Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A day at the park

Last Friday, the kids and I headed to Gainesville for a Friday Funday! We went to Chic-fil-a and ate breakfast and then headed to the park! We had so much fun. The weather was beautiful that morning...not too hot and no rain!

Hadley Kay posing on the slide

Avery Jane being prissy

Ben loved climbing and sliding!

Hadley and Avery on the "balance beams"

Hadley "helping" Ben

Avery's reaction to mommy telling her it's time to go home

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I am just so excited about our family vacation! We leave on Friday after Brian gets off work and head to Panama City to visit with family. We will spend a few days there and try to "fit it all in". Our plans include meeting a brand-new baby cousin, eating at some of our favorite spots, going to Ship Wreck Water Park, and my mother-in-law is taking me shopping! Fun! On Tuesday morning we will wake up and head to Tennessee to visit with more family and some very special friends, who are like family! My sister and her husband are moving into their new house and we are so excited to see it! We are hoping to enjoy a few of our favorite spots to eat there, too:) And, I get to see my Grandma Sue, my Oma and Opa, AND my Great Grandmother! I am really looking forward to all my extended family meeting Ben for the first time! Plus, I can't wait to spend 9 days with my hunny bunny! Yay!

So, after Friday I will be on blogging hiatus for about a week. Don't forget to keep praying for Avery...we go for her MRI the day after we get back from vacation. I will update everyone on that situation as soon as we know something!

for more gratituesday, visit the heavenly homemaker!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Gratituesday~Happy Birthday Ben!!!

Today my precious baby boy is 1 year old. I am not exaggerating when I say that this has been the fastest year of my life! I have been so richly blessed with 3 beautiful children! Thinking back to 1 year ago today, I still can't believe how Ben decided to make his 'grand entrance' into this world. 1 year ago today, I got to experience what a completely natural child-birth feels like; I got my first ride in an ambulance; and I fell in love. All before 7 am. While I was pregnant with Ben, I had such an ideal scenario of his birth in my mind...I never would have imagined the chaotic climax to our story. It was quite a story. At around 5 am that morning, I woke up feeling very uncomfortable. I was having contractions, but I figured if I really was in labor, this was just the beginning. I thought I should try to get some sleep. For about 30-45 minutes I tried to sleep, but finally I decided to wake up Brian and ask him to help me time the contractions. They were about 8 minutes apart at that point. Brian got up and started getting his stuff together and calling/emailing his office to let them know he would not be coming in. I got up and got in the bathtub to try and help me feel better. I really didn't feel like being alone, though, so I got out of the bath and went to sit in the office with Brian while he wrote emails and made phone calls. He called The Birth Center and spoke to the midwife who said we should meet her in an hour. He also called my parents to tell them to come on over to be there with Hadley and Avery. While he was making phone calls, I tried to get up off of the futon in the office to go get dressed. I really struggled to get up and I began to realize I was going to have a baby soon! I went to my bedroom to get dressed, but the contractions suddenly were so intense and close together, I could barely get a break between them to get my clothes on. During this time, my parents arrived and my water broke. Brian called the midwife back and she told him to lay me down in the van and drive to the birth center as fast as he could. Brian and my dad began trying to get me to the van, but I did not feel like I could walk that far...and I knew if I got in the van, I would have the baby on the way to Gainesville...that is NOT what I wanted to do! They got me as far as the front porch before I begged them to call 911. Brian was on the phone with the midwife and when she heard the panic in my voice, she told him to get my back inside and to prepare for the baby to be born. My dad called 911 and I made it as far as the foot-end of our bed before I collapsed. Brian sent my mom to get towels, but before she could make it to the linin closet and back, Benjamin Brian Woodall was born at 6:57 am...I know the exact time because I was staring at the clock when he was born! Brian had the unique opportunity of delivering him. We wrapped him in blankets and towels and I held him close to me until the paramedics arrived. They checked him out and suctioned his nose and mouth. They cut his umbilical cord and cleaned him up a little. Brian was on cloud 9...he was definitley on an adrenaline high. The paramedics loaded me onto a stretcher and took me and baby Ben, along with Brian to the hospital. I am so thankful Ben was not born with any problems. I am thankful that Brian got the opportunity to deliver his son. I am so very grateful for my precious little son.

The Bradford Telegraph ran a story on Ben's unusual see the story, click here

for more gratituesday, visit the heavenly homemaker

Monday, July 13, 2009

The Big Camping Trip!

We had such a great time on our camping trip to Gamble Rogers State Park in Flagler Beach, FL. We got to stay for 8 whole days and enjoy the beach with my mom and dad and sisters. It was wonderful! Flagler Beach is one of my favorite places in the whole is a charming little beach village full of character. Gamble Rogers is right on the beach. The kids did great...they slept in a tent for over a week without any complaints...they are such happy little campers! We spent most of our time on the beach, but while we were there we also made a trip to St. Augustine to eat at our favorite shrimp joint, O'Steens, made a trip to Ponce Inlet to see the lighthouse (Clifford, the Big Red Lighthouse, as Avery named it), and made several trips to the "red box" to rent fun kids movies to watch in the tent after dark. It was a week full of family fun!

Sunrise at Gamble Rogers State Park

Ben playing in the tent~he was a happy camper

Hadley and Avery at the Ponce Light~AKA Clifford, the Big Red Lighthouse

Hadley and Avery driving their Jeep Hurricane around the camp ground
Ben playing in the giant pool I dug for him

Suwannee River State Park Hike

A couple of weeks ago, Brian and I, along with Ben and Crush, had a chance to check out some of the trails at Suwannee River State Park. The park is very nice...everything is newly refurbished. The trails are great! We really enjoyed the Lime Sink Trail. The only down-side...I got a tick on me! YUCK! But, it was a great little mini-adventure with some of my favorite hiking buddies!
Crush was worn out after the hike!

What's Going On? All about Avery

Many of you have been faithfully praying for Avery Jane over the past few weeks. We are so thankful for your prayers! For those of you who don't know what is going on with her, I thought I would update you on her situation. At her 3 year old check-up, Dr. Anna noticed Avery was holding her left foot very tight. She told us to monitor her and bring her back in if we noticed it happening a lot. After that appointment, we began to notice her walking funny and really turning her left foot in. We also noticed her holding her left arm in close to her body and not using it. So, a couple of weeks ago, we took her back to the doctor to get that checked out. They did a very thorough examination and had Avery walk, run, hop, jump, skip and just about everything else they could have her do. They checked her reflexes, asked us lots of questions and ultimately decided we would need to have an MRI done of the right side of Avery's head to find out why she is struggling to use the muscles on the left side of her body. The right side of the brain controls the left side of the body, and vice versa. So, after an agonizing week of trying to get an MRI appointment within a reasonable amount of time, we got an appointment for August 3rd at 10am at Wolfson's Childrens Hospital in Jacksonville. We have to be there at 8 am that morning for pre-op procedures. Avery will have to be sedated for the MRI because she has to lay completely still during the entire procedure. We will know much more after the MRI, but at this point we feel that we will definetly end up in physical therepy with her. She is doing fine...she doesn't even know there is anything wrong! She is a trooper and has done great at all of her appointments. I am so proud of her-she is a very special child! Please pray for us during this time. It is so scary to have something not right with your child. We are so thankful for all of the faithful prayers being sent up on our behalf. I will continue to update the blog on this situation as we get new information.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

This past week, we stayed pretty close to our menu plan. Friday night, Brian surprised me with a date night to the Melting was very neat! We had never been before. I loved the cheese and the dessert. It was pretty pricey, though...a rare treat for us:) It was a much-needed night off from cooking, as well as caring for kiddos. I am so thankful for my mom and dad...they took great care of the kids and had them all sleeping soundly in their beds when we got home! This week, there is no room in our budget for any more "date nights"...we will be sticking to the plan!

Monday, July 13th~
Grilled Shrimp
sauteed yellow squash and onions
Baked Potatoes

Tuesday, July 14th~BEN'S 1st BIRTHDAY!
Loaded Veggie Omelets
Chocolate-Chip Pancakes

Wednesday, July 15th~
BLTs/Grilled Cheese sandwiches
fruit salad

Thursday, July 16th~

Friday, July 17th~
Homemade Pizza Night!

Saturday, July 18th~
Grilled Pork Chops
Broccoli with cheese
Pesto-Pasta salad with LOTs of summer veggies!

Sunday, July 19th~

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Gratituesday-Healthy Steps Pediatrics

Anyone who has children knows how important it is to have a good relationship with your child's doctor and office staff. As a parent, we only want the very best for our children! I am so thankful for all of the ladies at Healthy Steps Pediatrics! When we moved to this area in 2005, I knew I needed to find a good doctor for little Hadley...and quick! I searched the internet for a practice that was relatively close and that would accept our insurance...we had tricare at the time because of Brian's Coast Guard service. I found Healthy Steps online and gave them a call to see if I could just come in and meet them. I knew after the first encounter with this extraordinary group of women that we had found a treasure. Since then, we have added baby Avery and baby Ben to the mix. All 3 of my children LOVE Dr. Anna. She is sharp and professional, but gentle and kind. The nurse practioners are wonderful, also. They are very thorough! The whole staff is great. These are some of the sweetest ladies you will ever meet. They have a beautiful, clean office with lots of toys and fun distractions for the kids. They always work to get us in quickly. They have truly been a blessing to me and my family. I am especially thankful to Renee who went above and beyond for us this week as we tried to get Avery an MRI scheduled within a reasonable amount of time. Avery got an appointment for August 3rd at Wolfson's Children's Hospital in Jacksonville. I will blog more about her situation in another post...

for more Gratituesday, visit Laura at Heavenly Homemakers and prepare to be blessed!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Okay, so I really really REALLY need to get back to reality. The past couple of weeks have been crazy for me and I need to regain control! After being out of town for over a week and being sick last week, I am ready to get back into my routine! Making a menu plan is a great way to do that. Last week I worked from a loose menu plan and tried to incorporate lots of tomatoes into our meals because our tomato plants are going crazy! I played around with chicken and tomatoes and basil and came up with a very yummy new chicken dish...I will have to share that one soon! Here is what I have come up with for this week:

Monday, July 6th~
Baked grouper fillets with homemade salsa
broccoli and cheese

Tuesday, July 7th~
Chicken Tortilla soup

Wednesday, July 8th~
Grilled Cheese sandwiches
carrots and cucumbers
sliced tomatoes

Thursday, July 9th~
Baked Pork Chops
yellow squash and onions
baked potatoes

Friday, July 10th~
Black Beans and Rice with Pork
sliced tomatoes and cucumbers

Saturday, July 11th~
Grilled Chicken Quesadillas
refried black beans