Sunday, June 21, 2009

And We're OFF on our big adventure!  Will write in a few weeks!

Africa Here We Come!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Snip Snip

We were tired of tangles, tired of screaming and hurting heads and hurting ears every time we brushed hair.  I was tired of hair in her eyes and always looking like a rag-a-muffin.  I was tired of the fight!  So we got a summer haircut!
It is so much easier now, has more body and shape.  The best part is - NO MORE TANGLES!
This one had to get in on the attention as well.  I recently cut her hair and it was a challenge to get her to sit still.  Even so - It's better than it was.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bike and Helmet

Ainsley recently learned to ride her two wheeler.  Piper has wanted to ride a bike too....really bad.  So I pulled out her "ride-on" toy that she got for her birthday last year from Aunt Nantha and Gloria.  We started calling it her bike and she would ride it up and down the sidewalk.  One day she grabbed this pink bucket out of the garage and said, "I want to ride my bike with my helmet."  She put the bucket on her head and off she went.  (She knows that Ainsley is NOT allowed to ride her bike without a helmet, even though she does all the time and we are constantly grounding her for it)
You gotta love this stringy stringy hair.  My poor girls.  Piper's hair has since been cut and has a little more body and shape but golly - we gave them bad hair genes.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Mrs. Przystup's Signature Quilt

MacGregor had another great teacher this year who also happened to have a soft spot for him.  Maybe he's just that kind of kid.  Chase also had Mrs. Przystup and I loved her then too.  She often told me how much she enjoyed teaching both my boys and how she thought they were well behaved and good friends to others.
MacGregor brought home all his papers in a manilla envelope each Monday.  We had to sign that we received all the paper.  There was also a box for comments, yet we never wrote anything in there.  One day in April MacGregor said to me, "Do you think you could write a comment like Daddy did last week?  Because Mrs. Przystup will write you back."  Dan had written "Hi" and Mrs. Przystup has replied, "Hi".  MacGregor is really cute.  So I had been asking MacGregor to find out what Mrs. Przystup's favorite color(s) were so I could plan the quilt but he had forgotten time and time again.  So I wrote in the comment section, "What is your favorite color?"  She replied, "Blue....hmmm??"  And so I was faced with what blue collection to work with.  I was worried I wouldn't find a collection with a lot of blue.  I went to my favorite fabric store - Sauder's.  In reality there were WAY to many to choose from.  I ended up going with an asian mix.  It was in the blue family ranging from light gray to a dark greenish blue and all inbetween.  These fabrics also incorprated metals - gold and silver.  I found a white for the signatures that had a light print of flowers and butterflies.  I thought it carried on with the asian theme.
I emailed Mrs. Przystup a few weeks ago and asked her if I could come in and work on a project with the kids.  I told her she would need to leave the room for a few minutes because it was a surprise for her.  She ended up having a special meeting the next day and said a sub would be there for an hour or so.  I went in and had the sub help me hold the blocks down so each child could sign.  Luckily the only child not in class that day lives directly across the street from me so I had all the signatures in no time.  I told the kids to promise NOT to tell Mrs. Przystup what we did because it was going to be a surprise.  Apparently, she asked the class what they had worked on (sneaky lady...maybe she just can't wait for surprises) and several of the kids raised their hands until the rest of the kids got mad and reminded them it was a secret.
I don't know if she ever found out what it was beforehand but I think she must have been excited about it because MacGregor told me recently that she asked when he would be bringing in the surprise.  He brought it in on Wed. , the second to last day of school.  He said she really liked it.  She called me at lunch that day to say thank you and tell me how much she liked it.  She also said that my card had made her cry.  It just told her how dear to my heart she is and how lucky my boys were to get her.
And here's the back.  I used a pale blue flannel middle layer and this yellow floral print flannel for the back.  I thought the yellow complimented the gold on the front and the flowers were blue ( bonus.)  The flannel gave it thickness.  I still haven't figured out how to keep the class photo from fading slightly.  I have to wash the quilt to get the rag look but it causes the picture to lose its crispness.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dr. Fleming

My dear sweet Dr. Fleming passed away two weeks ago today.  I feel lost without him.  I trusted him completely with the medical care of my children.  I was in absolute shock when I got the call on Monday June 1st.  I figured they were calling to remind me about Piper's appointment on Tuesday.  I never thought it was to inform me that Dr. Fleming had passed away a few days before.  This man was only 56 and was the epitome of health.  He was a marathon runner and extremely lean.  He had incredible healthy eating habits and I just don't understand how his heart could have failed him.  Is it possible to be in too good of shape that you wear your heart out?  His twin brother spoke at the funeral - it looked like Dr. Fleming in Hollywood makeup.  Same face with big smooth cheeks and a few more chins.  His brother was very over weight - how come his heart is still ticking?  They had the same exact voice too which was very difficult to listen to - It was like Dr. Fleming was there, but he wasn't.  I guess when it's your time to go, you'll go - no matter what shape you're in.  I think Dr. Fleming must have been such a good man that he had accomplished all that the Lord needed him to do already.

When we moved here we asked around about a good pediatrician.  We had one we really liked in Oklahoma.  We were given a name of a woman and tried the office.  I liked her quite a bit but she was in a practice with at least 6 other doctors.  In Oklahoma our Dr. was in a group practice yet we always saw him.  Here - we only saw this woman once in a year and half.  Every other trip, and with 3 children we went multiple times in a year and a half, we saw someone different.  We could only get our Dr if we were making a well check months in advance.

When I was nearly due with Piper I called my the pediatric office to let them know I needed them for a new born check at the hospital.  They wouldn't go to the hospital I was delivering in even though they had a satellite office directly across the street.  So I picked up a business card for Dr. Fleming that was in my OBGYN's office.  He was in the same building - close to home and the hospital where I would deliver.  He was also a solo practitioner so I knew we would only see him.

I figured I would use him for Piper since he was so close and we would have so many visits early on.  In the end, I liked him so much that I transferred all my kids over within 2 months of her birth.  And with 4 kids, including one like Piper that is proned to injury... burned hands, broken leg, pressure sores, croup, we saw Dr. Fleming a lot over the last 2 and a half years.  I felt like he was an old friend.  He would talk about his grandchildren that lived in Nova Scotia.  He spoke of his wife and where he grew up - Norristown, PA.  He actually had a niece who graduated from the same high school as Daniel around the same time.  He spoke of his son with Downs Syndrome.  He was a good Christian man who truly loved the children he cared for.

Ainsley experienced a severe panic attack in the middle of April.  The next day she was better but still exhibiting some symptoms.  I called him and he spent at least 15 or 20 minutes talking to me about her and what he could do and who he would recommend as a therapist etc... 

The first weekend in May - Piper had the croup again.  We had given her the nebulizer one night and used steam and motrin the day after that.  I took her in to get checked because Daniel and I were supposed to go out of town - not to far - about 2 hours away.  Em and J would be babysitting and I wasn't sure I should leave her.  Dr. Fleming said he thought the worst was over.  He said I should go on the trip and just give Em and J his number if they had any questions.  He was THAT kind of Dr.  Always available if you really needed him.

The day before he died I called him about a prescription for an antibiotic used for "travelers diarrhea".  The Travel Health Office recommends you fill this prescription and take it with you on a "just in case" basis.  Dr. Fleming was unfamiliar with this use and I told him all that the Travel Health Office had told me.  He told me I should call back with the boys weights and that he would look into it.  I could hear him looking it up while we were talking.  I also asked him about what to give the boys on the airplane to help them sleep - he told me the right dosages of benedryl.   As we were finishing the conversation he said, "Well I probably won't see you again so have a great trip."  I was going to answer - " Oh I'll see you on Tuesday for Piper's appointment" but the conversation ended before I could get that out.  I'm so sad I didn't get the chance to see him on Tuesday.

I already feel lost without you - I don't have that relationship with anyone else where I can just pick up the phone and have that trusted voice on the end of the line tell me exactly what to do.  We will miss you so much Dr. Fleming.  You made an incredible impact on our family.  

Obituary of Kenneth D. Fleming, M.d.
Kenneth D. Fleming, M.D.

Dr. Kenneth D. Fleming, M.D. age 56, of Lancaster, PA, where he had resided for the past four years, formerly of Plymouth Meeting, PA, passed away suddenly Thursday, May 28, 2009.

Born in Norristown, PA, he was the son of the late Robert W. and Helen C. Mehler Fleming. He and his wife, Denise Linehan Fleming celebrated their twenty-seventh wedding anniversary last Nov. 28th.

Dr. Fleming was a graduate of Plymouth Whitemarsh High School, Millersville University with a Bachelor's of Arts degree in biology and a graduate of Temple University of Medicine.

He did his pediatric residency at the University of Pittsburgh Children's Hospital, with a Fellowship in Adolescent Medicine at the University of Cincinnati Children's Hospital.

Dr. Fleming practiced medicine many years in King of Prussia, PA and the last four years in Lititz, PA as the sole practitioner for Pediatrics Partners PC.

Dr. Fleming was passionately committed to children and their families. He valued a strong partnership with parents through education and understanding.

Ken was an avid photographer who loved photographing Lancaster County. He was also a committed runner, having twice completed the Marine Corp Marathon in Washington, DC. He was a constant reader and his love of books was instilled by his mother at a young age. 

He was a member of Calvary Church in Lancaster and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

In addition to his wife, he is survived by three children: Sarah J. Fleming, Pittsburgh; two sons David C., husband of Lindsay A. Fleming, Halifax, Nova Scotia; Bryan H. Fleming, Lancaster; two grandchildren Eliot and Grace; his twin brother Lawrence; brother Robert Fleming, Jr.; Douglas and William; three sisters Barbara, Linda and Beth.

Relatives and friends are respectfully invited to attend Kenneth's Life Celebration Funeral Service at Calvary Church, 1051 Landis Valley Rd., Lancaster, PA, on Tuesday at 11:00 AM with Rev. David D. Allen, Jr. and Rev. Todd N. Nathan officiating. Interment will be in Witness Park, Lititz, PA . Friends may call at the church on Tuesday from 9:00 AM until time of service. Please omit flowers. If desired, memorial contributions may be sent to the Dr. Kenneth D. Fleming Memorial Fund c/o Mennonite Foundation, Inc., 201 E. Oregon Rd. Suite 103, Lititz, PA 17543-7440 for the development of support services for families of children with developmental, behavioral, and medical needs. Please make checks payable to Mennonite Foundation, Inc. Fred F. Groff, Inc.

Monday, June 01, 2009


I've had a really rough day.  My eyes are swollen and puffy because we lost our dear sweet Pediatrician, Dr. Fleming.  I'll write more about it later - the funeral is tomorrow.  I found out totally unexpectedly today because Piper was supposed to have a check up tomorrow.  I am glad that I found out in time to attend the funeral.  I am so sad - I just spoke to him last Wednesday, to get some advice about what to give the boys to help them sleep on the plane- he died on Thursday.

Anyway - to keep my spirits up- I looked up a "Sea World" type place we will be to going in Durban, South Africa.  It looks awesome.  Check it out!

I can't wait and I think it's going to be really hard to only spend one day there - too much to see and do.  So I will keep thinking about this and not that we lost our beloved irreplaceable pediatrician, or that a jet went down last night flying over the Atlantic Ocean or that an apostle and mission president were attacked and robbed in Africa over the weekend - No - I'll think about having fun in USHAKA while I nurse my sore arm from my tetanus booster that I was required to get today so I can go on this trip!!!