Behind the pool and by the ball fields in town we would always see people riding their bikes and running on what appeared to be a trail. One afternoon last week, I loaded up all the bikes in the truck and the kids and I went to check it out while Aaron was at work. We found an AWESOME place to ride our bikes, walk and run!
I’m always looking for new places to take the kids and this place is about a mile or two outside of Shen. You can camp, fish, walk on the grass trails, whatever… We walked for awhile, then got the kids’ bikes out and then attempted to skip rocks. Blake is the big winner – 5 times!
Bowen is an interesting kiddo. Compared to the other two boys, he could honestly be the least concerned about watching, practicing and being ultra competitive about baseball. That being said, he is so super athletic and during games he totally has it dialed in. Look at that swing! Making this mama proud.
And my little lefty. FINALLY, ya’ll. Blake lives and breathes baseball. He loves, loves, loves it!
Brody was watching a you tube video about pop-up slides and Bowen just goes out there and almost has it down. I’m all like, you’re six. Why are you already sliding better than I ever did?!
Blake’s dream is to be a catcher. Um, no. Blake…you are left-handed. Blake…you also have one kidney and I don’t need you getting bowled over at the plate. Thankfully, t-ball lets him live out that dream. Also, can you see his mouth is open? He’s always yammering away about where the ball needs to go.
I’ve never had my kids play together before in an actual game and let me tell you, it was super cool. You can tell they play with each other at home and there’s an intuition there between them that you don’t see elsewhere. Yes, I know that sounds crazy because they’re six and it’s t-ball, but you have to trust me on this. I absolutely cannot wait to see what the future holds for these two and I hope they continue to have fun together!!
Bowen is a long jumper. Yes, yes, I know he’s only six, but I’m placing my bets now. He got up there and killed it. He had great form and the eighth graders who were working were like, “Whoa. That was a really good jump!” I love these pics I got of him soaring through the air.
The twins started t-ball! Six years in the making and lots of older siblings’ games and it is finally their turn. Burdorf and Burdorf are doing awesome.
Aaron had his final presentation about leadership for a couple of professors from UNI. He compared leadership to a kidney and it was a very well thought out, emotional, personal presentation. I was impressed and teary! I’m so proud of him for reaching this goal! Seven years in the making and having to put it on the back burner to put family first. We celebrated with a date night at the Big Steer in Altoona.
Jenna’s TAG project on Mars. Yes, I know she looks 16 and I’m not ok with that.
Poor Mr. Blake has been fighting impetigo three times!!! Ugh. I don’t know if it’s his immunosupression or if it’s just that hard to get rid of, but we’re ready to be done with it.
With Aaron’s new job, he umpired seven games at the end of May and then cancelled the rest of his season. One super cool thing he got to do was umpire the West Marshall game when they played at Duane Banks Field at the University of Iowa. Go Hawks! We all headed down to cheer for the Trojans and the umpire! 😉
I’m sure the pitcher has good form, but I like looking at that professional looking guy in blue behind him! haha.
After the game we got to take pics on the field and Brody was stoked to get a foul ball.
This one is hard. The last day of school. Our last day at West Marshall. I get teary thinking about how many wonderful people there are in this school district that have been so good to my kids and our entire family. West Marshall has set the bar high for Shenandoah. Thank you, thank you to you all who have impacted my kids, my husband and our entire family.
The night after school got out was also the first farmer’s market of the season. You may not know this about me, but I love farmer’s markets! They are my summertime fave. They had the life flight helicopter on-hand and we asked a million questions, of course.
Our local firefighters are awesome. Seriously. They let the kids try on the gear and Fire Captain Blake was ready for anything!
HUGE homemade bubbles, anyone?! These were crazy cool. Brody and Jenna totally got the hang of it.
Look at that thing! It was pretty messy when it popped though.
This is what I want to be doing all summer, but alas, packing calls. We spent a couple days acquainting ourselves with our new community and framing out a bedroom in our new place for Jenna. I prefer reading and popsicles, but there’s so much to do before our move on June 24th!
I wanted to let you know that we need some prayers for Mr. Blake. Last week, he was supposed to have his monthly lab draw. For those of you unfamiliar, he still has his port up by his left collar bone that the nurse has to access each time. Last Tuesday when we tried she got a pull back of blood and then it stopped. She manipulated the needle, got a pull back of blood and then it stopped.
We tried another needle and we couldn’t get any blood. After that, we were out of needles and had to wait for another shipment from Iowa City.
This port has been with us since 2013, which is super awesome. It also makes me scared that it has finally crapped out on us.
We have repeat labs to try again tomorrow (Tuesday) morning. If you would, please pray and think positive thoughts that it works. If it doesn’t we’ll be heading to the hospital locally to get some blood thinning stuff put through the port to check and see if it’s clotted. If that doesn’t work, I’m assuming we’ll be headed to Iowa City, which nobody wants to do.
Thank you all in advance and I will keep you posted!
I’m going to steal a line from my husband when I say that I have mixed emotions writing this. I can officially announce that Aaron accepted a job offer with the Shenandoah School District, so our family is moving to Southwest Iowa. This is something that is incredibly bittersweet for our entire family.
While it has always been the plan for Aaron to finish his masters and get a job as an administrator, it is crazy to think about we are finally where we had always planned to be. When we moved to State Center, we initially planned to stay for 4-5 years. Now, with plans that were put on hold after we had the twins, it’s 12 years later!
Aaron’s official position is full-time Activities Director (AD), with other assistant principal/admin duties as assigned. He starts July 1st, so we will be heading down at the end of June. I can’t say enough what a happy and proud wife I am right now. He is going to rock it at that position, it is totally in his wheel house. I can’t wait to see what great things he does!
The entire family went down to Shenandoah a day over spring break to tour the school and town. Everybody was very welcoming and ready to help us in whatever way they can, which was a huge comfort!
As for me, I will still be working remotely, at least for awhile, at the paper here in State Center. It will be similar to what I did when Blake was in the hospital. I will look for something in Shenandoah once school starts and everybody gets settled.
We are looking at this as a new adventure for our family. It’s a part of the state we know absolutely nothing about, so we will learn a lot of new things. The kids are taking things in stride, as kids do. Their biggest thing is to just know somebody that first day of school, which is to be expected. The school district is comparable to where we are now, it’s just one big town instead of five small ones.
Lots of changes in the upcoming months! We are attacking this like we have many other big things in our life – with a positive attitude. 🙂
I haven’t talked a lot about Blake in my column lately and how he’s doing because there hasn’t been much to say. A good problem for sure!
Last week Blake had labs on Wednesday here at home and the results were mostly good except his kidney function numbers went up (that’s bad) for the second month in a row. When I say they went up, it wasn’t by a lot. That being said, my mind works into overdrive that it’s trending in the wrong direction and that he’s going to have to have surgery and we’re going to have to start cathing him again, etc., etc, etc. Yes, I know I have an overactive mind. It’s not my best quality.
Blake had his six month check-up in Iowa City last Friday. On the docket for the day was an ECHO for his heart (done yearly and standard transplant procedure), an ultrasound on his kidney and bladder (done every sixth months and standard procedure) and consults with the urologist and nephrologist (kidney) doctors. Aaron teases me that I’m “Miss Expert” at the ultrasounds for his kidney and bladder. I can’t help it. He’s had so many and I can generally tell when something is wrong. He texted me afterwards and asked how I thought things looked. I told him it didn’t look like a ton of fluid around his kidney (great news), but there was a weird floaty thing in his bladder that I had never seen before. I was kind of puzzled. I think Aaron was doubting me.
After the ultrasound we met with urology in which Dr. Storm said, “kidney looks stable, but there was this strange thing in his bladder that we aren’t really sure what it is.” While I’m not happy I was right, I kind of did feel like a semi-expert at that point. Long story short – the doctor had a couple of theories, but no definitive answers as to what it was. He said we could open him up, but nobody wanted to open that can of worms since it appears to not be doing any harm. We’re just going to keep an eye on it.
Dr. Jetton, our kidney doctor, was really happy with how Blake is doing. The two best parts of that appointment were that she said we would shoot for the summer to get his g-tube (feeding tube) out of his stomach and she knocked two more meds off of his daily list. At the worst of things we were at 20 plus, so to be down to five meds just twice a day is so, so great!
It’s funny how some things change and some things stay the same. I was hit with that hospital smell as soon as I walked in, along with the hustle and bustle of people heading to and from appointments. The tired, stressed out looks on family member’s faces was all too familiar. On the other hand, I have a five (almost six) year old, who hops up to get his blood pressure taken, who doesn’t need anesthesia for his ECHO, can hold still during his ultrasound and can answer on his own the questions he was asked by doctors and nurses. I was reminded how much I have to be grateful for with those good reports, especially with all the sickness I was confronted with. I was also reminded to never take a single good day for granted, but
that’s just the way I see it.
Friday we got to Adam and Jill’s just in time to see the Huskers get beat in their bowl game. HOLLA!! Sorrynotsorry Husker fans. 😉 Nothing goes better with games than game day food. Yum!
Saturday was our “official” Christmas. We opened gifts. The Burdorf tradition is one at a time, even the kids and they stick to it. 😉
Miss Sass was super happy to get these new boots. Not only are they cute, but they added another couple of inches to her already ever-growing self.
Adam and Jill were pretty excited to give Aaron his gift. It was a framed photo from the front page of the Chicago Tribune the day after the Cubs won the World Series. So cool!
I made Grandma Linda an updated photo collage (see below) of her grandkids. I think she liked it! The one hanging up in her house doesn’t include Noah or Claire. I was pretty happy with how it turned out.
Grandpa Frank travels a lot for his job, so we thought he needed a new jumbo travel mug.
We played some Skipbo and even put together a 300 piece puzzle. This is big because I actually hate puzzles because I have zero patience, but the four oldest and I did it together!
That wraps up our holiday season. It was definitely a blessed one. We are so grateful for our family!