Saturday, February 27, 2010

Party time!

Today Brock had his (guy) friends from school over for a Wii Sports Challenge birthday party. They played tournaments against each other and Chip kept score on official scoreboards- like the ones he makes for golf events at the Club. They all seemed to have a great time, and no one was happier to get in on the action than Crew. He wanted to take all the guys on in basketball- even though some were at least twice his size. =)
After the long week of spending time with Wyndham in the hospital we kept the party simple. Pizza, chips, pop and cupcakes topped with star-shaped brownies. It turned out to be the most fun we've enjoyed all week. I think Brock made some good memories and he'll look back on turning 11 and remember fun and friends. That's what great parties are all about, right?!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Home again.

We're home with Wyndham from the hospital today. She is happy to be here but still needs a lot of rest and tlc. She has eaten a bit and had a nice warm bath and probably feels more like her usual self than she has in the past two weeks. Hopefully she won't have another need for a hospital stay until her double-foot realignment surgery. Which isn't until late September now. I think we all would be happy with 7 months of good health. And some sunshine too! Thanks so much for all your prayers and concern for Wyndham this week. She definitely needed it!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


I can tell you one thing today. I am tired. I sometimes wonder if it's harder to be the one watching and caring for and empathizing with the sick person than it is being the sick person. I would switch places with Wyndham and climb in the hospital bed and hook up to the IV machine if I could no question about that. But there is also a certain amount of stress and strain on the rest of us who juggle the needs and schedules of the rest of the family and try to keep the routine of life going even when someone is sick. It's a challenge, I'll tell you that.
I think Chip is doing a better job of dealing with our life issues than I am. I am sleep-deprived and still battling my own cold and sort of wishing I was a bear right now. Nothing sounds better than climbing into a dark cave and sleeping away a couple of months. =)
I spent the day with Wyndham yesterday and she just wasn't taking fluids like the doctor had hoped she would and she still has a horrible cough that gives her fits off and on and sets her back on fluid intake. She had almost no energy yesterday and yet she wouldn't take a nap. So she needs more rest and recovery and we're hoping she'll start turning the corner sometime today. When I got home late last night the house was quiet and smelled of fresh baked cookies. Chip somehow found the energy and desire to make a batch of peanut butter chocolate chip cookies with the kids. I think he earns a SuperDad badge for that effort. We caught up with each other for about 4 minutes and then he was out the door with his overnight bag to spend the night with Wyndham.
I have to admit, I do falter in my faith when I am tired and weak and now is no exception. It's hard to see how an all-loving God can allow sickness to drag on and how He doesn't just snap His fingers and make things better again. But in my weakness and lacking energy I know the best thing I can do is hang on and keep trusting. No matter how tired I get.
Thanks so much for your prayers and support for all our family when we get worn down especially. I am hopeful that things will get better soon. I like to remind myself of the quote which goes, "Always remember that in the midst of the deepest valley there is a mountaintop on either side." Sometimes the way seems long, but I do know that ultimately all roads out of the valley lead to a mountaintop experience. I am ready for that to happen. After I get a good long nap. Which may just happen later on today. Here's to HOPE!

Monday, February 22, 2010

She made it two years...

Our little sick Wyndham was just admitted to the hospital after spending the afternoon in the ER. They ruled out pnemonia after some chest x-rays, but she's still not able to take any oral liquids and keep them down even after several hours on an IV with anti-nausea medication in it. This picture is from her last hospital stay- which was just over 2 years ago. That's her longest stretch ever of staying out of the hospital. I have a feeling she wishes it were longer, but we are glad that she is getting good care and we're hoping she can give her stomach and body some rest. Enough rest to be able to get back to her 'old-self' as soon as possible.
After the past 3 weeks of colds and flu and ear infections and more colds I was ready to say we've had enough and the worst was behind us. But apparently it's not quite over yet. Sometimes it seems like we get 'dumped on' when it comes to sickness/pain and suffering. To be honest I do wonder why and yet I keep reminding myself that we could have it so much worse. So I am thankful that we had two years away from hospital stays. And I'm really hoping this one will be short and sweet. I'm sure Wyndham totally agrees with me too.
I'm bummed to not be tucking her into bed tonight, but I'm going to cross my fingers and say a prayer that hopefully I'll be tucking her in this time tomorrow. Safe and sound.

Baby's first picture.

One of the reasons I had an ultrasound appointment today was to see whether or not there was more than one baby on the way. Thankfully there was just one happy tiny, wiggling baby on the screen and everything appears to be healthy and normal at this point. It was exactly the sort of report that Chip and I were hoping to hear.
On the flipside of that good report, I am sad to say that Wyndham is still sick today though and she is headed to the doctor later on this afternoon. She has been sick with different symptoms off and on for almost 3 weeks now. I have a feeling she may be admitted overnight to the hospital in order to get rehydrated and get her electrolytes and potassium levels back to normal. She looks so sad and is wiped out today. So feel free to say a prayer for her and hopefully we'll all be back to 'normal' around here. I know I say it a lot, but normal for us is a really good thing. We never take it for granted!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Lots of Butterflies!

Tomorrow Bella's class is celebrating the 100th day of school for this year. They have different activities planned that all have to do with the number 100. One of the things the students {and parents} get to to do is wear a hat they made with 100 things on it. Bella brainstormed with me for awhile and we came up with the hat you see here.
We used my Martha Stewart butterfly punch and some double-sided foam tape and in about an hour we had the hat ready to wear. It's the most crafty thing I've done in weeks around here. Besides adding food coloring to pancake batter. =) Bella is happy with how it turned out. I was just thrilled that she didn't involve Pokemon characters in any way, shape or form. She does have quite the love of Pokemon these days, but just maybe these little paper butterflies will take her mind off of them for a day or two.
Tomorrow we will get to see a "sneak peek" inside at the newest addition growing in our family. I've got an ultra sound appointment and am hoping that everything will look just fine!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sunshine and smiles.

Chip helped make rainbow pancakes for Brock's birthday dinner the other night. They were a big success with all of the kids. He got creative at the end of the batter and made a stripey pancake and some tie-dye/speckled ones too. Brock was along to help pick out his cake and chose one with a sunshine on it since we actually had two sunny days in a row this week. They felt good, but they make me want more! =)
We're still not all back to 100% health around here and I feel like I will never catch up on all the missed sleep from the past month, but we're closer and things are calming down. Now... I do need some advice if any of you have had experience with a toddler not keeping their pants on. For whatever reason, Crew basically decides he doesn't need or want his pants on during the day and sometimes he decides his diaper is a nuisance too. Out of all the kids we've had, we've never had one that won't keep their pants on, so this is a first for us.
I guess kids just like to change things up and keep their parents on their toes. Here's to more sunshine, smiles and to pants staying up too. =)
Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Nitty.Gritty. On Air.

Today is a new day. Thank goodness! Chip's parents have been with visiting us and being entertained by the grandkids since last Friday night. It should have been all fun and games. Except that we passed on the stomach flu to them shortly after they arrived and it just wasn't as much fun as we had hoped we would all have together. We attempted to make the most of it and did manage some laughter and smiles as much as could be squeezed in between our recovering family and their need for rest and everybody's lack of appetite.
Today happens to be Brock's birthday! He is 11 years old and woke up with a grin on his face. He requested these rainbow pancakes for dinner tonight and I have no doubt they will brighten up mealtime this evening. His party is planned for a little bit later this month and hopefully I will remember how to take pictures of the event- it's been so long since we've had the camera on, which is very unusual for me. Time to get back into the groove!
Speaking of groove...
I am hoping to hit mine by 2 pm eastern time today as I will be calling in and sharing some of my heart and life experiences on The Well Radio program. You can listen live by following this link and then click the 'listen' tab. I don't know if I will have anything profound or life-changing to say on-air, but I am honored to be able to share a bit of what God has done and continues to do in our family's lives and hope that God is glorified- as He is the Author of it all. I will be sharing about our loss of Teagan and the importance of forgiveness, and even talking about how suffering has softened my heart and changed my perspective in life. I know if nothing else, I will be preaching a bit to myself and reminding me to trust God no matter what lies ahead!
The host of the show is my blogger friend, Adrienne Graves, and I encourage you to check out her blog and see what God has been doing in her life story too. We've never met in real life, but I am so grateful for her support and friendship through cyberspace. I'm excited to chat with her on the show today and I hope some of you get the chance to listen!
Radio show.
Rainbow pancakes.
Mellow birthday celebration.
It looks like things are getting back to normal around here.
And it feels good!
Happy Birthday, Brock... You are such a great big brother, a good friend to many and you are loved more than you know. Here's to a having a terrific year being eleven! Hope some of your wishes come true too!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Big families are awful...

when the flu bug hits your home.
We're in the midst of sharing a stomach virus around here since last Friday. So far, 6 out of 7 of us have 'enjoyed' the effects of the flu, and Wyndham has gotten it twice. Poor girl. Ava is the only one who hasn't gotten bit by the nasty bug. I think we're all crossing our fingers that she'll be the lucky one and be spared.
Let me tell you... it's called the 24-hour flu, but when you have it and then the rest of the family gets it- it feels a LOT longer than 24 hours!
A couple of the kids have even had flu shots but apparently this is a different strain. I'm just hoping that the laundry piles can start decreasing by the end of today. I've been best friends with Tide with Febreeze for long enough now. I'm ready for a break.
So that's the latest on the fun we're having and why you can consider yourself lucky if you have a small family today. Sometimes less really IS more. =)

Friday, February 05, 2010

So not perfect.

I've had a rough week all week fighting a terrible cold and headaches too. Today is the first day that I felt I was functioning at about 90% capacity. It's no fun being so wiped out and still feel like you have demands that need to be met and no energy or desire to do anything.
I think I may have brought some of this sickness on myself because if I look back on last week I was in a downward spiral. It got so bad that at one point a conversation that Chip and I had turned into me raising my voice and saying things that I didn't mean as he and the kids were getting ready to head out the door for school. It wasn't a big fight or anything- more me being hormonal and having a pity-party about some of the ongoing issues we face each day of our lives- but by the time Chip was backing his SUV out of the driveway I was wishing I could start the whole morning over again.
Since I had no way of making that happen, I decided to drag my pity-party out a little bit longer. As I was sitting around for most of my morning I think that's when I started to let this nasty cold creep in. I just didn't know it yet. Anyway, I did finally reach that point where when I looked in the mirror I didn't like anything looking back at me. And that's when I knew I had a choice to make. While I couldn't start my day over or change some of the frustrating issues in our lives I did have the power to put a different spin on the way the day would turn out. I didn't want my kids to come home and just hear me say the words, "I'm sorry". I wanted them to know that I was really, truly sorry and give them a chance to "see it and taste" it too.
So I apologized to them with chocolate frosted brownies. I had the pan of brownies waiting on the table for their school snack when they came it. They could smell them as soon as they walked in and right away- rather than remembering my actions as they left the house, they were greeted with a new aroma and the mood felt different as soon as they came inside.
They were all very forgiving to me as I explained to them why we were having brownies and asked them for forgiveness. My outburst that morning was quickly a distant memory compared to the yummy treat in front of them.
I am so far from perfect it's not even funny or fun some days for me or anyone else. I am still a work in progress as I seek to be more loving, kind and Christ-like on this road to eternity that we're all on. I don't always fail in such big, obvious ways like I did with my meltdown last week, but there's not a day that passes in which I couldn't strive to be more.
It's sad and difficult to have to admit that I'm as a big a failure as I am sometimes. However, I am grateful that I am growing in humility and also that God gave me the grace and insight to take this experience and turn it into a teachable and hopefully memorable situation for my kids. I hope they learned that it's not okay to be so selfish and sorry for yourself that you say hurtful things to other people as a result. I hope they learned that it is okay to have a bad day, but more importantly it's better to try to salvage the day and make the most of it however you can. Even if it means you have to apologize in chocolate.
I am learning that I have a long way to go before I'm perfect. I am lucky to be surrounded by people that love me despite my flaws and shortcomings and who forgive me easily even when I don't deserve such a response from them. I am thankful for brownies and white chocolate chips that helped express my remorse.

As the kids finished their snack I said to them, "Maybe it wasn't so bad that I got mad and said things I didn't mean to say because we all got brownies treats out of the deal. Who thinks I should get mad more often?" To which one of my kids said, "How about next time instead of getting mad you just make brownies because you're happy?!"
I think that's a much, MUCH better idea and I am happy to oblige their request.