Sunday, June 24, 2012

Our Little Homebody

Faith and daddy happy at home
Lately it seems that Faith is becoming more and more of a homebody, meaning she likes to stay home more than she likes to go out. I'm not really sure if it is a good thing she is turning into such a homebody - I think her dad is having an influence on her because I know she doesn't get it from me!

Take this weekend for instance. My sister Tesa and her boys were coming back through Bismarck from Watford City on their way home to Nebraska (lots of geography in that sentence, I know) and planned on staying over in Bismarck. At first, Rob, Faith and I were planning on meeting them along with my mom and aunt for supper. But then, Rob laid down to take a nap so I thought just me and Faith would go. At the last minute, Faith decided she didn't want to go and told me to just go by myself.

This was partly understandable considering she hadn't slept well for two nights in a row plus Michelle had come over yesterday morning and they did their usual activities galore, including going rummage saleing. I was a little disappointed to go meet my family for dinner by myself but I also didn't think it was worth the battle to get Faith to go out when she really didn't have to go out.

Two places she does usually want to go are the Healing Rooms and church. But this morning while getting ready for church, she told me once again that I should go by myself because she didn't want to go. When I told her all three of us were going to church, she began to throw a fit so I put her in a time out. We had invited my mom to come to church with us and as soon as Faith heard her grandma talking in the living room, all the sudden Faith decided we all needed to hurry to get to church.

Grandma and Faith at Brunos Pizza after her gigglefest
After church, Faith was all about going out to lunch at Bruno's Pizza. While at the restaurant, Faith had a huge giggle fit that went on for about 20 minutes. I told her, "see Faith isn't it fun getting out and about!" This usually seems to be the case - it may at times be a battle to get her out the door but once she is, she realizes she's having fun.

I don't know how I ended up with two people who are such homebodies and I really don't understand why it's so great to be home all the time. I do know that I'm glad to have a husband who understands my need to get out and tries his best to make that happen - even if it is all by myself. At the same time, I'm grateful for the times all three of us get out together.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

A 40th Wedding Anniversary Celebration

On June 3rd of this year, my parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary. It wasn't until this past weekend, however, that they were able to celebrate the momentous occasion with their five kids, eight grandchildren and a few of their siblings as well.

The festivities began on Friday when my family arrived from Nebraska, Montana, parts of North Dakota and from across town right here in Bismarck. My youngest sister and younger brother fed the large group at a picnic at Sertoma Park with grilled burgers, hotdogs, homemade potato salad and lots of other goodies.

Saturday we all reunited where the celebration continued on the Lewis and Clark Riverboat on the Missouri River. Unfortunately, due to the high winds, the boat was unable to go anywhere but it was nice nonetheless. It did not escape anyone's mind that last year around the same time the very parking lot on which we all parked our vehicles had been well under water.
Faith loved her first time on a boat, even though it wasn't going anywhere!
The family took advantage of the opportunity of all being together by taking lots and lots of photos. Amber, my sister-in-law said that before marrying Mark she never knew of such a crazy picture-taking family.

The highlight of our time on the riverboat was my parents renewing their vows. It was a very sweet moment and us girls and maybe even a few of the guys were all in tears. My brother Todd did a great job officiating and stating what a rarity 40 years of marriage was in today's society.

Mom and Dad are definitely to be commended for raising their five kids in times of hardship and some of the challenges that they faced, including a few near-death experiences in the oilfield for my dad. They serve as a great example for me, my siblings and our spouses that no matter how tough it gets, it is best to stick it out together!
The Lawlars and their wonderful, great-looking spouses!
Dad and mom with the whole family.
After the riverboat experience we all went our separate ways to get ready for the 40th wedding anniversary dinner held at the Bistro. We had a beautiful private room, delicious food, great conversation and a fantastic slideshow that Amber so beautifully put together.

The slideshow took us all down memory lane from the time my dad was a little boy riding a Shetland pony to he and my mom's high school prom. There were lots of photos of us kids growing up and of course photos of the eight grandkids who are already growing up way too fast. An added bonus was that we all received a copy of the slideshow on DVD as a parting gift!
Enjoying a great dinner in honor of my mom and dad
It was a wonderful weekend and we will all have many memories to take away from this celebration. I'm sure it will be a time that is instilled in the hearts of my parents for many years to come.

By the way Happy Father's Day to my Dad whom I love very much and also my husband who I love as well -  Faith couldn't ask for a better daddy!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Goodbye to Our Special Tomato

Today we said goodbye to our Special Tomato adaptive car seat. And special it was. It helped Faith stay safe and secure in our Hyundai driving her back and forth to therapy appointments, shopping excursions and many other activities. It also helped us through our time of not being able to afford an accessible van.

Like all adaptive equipment, the special car seat was expensive and although it is the law that a child is secured in a car seat while traveling in a vehicle, neither health insurance nor Medicaid would pay for it. Thankfully, we were able to receive funds from the fundraiser, the Great American Bike Race (GABR) which helps families pay for services and equipment that insurance doesn't cover for kids with cerebral palsy and related disabilities. 

After doing research on the Internet and talking to Faith's physical and occupational therapists, we decided to go for the Special Tomato adaptive car seat. You would think something with that name would be red, but it was in fact, purple.

Faith in her adaptive car seat, The Special Tomato
When we first got it, Faith was about four years old and pretty little. Before getting it, we had made her car seat as supportive as we could by using pillows and foam wedges. But we were having trouble keeping her head supported so we knew we had to do something different.The Special Tomato is a pretty serious car seat and it took up a lot of our backseat but it was more than worth it. It was such a relief that Faith had the support she needed while riding in the car. It was also nice, because we could adjust the seat as she grew taller.

As Faith grew, it became more of a chore to get her out of her wheelchair and into her special car seat, especially when she wasn't very happy about going somewhere and she wouldn't relax her muscles. It was also a chore because we had to take her wheelchair apart, put the seat of her chair in the passenger seat and the base in the trunk. Thankfully, just when it seemed she had outgrown the Special Tomato, altogether, our disability case manager found an accessible van that we purchased just last summer.

We have been wanting to donate the Special Tomato seat to a family who just like us at one time, really needs it. Just today our case manager may have found a new home for it. We really hope the seat works out for their child. It is such a good feeling being able to give it to someone else and we hope it serves them as well as it served us.

When Faith was in her Special Tomato, we had to put the seat to her wheelchair in the passenger seat
in our car and the base to her chair in our trunk.

Thanks to our van, we didn't have to worry anymore about Faith outgrowing her adaptive car seat

Our van makes transporting our growing girl so much easier!