERFUL THINGS!!! i got to meet some of the organizations higher ups and they had actually SEEN THIS BLOG...i was really touched that they had taken the time to see my blog and read about it...they got to read about how wonderful this organization really is and how much it MEANS to us as a family to be a part of this!!!

well, CONTINUING ON with our day! we took some pictures there at the alamo and then we went on to eat dinner at FUDRUCKERS!!!! YUMMYYYYY!!! everyone had a WONDERFUL dinner and then they surprised us with GIFTS for my kids!!! AND BOY you should have seen their faces!!! :) they hit it RIGHT ON THE MONEY with alex gift...he got OPTIMUS PRIME TRANSFORMER!!! OMG, his face was PRICELESS!!! he was just sooooo thrilled and he was just soooo HAPPY that he MUST have been good because santa bought him the toy he had CLICKED ON ON THE INTERNET!!! he told me, "mommy, this is the toy that i had wanted and clicked on in the internet!!!' YIKES!! but thank GOD he doesn't know my credit card info!! :) anyway, AGAIN, this organization did a WONDERFUL JOB and provided about 30+ families with a WONDERFUL OUTING and just a WONDERFUL OPPORTUNITY for all the special needs families to get together and have a "normal" outing!!! THANK YOU ONCE AGAIN!! i can't WAIT for my hubby to be able to experience an OUTING with starlight!! i know he will be SOOOOO HAPPY and in AWE on how much they do!! :) i can't WAIT!!

sooooo, for anyone wanting to support this wonderful organization, please, click on this link: http://www.starlight.org/site/c.fuLQK6MMIpG/b.1038035/ and there is a DONATE button or just go and see what wonderful things this organziation is doing for our kids and their families.....

HERE ARE SOME PICS OF OUR DAY!!!

here is ALEX at the IMAX getting ready to enjoy his movie!


here is MATTHEW ready for his movie too!!!


here we are in front of the Christmas tree at the ALAMO!!


here is ALEX with his COOL NEW TOY that santa brought because he was A GOOD BOY!


here is MATTHEW with his cool collector edition POKEMON statue he can't keep his eyes off of!!

Friday, December 07, 2007

Matthew's new cardiologist and pictures from james....

today we took matthew to his NEW CARDIOLOGIST!!! very nice dr! anyway, she cleared matthew of EVERYTHING as far as she could see!! she was the one that had known about him before she met him due to his being such a miracle at the PICU!! she said she expected SOMETHING but THANK YOU GOD, all looks well. she wants to see him in 6 months and she wants to a ANGIO CT on him and i am REALLY excited about that!! it will show the heart structure in 3D and totally be able to see the heart and all it's anatomy!! sooooo excited!

well, james sent me some more pictures for us!! i was soooo happy to see them! james was off today and i was able to chat with him on YAHOO and then he called me! it was soooo nice to hear his voice!! :) i can't WAIT it is less than 2 weeks from today that he will GOD WILLING be home!! it will probably be around the 20th or soo...i still have not told the boys that he would be home! i hope to surprise them! i plan to take them to the airport and just say we are there to pick up SOMEBODY....i am getting REALY EXCITED!!

WELL, here are the pictues!!


well, this picture is in the PODS and he calls this their "windcrest lights!"


this is my babe and his roommate!!!


this is a WHITE DOVE that was over them as they were taking these pictures...i for one took it as a SIGN THAT GOD IS WATCHING OVER THEM!! HOW BEAUTIFUL!


this is james today....look how GOOD HE LOOKS!!! :)

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

night time.....

i found out when it is the HARDEST for me on a DAILY BASIS without james....EVERYDAY is but this particular time frame is pretty tough and that would be....NIGHTTIME/BEDTIME.....i have sooooo much to do at that time just to get matthew down to sleep....ALEX is GREAT at that time because he know that as soon as a certain cartoon is finished he is OFF to his room to lay down and sleep (he is in matthew room until then watching cartoons with him while matthew is in bed)...but then there is little guy JOSHUA...man, he know EXACTLY when it is time to LET LOOSE and cry!! :) you see, it takes me about 30 mins to do all the things i need to do with matthew to get him down...i have to draw up all his meds for the night, change his feeding pump settings & make sure he has enough formula in there for the night and set it up on the IV pole, take him to the potty (he now GOES TOTHE POTTY EVERY NIGHT and during the day and he is VERY HEAVY!!! it takes me about 10 mins to do this (get him out of his diaper, out of his bed, carry him to the bathroom, sit with him while he does his buisness, get him back into bed and put his diaper/clothes back on), then i have to administer all his meds, hook him up to his feeding pump, set up his pulse oximeter and say prayers....all this USUALLY while joshua is pitching a FIT!!!!!! yep, he has QUITE a LOUD CRY!!!! and he is not going to sit quietly until i pick him up which i can't do with doing all of this for matthew!!! this is where it would be soooooo awesome to have another set of hands doing some of the work or at least holding joshua while i get matthew set up....such a SIMPLE thing but i am on my own for now...I AM A SINGLE MOM OF 3 UNDER THE AGE OF 5!! wowow...i say that and just sit in AWE that that is ME!!! WHO would every believe i would have 3 beautiful children?!?!? wowowowow.....i look in my back row of our expedition and there is a ROW OF CARSEATS!! again, WOW!!! sooooo amazing!! but it is nothing but a THING and i will continue to truck on with a smile on my face...i really should NOT even utter a WORD of complaint because like i said, james would LOVE TO BE IN MY SHOES and that is what i ALWAYS try to remember!!! he doesn't see, hear, touch our children AT ALL now for over 6 MONTHS so who am i to say a word?! so, i guess that is my little gripe right now....nothing in particular just a little bit about my daily life here at our house.....i am just LOVING MY FAMILY and wouldn't change a THING ABOUT IT!!! :)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

GIVING SOME LOVE.....

what do i mean? it means, if you know ANYBODY, someone from the office, family, friends, even someone you don't know, and they are DEPLOYED OVERSEAS....SEND SOMETHING!! my cousin left for a year deployement and just came home in june and i NEVER SENT HIM ANYTHING.....NOW, i feel SOOOO BAD!!! i didn't know....i don't think ANYONE knows how truly IMPORTANT it is to get SOMETHING FROM HOME unless you have been thru it somehow personally either thru being the soldier or their family....even recieving something from a stranger!!! let me tell you a story....my dh's roommate had not recieved ANYTHING FROM HOME....nothing during all this time since june.....i think i mentioned this in a previous post...anyway, i went ahead and asked a couple of people if they would like to "adopt" this soldier....and THEY DID!! and james had told me that he had started to get really grouchy and such and just cross....well, the day right before thanksgiving, he recieved his FIRST package from a REALLY great friend of mine and her family and james said that from one day to the NEXT, his WHOLE personality CHANGED....james said he was HAPPY, SMILING AND JUST LAUGHING AGAIN!!! just one little package did all that...he must have felt soooo alone out there, when everyone else was getting SOMETHING and this guy was not......just ONE LITTLE PACKAGE, did that!! and since then, he has recieved a couple more!!! what a FEELING for ME it was to hear this!! he is LOVED by all of us....we need to support our troops, near and far....ONE LITTLE PACKAGE would do it!! so, if you know of someone that is deployed, SEND SOMETHING!!!! it doesn't cost much....here is some info to help you do it:

there are FREE BOXES provided by the POSTAL SERVICE that are called FLAT RATE BOXES ($8.95 TO SHIP). you just ask for them and they will give you as many as you need. there are 2 sizes to chose from! it is the cheapest way to go unless you are planning to send a small package (tiny)...if you decide that you will need to send it something that is not in a flat rate box but your own, remember to send it PRIORITY MAIL because if you send it parcel post, it will take TWO MONTHS to get there!!! also, you have to declare whatever you are sending so you will have to ask for a INTERNATION SLIP for the box. no big deal...so get a box and STUFF IT and return it back to the post office and they will send it on it's way!......and it does NOT matter how HEAVY they box is...no matter what, it is only going to cost you a total of 8.95!!! i have sent a package that was ALMOST 17 lbs...you can put A LOT of stuff in there!!

these soldiers miss EVERYTHING FROM HOME....that means the littlest things, sundays cirulars, are a GREAT thing to send because just to SEE stuff, is awesome!

anyway, i just had to post about this....also, if you make cards, make a WHOLE BUNCH and SEND THEM!!!! why? they send them to families and friends....i have recieved such NEAT cards from james that someone made for the troops....really CUTE cards that i know were handmade....what a GREAT way to share your talent!! if you have stationary send that too!!

anyway, i just had this on my mind and i hope that if you know SOMEONE, ANYONE that is deployed, PLEASE find the TIME & the LOVE to do this for someone...anyone....it could mean the difference in the soldiers be grumpy, sad, upset, angry to one being HAPPY, LOVED AND SMILING!! what a difference!! soooo, PLEASE....be a soldiers ANGEL.....

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS....

my neighbor called me yesterday and told me that she and her dh MISS SEEING OUR HOME LIT UP FOR THE HOLIDAYS....she said it was always something they looked forward to to see during the holiday season, to see our home....if you remember (you can probably see last years post about our home) james had the GRISWALDS CHRISTMAS type of theme going on! he had lights EVERYWHERE and really went all out! it looked AWESOME!! they were usually up the week OF thanksgiving...anyway, our lights are not up....i am so sad for my kids about this....we were suppose to have someone put them up for us but it never happened....we do have our christmas trees up but the outdoor lights are not on...alex mentioned that he was sad our house was not lit up like our neighbors...and as i sit here and type this, i have tears in my eyes and a lump in my throat...i am sad......i miss my husband....i want something as normal as LIGHTS UP OUTSIDE.....

i am hoping that james does come home because alex has been asking to go to the drive thru light shows that we did last year (www.hillcountryholiday.com & www.santasranch.net) and we also did the one in BELTON, TX (where coincidently mr joshua was concieved :) so i am PRAYING that james comes home so that we can do that with the boys!! :) if not, we will be doing some SERIOUS cramming of at least ONE of these before christmas!! he has really been asking for it!!!

Friday, November 30, 2007

matthew and the drs....

well, we took matthew to the pulmologist today and he is now on ORAL STEROIDS & antibiotic....we also had to go get an XRAY at the hospital today...poor little guy! he has been sick now since the 12 of nov!!! more than 2 weeks and she said he was STILL WHEEZING ALL OVER!!!! sooo, onto more suctioning and more nebtreatments!! i know he must be SICK OF THEM!! :( BUT since we were there, we ended up going UP to the PICU to see if there were any nurses out there that we knew and THERE WAS!!! awwww...at first i thought that maybe nobody was there but then i hear, "MRS G?" and i turn around and there was this nurse that had been one of matthews FIRST nurses and it was soooo nice to see him! and we saw another nurse (he scared this nurse when he was a baby by pulling out his VENT on her shift EARLY in the am!! i will NEVER forget that!) and then one other nurse and a dr z!! awww..it was very nice to see all of them....they were such a BIG part of matthew and our life that it was great to see them!!!! :) and they all remembered matthew and were happy to see him!! he was playing it up for all he was worth with his lip and such....and while i was there, i met another mom who's child has TAPVR just like matthew...she is going thru all the life changing events that we went thru...my heart goes out to her and her family as they learn to deal with all that comes with having a CHD child.....i will be praying for this family because it can be so stressful....

on a lighter note, there are so many events that are happening during december! we have 3 holiday parties to go to and another STARLIGHT STARBRIGHT event next week! and of course the MOST important event.....JAMES IS COMING HOME AROUND DEC 19TH OR 20TH, GOD WILLING!!!!!!! i am sooooooo excited and i can't WAIT to see the looks on my kiddos faces when they see dad!!!! i have not told alex yet because i don't want anything to change....i am HOPING that all goes well and we are able to surpise him!!
wowowow, about 19 days left......

also, i JUST found a forum for families/friends of CAMP BUCCA!! that is AWESOME because it is a way to CONNECT with others with loved ones there....and i also found anther place where it is ALL about the military families....FINALLY getting out there to connect with others....sooo, all those viewing my BLOG from those sites...WELCOME and i am glad you came by to "meet" my family and stay tuned for updates from my dh and pictures!!!! GOD BLESS...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

SOME PICTURES FROM JAMES...

hey everyone!! i hope everyone is doing GREAT!! as for us, we are just hanging out with our little colds....we take matthew to his pulmonologist because he has not gotten over his in OVER 2 WEEKS!!! sooo, off we go!!

well, james recenlty sent me some pics of him and his gang....i am so happy that they DO do things out there like......PLAY FOOTBALL!! so he sent me some pics of him and his guys playing football out there before work!! i am so happy because he LOOKS like he is having a GREAT TIME!! anything to make him happy makes me happy! although he did tell me he was rather SORE afterwards!!! oh well...that is the price you pay when you are getting on in your years....JUST KIDDING BABE!! OK, HERE THEY ARE...

2007 CAMP BUCCA FOOTBALL TEAM


BEFORE THE PLAY:


READY FOR THE PLAY:


JAMES MAKING A TOUCHDOWN!!!


MY BABE'S TEAM:


THE OTHER TEAM:

MORE PICTURES....

have i said how PROUD i am of my husband??? because i AM and i am behind him a 100%!! he is just something else!! i can't WAIT to see him, GOD WILLING....it has been 3 months + since i saw him....i think about how he will react when he sees his SON JOSHUA who he last saw when he was 2 days OLD!!!! my little guy is now 14 WEEKS old!!! and he is GROWING (11 lbs 6 oz & 23" long as of yesterday!!) i can't wait for that happy occation!! he already told me what he wants to EAT when he gets home!! well, here he is sending some holiday greetting from over there!!

SENDING SOME HOLIDAY GREETING FROM IRAQ:


HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!


SENDING US LOVE FROM BUCCA:


MY MAN SENDING US LOVE!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

JOSHUA IS IN THE CLEAR!!

yayayayayay!!! today we went to his and matthews CARDIOLOGIST to get him checked out and after a THOROUGH exam including a ECHO....he is in the CLEAR and she said his heart and everything looks WONDERFUL!!!! YIPPPPEEEE!!!! such a relief! he was such a TROOPER too!

and my little matthew is FAMOUS!!! :) she sat down and looked at her notes and noticed that i had a child with TAPVR...so she asks me: "so, is this child alive?" i said "yes, he is 3 years old!!" she asked me "what is his name?" and when i told her she was like,"hey that sounds familiar..." and she started to ask me some questions and then she said "was he there at methodist and was pulled off of life support to die?" i said, "yes" and she started to remember!! she said they STILL talk about him there at the hospital!!! she was REALLY amazed!! she will be his cardiologist and was excited to be!! she has A LOT of reading to do!!! but she will meeting him on the 7th, GOD WILLING....she said she heard A LOT about him so she is excited to meet him!!! and my little guy is popular!! now, i SURE wish it was for something else but i am soooo happy to hear that he has touched so many lives and that he still lives in their hearts and memories!!

today we went to the MENDED LITTLE HEARTS meeting and it was REALLY nice!! we totally enjoyed ourselve and a GREAT friend of ours went too!! it was REALLY nice to see her!!!! i missed talking to her and can't wait to get back into the swing of things...

anyway, the days are coming faster and GOD WILLING james will be home soon for a visit...oh, i am COUNTING THE DAYS!!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

playing checkers with dad...

what a BEAUTIFUL SIGHT it was too see my son ALEX playing checkers with james in IRAQ! how did we do this? well, we caught james on YAHOO CHAT and i saw that we could play checkers and WALA! they played a game of checkers and alex won!! :) and boy, if you could have SEEN alex face as he played checkers with his dad....it made me CRY because he was just laughting soooooo hard when dad would make a move and then type something on the chat like, "your turn, son" or "hey son! you trapped me" or whatever!! he LOVED IT!!! i wish i had thought to take a picture of it! it was truly beautiful! and THANK GOD for modern technology!! they were having fun playing CHECKERS ACROSS THE WORLD!!! and it was just soooo awesome to see! he was just so happy playing with dad...

anyway, life is going well....today, we FINISHED putting up the tree....it was bitter sweet because james was not here. but it was done with soooo much love for my FAMILY and alex and matthew helped put up all the ornaments! alex LOVES to turn on the tree and watch the lights....matthew just checks it out....he is being good and not getting into it!! YET!! joshua still doesn't know what to make of it!

we are kinda sick AGAIN! MATTHEW has not gotten over it and it has been over a week since he got sick and then now alex and i are sneezing, coughing and just not feeling well....joshua has got a stuffy nose....i just PRAY that it goes away soon!

james should be comeing home SOON GOD WILLING!!! i am soooooo excited and happy! it is about 25 days till he comes home....I AM COUNTING THE DAYS!! those 2 weeks are going to FLY but we are going to just spending TONS of just family time...i can't wait!

we have a lot of different christmas parties to attend this year! first is the party for james work, then the mended little hearts, and then the christus santa rosa one!! i just love this time of year!!
ok, i hope everyone is keep warm! i will try to post some pics soon!!

UPDATE FROM CAMP BUCCA!!!

From the other side of the world: Camp Bucca, Iraq
During OIF 2007-2008

20071124
Hello all! Happy Thanksgiving to all, and thank you for sending me emails and cards on my birthday. Just a little update on the life in Camp Bucca, Iraq. Not much really changes here from day to day, but the weather seems like the only thing that is changing right now. It is now a couple of days past Thanksgiving and almost at the half way point to heading home for good. I will be coming home for the Christmas Holidays. I’ll be home for Christmas and New Years Eve. When I was in Camp Buehring they told us to put in for our leave dates and they said to pick 2 time frames that you want to go home and I was blessed to get my dates. The dates that I picked where 20 December thru 4 January and the other that I picked was 19 December thru 3 January. How funny they said and they gave me 19 Dec – 3 Jan. Another good blessing that I got. I am so excited, but I will just wait to be really excited once they put me on the bird to fly out of this hole here. Well, the rainy season is almost here as they (Iraqis) say. They say it rains and rains. So, what we are doing at work is doing some improvements out at the Compound where I work to try and keep the soldiers dry. Some of the jobs that some of soldiers have won’t have a choice but to get wet. We tell the troops to make sure you have your wet weather gear at all times in there Ruck Sacks. We are all ready. Life at the compound is the same, boring days and exciting days. Sometimes I like the exciting days, but then sometimes I don’t. When we have those days like that, sometimes we stay there hours after our shift. I can’t say a lot of stuff about this place for the security reasons, but boy howdy let me tell you. I have so much to say about this place but I can’t. When I get home I will have lots and lots of stories to tell around the camp fire for those who want to attend at the lake. I feel like one of those Vets now that have the war stories. My stories won’t be as intense as those where, but I do have some stories. There is a lot of war hero’s throughout Iraq though. And believe me, I try not to be one of those hero’s, but because of my rank and my position, sometimes… I have no choice. I will explain the word hero once I come back home. It’s not like that, but you’ll see once I come back home. EVERY soldier is a hero!
I think what I see as one of the most exciting things to see out here is to see how all the Coalition Forces work together. We work with Romanians, British, and a few others. We Army Troops are working with Navy & Air Force. I don’t see many Marines here at all. If there here they are hiding. Anyway, ya’ll take care and God Bless!!

Looking forward to coming home, loving, & missing ya’ll,
SSG Gonzalez

Sunday, November 18, 2007

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JAMES!!


today is james BIRTHDAY and we are soooooo proud of him! we miss him SOOOO MUCH and just wish he was back home with us! he said that he had a "good" birthday....he went to work and they had a FOOTBALL MATCH to help build moral! he said he had fun but was sore...

he is such a SPECIAL HUSBAND AND DADDY....he makes us PROUD to call him OURS!!!! we are holding strong FOR HIM because we don't want him to have ANY worries while he is over there.....but we do miss him.....he called me at about 1 am our time and i sang to him HAPPY BIRTHDAY....he is soooooo LOVED.....

SOOOOOOO HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU.....HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU....HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR DADDY.....HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU.....AND MANY MANY MANY MORE!!!

we love and miss you daddy....come home SOON!!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

WOW YET AGAIN!!!

i am so OVERWHELMED yet again from the generosity of STARLIGHT STARBRIGHT FOUNDATION! today, we went to the zoo with them and we had a BLAST and were again treated like VIPS!! first, we get there and i expect from what i heard to get admission paid for the day at the zoo.....NOT SO!!! we get there and sign in and they hand me a certificate for.......DRUM ROLL PLEASE.......A YEAR MEMBERSHIP TO THE ZOO FOR MY FAMILY PLUS ONE GUEST!!!!!!! i could NOT believe it!! i was AMAZED and in DISBELIEF wondering if this was for real!! they told me YES, this is a YEAR MEMBERSHIP!!! i really could not believe the GENEROSITY of this foundation!! i was overjoyed and just freaking out!! i had ALWAYS wanted a memebership there but just could never get around to get one and NOW we have one and i can take my boys out there!!! how WONDERFUL! so we get in and they told us to meet them back at the pavillion at 1130 for lunch and when we got there they had a WONDERFUL meal for us...boxed complete lunches from a local deli with all the trimmings!!! and then, they had a singer there doing CHILDRENS SONGS on his bango...he was AWESOME and so much fun!! and of course, that was not all! they also had gift bags for all the kiddos with some pretty cool thing in there PLUS the singer also gave every family a CD of his music!!! AMAZING!!! i am just so BLESSED to have become a part of this foundation.....i know i will look forward to our MONTHLY FAMILY ESCAPES!!! i can't wait for james to be able to join us for these days!!! WHAT FUN!!!

i also gave some other people some info on this program with their special needs kiddos and now they will also join!! i am so happy and am SPREADING THE WORD! i talk to the coordinator and she said that they JUST brought this program to our town in september and this was their THIRD outing (i made 2 of them) and their headquarters had said that she needed to have 50 families within a year and she was able to get that many in 2 months!!!! there is such a NEED for this kind of program....to see all the kids there is just AWESOME!! you can not imagine how much PLANNING it takes to go out for the day ANYWHERE with a special needs kiddo!! for us, we had to make sure we had his TUBE FEEDS, HIS MEDS, HIS SUCTION MACHINE, HIS OXYGEN, and all the other small things that he needs on a daily basis! you can NEVER just grab him and take off somewhere!! during the day, he gets FOUR different times where he has his meds, THREE feeds during the day, & just monitoring his oxygen, secretions and suctioning like today since he was SICK! you just add that much more! but we are going to TRY so hard to do this once a month with this WONDERFUL organization.....THANK YOU STARLIGHT STARBRIGHT!!!

here are the boys at the ZOO enterance!!


here is matthew wanting the animals behind the bars!! HE HAD A BLAST!!


here is alex measuring up to a MONKEY!!!!


here are 2 of my boys.....

Friday, November 16, 2007

OUR FAMILY UPDATE!!

Hola everyone and HAPPY HOLIDAYS ALREADY!!



Hard to believe that the holiday season is upon us!! We hope everyone is doing GREAT! We are doing just fine, THANK YOU GOD! It has been almost SIX MONTHS since james left back in june!! AMAZING! But we are half way there now….GOD WILLING just 6 more months left and then my wonderful husband will be HOME!! Wowowowow..



Well, today I will speak about my beautiful wonderful loving husband FIRST!! Why, you ask??? Because this month, on November 18TH, he will have a BIRTHDAY!! Soooo, HAPPY BIRTHDAY JAMES!!!! WE LOVE YOU AND MISS YOU VERY MUCH!!! (anyone wanting to send him a email here is his address! gonzoair@sbcglobal.net and for those that have ALREADY sent him an email, THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF ME AND MY BOYS HEART!!! He told me that he had gotten a couple of emails and was soooo touched and EXCITED about it! So thanks for the cheer sent across the world to him!! You are making it more tolerable as his birthday approaches!) james will hopefully be having a GRAND birthday party that they throw for EACH soldier who has a birthday……..ok, probably not but hopefully, he will be able to EAT some of the goodies that have been sent to him from us and just THINK about us and KNOW that he is greatly loved and missed! He is doing fine. He is VERY BUSY!! Right now, he is doing 6 days on (1300 – 0100) and one day off (Tuesdays) and that is it….it leaves VERY LITTLE TIME for him to do much of anything! By the time he gets “home” and goes to sleep it is time to get up and go back to work!!! He will sometimes call after he gets off (4pm our time) and sometimes before he goes to work (about 2 am our time). He has posted some updates and I have placed them in our BLOG. He has also sent some pictures that I have posted on our blog too! So if you have not been by to visit our blog in a while, go check out all the new pics and news on our family!! But we are HALF WAY THERE now and GOD WILLING he will be home December 19th thru the 3rd of January!! I have not told the boys yet because I don’t want anything to happen to that date!! I know it will be a NICE surprise!!! We can’t WAIT!! THE COUNT DOWN IS ON!!!! I know that he will be SOOOO EXCITED to see the boys and really get to hold baby Joshua! Oooohhh how he has GROWN!! We are soooo excited!1



Well onto alex. Alex is doing REALLY GOOD! He is growing soooo much! He is very smart and very cute! He just surprises me all the time! I am so in awe of this little boy! I have to REMIND MYSELF that he is ONLY 5 YEARS OLD as of August!!!! Amazing! Let’s see…in homeschool, he knows how to read and READS ALL HIS DIRECTIONS for his CLASS!! Yep, I don’t even read those for him and he just does it and continues on!!! He also LOVES MATH!! Yep, my worst subject! He can sit there and do flash cards and add and subtract and he is really good at it!! He loves to do “math” while we are driving…I will tell him “what is 10 + 9 =” and he will yell out “19!!” and so on and so forth!! He can do pretty hard ones too with 2 numbers…I am just amazed! He is just doing really well. I can’t wait to really challenge him….i am really enjoying home schooling him and knowing he is doing really well! He enjoys our time together and the extra activities we do on Tuesday with the home school playdate with his buddies!! He is really having fun and meeting others that are also home schooled and there are A LOT!!



Matthew is doing really well. He is really working on communicating and he picked up a couple more signs. He is still such a HAPPY little boy! We are so blessed with him! He is also doing well in the PHYSICAL THERAPY area. He is really walking better and for a LONGER time now. He is trying so hard to walk and to get around more. He is always pulling up to stand when you are around and he has now mastered standing in his crib! We had to lower his crib to the lowest point and PRAY he doesn’t flip out of it! We are hoping to get him a special needs bed soon! It takes a while to get it so I am hoping it comes in by the end of jan!! but he is also doing class and we just got his progress report and she states he is IMPROVING and he is learning to recognize letter and numbers and actions and pictures!! He also loves to interact with the tv shows such as dora and diego. Anything that asks you a questions he will either nod or shake his head! He is too cute to watch! Well, right now, he is sick. He picked up a cold and passed along to his big brother! But we are just watching him. He is on increased neb treatments and also o 4 days of oral steroids. It was not the flu THANK GOD but something has messed with his lungs! He needed oxygen for his nap time but he is doing ok. We will just keep a watch on him!! he has also had some seizures....they have been SMALL THANK GOD but still they are SCARY!! we just PRAY that they STOP!!!!!!



Onto Joshua….he is doing so well! He is getting BIG! He is probably about 10 lbs now and he is just a CUTIE! And he STILL HAS BLUE EYES!!! J wowowow…what a handsome little boy! He is smiling and talking all the time! He also loves to play with his floor gym and sits there and smiles and plays with the little animals! Awwww…he is still eating like a CHAMP and just growing and growing aware of his surroundings! He loves to look around and just take it all in. he also loves to look at talk to his brothers! Matthew still doesn’t know what to make of him but he does know who he is! If Joshua starts to cry, then matthew will start to cry, then alex will start to yell and then I lose my MIND!! Yep, they all go on at the SAME TIME!!!!! Gggrrrr…matthew thinks it is the FUNNIEST THING to hear him cry!!!! anyway, he is doing GREAT!!



And onto me!! Yep, for me, I am doing FINE!!!! I am just enjoying my little family and missing my husband!!! Wow, It is hard to BELIEVE that it has been almost SIX MONTHS that james has been gone! Wowowowow…….people have asked me how I did it and HOW I always keep a positive attitude and a HAPPY attitude and I have to say that thru GOD it has keep me going and also that I could have it SO MUCH WORST!! I try HARD not to complain about ANYTHING that is going on because right now, I get the PRIVILEGE and the BLESSING to see, hear, and touch my babies and my family and friends and my beautiful husband does NOT have that right now and is SOOOO FAR AWAY from all that he loves…how can I complain about ANYTHING and how can I even THINK about being sad or upset? James and I mad a promise to each other that we would be HAPPY and we would not be UPSET with the separation of each other. Instead we would do our BEST to keep it up beat and just PRAY for the day that we can be together again as a family. And it has WORKED!! We talk on the phone and there is no tears just happy news back and forth. Our emails and letters are the same thing, just what is going on in our lives and how much we love and miss each other. It makes a difference I think, than if we were miserable and just down and out….i personally prefer it this way! It makes the days go by FASTER and just doing our best to keep the attitude for our family!!! J but I am doing fine. I have been dealing a TON with my fibromyalgia right now and it has been hard to sleep and just walk in the morning especially. It is hard to get up in the morning from bed!!! But all is well. I am just waiting for the time my family is completely TOGETHER!!! I have been sending james a carepackage every week and he has LOVED IT SOOOO MUCH! They have a small px for hundreds of soldiers (pictures in the blog of it) and they don’t get the little extras that we take for granted. So I send him tons of junk food and he told me that it really perks him up when he sees the boxes! He also get tons of crafts from the boys and also pictures of the boys. It makes me and the boys feel better when we get a box together for daddy!! We miss him so much! And we just got a care package from him and we are soooo excited!! My husband sent us some AWESOME BRACELETS that he MADE FOR US!! So awesome! And then he sent 3 little bears for each of the boys with t shirts on them with CAMP BUCCA on them. He sent us some iraq money, some cookies from there and a newspaper! He also sent us a card with a beautiful letter. He has been sending us cards and letters all the time….i am just SOOOOO BLESSED to have him as my HUSBAND…THANK YOU GOD!



Well, the new thing in our life is a GREAT foundation called THE STARLIGHT STARBRIGHT FOUNDATION…..we enrolled back in September and just got accepted in October and we have already done an event with them. They provided us with tickets to see ELMO LIVE and what a BLAST my boys had!!! We are also going to the ZOO tomorrow and wow, it sounds like they are going to be treating us like ROYALTY!! They will pull out all the stops for us!! It is a GREAT foundation and just a great way of getting the families with special needs together and OUT and helping them to have a ‘normal’ life!! James is so happy that they are helping and that his boys are having such a great time!! Here is the website for the organization: http://www.starlight.org/site/c.fuLQK6MMIpG/b.2534015/k.BB6E/Texas.htm



And MENDED LITTLE HEARTS is off and running now and I am sooo happy about it! They are a great bunch of families all pulled together due to our kiddos born with a CHD!! Slowly but surely the word is getting out and it is GROWING!!! Check out their website: http://mlhofsa.schendelsworld.com/index.htm



Well, that is it for now….not to long but hey, I am TIRED and have an infant that keeps me up late!! J there has been so many FIRST this year that is hard to believe that this year is ALMOST OVER!!! We went from a family of 4 to a family of 5, from a family together to a family apart…..birthdays, milestones etc just things that we are doing on two different countries…..WE PRAY THAT THIS WILL BE OVER SOON and JAMES will be HOME where he BELONGS!!



Anyway, we are so proud of him and we miss and love him very much. THANK YOU ALL for all your PRAYERS AND THOUGHTS for HIM as well as matthew and all of us. They are very appreciated!! THANK YOU!



Please think and Pray for ALL OUR SOLDIERS near and far especially those that are FAR AWAY from their loved ones during this holiday season......i know we will have a place at our table for THANKSGIVING for my husband to remind us that we are missing a VITAL part of our family that day!! OUR THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS ARE WITH HIM AND ALL OF OUR SOLDIERS....



take care everyone and GOD BLESS!!



tons of love,

James, Maria, Alex, Matthew, & Joshua

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

VIDEO OF JOSHUA...

hello all!! just wanted to share with you some cuteness!! he is getting big and such a cutie!! i will need to download some of him talking!!! ENJOY!


Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Share Photos - Free Video Hosting

Saturday, November 10, 2007

SESAME STREET LIVE!!! :)

WOWOWOWOWOWOW!!! we got to go see ELMO MAKES MUSIC today and it was just WONDERFUL!! we had soooo much fun! it was all provided for us by the STARLIGHT STARBRIGHT FOUNDATION! here is a clip of what they do:

WHO STARLIGHT STARBRIGHT IS:
When a child is diagnosed with a serious illness, the day-to-day joys of childhood take a back seat to the rigors of treatment and hospitalization. For more than two decades, Starlight Starbright Children's Foundation has dedicated itself to improving the quality of life for children with serious medical conditions by providing entertainment, education and family activities that help them cope with the pain, fear and isolation of prolonged illness.

We understand what families go through when a child is sick, and how important it is to find relief from constant worry and isolation. Our programs have been proven to distract children from their pain, help them better understand and manage their illnesses, and connect families with others facing similar challenges so that no one feels alone.


we JUST enrolled in this program and they called us last week to ask if we were interested in going.....OF COURSE with both my boys i said YES! we were sooooo grateful to them! they provided us 4 tickets, parking, a goody bag for the boys and some drinks and hotdogs for all of us!! soooooo nice and generous....it was AMAZING....i don't think we could have done that without them...the boys (and mom) and a BLAST and it was just soooooo much fun! we had never been to one of those before and i was really happy with it! SO THANK YOU STARLIGHT STARBRIGHT for such a WONDERFUL EXPERIENCE!!!! :) all that was missing was JAMES....

here are some pics....not the best but....




Thursday, November 08, 2007

PICTURES FROM JAMES IN IRAQ...

hey all....just wanted to share some new pics from james!! these are some of the buildings that are on his BASE CAMP BUCCA....please enjoy and pray for him and all our soldiers!!

JAMES STANDING NEXT TO A MILES TO SIGN!!!

THIS IS THE BURGER KING THERE AT CAMP BUCCA...


THIS IS THE PIZZA HUT AT CAMP BUCCA....


THIS IS THE PX THERE....if you don't know, the PX is a small place to SHOP and that is ALL they have there to get any and all supply....so that is why they need people to send them stuff (soap, deodorant, shampoo etc) because they don't have too much available there and there are HUNDREDS of soldiers on that base!!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

PICNIC GIVEN BY THE EPILEPSY FOUNDATION...

OOOOOHHHHH WE HAD FUN!! it was a BEAUTIFUL DAY and we enjoyed our day at the park. it was just a nice cool day and matthew went in his convertible car.....we got to see his neuro dr in a SHREK outfit....CUTE!! :) They got to play games and win little prizes, they got a goodie bag, goody bucket, some AWESOME CHICK-FIL-A sandwiches and all the fixings (such a WONDERFUL group of people that own these stores...they are ALWAYS such giving people...they are sponsors for MENDED LITTLE HEARTS here in san antonio too!!)....it was just really nice!! matthew had a great time playing the games and just zooming in his car! :) it was nice to go out and enjoy ourselves OUTSIDE....i took some pics and i will post them in a bit.....just one big thing missing.......OUR DADDY & MY HUSBAND...........

Friday, October 26, 2007

JAMES PICS FROM IRAQ....

JAMES IN EL PASO....

 

ON THE PLANE ENROUTE TO IRAQ...
 


GETTING READY TO BE TRANSPORTED TO CAMP BUCCA FROM KUWAIT...