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Welcome to My Mommy Thoughts. I originally created this blog to document our lives hosting foreign exchange students in our home but I quickly discovered a passion for writing and blogging. This blog has become a little bit of everything.

So sit back, relax with a cup of coffee and enjoy!!

~Randi

Me and My Hubby

Me and My Hubby

My Loves

My Loves

The Princess - Maggie

The Princess - Maggie

Me & my Meg

Me & my Meg

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Noah...Noah...Noah...

If it is not one thing then it is the other!! God love him! Our week started out with the car incident on Sunday night. He has been fine and had no issues since - except for a little lack of appetite here and there. He has slept fine and played fine since! I was thankful to GrandDanny for my car smelling sooo good. A fresh clean carseat sitting in the heat all day - oh, it was fresh and clean!!

I dropped him off at school this morning. Fussed a little when Ms. Gwen took him but he was fine and eating a snack by the time I checked him in and dropped off his back-pack. About 40 minutes later, Mrs. Sandy calls me and says that his hands are swollen and he has little blisters on them. I begin to freak out. She tells me that he has no fever and he seems fine. One of the blisters is about dime size on his knuckle - not on his palms. Weird - I think so! His feet are also a little swollen and red. Mrs. Sandy tells me that Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) is going around and she is not sure if that is what it is. Again, no fever. I asked if I needed to come get him and she said to wait it out and check back in a couple of hours to see what it does.

I called the pedi, but had to wait on the nurse to call me back. Keith calls Momma Gena - after all, she was a daycare director for up-teen years and is very familiar with HFMD. She said the same thing that Mrs. Sandy said -- never seen swelling with it, always has fever, acts lethargic and blisters are more on the palms of the hands and not on the backs of them. I checked back in with Mrs. Sandy - just praying that maybe this was an allergic reaction to something. She calls me back about 10 minutes later saying that the swelling has gone down and the blisters do not look real bad. Said that it is the weirdest thing she has seen! In fact, she said that Noah made her wait until he finished painting before she could check his feet. How cute is that??

When the nurse called me back she reassured me of something ... if Noah (and me, and Keith and Papaw) had HFMD last year, then it is not likely for him (us) to get it this year. HALLELUJAH!!!! That was great news, especially if HFMD is going around school. We can NOT be sick this weekend -- have too much to do! E is coming to our house so we must be well!! Sounds like it is an allergic reaction to something. Have no idea what it could be though - that is the troubling part about it! But we will be adding a new medication to our medicine cabinet - Benadryl!! This will be fun tonight - he may go to sleep way early because of it!

My poor baby has been through so much in his short 19 months. Fortunately none of them have been life threatening or too difficult to deal with. Our most tragic was our broken arm. Yes, we have already tackled our first broken bone!! Noah was at school on July 14th when Mrs. Tracy called and said that he kept crying and was not acting like his normal self. Keith got to the school before I did and realized that he was not using his right arm. Went to the doctor, held him down (literally) for an x-ray to be told we needed to go to a Pediatric Orthopedist. How scary did that sound!! We left that doctor sporting a nice blue accessory from our fingers to above our elbow! We only had our blue accessory for 4 1/2 weeks, so it was not that bad! It made it difficult for bath time (there was not a bath time) and playing outside. It was very hard to keep him "cool" and not sweat - especially in the heat of the summer in Alabama.

But Noah is such a trooper in all that he does. I am so grateful for having him in my life. He is my absolute pride and joy and could not imagine my life without him. I am SO thankful to God for him being a healthy, happy little boy. I know that so many other families are not so fortunate and my heart hurts for them. I pray every day for God to wrap his loving arms around my baby boy - to protect him in all that he does and to keep him healthy!

~Randi

Monday, September 27, 2010

Fun weekend with CRAZY twists!!!

We had a great weekend that ended with a crazy twist!! K went with us to the ballgame Friday night and he had a GREAT time. It was so much fun taking him with us. He has never been to an American football game so he had lots to see: cheerleaders, music horns and a clown! Oh, and not to mention - the Clay Chalkville Blue Crew - a group of high school guys who wear no shirts and paint their bodies to look like jerseys. It is quite the site to see - especially for someone from Thailand. We stayed at the game until the beginning of 4th quarter. Clay was winning pretty good so it was not much of a game to see. Keith and I decided that we will take him back to a more challenging game. It was incredible to watch his thought process trying to take it all in.

We got home that night to sad news. We had heard rumors of a double murder/suicide in Trussville earlier in the day. We sadly found out that one of the victims was someone that we knew from Huffman. Our hearts were so broken from this news!

Saturday was a cheerful day! All of our family came over to our house for the Alabama game. It was a game on pins and needles but Alabama pulled threw! Mom and I headed off to Gardendale that night for Meghan's final band jamboree. On the way there - we passed several ambulances and later found out that there had been another double murder/suicide in Pinson. What is going on with our world and our city?? These are just too close to home!

Sunday ended up being a busy day. We headed off to Huffman for church and then to a nice Chinese lunch with the family. Keith took Noah home for a nap and Aunt Jennifer and I headed shopping. It had been such a long time since we shopped without kids -- oh, it was so nice!!! After Sunday night church services - while heading home, our ride home went south. We were getting ready to turn onto Service Road and Noah throws up everywhere. It was not a little bit either. It was our first projectile experience!! Keith debated to pull over or keep going - since we were so close to Momma Gena's house. We decided to keep going, so he sped up a little. We pulled in and instantly stripped Noah of his clothes in the drive way. Gigi began to clean him up while Keith and I cleaned the car. Unfortunately, this was one of those times where I did not have extra clothes for my little buddy. Let me tell you --- this will be the last time that I go without extra clothes. I am just thankful that we were at/made it to Gigi's house. Poor Noah, all Gigi had was a pair of 24 month sweat pants. They were so large on him that they drooped half way down his diaper and they were so long that he would slide from stepping on the pants. For his shirt, Gigi put on him one of her white shirts and pinned it in the back. GrandDanny said that he looked like he had an angel costume on. He is my little angel!! ;-) And speaking of GrandDanny, he is worth a million bucks!! We took the car seat apart and washed the liner because it was obviously gross!! As Keith was swapping car seats with them for us to borrow, Keith noticed the gross stuff stuck in different places on the car seat. GrandDanny said that he would hose it off today and sterilize it really well. Wow, I sure do love him!!! As for Noah, we have no idea what made him sick. He did not get sick any more and has seemed to be fine. I think it may have been soured apple juice in his cup. He was running and playing at both Gigi's house and at home. We think he had one little burp/spit up incident at home but it was not much. We bathed him really good and Daddy helped him brush his teeth. He went right to bed after a few minutes of watching "Cars" and snuggling on the couch with Mommy.

He seemed just fine this morning, though he did not each much breakfast, and seemed to make it through the day at school. I fully expected a phone call but fortunately did not receive one!

So, that catches you up from our weekend!!! Whew - what a weekend it was! I did find out that E did want to come spend some time with us this weekend but we missed out. Hopefully she and I can get together and plan something for this next weekend! I sure would love to meet her!!! :-)

~Randi

Friday, September 24, 2010

Love at first meeting

Mrs. Kathy came to our house last week to not only meet Keith and I but to introduce us to AFS. We sat and talked about involvement with AFS, what they do, how the process works, etc. I was SO excited to be talking about it. Mrs. Kathy had a special surprise with her when she got to our house. She had K with her who is from Thailand and will be staying with her and her family. K is the original boy that they wanted to live with us.

We talked in depth about E and her country and her situation where she is now. We told Mrs. Kathy that we would like to be E's liaison and have her come stay with us some weekends or any time that she wanted to. We are not ready to commit to having someone with us full time. She asked if we wanted to have E that weekend. Unfortunately we were not ready to have someone -- the house was a wreck and we didn't even have a bed for her to sleep in. Keith laughed and offered the couch, but she is my height and would not be comfortable.


We went ahead and discussed having her with us this weekend, so that would give us a week to get the house in order. We (mainly Keith) have cleaned the carpets, moved the playroom to the music room and turned the playroom back into a bedroom. I found out last night that E will not be with us this weekend. I was sad to hear the news, and not because of all of the work done, but I was truly excited to finally meet her and have her with us. Her family is out of town this weekend and she is staying with the family of a friend from school. We are praying things work out for her to move in with them if things go well this weekend. This would be an answer to prayer! My heart hurts so badly knowing that she is unhappy where she is and knowing that I can't help fix it right now.

But I do have something to look forward to ... K is going to the game with us tonight and I am SO excited! Mrs. Kathy asked if it would be ok for him to go with us and I was so delighted to have her ask. She told me this morning that he is excited as well. I have told her that he is MORE than welcome to come stay with us anytime that he would like. I would love to have him around. I felt such an instant connection the first night that he met.

I am hoping to get some pictures tonight at the game and I will post them to the blog!!

~Randi, Keith, Noah and Maggie

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth...

You may be wondering from the title of my blog. If I have heard it once this week, then I literally have heard it 195 times. Lucky me had to serve my first ever week as a juror this week. I have never done this and had no idea what to expect. I just knew that I would be struck Monday afternoon or Tuesday for sure. How couldn't I? My father is a minister/pastor and my husband is an assistant to the Recreation Minister. Plus I am "for the death penalty" (as everyone has told me to be so that I would get struck) so I just KNEW that I would be back to work Tuesday afternoon at the latest!! WRONG!!! And to make it worse, I have to go back 2 more weeks.


First of all, I was a little late on Monday morning. Traffic was terrible, parking was terrible, people were everywhere. I finally parked at the BJCC under the interstate and walked about 4 blocks to get back to where I needed to be. I parked at a meter that was obviously broken but said I had 5 hours so I prayed that I wouldn't have a ticket when I returned. I walked into the juror holding room, apologizing for being late. Fortunately there were other people also late. I realized there were about 250 people waiting in this room, most reading, some talking to other jurors, some on computers. I found a corner seat and crawled over 3 people to get there. The Judge comes in and welcomes us. She states that she will then take any excuses, medical first, as to why you can not be here to serve on jury. I quickly thought and could not come up with a legitimate reason why I couldn't serve this week. She then says that she will begin with calling 18 people for Grand Jury. I start opening my book, prepared for a day of reading, and heard my name called about 10th or 11th. Seriously?? Did they call me right off the bat?? SO, I had to crawl back over 3 people to walk up front. I'm thinking, ok, they've called 18 of us so 6 of us will be sent back. I had NO idea what I was in for. They walk us across the street to the main civil court house and take us downstairs to a mini-courtroom. There were 3 rows of 6 seats, tiered. In the front is 3 seats on a platform with the end seat looking like the witness stand. I felt like I was watching Matlock or something. The DA for Jefferson County comes in to welcome us -- I had recognized him from tv. Then comes the bad news. He explains what being on Grand Jury means. As Grand Jury, all 18 of us will sit and listen to cases and decide to indite the defendant and send the case to trial. Basically, in English terms, it meant that I would be here all week, I would not be going back to the jury holding room and I would not be back at work by Tuesday afternoon. The really bad news came next - not only would we be here Monday - Thursday of this week, but we would be back for a week in October and a week in November. Um, seriously??? Your kidding??? Greg is going to kill me for missing a week in October. OMGosh! What am I into?? But then I thought - well, my GrandDaddy would be proud! He had served as foreman of the jury several times and here I was on a Grand Jury. 


I made it through the first 4 days and it was not too bad. I actually enjoyed it - had fun having lunch with some of the other jurors. Some of the cases I could have gone without hearing and some of the photographs I would have been fine not seeing. It really opened my eyes as to what really goes on in the world. It made me SO thankful for my family, SO thankful for my husband for loving me so, and SO thankful for my God for protecting me and my family from these things. I quickly realized how blessed I am to not have grown up seeing some of these things and I can only pray the same for Noah. Though I can not talk about the cases I have heard, which my mom and dad find funny since I LOVE to talk, I will say that I have remembered the families of some of these cases in my prayers and obviously remembered the defendants in my prayers. They obviously are missing the love of the Lord and it is sad to think about!! Lord, THANK YOU for your love and protection!!!!  


~Randi

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Introduction to AFS

Tonight is the night that I have been looking forward to since Monday. Kathy is coming over to our house to introduce us to AFS. Keith and I instantly had a million questions running through our minds and she will help answer those questions.

We have pretty much decided that now is not the time to bring someone into our home but we are interested in being an aunt/uncle to a student or even a liaison. A liaison would be a family that the student can go stay with if their host family needs to go out of town or has an emergency.

Kathy called me last night to ask if I could go onto the AFS website and officially register as a "volunteer" so that they could begin the background check on us - just in case we wanted to bring E into our home. Oh goodness, this is really happening. I never had the chance to last night, but I did it first thing this morning. When checking my email, I had a message that I have been waiting on. It was actually finally here. It was E's file - her 31 page file. I started looking through it, kind of overwhelmed at all that I was reading. Wow, she comes from a family with lots of education and who loves to travel to other countries. A million new questions started to run through my head: can we offer what she wants/needs? Would she be happy with us? Would we impress her or would she be bored? Oh goodness. So much to consider. THEN I get to her pictures. She is such a beautiful girl - very natural and simple. She is about my height, curly hair and looks like an absolutely incredible girl. Probably someone that I could learn a lot from and hopefully the same with her! Seeing her picture really put into perspective of how real this really is.

We still have so much to consider. I am praying that we will know more after talking with Kathy tonight. Keep praying for us ... this is huge!!

~Randi, Keith, Noah and Maggie

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Is it time??

This seems to be my million dollar question right now ... is it time?

I told you that I prayed for direction and guidance for our family. I didn't tell you that I had an email from someone asking if we would consider hosting an exchange student in our home. The person who emailed me is a friend of mine but I would not say a close friend. She is not someone I talk to on a regular basis. Her mom is a representative for an organization called American Field Service, or AFS. Her job is to find homes for exchange students. She has an immediate need for 2 students, one from Thailand and one from Italy. The 17 year old boy from Thailand would be a good fit for our family but our school district will not let any new students in. The 17 year old girl from Italy would be a PERFECT fit for our family. She actually is placed in a home right now but has nothing in common with her foster sister, therefore she is not real happy. She would prefer to be in a family with smaller children (check), loves to watch sports but not necessarily play them (double check) and prefers to eat dinner between 8 pm and 9 pm - WOW, could she be any more perfect for our family?? OH, and did I mention that she is 5' 11"?? For those of you who don't know, I am 5'11". There is a slight difference in our weight, but we won't go there!! :-)

Our representative will be coming over tomorrow night to talk to Keith and I and to help answer some of our million questions that we have. I don't think E will be coming to live with us right now, though selfishly I want her here now! There is so much that I feel we need to get done in order to be prepared for a teenager in our home.

Please keep Keith and I in your prayers. This is an exciting new opportunity for us and we are thrilled to have it presented to us! It is very scary at the same time. Only God knows what will happen!! I do know one thing - this opportunity will not only bring us closer together as a family but it will bring us so much closer to God. I am SO excited about it!!  Who knows - this may even open an opportunity for Noah to go study abroad when he is in high school. How amazing would that be??

~Randi, Keith, Noah and Maggie

Intro to our Family

Welcome to our little family blog!! I created this blog to document our new life journey with welcoming foreign exchange students into our home.


This door first opened with me praying to God to open a door for our family. I prayed for encouragement and wisdom so that we would know what direction in life to follow. Our life has been "on hold" for some time now. Keith and I both owned our own businesses but both went south due to the economy. God presented an opportunity for me to work for an incredible company as the wedding and event planner. I started working at Fun Source in April 2010 and have loved every minute of it! Keith is working full time at our church, CrossPoint church as an assistant to the recreation minister and He is also leading Children's Worship at Huffman Baptist. He is prayerfully considering going to seminary to pursue a minisrty degree. He has worked with church recreation for over 10 years now and feels God leading him to a calling.


We have a 18 almost 19 month old, Noah. He is the light of our lives!! NEVER knew that I could love so much. We also have our oldest child who is also our four-legged. Her name is Maggie and she is a beagle. You can check out Maggie's blog at www.theweddingdog.blogspot.com (yes, our dog has a blog!!)


Be sure to check back often for updates!! Once we get a child, we will use this blog to document our time together!! We are SO excited about this new journey!!


~Randi, Keith, Noah and Maggie