Beach Living Part 3

After we loaded up the van and checked out of the hotel, we headed to rent bikes.  Jekyll Island is covered in bike trails and is mostly flat.  I knew the kids that could would enjoy riding.  We tried to talk the rental guy in to letting us get a surrey and I would wear Emmie.  He said no go since the rules state 12 months and up.  The next plan was to rent a smaller surrey and I would bike some kids in.  Then the kids who could ride independently would get their own bike rentals.  That ended when they all saw this eight person surrey.

 That's right.  I biked seven little people to the historic district of Jekyll Island and some of the way back (Mark and I rotated).
 Emmie got her own ride.  To be fair,  Zoe and Ace helped peddle some or we would have been stuck in one place for a loooong time.  The sweet part was that the kids waving at complete strangers made several people break out in huge grins.  They were pretty cute riding in the surrey.  Yes.  It had fringe on top.

A beautiful fountain in the historic district.  
Malachi begged Zoe to go to a playground area after supper the first night.  She willingly obliged and they had fun going down the slide.

 We arrived back in town in time for supper and stopped at a Tex Mex restaurant.  The kids thought this seat was pretty cool.  It was a saddle seat and apparently the best seat in the house.

Beach Living Part 2

After arriving and settling in to our hotel room, the kids were ready for a lot of beach play the next day.

 Emmie enjoyed snoozing in the shade with me.  The weather was perfect.  A bit overcast and sprinkles once or twice but 
 The Sand Queen.  She was covered head to toe.

 Lots of pictures of the beautiful beach.  Since we don't live near the white sands of the gulf, Jekyll Island is my favorite place to see the ocean.  

 I got in the water until something swam by my legs.  I love to look at the ocean.  Just not feel its inhabitants without seeing them.
 I think we all cleaned up nice.  Sometimes I look at photos of us and think, "Wow, we sure are a small lot."  Then other times, "My goodness!  That's a lot of kids."  This picture looks like a lot of kids.
 Quick photo bomb with mom and Emmie
 Two cutie pies back at the hotel.
 After supper, we took a little walk in the park next to the hotel.  Aside from a disappearing beach, Jekyll also boasts tons of wooded areas.  The low lying trees are sturdy enough and low enough fro some fun climbing.
 Or Hobbit Hole hiding.

Beach Living Part 1

Mark knew I desperately wanted to take a trip to the beach this year.  We had our "old" house under contract all summer so when we closed on it in August, he planned out a quick weekend trip to the beach.  Living just three hours away from the ocean makes quick beach trips doable.

There's a lot of pictures so hang on to your hats folks.

 On the road!  I wasn't the only one excited.  The kids were super excited that Malachi was going to see the ocean for the first time. His first beach trip was when he was six weeks old.

 We went to Jekyll Island.  If you live in Georgia, you should know who Sidney Lanier is.  If you don't, stop now and look him up.  Then look up his wonderful poem, "Ye Marshes of Glynn."  I had my mom for 11th grade English.  She made us memorize two stanzas from that poem.  My goal was to have the kids memorize those two stanzas but we only managed one before our trip.  Either way, it's a great poem inspired by the marshes around Jekyll.
 Beautiful inspiration.

 The boardwalk from the hotel to the beach included this lovely forest area.  Where Bryant promptly threw a frisbee.
 The lovely forest area was covered with spiders.  Giant "banana" spiders.  Large webs.
 Guess who got to rescue the frisbee?

 Checking out the ocean the first day.  High tide was coming in so there was very little beach.  Parts of the beach completely disappear at high tide.
 A dead horseshoe crab washed up provided lots of interesting observation by the kids.

 Emmie met the ocean.  She didn't mind at all having her feet in it.

 All the other babies we have had would lift their feet up.  Emmie just kept them firmly planted.

 Lanier Bridge named after...Sidney Lanier (shocking right?)

 The Marshes of Glynn

Breathing Easier...

Mark and I traveled with Emmie to Emory to meet her neurosurgeon Dr. C on October 17th.  Her appointment was in the afternoon, so instead of loading up and staying overnight at Ge & Granddaddy's house, we were able to arrange childcare (through an awesome babysitter, M, and friend, Kristina) and drive there and back.  Emmie did awesome for being in the car that long!  She has learned to be a great car rider with all our trips.

Driving down we laughed and chatted and enjoyed spending time together while Emmie slept.  But when we got there we both clammed up and tensed up. We honestly had no idea what Dr. C would want to do at this point.  We now had a better view of her plexiform than the first MRI.  We knew he had seen it in their joint conference and in his office.

Dr. C was very kind and basically told us that this was an opportunity for us to meet should we ever need his services.  Because the plexiform is not causing her pain or hindering her development at this time, he did not want to remove it.  He showed us where the plexiform is with the MRI images and showed us what part he would remove which would prevent a lot of nerve damage.  We discussed the different types of plexiforms.  He willingly, and patiently, answered our questions.  The gist is, she won't have to have surgery unless it is causing her problems.  The plexiform is attached to the nerve that goes to her right arm.  As long as she continues to not have problems with that arm, then surgery is not needed.  He also told us that her case was brought up in joint conference (with all the "neuro" people) because the plexiform is rather large and a more "difficult" case.  He perfectly agreed with Dr. W's protocol of following up in six months.

Dr. C said that of all the NF patients that are seen there, he operates on a plexiform about once ever two years or so.  He said it's very seldom that his services are required for NF kids.

I think Mark and I both grew two inches when we left that office.  It really felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of me as we left.  My baby was going to be okay and no need to worry about surgery right now.  We enjoyed the rest of the day with a trip to the farmers' market and a nice quick meal out before rescuing Kristina!

Thank you to everyone for the prayers!  We have felt them so much.  We are so blessed to have family and friends who willingly and lovingly are walking this journey with us.

I know I have a way to go before I can fully rest in the Lord.  I know He is in control of our precious Emmie but it's tough letting go and trusting Him it always is.

August Randomness

Picture overload to commence in 3...2...1...

 At Ge's house, there are dogs.  Real ones and fake ones.  The fake ones are perfect to sit on for some tv watching.

 Daddy helped make a light hut to grow plants.  Our real plants in our real garden grew.  Alas, these did not.
 Emmie thinks her brother is pretty cool and I would say the feeling is mutual.

 We had a grumpy Emmie one day and Zoe offered to wear her.  I got a bit of work done and Zoe got a few extra cuddles.  This cuteness is a bit overwhelming.

 One day all was quiet and I went upstairs to find six kids playing and laughing.  Over legos.  Ah, if every day could be like this.

 More cuteness...Emmie sleeps with her hands behind her head.  Sometimes I catch her holding her ear to sleep.
 An unfortunate accident.  Liam met the counter with his face and as a result got a big ol' fat lip.

 Emmie's new trick.  No rolling but she can go to her side like a pro.

 This is why she can only go to her side...Her people surround her and watch her like a hawk.

 Being 4 is so hard.  Especially on pizza night.
 Mark woke him up so he took a bite of pizza and was chewing it in his sleep.

 A cold snap (aka in the 80s) meant schooling in the yard.

 That's Josiah's foot.  He was sitting in the chair next to this one and somehow slipped his foot in and couldn't get it out.  I tried.  He tried.  I took a picture and sent it to Mark (okay, I posted it on Facebook too).  Just as I was talking to Mark, he wiggled it out.  And then we all laughed.

 Our church has a summer program and the kids all did so well, our pastor had a fun end of summer miniature golf trip for our families.

 My girls!  Actually, these are daddy's girls.  No doubt about it.  I like to pretend that Emmie prefers me but who am I kidding?!  Daddy rocks.

 I wonder what she is pondering in her sleep.

Ceili Rain took her baby to church one day.  Complete with diaper bag filled with things to occupy her.  She patiently held her and changed her and loved on her.  It was too adorable for words.