Sunday, July 11, 2010

What A Weekend!

This weekend had it all. A little bit of family, friends, and great food. Kaden and I loaded up on Friday and headed down to Carthage to see Papa Tom and Grandma Sara. Not only did we have Taco Town Cheese Dip waiting for us but Cousin Brett, Cousin Leah and Cousin Blake were waiting for us too! Papa Tom was in the kitchen fixing BLTs and fresh corn on the cob. I don't think Papa Tom was prepared for the amount of bacon he would have to fix, he ended up frying 2 lbs since Brett had 4 BLTs, now that is EIGHT slices of bread! If Grandma Hartley was here, she would be checking his leg to see if it was hallow or not.

It was an early start on Saturday morning, we had to be up at Grandma Earl's by 10 but before we got back in the car, we had a visitor. Papa Richard came out baring gifts, a flat full of his own fresh garden tomatoes. Now the only thing better than Papa Tom's fresh tomatoes are Papa Richards and he brought about a dozen just for us! Papa Richard couldn't wait to hold the little monkey but since Kaden continued with his "mommy's boy" ways, Papa Richard had to enjoy Kaden from my lap. And instead of ice cream (it was 9 in the morning) Kaden got a few gold fish but that still wasn't enough to pry him away from me. Below is a picture of Kaden when anyone but Mommy held him this past weekend, and this has been going on for 3 weeks now!! Part of me, loves it because it makes me feel pretty special but I know how bad others want to hold him so hopefully this phase will be over very quickly!

The special guests didn't end with Papa Richard so we headed north on 71 to Jasper where we were able to meet two of the newest family members, Kaden's second cousin, Matthew and his second cousin, Leigha. Matthew is only 16 weeks younger than Kaden and traveled all the way from New Jersey with his mom, Renee and his grandma Cinda. Baby Leigha is just three weeks old and so TINY! I am not sure I have ever held a baby her size and I didn't hold her long, Kaden wasn't really in the sharing mood but we did manage to squeeze in a picture before he tried crawling over her! (I think mommy might have a touch of baby fever after holding sweet little Leigha.) Since we had 3 of the newest babies in town, we just had to get a picture with Grandpa and Grandma Earl-Kaden allowed Brett to hold him for a whole 2 minutes but then again there were 8 of us dancing and laughing to try and get them all to smile.

We still had swimming on our to do list but first it was nap time. A usual nap for Monkey lasts about 2 hours, this one pushed 3 1/2 hours, I finally had to send the dog in to wake him up so we would still make it to the pool. We were heading over to the Parker's and it was pretty special to be taking my little man over there. A lot of childhood memories have stemmed from pool parties at the Parker's. Our parents would always get together and play cards, volleyball, horseshoes and us kiddos would swim for hours. I guess it wasn't the "kids" they all had in common because to this day, they still gather and have pool parties and I can only hope that Justin and I have life long friends like they all do. Although I don't have a picture of Kaden in the water, I still had to take one of him while he was there-food on shirt and all!

It was more play time once we got back to Papa Tom and Grandma Sara's and then off to bed so we could wake up and get back on the road to get home and see Daddy. But when we woke we had yet another surprise visitor, Officer Hartley, aka Uncle Zack! Uncle Zack had just gotten off a 4 night rotation and he drove home, showered and came right over to see us. I, myself, would have went straight to bed after working 4 nights in a row, so the fact that he came over to see us before getting some much needed shut-eye makes us feel pretty darn special.

It is always great going home to mom and dad's and getting to see everyone but there is just something special about walking into your own "home". We sure missed Stoli, Brodi and most importantly, Daddy!

An update on Miss Lottie Mae. She is at home in Carthage with her momma, daddy and baby sister Leigha. She is one tough cookie and continues to amaze each and everyone of us who hear how she is handling all of this. She wasn't feeling all that great when she was on her way home but woke up the next morning wanting PANCAKES and her momma had never been so happy to whip up a batch. While at Children's Mercy, Lottie Mae was diagnosed with Acute Lymphomablastic Leukemia and given a 90% chance of a complete recovery. She had a port put in last week which she will receive her treatment through for the next two years and on Tuesday will make a trip back to KC to receive another chemo treatment through the spine and they will check to see if she could possibly be in remission already. We are all keeping our fingers crossed and praying, praying, praying.

A special thank you to Blake-what great pictures you take!

Kaden and Cousin Matthew.
Mommy, Kaden and Cousin Leigha.

Leah holding Baby Leigha
Love how he crosses his ankles-this is new.

Kaden when someone other than mommy is holding him.

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