Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving from our home to yours...

"...It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people.
I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.
And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.Done at the city of Washington, this third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the independence of the United States the eighty-eighth."

~A. Lincoln

The Swindler family has much to be thankful for. God has blessed us beyond measure. He continues to lead and guide us and I am thankful that we have this day to sit back and reflect on all of it.
I am so thankful for my wonderful husband and my two amazing daughters... they are my three totally undeserved gifts from God!! I am thankful that we are blessed to live here with my Dad. I am so thankful for his love and guidance for the last 41 years. God certainly did bless me with a wonderful father here on this earth. What more could I ask for than the love of my Daddy, my husband and my two daughters!!!
I hope you will take the opportunity today to reflect on all the God has given you!!
Have a wonderful and blessed Thanksgiving !
In His MIGHTY Grip~

Friday, November 21, 2008

Their first space shuttle launch

He just turned the tv on to see what was going on in the world and they said it..."The space shuttle Endeavor is scheduled to lift off tonight at 7:55pm from Cape Canaveral" David lit up like a Christmas tree and said, "Let's get in the car and go see it blast off!" Um...okay...lets go!!!
So, we piled in the car, gassed it up, grabbed some lunch and headed south. NASA/Cape Canaveral is only about 2 hours away. Neither David nor I had seen a space shuttle blastoff in a number of years, but we really wanted the girls to have the experience. You should have seen us trying to explain it to them...two little girls who have basically no knowledge of what space is much less a space shuttle!! Anyway...we figured that we wouldn't be able to get too close as we got a late start, but hey...we can actually see a blastoff from the street in front of our house, so any farther south we got was gravy...right?
Well, we ended up on US1, in a marina on the banks of the Indian river DIRECTLY across from the launch pad. We were about 10 miles away with a picture perfect view!! We took our lawn chairs out, grabbed the bag of juice boxes and snacks and settled in to watch the show.
The weather was absolutely PERFECT...a light breeze, pleasant temperatures and not a cloud in the sky!!! It was actually so clear that we saw a satellite go over about 30 minutes before was amazing!!! The girls were running around making new friends and having a blast (pardon the pun).

Then...promptly at 7:55...we watched them light the engines , which then lit up everything and the Space Shuttle Endeavor rose majestically into the night sky. It was truly a sight to behold! I had both girls in my lap and they just sat there perfectly still with their mouths hanging open. It was the only time I have ever seen Lili speechless...she just sat there.

We were fortunate enough to be sitting near a couple of guys who were here from Norway studying aeronautics. They were a wealth of information to us. (They are the ones who pointed out the satellite...lest you think I am that smart!!)
After it was all over, we piled back in the car and headed off in search of some dinner. I mean, it was only 8:30 or hard could it be to find food???
Well...about 11PM we finally got to eat dinner!!!!!!! We went all the way to Daytona Beach before we found something!!!! Traffic was a nightmare and next time we will take dinner with us thank you very much!!!

We finally pulled into our driveway at about 1:30 that morning. The girls were wiped...Aly just walked into her bedroom, crawled into bed and continued sleeping. She did walk in the house under her own steam, but I am not really sure she ever woke up!!
Anyway, it was so much fun!! I'm so glad that David turned on the tv to check the news!!

Here are some pictures for your enjoyment...

Aly & Lili with their new friends

Aly and her DaddyMan

Daddy and his princesses

Me and my beauties


liftoff... (official NASA picture)
light up the sky...

and we're off!

Isn't it just beautiful??

I love this shot... this is the smoke trail floating in front of the full moon.

We came here to see THAT????

Friday, November 7, 2008

practically perfect in every way!

Well, I measured and weighed the girlies today...and they are right where they are supposed to be. Aly is just right on the American charts and a giant on the Chinese charts...while my little peanut is a peanut no matter what chart I chart her progress on.
Aly has grown nearly 3 inches and gained two whole pounds since January, and Lili has grown a whopping 4 inches and gained 4 pounds since January.
It is a good feeling to chart that info each month and see them continue to follow along right where they should be. Aly is on the 50% for weight and height and Lili stays right between the 10-20%...on the American charts.
I have a feeling that Aly is about to sprout again as she has taken to eating HUGE volumes of food and is rarely satisfied...just a little while ago she polished off two clementines and almost two oranges in a matter of moments. Then less than 10 minutes later she said, "Mom, I'm hungry!" Last night for dinner she had two helpings of red beans and rice as well as vegetables and then was still hungry... she would have eaten a third helping but I talked her into some fruit instead I have never seen such a metabolism!!
The two of them are polishing off some string cheese and peanut butter crackers as we speak.
Most days I feel as if I am feeding two linebackers!!
I think I will go fix us some Green Smoothies and leftover red beans and rice for lunch.
Then it's off to the grocery store again!

Sunday, November 2, 2008 is some kind of crazy at our house!!!

Well, David has gone and done it!! He has gone back to school!! Yep...he is now a little more than halfway through his first semester back. He has finished two classes already and has two more to finish this semester. He is really enjoying it and is doing very well. We are so proud of him.

The girls are so precious. When we pray at night before bedtime, they have to pray for "Daddy and his school." We always pray for him when he is taking tests too. Most of his study time and tests usually happen late at night when the girls are in bed asleep, so it is about the first or second thing they ask about when they get up in the morning..."How did Daddy do on his test?"

The other wrench we are dealing with is my leg. For those of you who don't know what I am talking is the short version:

Last year when we were moving to Florida, we got rear-ended. Nothing damage to the car that we could find, but over the next few weeks I soon realized that I was having some serious pain in my neck and middle back. I found a good chiropractor here in town and it turns out that I did some ligament damage to my neck. Not too long after that the pain began to manifest in my right leg. Not my knee, but around my knee in the nerves and muscles. Each week when I would get my neck adjusted, the pain would subside dramatically. This has been going on since back in the spring and had slowly been improving. Well, about a month ago, my leg just stopped hurting...BAM...the pain was basically gone. But then a few days later it started in my left leg. GREAT!!! So, began the same course of action to relieve the pain. Then, all of a sudden, last Tuesday the pain was pretty bad. Much worse than usual. By mid morning, I couldn't walk on it or put any pressure on it at all. I don't mean that it hurt to do so, I mean I COULDN'T!

So, after a three act play to get me into the car, David took me back to the Chiropractor. He adjusted me, but it only helped very little this time. I was still in unbelievable pain. He told me that I should go to the emergency room because there might be something else going on too. So, we went to the ER. They suspected a blood clot. GREAT!! So they did an ultrasound and an Xray but it all came back fine. They could find no problem with my knee (which I knew) and there was no blood clot (Thank God!!). So, I left with muscle relaxers and pain pills and orders to stay off of it within reason and when I am up to either be in a wheel chair or on a walker. I went to see my regular doctor the next day and he has ordered a Ct scan of my neck and MRI's of both legs. So...I am framming and bamming through the house with my walker, and using the office chair to scoot around in the kitchen, and roosting on a stool in front of the washer and dryer!

David has to help me up out of my recliner as it is too low to get up on one leg (well, I can do it better today) and Aly is my A#1 helper. She hauls laundry to and from the laundry room, brings me something to drink, hauls whatever I need as I move from room to room and cannot carry and basically whatever else I need. Poor kid!!!

I must say that the pain is MUCH MUCH better now. I can go a little ways without the walker, but I am trying to use it most all the time for now. At least with the muscle relaxers the muscles in the back of my thigh and the back of my knee are not seizing up on me every time I move.

Anyway, please keep David in your prayers as he is taking two tough classes right now and needs all the prayers you can send up for him. And me, for healing in my leg and someone to find out what is going on, and for the put up with their crazy parents!!!!

Have a wonderful week!!!

Following are a few pictures from last year. I am still amazed at how much they have grown in one year!!