Category Archives: Family

News about Eli

I have some news about Kelli’s little guy Eli.  You all might remember that our daughter Kelli had twin boys in April, Eli, and Emmett.

For the most part, the boys have been doing good, minus chronic ear infections that won’t go away.  Poor Eli has had ear infection since late September and can’t get it to completely clear.

Both of the boys are slated to get tubes on January 21st.  YAHOO!  The goal is to keep them cough/cold-free until then.

Although Eli has been developing, we’ve always wondered if something was up with Eli.  He hasn’t progressed as far as Emmett but we decided that it was likely because kids just grow differently.  We didn’t know if maybe it was because his hearing is impaired because of the ear infections.  He was tested and we were told that his hearing is about the same as if you put your fingers in your ears and then listen.  They expect that will improve after tubes so that’s why we are pushing to get the tubes.

We’ve always known that Eli might have a little bit of trouble as due to the circumstances of his birth, he might have been deprived of oxygen for a little bit so we didn’t know if it might be something like that happening with him.  Whatever it was, we were determined to do all we could to give him a happy life…and we knew whatever it was that made him a little different, was mild enough that he might have some bumps in the road but nothing that would stop him.

Recently Kelli took the boys in to get their eyes checked.  We have a family history on my husband’s side of the family for lazy eye, in that the optic nerves don’t develop equally.  Kramer’s dad had it, Kramer had it, our son Buck has it.  So far, we test the grandkids early on and none of them have had it…until Eli.

What prompted Kelli to get the boys checked was their family history AND there is a program called Infant See.  You can find them online.  Eye doctors have gotten together to provide free eye exams for infants so they can catch problems early.  I highly recommend the program.

After going to the eye doctor we found out that Emmett is okay but Eli needs glasses.

Kelli wrote on Facebook:
This little guy has some new gear to sport! We had an eye appointment last week and happened to find out that Eli has two lazy eyes that don’t focus well, leaving him with the inability to focus on things that are close to him. I think it’s going to take some getting used to for everyone, but seeing him “see” for the first time was literally amazing. I could watch his eyes “seeing” me for the first time and his giant smile afterward is one I will remember forever!

Kelli said that … Continue reading

News From Buck’s House

My kids are so good to me.  Sunday when I got home, Buck started sending messages to me.  He had written a blog post for me with the hope that I would actually rest.  What a sweet guy, right??

So here’s a post from Buck:

I was in Dollar General looking for envelopes (I’m doing a whole envelope challenge, it’s a whole thing) right next to the envelopes was a cheap coin sorter. Not the cool kind but counting all my change it was on my to-do list so for $12 I figured why not?

I had a pretty decent-sized jar of change and Lucy was at a friend’s house so we cleaned off the table and got to work.

The tubes don’t necessarily “sort” your change but they do make it very convenient to place in tubes that are color-coded to match the funnels.

Scott absolutely loves sorting things, when he’s in the right mood he can clean the house faster than I can. He’s 6 and learning how to swap out garbage bags, take out the recycling, sweep (poorly), etc.

This was much more fun than a real coin sorter because we had a conversation about any little indifference he found.

We found a wheat penny (hard to find anymore) and I told him about how Grandma Jo has a pile of them and that these are very special.

Then we found a quarter the year Grandma Jo was born.

I pulled a random quarter and told him I would have only been 2 years older than he was when this quarter was made, his eyes got all big.

We went back and forth on how much each one was worth and if 2 dimes were worth a quarter (no) “okay so what would make it fair?” Kind of problems. I counted out 20 pennies and tried to trade him for a quarter and then tried to argue with him saying, “but I have so many and I only want one?!” He didn’t bite.

We also went through how some have ridges and some don’t so if you’re having trouble telling the difference between a nickel and a quarter we can feel that the nickel is thicker and the quarter has ridges so any time he had a question we could fall back on those basic rules. Naturally, you will run across a green dime or a brown quartes, etc. but if you fall back on what you know you can figure it out on your own.

Lilly ate her supper while we sorted coins.

You can find the coin sorters we used HERE on Amazon.  We had lots of fun doing this.

Anyway, I have no idea if a bank will even count “self counted” rolls but it was a good $12 activity we can go back through every few months. It ties in quite a few basic skills, math, history, basic reasoning, etc. He was definitely the most focused I’ve seen him all weekend and that’s a Dad win any day of the week.”


Recording Family History

You all might remember the two paint-by-number pieces that I had framed recently.  They were painted by my husband when he was in fifth grade.  He had his appendix out and his Aunt Ann gave him a pint-by-number kit with the hopes that he would have something to entertain him and he’d sit still.

Neither is completely painted but mostly painted.  I love them partly because I love dogs but mostly because he did them.

The other day Kalissa said to me, “Mom, I wish you would somehow put a paper on the back of that so when you’re gone we’ll remember what it is and the story that goes with it.”

That’s a fair request.  I have Grandma Kramer’s secretary and I have often wished I remembered the story about it.  I think she bought it at an auction for $5…but I’m not sure.  Golly, I wish I knew.

So I tried to figure out how I could do this and then I happen to be on Facebook on a cross-stitch site.  One of the members was showing this for their cross-stitch pieces and how she records the information about them.

She recommended buying… Continue reading

Jasper’s Christmas

A guest post from Kayla…

I recently shared about Jasper’s first memorable Advent and I’m back to share how Christmas went.

[My husband] Spencer’s gifts to his parents was installing under-cabinet lighting in their kitchen, so he headed to the farm early on Christmas Eve to have a work day. Spencer’s mom worked an afternoon shift so I stayed home with Jasper. He helped me make Christmas gifts for his grandparents.

We made letters on the side of the stove to spell a message and then made a collage with the images to make a phone wallpaper and refrigerator magnet for each grandparent. He loved looking through pictures from the year and sat nicely on my lap while I made the collages. 

Here’s the phone wallpaper we made Mom:

And the refrigerator magnet.

As a joke (but I think they actually went over well?) I made magnets of Jasper’s funniest faces from the year for his uncle. I think everyone thought I was joking when I said Jasper helped with the gifts, but he loved it. 

I ordered The Star on Amazon Prime and was so impressed that Jasper watched it and seemed to understand it. I made the mistake of telling him it was about the baby, which, as we know, arrives very late in the Christmas story. Every (not exaggerating) minute, he would ask “Baby?” I told him the baby was in his mama’s belly and babies have to wait a long time to grow big enough to get out!

The Star is an animated movie of Christmas told from the perspective of the animals. It’s really wholesome but still funny so I enjoy watching it with him. 

We “normally” (what is normal these days?!) would have went to Christmas Eve service but are still avoiding sitting in crowds with Jasper. So we had a simple supper and headed to Spencer’s family right at bedtime.

I put the star (that I mentioned in the Advent post) in my pocket and brought his Little People nativity set. When I got there I passed the star off to Spencer to hide and Jasper was so amazed that his star magically appeared at the farm.

He set up his Little People set close to the tree. We told him that the baby was coming when he went to sleep and asked if he thought the star would help the wise men find the baby.

Jasper is the only grandchild on that side of the family and loved being the center of attention. We all got a kick out of him dancing to his favorite songs from Polar Express. He loved passing out his envelopes with the magnets in. It was nice to see him enjoying giving gifts too.

The next morning when we…
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