Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Dave and Pam's Story

To keep everyone updated on how my brother-in-law is doing, we've created a blog for them. I've also put a link to it on my sidebar. Please keep them in prayer, they desperately need it!

We are still working on the blog to get it all updated so it's a work in progress. To check it out:

CPR Class

Last week, the two older kids had a CPR class. I thought that would be a great idea since they are getting to the age that I am able to use them for babysitting the younger ones. This whole concept of leaving them alone was a new change for me. I can't believe that they are already that old. Then, I'll have conversation with them and it's very evident that they are. They have minds of their own! I've known this since they were younger than two but when one has half an inch before I'll be needing to start looking up to talk to him, that change is staring you in the face.

There was a lady in our homeschool group that use to have her license in CPR training but has let it lapse. She was willing to give the class but the kids aren't certified. Really, I just wanted them to have the information and the knowledge to know what to do should something awful happen when I'm not there.

She was great with the kids. They enjoyed her class and it was very interactive which was wonderful for a hand's on learning experience. Mrs. Cathy was a great sport at being one of the victim's. Her son worked with her and we all had some fun watching it!

The kids learned so many things and I am relieved that they are familiar with what to do. I was concerned about Grace to begin with. She freaks out everytime something happens. Her way of dealing with it is to run in her bedroom and hide. Not a good way to deal with an emergency situation.

A few years ago, we had a few traumatic things happen like my husband getting bit by the neighbors dog with lots of blood, then Aaron who was eight months old (at the time) fall down the stairs hitting his head on the GFCI again with lots of blood, and our three year old (at the time) eating what he thought was candy when it really was some of my mother's medicine. Hopefully, with some extra assurance on what to do in those situations, I'm hopeful they will be able to apply what they learned.

The kids had fun rolling each other on the floor so they wouldn't choke should the victim throw up, they were shown how to create a sling for a broken arm, given instruction on how to never pull an embedded object out of someone, choking and all about snake venom.

When the class was over, I was informed that if Grace was my help in time of need, I'm a gonner.....should I be worried????

Monday, April 28, 2008

It's Time To Order

This is the month I get lots of catalogs. Homeschooling catalogs, that is. It's time to start thinking about purchasing new curriculum for the new year. Some catalogs I toss but some I browse through. There is so much available, it's hard to choose.

We've been using the Lifepacs and Horizon's through Alpha Omega which I love mixed with some Abeka. Every child has a different learning style so I try to add things that will help each one of them learn. I also try to throw things in there that they are interested in. For instance, Ryan is into dinosaurs so I got him a sticker book on dinosaur's and a Kumon book that had a paper dinosaur to put together. He's a hand's on kind of learner and those work for him.

This next year, I'm looking to add a little bit of Bob Jone's (BJU) to our curriculum. I've heard a lot of good things about their curriculum. I do know they are legalistic in their views and so I'm concerned about that coming through in how they present their material. However, I usually am reading along side with the kids, so it may present some good discussion too. If it gets too confusing for them, I may switch back. Sometimes, it's good to freshen things up a bit with something different.

There is so many neat books available that sometimes I get too excited and buy way too much. You can only fit so much in one year. Come to think of it, I guess those catalogs come at a great time of year. About April, the kids are ready to be done with school (truthfully, they are ready to be done by the second week of September) and I'm trying to push them to keep going but when we start looking through the catalogs, planning for the new year, it seems to inspire them a little bit.....emphasis on little. I'll take what I can get.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Getting Together

I don't want to let a very dear friend of mine down as she is certain our adventures of last night will hit my blog. So here it is.....

Bob and I haven't been out much together lately. We really were making a pointed effort to go on dates whether they be for dinner or just a five minute date to Starbucks. Then, when we decided to take on the care of Barbara and Sharlene, that had to be put aside. It was tough. But now, the girls are gone and somehow between homeschooling, having our own business, field trips, park trips, church and so on, we just haven't gotten back into our groove of dating.

Some very good friends of ours invited us (without the children) over for dinner and fellowship. As I sprinted to the car (not looking back once), it felt so odd and unfamiliar to not have to put someone in a car seat, lug the diaper bag, yell for someone to just-get-in-car, run back in the house for something else I just couldn't carry because I don't have eight arms. It's nice sometimes to be reminded you aren't just a mother but a wife too.

On the way to our friends house, I looked over at my husband and realized that his shirt was inside out. So I mentioned it to him. He glanced over at me with a sassy smirk. "I put the shirt on, dear, how it was on the hanger," he said. "I put it on the hanger the way it came out of the dryer, dear," was my response. I thought he would have been happy that it actually got on the hanger and was not a wadded up, wrinkled mess. Apparently, he expects me to make sure his shirts are right side out too. Ugghhh....the pressure. Next thing you know, he'll be wanting me to use that thing that heats up really hot, has steam and you apply it to a piece of clothing that has wrinkles. I think I have one of those in a box....somewhere. I prefer to works like magic.

We pulled off into some parking lot of a closed nursery to do the changeroo. He was trying to be all sly about it. Off the shirt came hoping the tinted windows were enough to give off some amount of privacy. Then, he stepped out of the car to undo his belt to tuck it in. As he's tucking and buckling, a little old man comes walking around the corner with a tilted head and a raised eyebrow. He's probably still wondering what was going on.

The telling of our adventure was quite the ice breaker. We met with a couple other couples who we don't know very well or haven't met at all before. I can only imagine what kind of impression we made. It was a good laugh.

After the evening came to a close and we were driving home, we both were in agreement that we need to get out together more often. It was really fun being a couple.


Today is my very good friend's birthday. She's an amazing woman who I've had the pleasure of being friends with for a very long time. She's sassy, has an awesome sense of humor, has the ability to make me laugh till my sides hurt and isn't afraid to tell me what she thinks. Her love of her family and for God are an inspiration to me. She always knows how to smack me back into reality when it's needed and she always seems to know when I need a 'pie' night. Her friendship is truly something that I cherish. Happy Birthday, Lisa!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Prayer Request: Update

Over the last month, my brother-in-law has been in the hospital. He has made some improvement but not substantial. He has, however, amazed the doctors that he's still here. They honestly thought he was not going to make it that first week. We are so thankful for extra time and for hope. Hope is such an important emotion to hang on to. Our hope is in the Lord. He has his hand on Dave and whether He choses to heal him or take him home, we have to put our trust in Him.

I admit this is a hard task to do. I've been a Christian for a long time and still find myself wondering why these horrible things happen. It's so hard to trust, so hard to leave it in His hands. I suppose God knows that. I often have found myself asking God if he's checked my mental capacity to handle this or that. That perhaps, He should double check....just to make sure. There is one thing I know for sure and it's that His ways are higher than our ways, His thoughts are higher than my thoughts and His love is greater than my love. God cares about Dave passionately and His will, will be done.

My heart is so sad, so sad for Pam and all that she is having to handle, so sad that my family is hurting, so sad that Dave is so sick.

Dave has started running fevers again. What the doctors have found is bacteria that has developed in the left lung around the chest tube. There is a possibility that it is also around his heart. They will be doing tests to confirm that.

He is in very critical shape. Please continue to pray for him and for his family.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Not Again???!!

Guess what today is? Yep, it's Sunday. The day we go to church. It is also the day that burns through my energy faster than Lightening McQueen on the raceway.

Today, I woke up to beautiful sun shining and warm air breezing through my window. What a nice way to wake up. I thought to myself, it's going to be a great day. I came downstairs, made the coffee, and cooked breakfast. We were off to a great start. Off I went to take a shower.

As I was trying to get the kids ready, that is when it hit. The 'I don't like church' and the 'do I have to go', 'Is Brad staying home so I can stay home with him', 'How about Dad, is he staying home' or how about this one....I already learned about God, He doesn't have parents comment from my six year old. Then there was the four year old having a bit of a fit, laying on the floor stomping his feet. I asked him if he was throwing a temper tantrum and he said no, mom. I then proceeded to ask him what all the foot stomping was and his's just acting, Mom. Sigh. I am still stumped on this one. I loved going to church when I was a kid. I cannot for the life of me figure out why they give me such a hard time.

They make the classes fun. They have actors that act out Bible stories, they have the traveling musicians and they do crafts. They also have L-O-U-D music. What else is there? I think my kids must be just weird. They'd rather sit with me which I'm mostly ok with.

On this particular day, Kara seemed a bit out of sorts. Bob said maybe one of us should stay home with her because what was going to happen was that she would end up not going in her class and I would spend the whole time chasing her around. I p'shawed that thought and told him she would be alright. Famous last words.....

Bob dropped Kara off at her class or should I say they peeled her from Bob while she was kicking and screaming. Now mostly, we just leave her for a few minutes and she settles down and is fine. However, in the process of our little wildcat flailing her hands and feet to all who came near her, she fell back and whammed her head on the wall. Of course, I couldn't leave her with that happening.

So I stood in the class with the diaper bag and purse in one hand while I have her in the other. Every time I'd even get a notion to put her down the flailing of the arms and legs would go wild. So I thanked the ladies for trying but I would just take my little wildcat and go sit with her in the atrium. Well, that didn't work either because now that she is almost two, sitting in my lap for more than three minutes just isn't going to happen.

So at the end of the atrium is some couches which I thought maybe would be better for her so she wouldn't disturb people too much. That worked for about ten minutes until she discovered the exit. Did you know that if you push the handicap button the doors will open. Yep, they do and she did. Visualize me running down the hall in my not so flat shoes, chasing a two year old who has escaped out of the church. Sigh.

I caught her and brought her back to the couch where she screamed her head off along with her flailing arms and legs and then proceeded to spit in my face. She learned that little trick from Barbara and Sharlene which we haven't been able to break her of yet. At that point, I was sweaty from chasing and fighting with her, my hair was every which way, my heart was pounding and I was about in tears. So I crept back to where Bob was sitting with the other kids and told him I'd be outside.

For the rest of the sermon, I sat in the car with a almost two year old who clearly was ready for a nap. I was rehashing all that Bob had said earlier that morning. Perhaps, I should have just stayed home with her. I certainly didn't hear the message. Thank goodness I can catch it online. I do wonder I the only mother who has impossible Sundays because I scanned the parking lot and I clearly was the only one out there. I suppose I could start a Sunday morning Bible study for crazed mothers out in the parking lot. Anybody interested????

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A Prayer Request

I can't even begin to properly express all the emotions you go through when someone you care about is hit with health complications. It's freaky. You want to help them ease through that somehow but you can' feel helpless. You watch them as they decline and wait. You pray your heart out and plead with God to spare heal them. We are believing and trusting in God's will. That can be incredibly tough even for the most dedicated Christian. We so desperately want God's will to be done but at the same time we so desperately want things like this to go away. You have put your trust in God's hands and leave it there. I struggle with that. I want to be able to do something about it. Obviously, God's still working with me on that.

My brother-in-law has been fighting non-hodgkin's lymphoma for several years. He ended up having a bone marrow transplant and that literally saved his life. However, those cute little drugs they gave him killed his spleen which makes him very susceptible to everything.

Right now, he's on a ventilator, a feeding tube, a chest tube inserted to drain off fluids from his lungs and is heavily sedated. He was diagnosed with Staph A pneumonia. He is fighting for his life again. He's been this way for three weeks with very, very little improvement.

My sister-in-law is eight months pregnant, has had to take a leave of absence from work, drop out of this semester's classes at college just to try to take care of her children and husband.

In the midst of this, Dave and Pam both have managed to continue to reach out to their family, friends and community. I am amazed at Dave's, 'life is great' attitude. You truly can see God's hand on his life.

If you could take a moment to lift them up in prayer, I would be so grateful.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Don't Let Her Fool You!

I can't believe our baby is going to be two in just a few weeks. How did that happen so fast? She's chatting up a storm and using big words like....Toontown. If you don't know what that it, it's an online video game that my kids play and she goes nuts over. She knows all about it and that comes from her father, I am sure. She stands up in the chair in front of the computer, grabs the mouse and clicks away like a pro. If she senses anyone coming to take her away from it, she screams at the top of her lungs. I think the neighbors can hear her. She really would make a great alarm system. I wonder if State Farm would consider that a discount on my home insurance. Kara, the great theft detection system. Her idea of a theft is taking her computer away from her. Yes, I said her computer. She has declared it as 'mine'.

Our Kara is sweet and loving until you cross her and then she's as sassy as her mother. Poor thing. I think she might even run our house. Being number five in the birth order and her just being her adds an element of fun to our household. Grace and I took her to Target with us the other day. She was talking in a baby-talk kind of tone to everyone we passed. They were all swooning over how incredibly cute she was. She was totally eating it up and laughing so much at herself. It was quite a show.

Inspite of her cuteness, she has her rascally moments. She got a hold of Ryan's Gameboy and took it in the bathroom deciding to see what happens when you run water over it in the sink. In case you are wondering, it wrecks it. It won't work. Nada. No way, no how. Ryan was hot. Thank goodness, his mother having thought this through when she bought it, signed up for the replacement plan. So it got replaced without any trouble and he is back to his happy self.

A couple of days ago, Kara disappeared. She is fascinated with the bathroom. Why...I just don't know. Perhaps its that big tank of water that is so fun to play in. Then it's so fun to add toilet paper to it to see what happens with that. What a mess. I had toilet paper stuck to the walls, sink, shower and let's not forget to mention all that was in the toilet itself. Of course, she just stands there with the biggest grin, proud as can be. I know why God made kids was for their protection.

Along with the toilet paper experiment, our sweet baby girl also later that day decided to yet again experiment with the toilet. Only it didn't involve toilet paper. Have you ever seen David Letterman's, "Does It Float"? Yes....she decided to play that very game. Let me ask Gameboy's sink or float? The answer to that question is....(drum roll.....) sinks. There in the toilet, sunk to the bottom, was Aaron's Gameboy. Only this time, Aaron's Gameboy does not have the replacement plan. It has expired. Guess what I'll be repurchasing soon?

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Shhh...The Night Roamer Is Sleeping

Our four year old is our 'night roamer'. On many nights, he gets up at 2 or 4 or 3:30. We are not certain why he does this, but this is how he has been since he was born. It's not quite so disconcerting now as he is a little older and knows what to do when he gets up. Notice I said, 'not quite so' meaning he still does things that scare me like...this but not as much.

Usually, he will get up and turn the television on and curl up on the couch. Of course, he has to tell one of his parents which may or may not sink in depending on what degree of dead to the world we are in. So whoever is the last one to go to bed, it is their responsibility to make sure the TV is set to the appropriate channel. We also have parental controls in hopes to avoid any nasty stuff that could potentially hurt his young mind. He also knows when it's a bad show and will come get us. Of course, his terminology of bad is a show he is just not interested in. Depending on his mood, The Wonder Pets could potentially be a 'bad' show. (Warning: once the 'Wonder Pets' song gets into your head, it's hard to shake. You'll find yourself humming it for a long time to come.)

Well, today he got up at five. We were ecstatic or should I say my husband was ecstatic because he's the one that usually gets to take care of him. By nine this morning, I kept telling Aaron how tired he was looking but he would never admit it. His opinion was that the sun was burning his eyes.

I was talking on the phone in the office after lunch and he came in and sat in the swivel chair next to me. He was explaining to me while I was talking (apparently forgetting the rule of not bothering mommy when she's on the phone unless there is blood involved) all about his need for paint. Next thing I heard was the soft sound of snoring. He had fallen asleep. See, Mom's really do have a sixth sense about these things!