Friday, December 30, 2016

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week...but it's okay

Ever have one of those weeks?  Oh my, have we had one!

On Friday, Justin started a project to pull some warped trim off of the front pillars to replace it, and discovered that rather than replace just the trim, the bottom quarter of the pillars had water damage, so it has become a much larger project.

Gabby was diagnosed with pneumonia on Saturday, and Ellie was a bit out of sorts.

Our Christmas was wished away as we waited for our medical practice to open on Monday, as Ellie grew sicker.  On Monday we called as soon as the office opened, just to find that they weren't open--they took the day for the holiday.  So Monday I took Elliana to Urgent Care and then we were sent on to the E.R.  Justin and the other children stopped by to bring us a few things and to fill my tank with gas, as I have never ran the car below a quarter tank, and I wasn't sure how long it would hold out with all the back and forth I'd done, not wanting to stop with the sick girl.

We were so grateful that all she needed was the same antibiotic that Gabby is taking, at her own dose, of course.  It was a long three hour wait to be seen with a little gal who oscillated between talking about people (directly in front of us) who wear shoes without socks and being weepy and tired.

Tuesday morning, we had an inspector come by to look at some damage that had developed in our wood flooring in the dining room.  It is engineered hardwood, and had some spots that looked like they had gotten wet.  We weren't too concerned until we saw that it was in several spots instead of just one or two.  We found out we have termites...

We've spent much of the rest of the week attending follow up appointments, squeezing in repairs to the posts, and dosing girls with antibiotics, probiotics, and fever reducers, as needed.  And neither Justin or I have slept through the night in over a week.  We are up every night checking for fevers, sometimes staying up as we work to get them back down with medicine and cool cloths.  We are tired.

Then,  tonight I went to load our dishwasher.  I saw some discoloration, and tried to clean it up.  I found that the tub had a small crack in it.  The dishwasher isn't that old.  We purchased it when we moved in, as the one in the house was not working.

I had to laugh.  It's almost Shakespearean, this comedy of errors.  And it is a lot of mess for a week.  But soon enough the medical bills will be paid, the posts mended, the termites gone, the floor replaced, and the dishwasher repaired.  We'll look back and joke about what an interesting Christmas we had in 2016.

I can see through it all--the girls are both going to be fine.  I have thanked God so often this week for the medicines that have brought down high fevers and are getting rid of the pneumonia.  There was a day we would have likely lost Ellie and maybe Gabby too, instead I get to hear giggles and pattering feet.  The termites preferred the floor to the structural supports of the house, so those are intact and I could see the damage to know there was a problem.  Though a great deal more work, Justin can repair the posts himself, and somehow has all but the trim work done around the mess of the week we've had.  The dishwasher, well, I've hand washed dishes before, and I'll do it again.  I just pulled the drying rack out from the top of the pantry, and went on with it.

We have been protected from the worst of it.  I am so grateful.

Friday Funny

Our youngest children have a worship service led separately for them. They learn little catechism songs, and do more repeated songs than the main worship service, so they learn the words well.  The young woman who leads the worship music most of the time, uses some simple call and responses to help get the kids to focus.  The first week Ellie moved up from the nursery to this program, I asked what she learned and she proudly announced, "One, two, three, eyes on me!"  Now she has decided the teacher's name is, "One, two, eyes on you!"


Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Here

We had a nice visit with my parents and sister before Christmas.  While we were away, Gabby began to run a low grade fever off and on.  She was tired, but made it through.  We got home on Friday and tucked her and Ellie in to bed, both a little on the sick side.  We were awoken early on Christmas Eve morning, to hear Gabby cry on her way to the bathroom.  I assumed an upset tummy, but she said she had pain in her chest.  After a few quick questions, we decided it was about her lung and not her heart.  She was breathing okay, so Justin sat with her while I started the process to find an urgent care that accepted our insurance, and was open.  No one was at that hour.  We kept a watchful eye, and I left with her to arrive just before the clinic opened.

We were seen quickly--such a blessing!  No flu, but the PA we saw suspected pneumonia and ordered an x-ray.  We were told it was hazy, so we got her prescription for an antibiotic and we went on our way.  Grateful.

Poor Ellie has spent the past day getting more sick though.  Justin set an alarm to get up and check children in the night, as he had the night before, but before it went off I heard Ellie thrashing.  I found her with a slight fever, but very agitated.  In the time I checked on Gabby and got her some medicine to reduce her fever, her temperature had shot up three and a half more degrees.  We fought to bring the fever down with cold compresses, then we finally tried a different fever reducer, as nothing else we did was bringing her temperature down.

The other children, not knowing how ill she had been in the night, woke her with excitement for Christmas morning.  She perked up a bit for presents, but slept through breakfast and stockings.  She has had two more rounds of the higher than we like fevers, so that's been Christmas here.

We are so grateful their illnesses have not needed hospital stays, but it has been a bit of a melancholy Christmas here.  We had plans to have our turkey on Saturday, go to a candle light service, worship with our church on Christmas, and visit with some friends.  Things had to be shifted, including a grocery trip on Christmas Eve, since our turkey wasn't baked and we would be home all day on Christmas, where I oscillated between such gratitude that Gabby was well enough to skip the ER and being upset for the change in plans, which culminated when I gashed my finger on the cart as I was moving my things to the conveyor belt.  I don't even know how I did it, but it stings and doesn't want to close up, an aggravation and pain on top of the other things.  The meringue on my pies went flat.  It hurts to wash the dishes.  I haven't slept through the night in days.  But in the scheme of things, we are beyond blessed.  We are safe; we are together; we have medicine and clean water; we have food to eat.  We were even able to give our children presents, as we celebrate the birth of the Jesus who came to save us from this fallen world, where kids get sick.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Friday Funny: Christmas

I didn't catch the context, which probably made this all the better:

The shepherds can't fly, only the angels can fly.  Well, unless the angel carries the shepherd.  I guess then the shepherd could kinda fly through the air.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Friday Funny

Me to Ellie: My leg fell asleep.

Ellie (reaches over pats my leg): Yeah, it did!

So what does my leg feel like when it is awake?!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016


When I was growing up, I remember going to summer camp.  The days seemed to last so very long, but in the blink of an eye the week was up.  I'm finding life in these busy days to be much like that--without the hikes and camp food, well except when we're actually camping...

 The Best Christmas Pageant Ever: choir, shepherd, and angel choir

Gabby's turn to put the angel on top

Ellie is tickled with the tree.

 The AHG Christmas party began with a story time.

Mama got a night out to go look at the lights, with a few dozen ladies from church (not all pictured here)

Trail Life marched/rode in a parade.  If you squint, Justin is in the back ground, and Nate is in the back of the trailer, with a gray and black striped hat on.

We've had a swirl of activity the past few weeks as outside things wrap up before Christmas. We've had almost all our parties, parades, and play performances.  By the skin of our teeth, the decorations are up, the presents are (mostly) here, and we are almost ready to settle down for the prescribed long winter's nap rest.

But even in the midst of trying to slow down, as a mother there is the packing, the laundry, the double checking to be sure everyone has the same number of gifts, and that none of the important traditions are left out.  There are grades to send to our umbrella school, which means I have to actually tally all those grades I've been keeping and hunt for those mislaid papers that still need marks.

I still need to find the quiet and the waiting in the busyness, because just like camp and last October, the time will be gone.

Hoping that you (and I) find the joy and anticipation of Advent!