Visiting OK and our Framily

The adjustment of living in Alabama hasn’t come as easy as we thought but I think that has to do with our move 4 years ago from Oklahoma. DC was a hard place to live and knowing it was temporary made it harder. We had lots of friends move away and move on. We have been alot more leary when it comes to making friends because I think we don’t want to get too attached. The more you move around the harder it seems to get.

We received an invitation to a friends surprise birthday party. When I first saw it I thought man how badly do I want to go to OK to see our church family. I really thought we wouldn’t have the funds to make such a short trip. I told George thinking he would say no, I would be sad and have to let it go. But to my surprise he said “Yes , let’s go. We miss our friends dearly and it would be really great to see them all.”

The drive up and over to OK went better than expected. Our kiddos have spent alot of time in the car traveling but you just never know how they are going to react. We did our best to get a good 2-3 hours in between each stop. For lunch we made sure to find an area where the kids could get out and run around. Rest areas really are becoming fewer and further between each one. The kids were easily entertained by Archie’s Weird Mysteries and Dungeons & Dragons the animated series. The also spent some time playing I spy or Hangman. The kids are great little travelers.

We arrived in Oklahoma on Friday night after a long 12+ hours in the car. We were happily welcomed by our really good friends and the kids Godparents, Larry and Jill plus their 5 kiddos. They were very generous to share their home with the 8 of us for the few days we visited. The also made us some really delicious meals. 11 kids plus 4 adults and grandpa made for a house full of fun.

Saturday, Duke had the fun opportunity to do something I’m sure he will be talking about for years. Duke became fascinated with lizards when we moved to Alabama. He has grown to love them so much that he talks to everyone we know here including the librarian and our neighbors about lizards. His God-Father, Larry took him to see the lizards. By lizards I mean lots of different types of lizards, all shapes and sizes. He was able to touch and even hold some of the lizards. He also got to hold a cockroach that made him chuckle as it climbed up his arm. Duke was very happy to share his love with his God-Father.

Saturday Night, We all headed to the 50th surprise birthday party of a very good friend of ours, Frank. We decided to keep our visit a secret just in case something came up last minute. Our secret was a welcome surprise for everyone. We received many hugs and handshakes. It felt like going home. We ate some delicious food and chatted with some awesome people. We toasted our dear friend Frank and his 50 years with many more to come. The kids ran around and played with friends they hadn’t seen in years. It felt just like the old days when we lived in Oklahoma. The boys started to get a little cranky near the end so we decided to head back to Larry and Jill’s house.

The next morning we woke up alot earlier than normal . Well, it at least felt like it. We slowly woke the kids up and told them to get dressed. We are very much a military family in that we are almost always 15 minutes early for everything. If we are late to anything I can promise theres a story, Anyways, St. Teresa of Avila Catholic Church is where some pretty important events happened. After Our Lady of Fatima Church was closed we found a great church family at St. Teresa’s. It’s where I was confirmed into the Catholic Church and Pooh was Baptized. It’s also where I had the fun honor of teaching crafts for Vacation Bible School and made some really great friends. I am very blessed to know so many amazing okies and to have been a part of a very active parish.

A little later that afternoon when went to a pool party at Frank and Joelle’s. The kids had a blast throwing water balloons, splashing around in the pool, and running around with their friends. We had an amazing buffet of food for lunch. It was a good afternoon spent with some pretty amazing people.

We spent the rest of our Sunday with Larry and Jill plus kiddos. We let the kids stay up as long as they wanted. I just figured they would spend the next day sleeping in the car. Duke and his buddy spent their time hunting and rehoming toads. Pooh and Baby Kermit built many Lego creations. The girls did make overs and dressed up. George went to bed early so he would be well rested for the drive home while I stayed up to chat with Larry and Jill whom I knew I would miss as soon as we left.

The trip home was about the same as the drive to Oklahoma. Knowing that the kids can handle a long car ride gives me alot of hope for where we can go exploring in the future. It was a really short trip to Oklahoma but I’m really glad we went.

 

 

Graves Disease Awareness pt 1

Hi there everyone! Kim, here.

I know I haven’t been posting as much lately. Youre all probably have been wondering why. I have been going to the doctors trying to get my Graves Disease back in check and finding out if I have sleep apnea or not. I have also been dealing with alot of anxiety with bouts of depression. I want to be honest about this so again when the kiddos look back they can see I was trying harder than they knew. Today I’m going to share the beginning of my story of  living with Graves Disease.

In Oct 2013, Baby Kermit was born a healthy baby and I was sent home from the hospital healthy as well. There is still no clear way to know if his birth triggered it or not but I noticed very quickly that I didn’t lose any of the baby weight. I have never been a super athletic person but I have six kiddos and tend to keep pretty busy. I began to wonder if something wasn’t right. I also started to notice that my cycle was off. Late a day or two here or early. It was weird. The kicker was when I started having hot flashes. I’m in my early 30’s and know that I’m not quite there for Menopause. I was also dealing with some anxiety and depression. My husband and a friend forced me to make a doctors appointment. I have what people call whitecoatitis. It’s a real thing. I have had some good and bad doctors and I still hate going. The waiting is the worst.

Anyways, I am so thankful that I did not see my PCM that day, Aug 2015. I saw a very responsive and eager to help, Dr. Roger Ewonkem. He was quick to notice my pulse was way above where it should be and knew almost right away what my symptoms meant. He said We’re gonna run some tests. He prescribed me blood pressure meds and told me that I could of had a heart attack at 31. He didn’t tell me this to scare me. He told me this to make me see how serious things were.

When the labs came back they called to tell me I had Graves Disease. My thyroid had been making too many hormones. My body had been attacking itsself. I am still so very thankful to Dr. Ewonkem for taking my symptoms seriously. He was very kind in explaining what Graves Disease was. He put in a referral for an Endocrinologist as well as for an ultrasound to be done. One of the scary things that can come about from Graves Disease is goiters. Which are growths on your thyroid. What’s your thyroid? It’s the butterfly shaped thing in your throat. It regulates your breathing, your body temperature, and your cycle just to name a few. It’s interesting to think about how hard I tried to make everything seem like it was ok.

I will be making posts here and there about how this journey with Graves is going for me. This is just the beginning. Graves Disease isn’t something that just goes away. If you have been diagnosed and want somebody to talk to feel free to email me at adventureswithsix@gmail.com

Please take the time to check out this website for more information: Thyroid Hug

 

 

 

 

The Montgomery Zoo

Last week we took the kiddos to our local zoo in Montgomery. George found out about a Military Appreciation day which meant free admission and lunch. Money has been a little tight since our move so this was a great opportunity get out of the house and the kids to run around.

Since we have wrapped up school for the next couple months the kids have been sleeping in which makes for an almost impossible task of trying to get to something when it opens. The kids are usually pretty good about it but they are becoming quite the night owls and getting up just isn’t fun. After some coaxing we were able to get out the door and make it to the zoo shortly after its opening.

I kept to my normal of MO of not telling them but Hubby let the cat out of the bag. The kids were pretty excited as they all have their favorite animals. The biggest being Duke who has quickly fallen in love with every lizard he sees. Plus they really do love exploring somewhere new. It does help a little that they have grown to appreciate the word FREE!

The zoo has an amazing playground with a petting zoo. There were plenty of kids coming and going. The boys ran around trying to climb on everything while the girls helped other kids play on different parts of the equipment. George even jumped into helping and praise was given for his efforts. They kids played for a while until they realized it was just too hot. The zoo was great in providing cups as well as a cooler of water for its patrons.

The zoo also has a museum. The Mann Museum reminded me alot of the Anniston Museum of Natural History. The kids were able to see taxidermy animals set in natural habitats. The also had a fun addition of a touch zone with different types of furs. The museum staff is very proud of the fact the Smithsonian has asked for the collection. A pretty big accolade for a museum to be wanted by the Smithsonian. The kids walked around and ohh’d and ahh’d at all the animals until they were ready to go. It was nice to get out of the sun for a little while but they kids were starting to get tired.

After a very hot and tiring day at the zoo I thought it would be a great idea to stop at the splashpad. The kids loved this idea and happily enjoyed a chance to cool off. They ran around until they got tired again and had a snack before we headed home. A day full of fun was exactly what we all needed.

 

A House of Nerds

A couple of weeks ago the older 4 and I went to have eye exams. If I am a Novice at anything in life it is getting an eye exam. I started wearing glasses when I was 7 or 8 years old. I was in first or second grade sitting in the back of class having no clue what was written on the board. We had the Lions Club or Shriner’s come to school at least once a year to do free eye exams. I think it was a case of no one believed me and thought I just wanted to get glasses like some of the kids in my class.

Jem started complaining aboutĀ  not being about to see certain things. She wasn’t complaining too much but I knew she would need glasses. She was the only one we thought would need glasses. We just decide to have the all get an eye exam because it had been 4 yrs since their last exams. (All except Bubbles of course.)

I was able to go in with Jem and Pippi to start the process. The did okay initially but when it came to the part where the Doctor shines lights and puts drops in their eyes they didn’t do so well. Pippi has small eyes to begin with so it made the process a little bit harder. Jem even cried. The girls all whined about getting the drops put in their eyes. I always see dilation asĀ  a good thing. The Doctor can see so much more in your eye. Because I have Graves Disease this has become even more important. For the kids it made a huge difference. The Doctor was not only able to determine that Bubbles should wear glasses again to help with reoccurring annoyances from her lazy eye but that Duke has the opposite problem. Duke’s left eye is wanting to turn out. To me it’s odd that Duke and Bubbles end up being so much alike. Anyways, Jem definitely needed glasses for nearsightedness like me. It sounds like Pippi wont be too far from getting glasses in the future.

The 3 kiddos all look super cute in their glasses and have made us truly a house of super nerds.

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Spectre

Monday Night we watched the movie Big Fish. We had finished the book just in time to make plans to visit the town Spectre during our fun week. This was a huge deal for me because I really love the movie Big Fish. Before moving to the Montgomery area it was one of the really fun things that we found that I got the most excited about visiting. The kids speculated about whether the fish was real not. Bubbles and Duke seemed to enjoy the book and movie the most. I think secretly Pippi and Jem liked both too.

Tuesday we made arrangements to visit Spectre. We packed a picnic and spent the morning just enjoying the quiet abandoned Spectre.I have grown to love surprising the kids with where our next adventure will be. When we pulled up to the gate the kids weren’t sure yet. They read the sign that said Big Fish and most of them got really excited. The short drive to the island reminded me so much of the movie it was amazing. Once we found the entrance to the town the kids were more excited. Big Fish was never one of George’s favorite movies but it was fun to hear him talk the kids through where we were in the movie. It was pretty kewl to be where a movie was filmed. The kids all looked up to see if the shoes were hanging on the line near the Spectre sign. Funny thing is some people have made it a point to add shoes. We walked done main street looking in all of the buildings and houses. It was so kewl to say this is where Ewan McGregor was in the Mayor’s house. Under the church live a family of goats. The kids laughed so much hearing the goats cry. Most of the buildings are falling apart. The couple that own the island have been working to repair what they can.

We explored more of the island and found Jenny’s house from the movie. Well not her house as it is gone but the pillars from her house. We also found a really kewl treehouse you can rent for events and such. The walk around the island was nice. There were a few people camping or fishing on the island. I reminded the kids that Jackson Lake Island was the second island we have visited. I want to make it my new favorite place not just because of the movie Big Fish but because of how quiet and beautiful it is out there. Please take the opportunity to visit. Donate to restoring and upkeep. No vandalizing. And enjoy the joy that Edward Bloom must have felt when he found Spectre.

That night we were very proud to watch Pippi, Jem, and Bubbles earn some badges at their American Heritage Girls Badge Ceremony. Pippi earned her Joining badge as well as crossed over to join the next level which is Patriots. Jem earned her Joining badge, Stick shifts, and Let’s talk. Bubbles earned her Joining badge and 7c’s. The three girls have worked very hard the past couple of months to earn just those few patches. They are hoping to earn more this summer to catch up with their new friends.