Thursday, May 28, 2009

My Uncle Ken

My Uncle Ken passed away on Saturday, May 23, 2009 at the age of 63. His passing was very unexpected and our family is dealing with the shock and grief. Services are being held on Friday. I cannot be there so I hope that this blog post will somehow stand in my absence. I want to remember Ken and do so in a way that will honor him.
These are some of my memories:
Ken and his family moved from Texas to California when I was just a little kid so he was not a part of my everyday life like most of the rest of the family. However, the distance did not diminish his presence. I clearly remember gathering at my Granny's house on Christmas Eve and opening packages that came from "California". There was always great excitement for these gifts because even though Ken and his family lived so far away, they always knew the perfect gift for the person who's name they had drawn. I still have a doll that Ken's son sent me one Christmas. The doll's name is "Junior" and now Emily plays with him. And every Christmas Eve while we all together, we could expect a call from Ken.
When I was seven, my family took a vacation from Texas, through New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, Utah, California, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma and back home. While we were in California, we stayed with Ken and his family. I was so excited to stay at their house because they had 2 stories. Somehow, I thought it would feel different to sleep upstairs. LOL. We did lots of neat things while we were there; we all went to Disneyland and panning for gold. But one day, Ken wanted to show my dad a house he was building for a doctor. Being the curious child that I was, I tagged along. Hand in hand with my dad, Ken showed us around this magnificent house he was building. Even then, at the age of seven, I knew he had some real talent and skill.
I didn't see my Uncle Ken again until six years later. All of his siblings and their families (including me!) met up with Ken and his family in Las Vegas. I don't remember much of the adults during this trip. (Hey, I was a newly minted teenager and I was having too much fun hanging out with all the cousins!) But I have this image in my head of Ken standing outside the hotel, near the valets with a camera around his neck and a big grin on his face. I know by this image that he loved being surrounded by family.
During his time in California, Ken and my dad would make wagers on the San Francisco 49ers and the Dallas Cowboys. It's a random memory, but one that made my dad smile.
A few years ago, Ken and his wife, Norma, moved to Texas. I had already moved to the Carolinas by that time so I still missed being a part of the everyday life of our extended family. However, every time I saw Ken on my return trips I was welcomed with a big hug like I have never been away.
Some final thoughts:
Because we lived so far away from each other during most of my life, I didn't get to know my Uncle Ken in an everyday manner. Still, he was a legend within our family. I grew up hearing tales of when he and my dad and their sisters were little. I heard of his great service to our country during Vietnam. I heard about his three tours of duty and the same number of purple hearts he received. I also heard of how he drove all night once to save my dad, but you'll have to ask my dad about that.
More than a legend though, my uncle Ken was a good man that loved his family and his friends. He always had a ready laugh and a good comforting hug for you. He was not an idle man and even if he was still, you could almost see his brain working. I know all that knew him and loved him will miss him, including this long-distance niece.

Friday, May 15, 2009


Promted by a thread online, I decided to weigh and measure the three oldest kids today. Anna Jaye just went to the doctor for her 2 month check-up on Wednesday so I already knew her stats.

age: 8 years, 3 months and 23 days
height: 4 ft, 4.5 inches (52.5 in)
weight: 74 lbs.

age: 3 years, 7 months and 2 days
height: 3 ft, 2.75 inches (38.75 in)
weight: 38 lbs

age: 2 years, 1 month and 6 days
height: 2 ft, 9 inches (33 in)
weight: 27 lbs

age: 2 months, 5 days
height: 21.5 inches
weight: 8 lbs. 6 oz

I can't believe how tall Emily is getting! She has grown an inch since January and before that she grew 1.5 inches from Oct-Jan. My little girl is fast approaching the dreaded "tween" years. Lord, help us all.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Been too long since the last update.

I realize I haven't updated my blog in over two weeks! Bad, Christi, bad! Things have been a little crazy around here and I haven't had the time to be on the computer much. So here is an update on everyone:

Anna Jaye
We went and had her tested for kidney reflux. The test was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. She did really well considering she had a catheter placed and several x-rays taken. We immediately got results and Anna does have kidney reflux. Hers is fairly mild and she has been placed on maintenance antibiotics everyday for as long as she has the reflux. Luckily, Anna's doctor prescribed her a kind that I can pick up for free at a local pharmacy. We have insurance, but $20 co-pays can add up very quickly.

Ever since she got out of the hospital, we have also been dealing with weight issues. Anna dropped back down to her birth weight. She's gotten longer, but leaner. Poor little baby! So now I am pumping in addition to nursing her. We're trying to measure at least 1/3 of her daily intake. It was slow starting, but she has gained 6 oz since Friday.

He's finally starting to talk! He is just saying a few words, but progress is progress. Austin is calling me "daddy" at the moment, but I hope he will change to "mommy" soon. He is also saying: I, mine, yes, and no. I had Garrett tested by this point for not talking, but this time around I am trying to take it easy and let him go at his own pace.

Well, Garrett is Garrett and he's becoming Mr. Independent. In a way this is a good thing. Garrett is starting to really potty train and all on his own. Independence is also a bad thing. It means he always wants his way. He knows his alphabet and has now moved on to writing it (as well as he can). There is no doubt about it now, the boy is left handed.

She is getting so tall and grown-up looking! I barely have to lean down to give her a hug now. The top of her head hits me mid-chest! We've been working on rhyming words lately and I think she is picking it up. I also think I can now call her a beginner-reader. She has been reading some very simple books all by herself. They only have one or two words per page, but I am pretty proud!

I am so excited to be only a few pounds from my pre-pregnancy weight! I still have a bit to go to get rid of the extra weight put on by Garrett and Austin too, but I am happy to be making this much progress. Tomorrow I am supposed to go to the Y so I can get on a fitness program. Might as well use that membership for something!

I have also been working on Anna's birth announcements. I have 10 completely done, but I have that many more to finish. I hope to get them all mailed by the end of the week. Which reminds me, I need to email her photograph for the paper.

He's being as sweet as ever. He took Garrett with him to the grocery store Sunday and they brought me home some chocolate. For once he didn't go over board at the store and only bought what we needed (aside from the chocolate)!

So that's it for today's update. I hope to get some new pics up soon!