December 31, 2010

Happy New Year from our family to yours!

What a year it has been ~ filled with lots of ups and downs but we made it! Here's looking forward to a happy and health 2011!

December 26, 2010

Our little Christmas Princess

Guess who's ready for her close up

Annabelle and HER boys! She's a wild woman!!

Such a wonderful night ~ such wonderful children.
Such blessed parents!

December 22, 2010

Chatting with the Jolly guy

I LOVE that she wasn't scared at all. As you can see, it took a few minutes to get her to look away from him and at us. By the time we got her attention the boys were done smiling. Isn't that always the case. Oh well, the pictures aren't to bad for a free, unexpected meeting with Santa.

Please click HERE if you would like to see more pictures from this fun family night.

December 20, 2010

More of the littles

That's what I call Ben and Belle. On Tuesday's and Thursday mornings if Annabelle doesn't have any appointments they like to stay in their jammies and play until we pick Jack up from kindergarten. They are so very cute together!

She's a car girl, what can I say. Maybe she will get some "girl" toys from Santa

Someone sure loves her big brother!

December 10, 2010

A Christmas Miracle

That title may seem a bit over the top for some, but honestly that is what my heart feels tonight. We have been given an amazing gift today and we feel so very blessed.

In yesterday's mail I received a $4,800 bill from one of Annabelle's Dr.'s. Obviously, not exactly what you want to get two weeks before Christmas. It wasn't the bill itself that sent me into tears but the note on it that said our account had been sent to their attorney's for collection and that payment was due NOW. I knew we had large bills with this particular Dr., but I had been in communication with someone from the accounting dept. to try and get them taken care of. Our insurance company has paid VERY little (approximately 20%) on each of her six surgeries performed by this Dr. so I have been filing appeals with the insurance company to have the bills reviewed. Well, as you can imagine getting this bill stating due now and being told we were sent to collections was very scary. Branden and I have very good credit and we always strive to pay all our bills on time (even when we don't have the money). So, I called the office and left them an emotion-filled message asking (begging really, through my tear-filled voice) that they not send us to collections. I let them know that I have made payments and have also tried to arrange a payment plan for the balance on several other occasions. Those of you on Facebook saw that I was super distraught by this whole situation.

Well, I moved forward as best as I could with the night. Jack could see that I had been crying and his sweet little heart was sad about that. When I was cathing Annabelle I received a call, but couldn't answer it. It was the Dr.'s office saying that the woman I had been dealing with was no longer there and that she was sorry that her letter had upset me so much. She said that she was going to speak with her Manager in the morning and that she and I could work out the payment tomorrow (Friday). She assured me it would be okay. I felt a bit better but still stressed about paying $4,800 right now.

Well, today came and guess what - it IS going to be okay. That same lady called me back today and told me that the Dr.'s office is going to accept what has been paid and that they are going to WRITE OFF THE $4,800!!! Can you even believe it?? I was in shock - tears, tears and more tears. I scared poor Annabelle but I could not even control my emotions. I went down to the office and brought them cookies and brownies and lots of pictures of Annabelle. It was a major hugfest between myself and the Office Manager. She was so sweet and was so happy to see how big and adorable (her words) Annabelle had gotten. She assured me that the bill has been taken care of and then she wished me a Merry Christmas.

Now you tell me if this wasn't a Christmas Miracle.

Decorating the Christmas Tree

December 9, 2010

The many faces of Annabelle

There were just too many cute ones I couldn't choose~

December 8, 2010

Walker for the Weekend

On the Monday before Thanksgiving Branden went to PT with Annabelle so that I could be with Benjamin at his Thanksgiving Feast at preschool. When he came home he excitedly told me that Emi, Annabelle's therapist had sent the walker home with him for her to uses at home over the Thanksgiving holiday. I won't lie, I had mixed feeling about it. It's silly, I know but it just felt sort of weird to have it in our home. I guess it's easy to be "comfortable" with it when we are at PT exercising, but I wasn't totally ready to have it in our home or our everyday life.

Well, those feeling QUICKLY changed when I saw how excited Annabelle got when I put her in it for the first time that night. She was SO excited and I swear she practically ran (in the walker) across the living room floor. I didn't even have the camera out but I can assure you I will never forget how AWESOME she did and how very proud I felt. I sent Emi a text right then begging her to talk to Annabelle's Orthopedist about getting us a prescription so she could get her own.

I think being nervous or even fearful of her equipment (braces, walker, wheelchair, etc.) is natural and I am not embarrassed or ashamed to admit it. The truth is that it all really scares me but I know now that each new "thing" will become easier and feel more comfortable over time and honestly, the smile on Annabelle's face as she gains new freedoms from her equipment is all I need to see how wonderful this stuff is.

Here she is on Saturday, November 27th enjoying some time in the walker in our kitchen

Annabelle loves playing with the gears and magnets on the refrigerator. I normally push them all to the bottom so that she can reach them when laying on the floor. Today however she got to play standing up and she was loving it. Here's a short video of her playing.

I doubt that anyone would disagree that Annabelle's progress is a direct result of her amazing spirit, drive and can do attitude, but I think it's important to point out that I believe Annabelle's success is also due in part to her wonderful big brothers. They are always encouraging her through their words and their actions. They love her so much I can barely handle it. They know that I can't help out in their kindergarten or preschool classes as often as I (they) would like because she has PT on Monday's & Wednesday and OT on Fridays but they don't complain. They just ask at pick up "if it was a good session and if she worked hard". It warms my heart to know that they will always have each other ~ she's their flower.

As always, THANK YOU for taking the time to share in Annabelle's progress with us. We are so very proud of her!