Tuesday, December 27, 2011

He can do it!!

He's getting so close!

Merry Christmas!

A few photos from Christmas morning...

Santa left us a few goodies...including presents from St Louis.

Andrew loved the snacks in his stocking.
James is still unsure of presents...

In their Christmas best.

A couple of family shots. Andrew decided pants were optional.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Christmas Letter 2011

Sometimes I can hardly believe that it's December and that December is half over. It's been a long time since I've felt like time has flown. Dave and I started out the year by deciding to move to Lake Charles, Louisiana. The decision was done and the move made by the end of January. We have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the people here and getting involved in the community.

We have become members at a fantastic church that has been our gateway to feeling a part of life here. Dave has been active on the church's softball team, while I have volunteered in the nursery and taught the 3rd & 4th grade Sunday school class. We attend growth groups regularly on Wednesdays which has allowed us to make some great friends and grow in Christ. We are both going to play on the indoor soccer team that just started :)

We've also been able to get to know people through Dave's work: PPG. The ladies he works with have a monthly dinner out and are kind enough to include me. It's always nice to get away for a few hours. They also have a great family association that we are involved in. We've attended a crawfish boil, an Easter egg hunt, a trunk or treat, and a fabulous family day among other events through this association. We even competed in a kickball tournament! We always jump at the chance to do something fun and semi-structured with the boys.

Lake Charles and the surrounding areas host a number of festivals; the long summers, early springs and late winters make great festival weather! Since Dave and I love festivals, we have taken advantage. LC holds the second largest Mardi Gras Festival in Louisiana, so we couldn't miss that. It goes on for several days; we loved the gumbo cook-off and the children's day festivities. This year we also visited Contraband Days, a Mayhaw Festival, a Rice Festival, Sulphur Heritage Days, and the Moss Bluff Festival. I think I'm forgetting a few others too. James always loves the big slides. I'm sure Andrew will be right there with him next year!

We took our first family vacation in November to San Antonio, TX. We did all the touristy stuff and made time for the outlet malls. It was a great trip! (You can see an earlier post for all the details and pictures).

Mostly this year, we have just enjoyed being a family and watching the boys grow. James is so close to walking and saying his first words; it'll be right around the corner. He has begun clapping and is quick to celebrate any little accomplishment he or Andrew have. Andrew is walking and getting into everything. He is going to try our patience in a way that James never has. They are just starting to show an interest in playing together...they have completely different styles of play so I think there are going to be a lot of battles to break up in my future. In case you are wondering, James is a very organised player (like his mommy) where Andrew is more of the search and destroy type (like most little boys).

As far as health goes, James had two hospital stays (pneumonia) but no surgeries this year. We are hoping and praying his little body keeps getting stronger and no more surgeries are necessary! His specialists are very encouraged by the progress he's made this year. Andrew seems to be healthy as a horse (and he eats like one too!). He has gotten a few colds but has only been to see the doctor once for a sick visit. Dave and I both passed our annual blood tests, which is always reassuring. I guess the red wine is working! :)

We tried hard this year to enjoy the present and that will continue to be our family goal. We want to soak up the moments we have together and enjoy life as it happens. With that said, I still have an organized need to plan for the future. On the radar for 2012 is a second family vacation (possibly to the Pensacola area), a Midwest trip in July (complete with a friend's wedding in Chicago), maybe a baby (nothing cooking yet), and a lot more festivals!

I truly hope that this post finds you and yours well and that you're all able to celebrate Jesus' birthday with loved ones! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!

Love, the (Louisiana) Iverson's

James Update

Apprently I forgot to knock on wood after my last post because James' stretch of being hospital free ended abruptly the day after Thanksgiving. He was admitted that Friday evening with a bad cold that turned into bronchitus and eventually pheumonia. He went home twice in the 16 days he was there. The first time he was back within 5 hours and needed back on oxygen. The second time he was home for a day and a half before he needed to be readmitted. This time the doctors think he had bronchial spasms (asthma attack) caused by his reflux. Steroids seemed to do the trick that time. James seems to be doing much better now, but he's only been home for 2 days so we don't feel like we're out of the woods yet.

I'll be taking James to see his specialists in Houston as soon as they can fit him in. I'm not sure what to expect at these appointments so that worries me. I'm assuming we'll talk about our plan to keep him healthy and how we should adjust it since he got sick again. I'm just not sure what they'll want to do moving forward. I have lots of questions...hopefully they'll have some answers.

Friends in Lake Charles were amazing during this hospital stay. We were brought books, meals, snacks, toys, and all around great company. Abby even came to help out (all the way from Indiana) when Dave had to be out of town for his Grandmother's funeral. When Dave was working, various friends from church took Andrew under their wing to give him breaks from the hospital. He liked hanging out with James and me, but sometimes he needed out :) Thank you for all the help! And thank you for all the prayers from all of you who were following James' progress on facebook or via friends and family.