Friday, August 29, 2008

He's Going to School!

Well, it's only a two day a week Mom's Day Out but it's the first time i've ever left him anywhere. I am so nervous and excited at the same time. We went to Open House Wednesday and it went awesome! He was a little hesitant at first which really isn't like him but as soon as he met the teacher and some of the other kids he warmed right up. When it was over he said "bye Mom and Dad" and we told him school dosen't start until next Wednesday and he got upset! He was ready to stay and start his school! He is so brave! He has been his whole life.

I have never talked about what Andon has been through on this blog. Mostly just wanting to reserve the information for the people I know and trust but God has done and I know will continue to do some AMAZING things through this little boy and I feel I can start to talk a little more open about it. Andon was born with a rare genetic disorder called Treacher Collins Syndrome. It is a disorder that affects the growth of the facial bones. He was born with a Cleft Lip that was repaired at three days old and a Cleft Palate that got repaired the first time at eight months and it took three more surgeries to finally get it to stay closed. He has had a few more related surgeries as well. So, in Andon's four and a half years of life he has endured 10 surgeries! And, still has a few (the hardest ones) to go. Because of this....I am very protective of Andon. I don't want anyone to hurt him. To write on the scroll of who he is. I want him to KNOW that God KNEW what He was doing when He made Andon this way. That it dosen't matter what anyone says about us, only what God says.

We have been so blessed to have a family and a church family that love him unconditionally. But, they are all in Florida. :) This is why this move to Nashville was so hard for me. We have been here almost a month and have gone to a new church every weekend. Trying to find that special place that feels like home. Haven't found it yet. When I was traveling back and forth from Orlando to Nashville looking for a house and other good stuff I got this idea to put him in a little school/program, something to build relationships with kids here. Believe me, that wasn't my thought! But when I came for one of my visits I went around to a few schools and left feeling sick to my stomach, cried for two days straight! I could not stop crying no matter what stops my sweet husband pulled out. We were sitting in this great mexican place (we both love mexican food) in downtown Franklin trying to have a nice dinner and I'm just moping and crying. I felt I couldn't do it. I can't send him somewhere where I am not going to be able to be there to protect him. So, I went back home to Orlando saying "oh no I'm keeping him home, I can't send him anywhere, I don't know what I was thinking". Well, we move here, get settled in and I go purchase a bunch of stuff to start preschool at home. I was so glad to have finally made a decision about this but I still couldn't get this thought of sending him to a school off my mind. It was driving me mad! I kept praying about it, wondering why I felt so confused. Well, we had started our first day of preschool at home and the phone rings. It's the lady I had been talking to at the little school! She says "We have one more spot if your still interested in sending Andon here" mind you, there was a terribly long wait list and I called her a month before we moved here to add Andon. You know some people put there kids on those things at the end of the school year i'm sure! Anyways, we decided to attend church there this past weekend to get a feel for the place and speak to the director of the school. She said we're gonna hold the spot for him and come to Open House and make your decision. So, we did. We get there and no one had really been in there yet so we had some good time to talk to his teacher. I started telling her about my Andon with tears in my eyes and she said "I completely understand" with tears in her eyes. I immediately felt comfortable. She said her son was born with a genetic disorder of some sort as well, had been through surgeries and she could remember feeling the way that I do. She said I didn't have to worry, that Andon would be in a safe, nurturing environment. How she starts off the school year promoting self awarness so they feel confident in who they are, who God made them to be. She said the exact words that God knew that I needed to hear to feel ok about leaving him there. As we were talking I look over and see my little boy walking around exploring this new place and loving it and I just feel an overwhelming peace. I know God has called us to this place for now. I know that Andon is His before he is mine and He won't let anything happen to him that He dosen't want to happen to him. I trust Him.

So, with all that said. He's going to school!!! He starts next week! He gets to carry his little lunch box and back pack and even gets to bring one of his sons. That's a good photo op there! He has about ten or so little stuffed dogs, giraffe, frog, and turtle and he calls them his "Sons"! And he has his cousin bear! Very funny, this sweet little person of mine! So thank you so much for your continued prayers for our family. Please continue to pray for Andon and his new adventure. And for me, I have no idea what I am going to do without him! :)
Love you all ~Jen

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Our Morning Walk

This is what we do every morning. Just thought to bring the camera today. :)

It has been raining and yucky for the last two days so we have been getting some use out of the rainboots. Even though it really dosen't have to be raining for Andon to like to wear them! :)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Little Bit of This and A Little Bit of That!

Since I last blogged Andon and I have been on a few play dates with our new friends. We even went to dinner at a Thai restaurant with them last Friday night. How fun! It was mine and Jared's first time eating Thai food. It was pretty much like Chinese. :) I also met this sweet girl here in our apartment complex who has a four year old daughter. We met them at the playground and invited them over to play.
This Wednesday we are going to an Open House at the Peoples Church to see if we want to put Andon in a Mom's Day Out Program. I know I know I have gone back and forth on this topic but i'm still not sure what to do. I have been praying for clarity and i'm still pretty nervous about this decision. So, they have one spot they are saving for him on Wednesday's and Friday's from 9 to 2. Hopefully when we're there Wednesday I know exactly what we shoud do. I am very confused! We want to homeschool his education but I feel this would be great for this first year here to make friends and be involved in activities. They bring in all kinds of fun things on the holidays and do programs. Please pray for us about this. I think Andon would love it, but this protective mama is having a hard time letting go.
What else, my tickets are booked for the Westwood Women's Retreat!! I will be flying into Orlando to spend some time with friends there and then driving to Jacksonville for the weekend. I can't wait!
We went hiking this past weekend. Well, sort of. :) We thought we were going to go hiking. There is this awesome bridge here that when you drive over it there is a nice place to park and walk around. We brought Andon's bike and some bottled waters all prepared for this long walk. So we drive there get out, get the bike out and Andon rides about 100 yards and it stops. You can't go any further! It was fun anyway. :) Here's a picture of the bridge...

Here's the beautiful view from the top...

After we left the bridge we decided to check out the Factory. It's a really cool building with all kinds of stores and restaurants. Here's Andon in this huge chair they had there.

This weekend we also tried another church. It was the best we have been to so far. But we are still not sure we have found our church. We have another one we are interested in for next Sunday. :) Very interesting going to 3 churches in 3 weeks! So, that's it for now. I'll be sure to post about the decision for the Mom's Day Out!! ~Jen

Thursday, August 14, 2008

New Church and a Baseball Game...

Andon and I have a play date today. Yesterday I was reading someone's blog who lives here and e-mailed her to ask a question about her son's Soccer. She quickly e-mailed back and we went back and forth and she invited us to hang out today. We're going to the Monkey's Tree House. Sounds kind of like Monkey Joe's to me, we'll see! We are both so excited to meet someone and get out of the apartment!! Thank you so much for praying for us!!!! Please continue to pray for church this Sunday! Love you all!!

My oh my do I have some demanding readers! :) I go to read my comments and my friends (Brandi and Jessica) want to know where I am and when am I going to blog again. Don't you know I am busy here in Tennessee with no friends, no play dates, no schedule and no where to go! Just playing, sort of. We have been up to a few things. We tried a new church last weekend. I think we will try a new one this weekend. :) I am trying to be open. Trying not to compare to our GREAT church at home in Orlando. So, we'll see how that goes. Please pray that I know as soon as I walk through the doors if it will be our church home or not. That's what I'm praying and as soon as I walked in last Sunday it didn't feel right. But I couldn't just leave, I had to stay and sit through a message that I couldn't really follow. Looking over at Jared only to see him falling asleep and Andon in between us saying "I don't like this church, I don't want to make friends here". So, that was our first experience. I know this Sunday will be better.
We've also gone out and done some fun things. One of our neighbor's gave us tickets to a Nashville Sounds baseball game. That is the minor league baseball team here. So Tuesday night we headed to Nashville for that. Here are a few pictures from the game.

Oh my, is he handome! He's gonna kill me when he see's this. :)

Here is a somewhat normal picture of us. We are having trouble taking pictures around here lately. Every time I try to take one Andon starts acting crazy and making all these movements and faces. I'm really getting tired of it! :) So this one is ok but the next one is proof!

You see, he's starting! Even Jared is acting crazy! :)

Andon had so much fun at the game! So much fun that when he woke up the next morning this is how he came into my room. With every single baseball thing he could come across! I know that ball is not a baseball, we have lost all the baseballs in the move! :) And those rain boots you can barely see, he says those are his baseball boots! Too cute!

So that's a little of what we have been up to. Please pray for relationships for Andon and I. We thought that a 5 year old little boy was moving in next door but he was just visiting from Texas. Bummer! But at least Andon got to play for a day. He keeps asking where's my new friend and what was his name! :) Today we're going to the pool. Hopefully there will be some kids to play with there. Love and Miss Everyone, Jen

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Where have I been?

Well, from Florida to Tennessee back to Florida and now I'm back in Tennessee. All in one week! Sorry for the lack of updates, I have been a bit overwhelmed. We drove here Thursday the 31st of July. Took all day Friday and Saturday to unload the massive U-Haul we rented. We returned the U-Haul on Sunday and came home and began the un-packing process. Monday, Jared started at the new office and Andon and I worked on getting the apartment set up. We did the same thing Tuesday and flew to Orlando Wednesday. I spent Wednesday through Friday taking care of business and last minute dentist appointments for Andon. And flew home Friday night to meet my hubby in the airport. He was coming home from Chicago at the same time. It was so nice to walk off the plane and see that handsome face waiting for us!
So, we're here and have gotten the apartment set up for the most part. All except for hanging pictures and stuff. Here is a picture of the outside of the apartment. It's the reason why I chose this one. I love the shade tree in the front yard!

Here are some before unpacking pictures....

And here are some after un-packing pictures....

We haven't really had a chance to get out and do anything fun here in Tennessee yet. Once we do i'll be sure to post about it. Tomorrow we're trying out a new church, which I can't wait for. I am so ready for some normalcy! Ready to start living life as a Tennessean! :) Love and Miss Everyone~Jen

Saturday, August 2, 2008

On the road ahead....

I know it's blurry but that sign says Tennessee Welcomes You! We made it here in twelve hours. Not bad with a four year old, a dog and a gas guzzling U-Haul! Sorry it has taken me a couple of days to post about our trip. I fully intended to post in the truck but my computer battery wouldn't last.
Well, we got started at 6:00 a.m instead of 5:00 like we had first planned. After the long day before packing and cleaning we didn't get to bed until around 12:30. I actually laid in bed (on an air mattress in the living room with Jared and Andon) at 12:30 but didn't fall asleep until around 2:30. Sorry Cass, I didn't get a picture of that!! :) Anyways, 6:00 sounded way better than 5:00. Our Pastor and his wife, my sweet friend Christie, came over to pray with us and say goodbye. Thanks so much guys, you have meant so much to our family we will miss you so much!!!!
So off we went. To Starbucks that is! Across the street from our house and met Jon and Christie there too. Very fun. So, the first five hours of the trip went by so fast. Andon slept and watched two movies and Sadie slept on the floorboard in front of me. The last seven hours was long! We went through a lot of rain which is scary when your driving through Atlanta and there are a million cars around you and accidents all over the place and then going through mountains driving up and down in this huge truck towing your car! But all in all it was an easy trip. I know I will be doing it a lot more. I didn't take a lot of pictures of us during the trip but here are a few...
Here is Sadie resting her head on Andon's lap.

Here is Andon playing with one of the toys from the travel bag from Terri, Brandi and Brittani. Thank you, thank you, thank you!! He loved the bag of surprises! I waited to give it to him until he woke up that morning just like you said. What a great idea! :)

And here are a bunch of scenery pictures I took for my parents. They love this stuff! :)

So, we got the truck emptied out in one day all except for the couch and chair which we got out today. I will post soon with pictures of our new place. I miss everyone already! Can't wait for the women's retreat in October!!!! Love, Jen