Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Handing It Over


Deep in this land of uncharted territory, called life, we find ourselves amongst a heap of blessings. For if you fret about something long enough, you'll eventually come to your senses and manage to pray about it. Sometimes it takes longer than usual.

We're on the edge of being slung into the fury of back-to-school madness. If you haven't had a kid to send off to school in many moons let me catch you up. Basically, you are given a list of school supplies that will hopefully cover the entire school year. Then you decide which kidney you want to sell to pay for said items. I joke, but not really. It is super expensive.

I've got two boys in high school this year.

(Please stop here for a moment of silence.)

High school comes with a whole truck load of "fees" for every class.

It's also when your kids become too cool to hang out with you, FYI.

I say all of that to say this: We fall into that category of families that live on an extremely tight budget. I nearly faint when the school supply list hits the stands. It isn't the list itself, per se, but the knowledge that the bigger picture requires lists, school fees, clothing, shoes, backpacks, etc...

I've done a lot of footwork ahead of time this year to help get our girl settled for the year. I've done nothing for my boys.

(I don't want to talk about it).

We have been blessed this week by someone who is taking one list off of our hands and crossing those things off for us. I can not tell you the relief, but if you've been there, you can surely imagine.

I say all of that to say this. Earlier this week I finally handed my worry over to God instead of hoarding it up all to myself. As soon as I did, things begin to happen.

I don't know what kind of worry you're hoarding, but God will be more than glad to hear about it. Prayer changes things.

I still have a heap of things on my list, but I know that God is bigger than any list I can make, and has a much better plan than I do.

God is good, all the time!

P.S- Our shop is open again! Click on Riley's fridge art picture on the right sidebar to shop. Thanks!

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Pez Population

You probably remember that our girl has a thing for Pez dispensers. It all started back when she was a month old and my brother stuck a fairy Pez in her Christmas stocking. Of course, she was too little for it then, but about a year later she came across it and took a firm grip. One Pez led to another, all the while she had no idea there was candy with this contraption. It was a good secret.


These days, Pez dispensers are used for treats, prizes, gifts and bribery. She has 123 Pez dispensers as I type this. They've come from near and far. She's received some from family, friends and strangers. Just this week she received a package with four new ones tucked inside. 

She has a few that are considered to be vintage. She plays with all of them. I'm not limiting her fun with the "it might be worth some money one day," She's a kid, and they're her favorite toys.


She has duplicates of many of her Pez and calls them her twins and triplets. She is just as excited about a duplicate as a new kid in the collection. Pez have been a great learning tool for her at home. We have worked on classification in groups, by color (base color of the dispenser), grouping by fives, tens, and other numbers, and practicing the domino effect.


She does know about the candy these days, but she is satisfied to eat one piece and move on. I tuck the rest away. 

She'll be having a Pez birthday party this year. You can check out my Pintrest board for some ideas we've been collecting. This will be the perfect theme for our Pez-loving girl.

I bet you're thinking that we have Pez all over our floor. When we are playing with them, absolutely! When we're not playing with them we have two large buckets left over from Easter that we store them in. The buckets fit perfectly on the bottom bookshelf in our family room.

She plays with them almost every day without fail. We're not all crazy thinking that she has to have every single one on the planet, but we keep an eye out for new ones she doesn't have yet. It has been a fun and affordable collection for her and I have to say I have enjoyed them as much as she has! Who knows how many she will end up with!

God is good, all the time!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Riley's Appointment Update

Everything went well today for Riley. He has new glasses since we last saw his doctor at Emory. Today his right eye vision had improved tremendously just from this change. He went from 20/120 to 20/60 in the right eye. The best it has been since his diagnosis is 20/50, so this is fairly close to that. Overall his report was good. He does have a film settling over his macula again which is cloudy. This is creating what is called a macular pucker, which he has had before. It was removed surgically about three years ago, and now is reforming. He will have to have this removed once more, but that won't be done just yet. His snow bank does continue to build in his right eye but at a gradual rate. He goes have a mild Band K, for all of you technical people, that seems to be worrying everyone, but not enough to do anything about it. His left eye is stable with only a few floaters.

Thank you for the prayers!

God is good, all the time!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tomorrow {Or possibly today}


I'm going to be taking this kid to Emory tomorrow. (Wednesday) We don't expect any surprises in the exam andmaybe even hope for some happy news.

We're going to have to leave before morning's light to get there on time. God has been so gracious and supplied much for this trip, but all is not accounted for yet and that sometimes (mostly always) makes me nervous. Of course, I'm sure all is accounted for on God's end of things. These things I can't see tend to overwhelm me.

I'd love it if you'd pray for our safety tomorrow. You'll remember that I am a big fat chicken when it comes to driving in the big city. I'll update as soon as I am able.

God is good, all the time!


Sunday, July 6, 2014

I'm Back....


Well, I'm back to Blogger. Wordpress gave me hives. I'll blog from my phone or whatever. We will make this thing work.

A few months ago we decided some changes were needed for our girl. Among some of the final decisions that were made, a new school setting was at the top of the list. Our girl has a late birthday and will miss the cut off for pre-k. She needs to be educationally challenged during the day on a continual basis. She's really smart and when she's bored it goes downhill. I imagine a few of you are nodding your heads. This is my blog-friendly version of this story. Homegirl needs to be engaged.

After some research and homework we found the best match for her. She was accepted into the program and will start the new school year in a little over a month. I myself am excited because one of my dear friends also has her little nest of littles there too. There are also other children in her class who are adopted! Praise Jesus!

This new school requires uniforms and we're starting from scratch in that department. We were gifted a hand-me-down uniform dress and a pair of shorts from a friend at church. I set a budget of $10 per week to allow us to bargain shop for items on the weekends. We not only need uniforms, but also lunch accessories, a back pack, school supplies, and new socks and shoes. 

I have been drooling a long while over the bento style lunch boxes. If you don't know what bento lunches are go to Pintrest and type in bento. Your mind will be blown. As cute as I found the boxes to be, I couldn't justify the purchase at the cost listed plus shipping. While we were on vacation I found this Sophia box at the Disney Store on sale for $5.00. This was more than half off of most listed prices. I was also able to find a shirt and two pair of skorts for her on sale as well.

Yesterday I found this matching Sophia water bottle at our local TJ Maxx for $4.99. Then I managed to score this uniform shirt from The Children's Place for her for just $0.79! They practically gave it to me!

I feel like God has really confirmed this school move by providing the things she needs within our small budget. We have a few weeks left and still need a few more things (shirts, gym shorts, socks, shoes, book bag, lunch bag and school supplies) but I have no doubt that she will be ready with everything she needs on her first day of school. She can hardly wait to get there. We are so excited for her.

God is good, all the time!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Come Follow Me

We're packing up shop and moving! Click here to come along!

God is good, all the time!

If you are unsble click on the link find me at smalltownjoy.wordpress.com.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Hello Tuesday

We spent the weekend camping in Stone Mountain, GA with my parents. Riley had an appointment at Emory on Friday morning, so we scheduled the whole weekend away, hoping to have a little fun on the side.


Each time we travel to Riley's appointments we take along a prize bag. Generally, he doesn't get to open the prize bag until we are actually at the doctor's office. This time we allowed him to receive this "Uncle Si" as we left home so that he could enjoy him all weekend long. It was a hoot. At his visit, he opened cards from his prize bag along with some new art supplies and a drawing book.


The doctor's appointment didn't go as well as we had hoped. There is no "emergency" per se, but there has been a huge decline in vision over the last year and it is vision that can't be recovered by "fixing" something. His doctor was very bothered by this and kept us an extra hour looking for something that he could do that would improve Riley's vision.

In the end, it was decided that, as a long shot, we will take Riley in for new glasses. We are working on finding a local doctor for this purpose and hopefully can get him into new glasses in the next few weeks. We don't expect that this will improve his vision, but we are hopeful that it might. I can not say enough about how compassionate his retina specialist is at Emory.

Riley was visibly bothered by the news of this appointment. He is rarely upset, but he spent the remainder of the day sort of melancholy and attached to my side.


As a bright point of the afternoon we had lunch at Chick-fil-a (thank you Ms. Peggy!) We then headed to Bass Pro Shop with my parents and then enjoyed ice cream from Cold Stone Creamery thanks to sweet Devon's gift a few months ago.

On Saturday, Riley marked a big experience off of his bucket list: meet a dolphin!

Some incredible friends came together to make this happen for him. It will be a memory that I know he will cherish for a lifetime. I wasn't allowed to go in (it is a separate ticket and is limited), so the pictures I have were taken by the aquarium staff's professional photographer. Riley was upset that his eyes were closed, but what can you do? He came out saying that he would like to go back and meet the beluga whales. 


This is the best picture we could muster of my crew.


After the aquarium we had lunch at Riley's favorite place, The Varisty. Then we headed back to the campground where my aunt and uncle had arrived to camp near us. We enjoyed dinner with them and then attended the laser and fireworks show offered by the park. We left early the next morning for home.

Overall, the good stuff In the trip out-weighed the bad, but the reality of the bad has been heavy.

Sometimes I think that things like planning fun things, collecting prizes and checking off bucket lists don't matter. It's weekends like this, teetering between the good and the bad, that remind me that they do matter. Every detail of this weekend was important.

Thank you to each one of you who helped make this trip possible. I began working today to plan the "next" thing. We will press on. 

God is good, all the time!