Saturday, February 28, 2009

Video link to check out -- Hopkins Childrens Center

Last night WMAR TV channel 2 in Baltimore donated an hour of air time to the Hopkins Childrens Center. They featured a number of children and families from all over the country and their stories. One of those stories struck home with me. It was of a sweet baby girl named Olivia who had a heart condition that was treated at Hopkins. As I watched I was awestruck because not only was one of the doctors featured, Dr. Luca Vricella, Moses' doctor but also the initial doctor that explained Moses' condition, Dr. Joel Brennan, was featured.

It took me back to our days at Hopkins ... our short 4 days that seemed like a lifetime. I remember it all. I don't want to forget. Although it was a painful time, I wouldn't have traded it for the world. I am blessed to have had the opportunity to meet the doctors and Child Life specialists in the Children's Center.

Check out this link to the video of little Olivia and as you watch it, would you thank the Father with me for Dr. Vricella and Dr. Brennan and the wisdom HE has given them to treat the smallest patients.

Would you consider donating to a great cause?

This weekend is a Radio-a-thon put on by a local radio station MIX 106.5 This is the 20th year they have raised money for Johns Hopkins Childrens Center. They have raised millions for this amazing hospital, right in Baltimore. Hopkins happens to be close to our hearts as well because Moses was treated there as well as my niece Chloe after her accident nearly 3 summers ago. Both of our kids have received amazing care at this wonderful hospital -- many children from all over the world have received treatment here too.

Would you consider joining me in donating to this great place? My school is again this year raising money for the kids at Hopkins. Over the past 2 weeks they have raised over $300 and we are going for one more week. This money goes directly to the kids and their needs -- toys for their play room, DVD's, music, books puzzles -- it also goes for the parents who have to spend time with their children in the hospital. They use the money to buy sleep chairs for the parents so they are able to stay in the room with their kids. Trust me (or my mom and sister), sleeping on the waiting room chairs or the "bed-chairs" they have is not the best nights sleep you can have. The money raised is also used for special NICU incubators or ECMO machines for the kids there.

Bottom line -- the money goes for great things when it comes to these kids. The radioathon is done tomorrow, Sunday the 1st of March. If you have a chance, please call in and give something to the kids - anything, no matter how small, gets put towards making their stay a more pleasant one.

Call 1-800-823-1065 or visit Hopkins Childrens Center to make an online donation

The kids and I thank you!

First trip to the Dentist

This past Friday was Abraham's first visit to the Dentist. We have been preparing for this day by reading The Bearensteins Bears go to the Dentist for a month! Since Daddy really dislikes the dentist, this was definitely Momma's thing!
Abraham did such a fantastic job! He didn't cry -- didn't flinch -- opened wide for Miss Jennifer and for Dr. Neal. I was totally amazed since I thought there would be somewhat of a fight - but nothing!
We got to enjoy a day together afterwards - met Mimi and G-dad for lunch at our favorite, Chick-fil-A and hit Target too!
In the waiting room

Momma and Abraham in the chair - he wouldn't sit without me!

All done and happy! Cheese!!

Big Boy

Sunday, February 22, 2009

From Abraham's Perspective

This is what happens when Abraham gets ahold of our camera. -- Listening to Kenny Chesney

American Idol and Momma's slippers

Biggest Loser DVD

Cutting Daddys' hair - can't believe he got us in the frame!

Cars in his dump truck

Mommy cutting toenails

TV and Daddy's fish

Friday Night Fun

Friday Night Fun
This is what happens when we don't entertain Abraham. We were watching a movie as he destroyed our living room with all the CLEAN clothes he could find... and there were lots!
When asked what he was doing, he said "playing doctor"?? We aren't exactly sure what that means!!

Very proud of his mess!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Valentines Day!

Don't you just love my roses?? Imagine my surprise at work when the secretary told me they were mine! I was proud to walk down the hall carrying them having other women drool! Michael did good! :) Totally made my day!

Abraham got a Valentines Day gift too -- what boy doesn't like a truck! And a truck with all the holes to carry tons of other cars! Woohoo!! :) That is one happy boy!

Peek-a-boo Momma!

Come play with me Momma!

Friday, February 13, 2009

A bit of Family History

The following is a newspaper article on my Pappy, Elmer Soles, talking about my great great grandfather, Jacob Soles - who carried Lincoln out of the Ford's Theater after being shot. My Pappy did a great job during the newspaper interview as well as the interview for the local news. (link at the bottom) I am so proud of him!! You go Pap! :)


BRIGHTON TWP. — Union Army veteran Jacob Soles thought the world of President Abraham Lincoln, so it was only fitting that the Allegheny County coal miner should help carry the dying president from Ford’s Theater in 1865.

“He had been involved one time with bringing a message to the White House from the battlefield, and he met Lincoln,” Soles’ grandson, Elmer Soles, recalled Wednesday. “He always said Lincoln was just like an ordinary individual, not stuck up or anything. He might have been president, but there was nothing stuck up about him.”

Elmer Soles, 87, of Brighton Township has vivid memories of his grandfather, who became a local celebrity after the events at Ford’s Theater. Soles spent hours as a teenager sitting on a front porch swing and talking with his grandfather before the elder man’s death in 1936.The family lived in North Versailles Township near Turtle Creek, and newspaper reporters from across the country regularly showed up at the door for interviews around the anniversary of Lincoln’s birth.

Today is the 200th anniversary.On national holidays, veterans groups would march past the Soles home in honor of Jacob. Braddock schoolchildren still place flowers on his grave in the town’s Monongahela Cemetery.In addition to the press, Soles entertained the likes of American writer Carl Sandburg, who won one of two Pulitzer Prizes for a biography of Lincoln published in six volumes from 1926 to 1939.

Elmer Soles, who moved from Allegheny County after World War II to work at the former Westinghouse plant in Vanport Township, said his grandfather joined the Union Army in 1864 at age 18. He served as a private with Thompson’s Independent Battery C of the Pennsylvania Light Artillery.

On April 14, 1865, he was stationed at Camp Berry in Washington, D.C., with Jabez Griffiths, John Corey and William Sample, all of whom were natives of the Pittsburgh area. Griffiths’ widow, Minerva, lived in Beaver County after her husband’s death in 1898.The four soldiers went to Ford’s Theater that night for a showing of the play “Our American Cousin.” Their seats were on a balcony about 15 feet from the president’s box.

Elmer Soles said his grandfather heard a pistol shot and then screams from the box. The four soldiers rushed in and found the wounded president.“They just got Lincoln and carried him out,” Elmer Soles said.Two other soldiers joined them on the way out so they could comfortably carry him with two at his head, two in the middle and two at his feet.“They didn’t want Lincoln to be sagging,” Soles said. “They took him down to the street, and they were told to take him across the street to a house.”Jacob Soles said in a New York Times interview that they milled about in the crammed street with the president for about five minutes before taking him to the landmark Peterson House where he died.

Once they deposited the president on a bed, the soldiers were ordered out.“They just went outside and stayed outside moseying around on the street there until the word came out that Lincoln had passed away. Then they went back to camp,” Elmer Soles said.Corey drowned in the Allegheny River near Pittsburgh in April 1884. Sample died in McKeesport on Feb. 25, 1898, after being burned in a steel mill. Griffiths died in McKeesport on April 18, 1898.Jacob Soles lived in North Versailles until his death on Jan. 9, 1936, at age 90. He continued mining coal after the war and lost an eye in a mining accident.

The New York Times in a 1931 interview described him as “a little old man, with iron gray hair and furrowed brow.”Elmer Soles, who has a framed sketch of his grandfather that he made just before his grandfather died, said he spent many enjoyable hours talking about the Civil War.“He’d get on his uniform hat, those caps they wore back then, and he had his jacket, and a lot of times on Sunday, we’d just sit there by the hour and we’d talk about the things that went on in the war then,” he said. “I was just a youngster at the time. I wish I could still talk to him now.”

Monday, February 9, 2009

Out of the mouth of babes...

Abraham comes up with tons of one liners. Today was no exception.
ABRAHAM - (looking up, out our moon roof) Momma, is Heaven up there?

ME - Yes Bubba, Heaven is up there. (thinking the conversation is headed towards Moses)

ABRAHAM - And Jesus is in Heaven?

ME - Yep.

ABRAHAM - Momma, I think Heaven needs to turn the sun off. It's too bright in my eyes. (squinting as the sun hits him in the eyes)

ME - But Bubba, if Heaven turned off the sun, it would be dark outside.

ABRAHAM - That's okay Momma. The car has headlights so we'd still be able to see.

How true that is!! He is just too much!

Snow Day!

We had a bit of snow the other week... actually not all that much snow but we had a fair amount of ice on top of the snow. I don't mind the snow so much but the ice on top just makes things miserable. It usually gets me a day off ... and gets Michael extra hours of work. One of the days we had off, Abraham and I gone a bit stir crazy (Do you sense a theme here?) and went to take the trash out. Then we saw Daddy getting home and walked around in the snow/ice.
Let me just tell you there is nothing like trying to "play" in the ice snow. Talk about painful when you fall... just ask Bubba! He was not happy falling and immediately wanted to go inside. And Momma was quick to oblige.

Daddy and Abraham stomping in the ice snow.

This is SO not what I thought snow would be like!! I've had enough!

Our view out our living room window - normally it's prettier but I waited to long to take the picture.

River Time

Okay, so I'm a little behind on posting pictures. We took these about 2 weekend's ago. We had spent all day inside and were going stir crazy. Drove up to Rock State Park and enjoyed the outdoors. Unfortunately it was REALLY cold out and we didn't last long. Abraham, as always, enjoyed finding rocks and throwing them into the river. Such a boy! :)

Momma and Abraham in our matching red

I'm cold Momma!

Finding rocks with Daddy

I can try to say Cheese! even though I'm FREEZING!! :)