Sunday, October 18, 2009

Thier Family Reunion

Two weeks ago, we were in Houston at a conference for Precept Bible Study Leader Training. (Thanks, Mom for watching the boys so we could attend!) But then we got word that Chuck's cousin, Jon, had been in an accident on his motorcycle and we wished we were closer to Austin. We got the news that evening that he wasn't going to make it. I think it was fitting that it had been rainy and gloomy all weekend in Houston. We cried many tears, not only for our loss, but especially for his wife and 3 kids. One of those kids, Lacey, went to UTSA a few years back, and the whole family came down to help her move in, and made sure to visit us. Lacey became very dear to my heart during that year and I miss her greatly now that she's back in Austin.

When something tragic like this happens, there's not really much to say. You just want to be there with the person.

But we finished our conference, spent a little time with my mom and family, then headed home to hear about funeral services in Austin. We were thankful to hear that Chuck's sisters were flying in from out of state to be there, and Chuck's parents were booking it home in their RV for it as well. It was bittersweet, I guess...a sad reason to congregate, but oh how we'd missed them! We hadn't seen Mitsi and Tammy in over a year, and Mom & Dad have been traveling in the Midwest since April.

We headed up to Austin that Wednesday, staying in Meesh & Ryan's nice new BIG house. So excited to have lodging again (Thanks, y'all!)! Then Thursday we attended the funeral. It was huge - at least 400 people, maybe even 600 were there. The service was beautiful, as odd as that sounds. There was peace in the midst of suffering, and even joy. How do explain that apart from a merciful God?! I was so thankful to get time to be with Lacey. And that evening, once the boys went to bed, Meesh and I headed out to Lacey's house, where I treasured the time of telling the stories of Jon's life...how he'd met his wife Lori, what it was like having 3 kids, etc. It was precious.

We stayed on through the weekend, and enjoyed some much needed time with the Thier family. Here are the pictures.

Thier family reunion
Chuck & Yvonne Thier and their kids.

Thier family reunion
Tammy & Mitsi enjoying some time with our neice Kaylie.

Thier family reunion
Chuck and his sister Mitsi.

Thier family reunion
Tammy & Mom Thier

Thier family reunion
Chuck took this picture while they were at Salt Lick, and I can almost smell the BBQ just looking at it!!

Thier family reunion
Tammy & Grandpa reading a story with Chandler

Thier family reunion
Charlie putting the beat down on Uncle Jason, ha!! I feel sorry for the uncles in the family, Charlie and Chance seem to think they live for wrestling.

Thier family reunion
Chandler wearing Tammy's boots and talking on Kaylie's phone.

Seymour family, we love you dearly, and there's not a day that has gone by that we haven't been thinking of you.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Chance's Dental Adventures

Chance's dental work

I've had a few friends ask "Why haven't you blogged this?" lately - so here goes.

To begin, because I did total attachment parenting with Charlie, he had a hard time weaning, especially when it was time to go to sleep, so I allowed him to have chocolate milk to go to bed. So when he was 3 I took him to the dentist for the first time, and found out his teeth were in terrible shape. Yep, I was disqualified from Mother of the Year award, no doubt. We made huge diet changes. Chance was about a year old, so there would be no chocolate milk in his diet, along with all other juices, except sparingly. Only water to drink before bed. Charlie had to be seen in the hospital under anesthesia because he was too small for doing it at the dentist's office. We got thru that, found out later that A LOT more was done while he was in surgery than we were told, and we had a huge bill, lots of discussions with the dentist and insurance, and 6 months of dealing with it. Not something I would want to experience again. On top of that, just as we got everything paid off, one of Charlie's fillings failed and his tooth abscessed. Very scary for a young one.

If you ever wondered...
Charlie's abscessed tooth. :(

So when I took Chance in for his first check up at 2 years old, he was given a clean bill of health. I breathed a sigh of relief that maybe my anti-sugar routine was working. We'd cut out lots of sugar, especially in drinks.

But then, this year in late April, I took the boys in for their check ups to find out that Chance had the exact same teeth needing the exact same work that Charlie had needed at his age. Major bummer.

I learned from before to get a predetermination from insurance, and study it like I'm gonna take a bar exam on it. So I requested the predetermination. And I went to another dentist for a second opinion, and got a predetermination requested for her as well. The first dentist's office even called me and had me in tears, telling me that I'd better schedule asap (and fell just short of accusing me of neglect) even though the cost was going to be huge, and I was waiting to see if Chuck was going to take the job at Rackspace (and thus our insurance would change). Sure enough, he did. The day after he accepted the position, I got the predetermination back from the second dentist and decided this was the one to go with. But I now had only 2 weeks to get the work done (in a hospital) before our insurance would change. And that was a "no go". I even called dentist number one who said the same thing. So we set off for our vacation to Houston a bit worried about Chance's teeth. Which, by the way, I had taken over brushing his teeth from the day we found out about the work. But telling Chance he couldn't have much sugar while we were on vacation was a bit disappointing for all of us.

So Chuck gets the job, we get the new insurance, they send for predetermination...I wait, wait, and wait some more. Last week Chance started complaining that one of his teeth was hurting, and I could see the decay. So, I stopped into the office for dentist number two (dentist #1 is not in network, which was fine with me), to see what the hold up is, and they get things working right (they had staff change over which hadn't sent in the predetermination to the right insurance. Lovely.) At this point I tell them I am really concerned about his teeth abscessing, and to my delight, they called a couple of hours later, cleared everything with insurance, and had an opening in the hospital for the next day!! Hallelujah!

Chance's dental work
In the waiting room, taken with my camera phone.

Thus, this past Thursday, Chuck's parents came down for the day to watch Chandler (Thank you, Mom & Dad!!), and I took Chance up to the hospital. Once under anesthesia, it took them a couple of hours to do all of the work. Afterwards, as he started to wake, he got fussy (just like Charlie did), but this time the anesthesiologist was right there, so he gave him some medication, and he calmed down. The anesthesiologist said it would wear off in about 20 minutes, but to my delight, he wasn't fussy for the rest of the day. I kept asking him if he hurt, and he said "No." (Which is great considering any little thing qualifies as a hurt to him). Also, while the dentist had to do a root canal and cover his top two front teeth, I cannot even tell. I even called her to ask if she'd really done it and she says it's there. I just can't see it! I love that his teeth won't look like white chiklets like Charlie's!


Charlie's "white chiklet" teeth.

Then, there was more good news. The medical insurance didn't cover the hospital or anesthesiologist. With Charlie, they said they would before the work was done, and then didn't, and I had to fight them for 6 months to pay up. This time, I just accepted that and paid in full. That may sound bad, but I'm relieved that there will be no fight! And what's even better is our dental insurance is supposed to cover a lot more, which brings our total to less than half of what it would've been if we'd done this back in June under our previous insurance! Thank You, Lord!! I'm ashamed that I fretted a lot over this, when really, it worked out beautifully. He holds all things in His hands, I've just got to trust that!

Chance's dental work
Resting in post-op afterwards.

And also, I actually feel a little less guilty for Charlie's teeth. This time around revealed that it's a genetic thing. Chuck and his mom both had weak teeth. While that's not good news, it means that my kids were doomed no matter what I fed them. I'm glad we've gone thru this, and there are always ways we can continue to improve our diets, but I'm also glad that it wasn't just all my fault.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Day Out with Thomas

This past Friday we met my dad and sisters in Burnet, TX for a day out with Thomas the tank engine. It was a blast. And I got many pictures (Sarah J, I need that script, ha!!)

The boys were SO excited.
Day Out with Thomas

On the train:
Day Out with Thomas
Day Out with Thomas
Day Out with Thomas
the boys also argued over who got to sit with Big Daddy. I think this may be why:
Day Out with Thomas

Desi was there.
Day Out with Thomas

And Anna with her crew.
Day Out with Thomas

All of the boys.
Day Out with Thomas

Then the boys got to explore various stations. Charlie got a Thomas tattoo.
Day Out with Thomas

Then he got to color for awhile.
Day Out with Thomas

Chandler also got a tattoo and enjoyed the train table.
Day Out with Thomas

Here's another train table.
Day Out with Thomas

Chance's tattoo is on his leg, silly boy.
Day Out with Thomas

We met Sir Topham Hat. (Chance was scared of him, ha!)
Day Out with Thomas

Then watched Thomas puff away.
Day Out with Thomas

Day Out with Thomas

Big Daddy, the instigator of this great expedition, and all his grandkids.
Day Out with Thomas

"Hey Big Daddy, let's do that again!"
Day Out with Thomas

And this was my nice, quiet ride home:
The ride home The ride home The ride home

So if you're thinking of trying this out, my advice is to get the tickets early. I don't know if it was because it was cold and rainy, but it wasn't very crowded, although tickets were selling out online. They had lots of stations, with balloon animals, a clown magician, a juggler, lots of train tables and a lego train table (or "duplo" i guess), etc. They even had a room where they played Thomas shows. And the tattoos and coloring were a big hit. So fun. All of these stations were free when you had purchased Thomas tickets.
Here's the link for more info.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Resemblance?!

Chuck at Chandler's age:
Chuck

Chandler:
More gift wrap

Can you see a resemblance?

Now that Chuck has set me up with a PC, I can see ALL of our photos. So things like this come up a lot.