Thursday, December 31, 2009

Christmas with the Troops

I hope everyone had a very Blessed Christmas celebrating the Love of Christ with those who are dear to you.

We had a very relaxing Christmas Eve as a family. Traditionally we go to church Christmas Eve. There is something special about celebrating in church, in the evening by the glow of candlelight. This year our plans changed because Christian was invited to Acolyte on Christmas day.

Christmas Eve was slow paced and lovely. We baked cookies, played games, laughed, joked and delivered goodies to our neighbors. The weather was rough with ice and then snow. We were definitley having a white dreaming here. Ron and I were in bed before midnight! A first for a Christmas Eve.

I was up before everyone on Christmas morning. I noticed how cold it felt in the house. The thermostat was set at 73 but the temperature read 64 falling. Brrrrrr.... Lucey was not happy when she woke up...she was cold and cranky....this old house is not insulated properly. Ron called a work order. There were many emergencies on post due to the bad weather so we had to wait our turn. We were all dressed and ready to go to church when Pastor M. called to let us know he was cancelling service....the conditions on the streets and in the parking lot were not good. We learned later there were road closings on post. The services scheduled on post were also cancelled.

Plan B-- Ron put together a beautiful Christmas service in our home and we all participated. We loved it so much that we will incorporate this into our Christmas traditions (along with going to church).

The maintenance man finally arrived at 12:00 kind of looking like an old scruffy Santa. It was funny! We were opening gifts when he arrived. We were waiting for Lucey to say, "Sampa Sauce." I say this respectfully....he was working hard on Christmas Day....but wow....he was one, very smelly man. His scent lingered in our home for a bit. But at least we were finally toasty! We offered him cookies and off he went to the next emergency.

We spent our day rejoicing in all the blessings the Lord has given us this year....especially the gift of Lucey. Every one agreed that this was the best Christmas ever because of her.

We thank everyone for all the support, love and prayers and especially your love for Lucey...the journey was long and tedious at times but we always felt the Lord's presence during the wait to bring her home to us.

Much love---The Tucker Troops (Click on the "play" button to view our Christmas photos.)

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas From Our Home to Yours

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called--Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Peace and love to you--- The Tucker Troops
Isaiah 9:6

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

This Week Keeps Getting Better

On Monday, the boys and I went to see Santa with Lucey. We had so much fun. Here we are waiting in line. Lucey was so patient. She could see "Sampa Sauce" through the greenery. We were trying to talk it up a lot.

Christian and Lucey

Lucey is kicking back and enjoying the wait with the 4 of us hovering over her.
I took my camera and intended to take a picture of Lucey with Santa but she was reserved. The boys and I sat in the picture with her and we bought the photo they were selling. I wish I could scan the photo for you to see but it's not hooked up. Lucey sat on my lap for the picture. Santa was sweet and asked the boys what they want for has been many years since they have done this ritual....I think they secretly had fun playing along.

This tree is huge and more photo before we shop. Adam took the boys out for dinner and they went their merry way. Lucey and I did our own shopping before we linked back up with the guys. We laughed so much that night. Adam was doing impressions of Jimmy Stewart and some of the other characters from, "It's A Wonderful Life." I had no idea he knew every line to the movie. We got home so late. Lucey was such a trooper.

This Morning...

I slept until almost 8:00. Wow...what a wonderful treat for me! Lucey did not get up until after 8:00. Ron was still home so he went to get her when she woke up. I had no idea they have their little routine every morning and every night.....they have tea together. This morning they invited me. Lucey is pouring tea for me.

We are "chinging" our tea cups...their little ritual before they take a sip.

Sipping tea with Daddy.

Big hugs for Daddy. It is really precious to watch Ron and Lucey together.

Monday, December 21, 2009

A Recipe For Fun

Ron worked on Sunday...he was on the field at the Kansas City Chief's game with the new recruits. Adam was more than happy to go with his Dad...

1. To spend some much needed time together.
2. To be on the field during half time with his Dad as he gave the oath to new always makes Adam proud.
3. To be up in the suite feeling just a wee be special.

There was a bonus yesterday...David Cook, (just in case you don't recognize the name...he was season 7 winner of American Idol) who lives in Kansas City, sang the National Anthem. After he was done....he walked over to Ron to shake his hand and he was more than happy to take a picture with Adam.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Let's Celebrate!

I feel like a weight has been lifted. There is still quite a bit to do but it's all the fun stuff. A few more gifts to purchase and presents to wrap. I can go shopping and enjoy myself and wrap at my leisure. School is out for the boys and all 3 ended strong.
This was Friday morning and Adam was off to take his last Final. He was concerned since it was a tough class for him...Algebra II. He received a B on his final! "Way to go Adam! "You worked hard for that." He had a few teacher gifts to deliver so he decided to wear an old Santa hat to school.

I'm going to brag a little....Adam received the highest grade in the school on is college history exam....98.3%. He called me after his exam and said, "I owned that test!." I believe he did. His teacher gave him a well deserved pat on the back.
A wife of one of Ron's Soldier's put together this beautiful box of goodies for our family. It is such a lovely presentation and she made all the goodies that were inside. A lot of time and energy was spent in the kitchen, I can tell...Thank you so much! We are enjoying every single morsel.

We had the pleasure of having our dear friend's, The Coleman's, come for a visit yesterday. Shea and I go back 11 years when life seemed a bit more simple. Our back yards met...the guys took the fence down between our homes so we could run back and forth. Andrew and Christian were only 6 months old when we became neighbors. She helped me a lot in those days. We laughed a lot. We have moved so many times since then and they have too. It was so great to snuggle in with their family. They brought one of their furry friends too....Hershey.

Andy and Ron are having quite the conversation....animation and all. They always pick up where they left off. They have an ongoing rivalry....Andy is a die-hard KU fan and Ron is a die-hard Mizzou fan. Andy must be reliving some play of some game. :-)

Shea always comes with bags or boxes full of gifts. She is such a generous person and I do believe this must be her love language. She has great taste...I'm such a lucky girl! She brought me the most beautiful plaid tafetta dress made by a well known fit me perfect and I can't wait to wear it out on the town. Thank you, Shea! Isn't this navity for Lucey just darling.

Lucey is modeling one of the sweaters from's adorable!

Lucey is wearing the most precious sweater dress (also by the same designer as my new dress) fits her perfect.

The guys! When the boys were little, Shea and I would drive to the beach together every summer. We would load up all the kids and hit the road in her minivan. We had so much fun on those trips. The boys have grown so much. The three eldest are men.
Thank you for spending the day with us. It was like old times. The laughter was the best part!

Friday, December 18, 2009

A Little Christmas Decor

I'm finally getting our home decorated for Christmas. It seems it has taken me so much longer this's been a process. I love this time of year so today, I'm just fine with how long it has taken me to get things in place. Ron, The boys, and Lucey are my true treasures and they have needed attention. The rest will fall into place.

My favorite store, Nell Hill's, is a place I'm able to stop into frequently since Adam goes to school right down the street. A few days ago, after I picked Adam up, I ran in to see if there were any good deals and I spied this beautiful glass, etched jar. It was a great deal. With the glass looks so festive.

I do love glass ornaments and use them here in my bubbled glass bowl.

This year we picked out a Fraser Fir. It's so perfect that guests have asked if it was real. The boys love to decorate the tree and they absolutely love all the ornaments that tell a story.

We have a traditional star on the top of our tree. I love the reminds me of how much we are loved by our Lord. It represent the star that the wise men followed to see Baby Jesus. It represents the hope of mankind.

The ornaments that tell a story...we have a lot of photos on our tree. My Mom does the same and I have taken on that same tradition. I just love looking at photos from the past. They are so special and they tug at my heart. This family photo was taken as we were leaving behind Ft. Campbell. A time in our lives when we had to be strong....those three years were spent in pre-deployment, a year long absence from Ron while he served in Iraq and post deployment. They were three long years filled with tangible blessings. There are several "military" ornaments that H*llmark made. My kids are crazy about these. "Soldier Santa" repelling, The Humvee Santa that I wrote Ron's call number on....we have many like these.

We have traditional glass balls and ribbon. Boy, our tree is very eclectic.

"Our stockings were hung by the chimney with care".....oh yea, we don't have a fireplace. As you know, I'm struggling a bit with this house. My Dad made this mantle shelf one year and I'm using it to hang our stockings on....and we have 6 this year! Wonderful!

Andrew and Christian made these darling Santa's in art class this year. They are so precious! I have found the perfect spot to display them. I think they are quite good.

Lucey has not had a proper nap this week. Poor little thing has been dragged all over the place catching a few winks here and there. This day....she is tired! When she puts her arm behind her head this means she is really tired. (I love that she has her little clues and I know what they are!) I DVR'd Dora and that is what she is watching as I snapped this photo.

I think she could drift off at any moment.
Today we were in Andrew and Christian's class for their Christmas party. Lucey loves being with the kids and all the kids come running over when they see Lucey. Especially the girls. They all tell her how adorable she is. No one ever points out her deformity....I just love that about A and C's class. It's a precious little class of 16 kids. We had a sweet time this afternoon. I was the Mom who brought the grapes....there needed to be a little healthy mixed with a little junk.

To St. Louis and Back in 24 Hours

I had an easy drive to St. Louis and Lucey was a perfect angel. I decided against bringing a movie for her to watch hoping I would not regret it. She did great entertaining herself. Thank you for your prayers; I could feel them.

I was up at 5:00 getting organized and getting the three boys out the door. On Monday's, everyone has a different depart time. This being the last week of school, it has been hectic with midterms, projects and papers and Christmas parties. My drive started with freezing drizzle. The temperatures warmed as I drove across the state (It was 19 when I started--it was almost 60 in St. Louis). My first stop, Mom and Dad's. I picked up Mom and we headed for the mall to meet my girlfriends and their kiddos. I have known my sweet friends for all long time...Renee, since Junior high and Jeanne, since Sophomore year in High School. It really is so neat that we all have little ones close to the same age. Without sharing our ages...we are on the older side of Mammahood. I can't tell! :-)

Maybe it's because I come from good genes! My Mom looks very young for her age. Lucey and Nana have a special bond.

Lucey needed some time to stretch her legs after that long drive. The girls look like stair steps. Ian is taking a little rest.

The kiddos saw Santa. As Lucey would say... "Sampa Sauce." Renee's kiddos sat right on his lap with no problem. Lucey stood beside him pointing out the colors. "Red," "White" and so on....she did not want to sit on his lap. She is very hesitant around people she does not know.
The trip to the dentist went as I thought it would....she screamed through the entire exam. It was heart breaking. This trip was for a second opinion. I was told by the first dentist that Lucey has an injured front tooth and root. That's not a problem since there is no abscess. I was also told that she has two cavities. In order to fill the cavities, we would need to book an operating room and she would have to be sedated. That's complicated by the hole in her heart. We don't know the true size of her hole because she cried and wiggled through her heart ECHO (ultra sound). We would have to pay out of pocket for the O.R. and Anesthesiologist etc....I became overwhelmed so I chose to take Lucey back to where her Craniofacial team is--St. Louis. The dentist was so sweet and loving with Lucey. He confirmed my "Mom Intuition" that Lucey does not have cavities. I am upset that the first dentist, with a laser tool said her cavities were deep. There is something about that man that I did not trust...he was also so rough with Lucey and made her lip bleed. I have to stop.... I can't go there with my thoughts right now....I'm grateful that Lucey does not have cavities or that they are small and no need to worry about them right now. I'm grateful that we can slow down. After hearing about the cavities from dentist one....I started thinking that we needed to gather her team so when she is sedated she can have that ECHO, CT Scan, her lip repaired (her upper and lower lip do not meet on her right side) and possibly her ear remnant removed. We would need to make decisions that we are not ready to make yet. Dentist #2 told us to come back in May when we are there for her team appointent (when Lucey sees all her specialists) and he will check her teeth again. He was so compassionate. That is exactly why we are keeping her health care there in St. Louis. We will continue to move but Lucey's care will remain in St. Louis.
Again, thank you for the prayers. I feel like a heavy burden has been lifted off my shoulders. I'm working on the anger I have towards dentist #1.
After Lucey's appointment, Mom and I spent some time in the car was dark and rush hour traffic. I dropped Mom off said hello to Dad and Sammy and then it was off to my sisters. I passed up her exit so I spent more time in the car going way out of my way..turning around....etc....I did not get to her place until 7:00. Thankfully my little nephew was still awake and he and Lucey had about 45 min. of play time. They were so cute together...again, another blessing for me. My sister and I have children the same age. At our ages! :-) They are early risers so we were up before the sun...the kiddos played some more before I had to hit the road at 8:00 a.m. We had a great trip home.
I'm thanking the Lord for all the blessings....

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Pictures That Made The Cut

Prayer Request: Lucey and I leave bright and early tomorrow morning for Children's Hospital in St. Louis. Please pray for our safety and for the details of our visit to go smoothly. I'll explain more about Lucey's appointment in my next entry. I'll be home Tuesday afternoon.

To my friends...those of you I'm meeting tomorrow for lunch...the bunch of you....I'm so excited! I'm very much looking forward to some girl time (and Ian...the only little guy).

I also get to see Mom and Dad and see my sister and her little family. Lot's to look forward to in the midst of some craziness.

I'm not the best photographer but I do love these pictures....

Christmas Card Photo Shoot--

This was quick and fun and the kids were super cooperative. I snapped away until I got the best shot or should I say, a good enough shot. It's's not perfect and neither are we. The One we celebrate on the 25th Is Perfect and that's enough for me....enjoy!

Friday, December 11, 2009

School Days

I don't believe I have posted a picture of Adam in his school uniform. As he was going out the door I was behind him reminding him to tuck in his shirt. I know, such a Mom----oh brother! I'm sure if he doesn't, he will be reminded by the head mistress. The back of Adam's shirt was untucked a few months ago and SHE told him to see her after school to be written up for a detention. Adam slid by without one but still....rules are rules, Adam. Yesterday at school he was handed a can of shaving cream and a razor...yep...too much facial hair (Adam is so proud of his thick beard). He shares his stories with so much humor and he is so good natured. We all get a kick out of Adam. Gee....if that's the worst of his infractions...he will be okay.

I wonder if it's okay to have the sleeves rolled up like that? Hmmmmm...better get out the handbook.
Lucey wanted to be in a picture. The big purse and all.

Loving Adam.....

Adam gets such a kick out of Lucey....they are so sweet together.

Even Max has a big heart and concern for Lucey. He barks and sometimes scares other little ones because he does not do well with children running around our home. But Lucey can run, jump, screech, tug, pull, hug, and kiss Max and he just let's her do what she wants to him. If she is crying in her crib, Max lays in front of her bedroom door until we arrive. He is a sweet old dog.
Maxed was groomed yesterday by a new lady. I was informed that he was given a special herbal essential oil massage treatment since she knew he was getting older. His coat was so soft and he smelled wonderful. You know, I could really use one of those!