Tuesday, April 30, 2013

April 2013

What an amazing April!  My mind goes straight to my amazing weekend in Washington DC with my Laurel May.  I don’t think I’ve ever had that much quality time and quality conversation packed into such a short amount of time.  I flew out on a Friday and returned on a Monday.  I was so happy to get a tiny glimpse of her DC life.  We ate exquisite food and drank delectable drinks the whole weekend.  I think gourmet food is officially ranked as my second most important love language right behind quality time.  We also got to prep and plant Laurie’s plot in a community garden she is part of.  I’ve always wanted to participate in a community garden and loved that she shared that with me.  We walked a lot and enjoyed fun little spots all around DC.  The cherry blossoms were blooming and the weather was perfect for all of our meandering.  I love, love, love my Laurel May and I cherish the time with her. 

Meanwhile, my gang of boys went camping with our Texas friends.  Caleb’s friend from robotics class, Lucas, came along so Caleb would have a friend.  I’m pretty sure that camping trip will be a big memory in both Caleb and Lucas’s minds when they reflect on their childhood!  Caleb is rarely as animated as he was driving to and from Dallas for the camping trip.  The boys were nonstop with their chatting and fun.  It made my mommy heart so happy to see.  They dropped me off at the Dallas airport and then continued on to their campgrounds.  The first night camping was just the Rusch family and the Hartshorns; that equals to 2 dads for the adults and 7 kids!  The next day the Ericksons and Hamiters joined in.  There was good rock climbing, but sadly, the lake was too cold to enjoy despite the hot weather.  The boys did manage to corner an armadillo for awhile.  After they picked me up on Monday from the airport, we took a detour at Dinosaur Valley State Park before heading home.  It was so neat!  There were actual preserved dinosaur tracks in the riverbed!  We were so excited that the water level and clarity allowed us to see the footprints.  They are not always visible.  The kids even got to put their feet in the tracks.  The river temperature was ideal and we all had a good swim.  It seemed like too much effort to go all the way back to the car after hiking down to the river, so we just swam in our clothes.  It was the best finale and really made the camping trip complete.
One weekend, we impulsively decided to try Frisbee golf out for the first time.  We had a lot of fun and can’t wait to go again.  It was a good mix of challenge, being outdoors, and family bonding.
The month started off with a trip to Houston.  We woke up at 5am to make it to Houston in time for Ben’s first appointment at 9am.  We were supposed to confirm Ben’s diagnosis of neurofibromatosis (NF1) at the eye specialist at this appointment, but complications came up with Ben's insurance, and we didn't get seen.  We were frustrated because we jumped through a lot of hoops to get the appointment and to get it on the same day as Ben’s other appt.  Additionally, Jon took work off to be there and it would be difficult to repeat everything.  We found ourselves with a few hours to ourselves, so   we headed for the Gulf Coast.  We explored an area new to us, the Kemah Boardwalk.  It was still closed for the morning, so we had the place all to ourselves.  We got to walk around the boardwalk and watch the seagulls diving for their breakfast.  We enjoyed our little family and the salty sea air.  It’s always so refreshing to gaze at the ocean.  We made it back in time for Ben’s next appointment at the pediatric dermatologist at the Houston Children’s Hospital.  We are so impressed with the whole hospital system.  It’s organized and efficient.  They have cared so well for us.  The final result is that Ben's skin spots have now been diagnosed as mastocytoma by the pediatric dermatologist.  It’s benign and the dermatologist believes that it has already peaked and should clear up on its own by puberty.  They drew blood to see if the spots are internal as well.  They were not, which is great, and avoids extra complications.  The dermatologist said we do not need to worry about it being NF1 and no further testing is required.  She wants to see Ben again in 6 months for a checkup.  Praise God!

Blessings on you and yours!

The Hartshorns