Endocrinology Update

Last week, we had our first appointment of the year! The kids have been very stable so I went with no expectations. They each gained a pound since their last visit, which was late October. They will be getting blood work done next week to check their thyroids, plus whatever labs the Nephrologist orders. Both kids have fallen off the growth chart again.  Since there has been no real progression in renal failure aiding the ability to do growth hormones, the Dr. thinks maybe it’s time to increase the dosage of their thyroid meds. The blood work will tell us if that is a viable option. The Dr.’s concern isn’t just that they are small but in time if they are not growing their brains can also not develop, and we obviously don’t want that. There is no apparent lack of brain development, as the Dr. kindly pointed out as the kids were chatting away, but it can happen over time. Otherwise, it was a good appointment. We don’t need to be seen again until the summer.

Next week, we have a Nephrology appointment, so we will see how that goes. I’m not really expecting too much since we haven’t had any new blood work done. Marseille should be up for an ultrasound. I am hoping that since Bentley just had one late last year, they won’t need another one, but that may be wishful thinking!

Enjoying their school lunches for date night :)
Enjoying their school lunches for date night :)

xo, nikki :)



Date Nights

Last night was the second date in my 52 week challenge. Check it out the date here at Romance on a Shoestring. While getting stuff ready for the date, I decided that I would make a little date for them too. They loved the idea. So each date that Danny and I have, they have a little date too. It will work out well since they help me set up the table, I can make a little extra for them. To keep costs down for our dates, I decided that I will cook the same dinner for us and the kids, we will just eat at different times. Yesterday’s date night worked out perfectly!

Our date was office themed, so I carried that over to the kids. They got paper airplanes, and a post it note with an encouraging note on it! They thought it was so much fun eating out of containers and off paper plates. You’d think they died and gone to heaven when they each got to eat a fancy cake.

A couple years ago, I read the book Practicing Hospitality by Pat Ennis and Lisa Tatlock. One of the chapters talks about showing hospitality to your family. It’s easy to get wrapped up in showing hospitality to others to the neglect of your own family.

If the Lord has given us a family, extending hospitality to our family is our first priority. Once we have established the ministry of hospitality within our family, we can include extended family members, friends, strangers, the needy, and the poor. Hospitality towards others then becomes a natural outworking or extension of what we are already practicing within our homes. p.74

Neglecting to extend hospitality to our family can discredit our witness. The testimony of a wife and mom who loves and serves her family is a powerful witness to a watching world; it is also something that separates a believing woman from the world. The manner in which we serve and love our family should reflect the transforming power of the gospel in our own life (2 Cor. 4:17-21). In other words, our love, dedication, and other biblical character attributes manifested toward our family are a testimony to the world of God’s powerful work in our lives. p75

Treat your family “as good as guests.” Often we treat our guests better than our family. Establishing the habit of treating our family as we would a guest will assist us in communicating our love to our family. Extending hospitality to our family allows them to reap the same blessings our guests receive in our home. Also, modeling for our children how to honor guests– they learn by example. Treating our family as guests also reinforces the concept of family first. p80

I asked Bentley, “Why do Mommy and Daddy have dates?”

Bentley said, “Because you love each other. And we (Bentley and Marseille) have dates because we love each other!

I’m not adding this on to my plate out of being fair or guilt. Because Mommy and Daddy are having dates, the kids need a date too. I’m doing it to show them hospitality and hopefully giving them an example of creativity and love. The kids enjoy helping me set up, what Bentley calls, “date nights on the table” for Danny. They think it’s so special eating at the counter by themselves for dinner. The point of date nights is relationship and memories, so I’m more than happy to spend a little extra time setting up a date for them.

Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her; “Many woman have done excellently, but you surpass them all.” Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Give her the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the gates. – Proverbs 31:28-31

Hospitality looks different for every family! Don’t compare! Just love on your family with your talents! They will reap the fruit of your hands and your love!

xo, nikki :)

Valentine’s Day 2013

This Valentine’s Day was the best one that I have ever had! Even the kids had fun! We celebrated Valentine’s Day Eve as a family. We had gyros to begin Danny and I’s GYRO’s 14 dates of Valentine’s (not sure what I am talking about check it out here at the Romantic Vineyard) I recently found a gyro kit at Aldi, it’s pretty authentic and everyone likes it, so it’s a winner. Anyway, we had the Valentine’s Day Eve because Danny and I were going to have a Date Night In on Valentine’s but I wanted the kids to have a special dinner with us too.

On Valentine’s Day, the kids had heart shaped toast, fruit and some leftover popcorn (they get excited about leftover popcorn) for breakfast. For lunch, the kids had heart shaped pb and honey sandwich bites and veggie straws and some fruit.

Together the kids and I made Valentine’s cards for each other with glitter… it went better than expected! The kids also helped me decorate the table for Daddy and Mommy’s date. Marseille thought it was really exciting, she actually prayed that we would have a “good date at the table.” Before they took their nap, we made rice crispy treats for dessert. That turned into a science lesson about states of matter: solids, liquids and gas (which the kids thought was hilarious… we’re in trouble!).

During their nap, I set up a special table for them. I even put flowers and candles for their fancy dinner. After setting up their table, I finished the prepping for our at home date. That involved picking out my clothes, since we were having a themed dinner.

Around 5:30pm, I fed the kiddos. They ate Sausage, Peppers and Onions with pasta and a heart-y salad. They loved the rolls and the rice crispy treats.  While they were eating, Bentley said, “This is the best day that I have ever had! The fancy dinner was a success!

After Danny came home and got cleaned up, we exchanged some small gifts and got Bentley and Marseille ready for bed. (On a side note, and to point out God’s grace in my life, just as Danny walked through the door, Marseille had an accident in the bathroom. Rather than, like last week, get angry that cleaning pee off the floor was not in my plans and it was going to waste time, I took a deep breath, prayed, and told myself it was not a big deal and that we would still eat tonight. So, quickly, I cleaned her and the mess up and that was that! Thank you, Lord for grace!)

After the kids went to bed, Danny and I fixed our dinner of filet mignon and scallops, with roasted asparagus, heart-y salad and rolls. We quickly got dressed up for the Phantom of the Opera themed night. The soundtrack to Phantom of the Opera serenaded us as ate our delicious meal! It was a great night!

Hope you had fun celebrating Valentine’s Day with your loved ones too!

xo, nikki :)

A New Challenge

In light of Valentine’s Day, my friends at The Romantic Vineyard are having a challenge!

Check out the challenge here:

I was definitely up for it because this is an area that I really lacked in last year. As my ideas for the date nights expanded past the challenge, I decided to make another blog devoted to the date nights.

So, let me introduce you to: Romance on a Shoestring.

On this blog, I will be explaining my ideas, sharing photos, recipes and my sources. I want to inspire creative in home dates that don’t seem cheesy because of trying to save money.

Feel free to check it out!

xo, nikki :)

PS- Don’t worry, I won’t let this new blog take me away from posting regularly on this blog!

Project 52: Date Nights

I began to plan our date nights at the beginning of January, and while collecting ideas on the Romantic Vineyard I came across a post for Project 52. Check it out! We are so excited about our 52 date nights this year. This is what we have in store. It’s fun planning dates on a tight budget.

We have dates pick out for each week of the month. Thursday is our date night, but we think we might be switching it to Saturday because Danny doesn’t run the risk of being late!

Week 1: Cozy Coffee Shop — decaf coffee and books what could be more romantic!
Week 2: ABC Date — this is our only date out and it’s themed to a letter of the alphabet
Week 3: Game Night or Movie Night
Week 4: World Travelers — this night will be themed to a destination: food, music, and looking through books about set country.

So… Janurary’s dates:
Week 1: Planning dates together
Week 2: A — We went to Atlanta Bread to eat, then played Arcade gamed and Air Hockey at Frankie’s Fun Park.
Week 3: Movie Night — I believe we watched Iron Man
Week 4: United States– We were in FL so we walked around Winter Park’s Park Ave and ate Ice Cream!

February’s Dates:
Week 1: We read Don’t Waste Your Life… by John Piper because we don’t have a fictional piece to go through yet! Don’t Waste Your Life isn’t a monthly read!
Week 2: B — Burgers, then get a Book at Barnes and Noble, go to Bath and Body Works for lotion for a Back Massage! Who doesn’t love a good excuse for a back massage!
Week 3: Card games – Phase 10 and a couple other new ones that we got!
Week 4: Canada — Celebrate the Olympics! I’m a huge fan of the Olympics!


Cool Koi Pond down one of the allies to a really fancy restaurant!

Project 52: Date Nights logo