Ground Breaking Breakthroughs

20140520-204340.jpg
Last November, when we started to get the fundraising going, it seemed like the groundbreaking for the new playground was so far off. Sometimes I can’t believe it, but now if I need a reminder, all I have to do is drive to the East Bank Bridge Park. Last weekend, the old equipment was removed, and dirt was brought in. Equipment should be delivered next week, and the community build begins June 2nd. I’m so proud of this community for supporting us and supporting this project.

Not only has there been a ground breaking at the playground site, there has also been a breakthrough at home. Today, like every other, we placed Rush next to Benjamin for some brotherly bonding. All previous attempts haven’t been too successful, and I can’t say I blame Benjamin. Rush has been quite a fussy little guy. He was fussy enough for me to have him checked out by the doctor, and at home we frequently hear Lennon say “oh my gosh!” and Isla say “Momma, feed him.” With no answer other than an extremity sensitive stomach, it looks like things might finally be looking up. (I sadly had to give up caffeine)

Lowering Rush close to Benjamin, I touched Rush’s lips to Benjamin’s head as if he was kissing him. This is nothing new, but not once has Benjamin had a positive reaction. He has even cried over this gesture before. After doing this a few times, I held Rush next to Benjamin, and Benjamin started to click his tongue. (This is how he shows kisses since he can’t smack his lips consistently.) After “kissing” at Rush a few times, he dropped his glasses (the glasses actually belong to his nurse, but he LOVES them) and reached for the ones on her face. He then took them off and went to hand them to Rush. He not only did this once, but twice. 🙂 This is a huge deal, much bigger than just a pair of glasses. Benjamin takes everyone’s glasses, if he drops them and you don’t return them, he cries, and he definitely doesn’t share them. He usually has at least two in his hands, which means his nurse has to bring at least three pairs a day so she can see to work. I was shocked and excited. I guess Benjamin has realized Rush isn’t going anywhere, so they might as well get along. Benjamin is going to be such a great big brother, and Rush will be his “little Buddy.” 🙂

20140520-205108.jpg

20140521-174317.jpg

Preparing for the Final Chapter…

So much is happening for our family that I can’t figure out if I am scared, excited, nervous, or anxious and I guess most of the time I am all of the above. We are preparing to finish the final chapter of our lives here in South Louisiana and excited to start the first chapter of the Sirmon sequel in North Louisiana.

First of all, we are so excited about the playground. The check for the equipment was written last week, and the scheduled day to start building is June 2. We are doing a community build and looking for groups of volunteers. June 2-4, the playground will be assembled, followed by the concrete the next week, and the pour-in-play the next. I can’t believe we were able to raise the money for the playground in 5 months. I guess I shouldn’t have expected anything less from this community.

Unfortunately, soon after the playground is built, we will be leaving Luling. I am so glad we were able to have a hand in creating such a wonderful place, but sad we won’t be able to enjoy it as often as we would have liked. It is amazing how God’s timing couldn’t be more perfect though. We are so happy that we will be able to see the playground completed before we leave.

This past January, we made a big decision to move to Monroe, Louisiana. KC was presented with a great opportunity, and we decided that it would be a great move for our family. Moving a family is never easy, but moving our family is a little more difficult. This is where the anxiety began. After calls, emails, and research, with the help of a very supportive orthopedic group, we think we have worked out Benjamin’s new healthcare team. I know the transition will be tough, but we will be ready to handle it.

The girls are signed up and ready for their new school. Isla and Lennon visited every classroom during their tour, and Isla made sure to stop and play with all the toys. Both girls give it their stamp of approval.

Last weekend we drove to Monroe (all 6 of us) to look for a place to rent. After much discussion, we decided to rent until we had the time to look for houses. Just as we always know God’s plan doesn’t always match ours, we actually found a place to buy on our way out of town. The house couldn’t be more perfect. It’s less than two years old, in a caul de sac, enough rooms for everyone, and a garage space large enough to open Benjamin’s ramp. It’s just big enough for all of us, and small enough where I can easily keep tabs on all these kiddos. God definitely influenced this builder to create a home specific to our needs. 🙂 If everything runs smoothly, we will close mid-June.

Last weekend during our visit, we found out more great news…a handicap accessible playground is being built in West Monroe. We are so excited to not only to have a place for Benjamin, Lennon, Isla, and Rush to play, but even more excited that the idea that playgrounds should include all children is spreading.

At home, things are crazy, busy, and wonderful. Benjamin is still not too sure of Rush, Lennon is busy making baby beds out of boxes (maybe she will make furniture), and occasionally Isla makes it to Rush’s bedside in the middle of the night before I do. :). We must be managing pretty well because Lennon decided last night that she needed many more brothers and sisters. 🙂

20140509-231617.jpg

20140509-231644.jpg