and kids

and kids

Friday, February 27, 2015

Cincinnati Take 2

We knew we were going to wake up to snow, so I tried to change our appointment at Cincinnati Children's Hospital, but the next available appointment with Daegan's doctor was in July.  As I spent Wednesday a little panicked and wondering if we should leave that night or not, then school called and was closing early, stress was escalating.  Jason called me (you know, my black and white husband) and said we weren't leaving that night, we would try to leave in the snow the next morning and if we couldn't get out, we would just pray for an appointment cancellation.

The snow started at 4:00 and was adding up fast throughout the evening.
 But, we got up and we left.  Our neighborhood is terrible for ice.  It has a steep hill on both sides and we often can get stuck quickly and for a long period of time.  Both hills are shaded by trees so they do not melt quickly. Thankfully, we have a redneck neighbor that has a backhoe and he loves to plow.  Typically, we want to sled and we are annoyed when he gets out, but this day we were thankful.
 We got a little bit of a later start than we wanted and we had to get the kids delivered to Grandma's (except Tavis was at a friends - hoping to get snowed in there) and we had to stop and fill up with gas.
Once we got on the I-75 we were ok, except for bumper-to-bumper traffic in Knoxville.  After that it was no potty breaks and no lunch breaks - we were really pressed for time!
 When we made it to the bridge we knew we were probably going to make it, but I still felt I couldn't breathe until we actually made it.  Our appointment was at 2:40 and we pulled in the parking lot of the hospital at 2:29.  *phew*  Cutting it waaaay too close for me!

But, totally worth it!  We love Dr Wesselkamper.  Not sure if it is legal or not, but I snuck this picture of Daeg and doc.
We were happy for a good report for Daegan, he just needs to continue to heal.  He is about 85%.  When he gets tired or stressed, his brain has a hard time over-compensating and that is when he starts to feel the dizziness again.  It isn't that he "becomes dizzy" all of the sudden.  Dr W says he is always a little bit dizzy, it is just at those times his brain just can't mask it any more.

Afterwards, it was after 4:00 and we hadn't eaten since breakfast, so we treated ourselves to Outback.  Jason was happy to finally introduce one of his boys to this:
I was happy to find the pool with Daegan when we got to the hotel!
 Then, the next day, we headed back home - crossing the bridge on the other side.
We were thankful for Papa's car and we are sure he is happy I got him a car wash before he saw it like this, covered in salt and snow dirt.
36 hour whirlwind trip!!!!

The Snow I "Missed"

Since we had to leave this morning with 8 inches of snow on the ground, we (Jason, Daegan and I) missed out on the "big snow" of the year, but pictures were sent.

This is us leaving:
 Mollee and Lilly
 "The Littles" and their snowman
Mollee and Lilly being silly
 Capps in a snowball fight
Tavis was snowed in at the Willings and being Tavis (and Joshua)
 This is how we saw the snow up I-75
 And I think it was colder for us - Ha!
 No new snow in Cincinnati, but this was our snow out our hotel window!
 And the icicles along the I-75

Sunday, February 22, 2015

The "Hug Your Kids Tighter" Perspective

We've had a lot of stress lately.  Jason and I have had some stress with the children, I've felt stressed with work.  We've had medical stress.  We've had some major financial stress.  We've beared some burdens with friends.  The list goes on and on.

I am not proud to say it but it makes me a more little short tempered with so much stress.  Plus, the cold weather keeps the kids cooped up inside more, which leads to crazy children.  This does not improve my irritability.  There has been irrational yelling.

"If someone asks me for clean laundry again......."

If you are in my sphere, you've probably been praying for Schaeffer.  My Facebook news feed started with prayer requests and updates on Saturday.  Today it is saturated with prayers pleading for a miracle.  Basically, the doctors say that is the only option.

On Friday, Schaeffer had the flu, but Friday night his mom, Katherine, a dear friend of mine felt Schaeffer was getting dehydrated.  By the middle of the night, she took him to the ER.  When she got to the ER he started having seizures (thankfully she was at the ER) and then he stopped breathing.   He has been comatose with no brain activity ever since.  Katherine by his side ever since reading to him, hoping he would respond to something.  This morning, they started the protocol for all the "final" tests.  But, Katherine is still trying.  And, you know what?  I would be to.

So, as I have cried and cried and cried.  I've held my kids tighter.  Even my non-hugger, I've forced him into it.  And I've yelled less at the kids (and possibly some at God?).  I've found myself irritated, but I've actually stopped to think, "What if this is the last thing I say to this child?  How important is this?"

I know that is a bit extreme, but it has been an extreme weekend.

So much emotion.  My kids and my husband see me cry often.  Especially these days.  I cried and cried when I found out Hella had cancer.  I cried over the stress of Nicole suffocating after her surgery.  I needed her to be ok.  I've cried over some of our household stresses.

But, this has been different.  Far different.  This has hit really close to home.  This is a close friend.  A Mommy.  Coming to terms with the fact that her five year is brain dead.  The only hope is a miracle.

I have not just cried.  I have sobbed.  I have wept.  And my husband, whom I have only seen cry once before, in our 18 years of marriage, when we lost our own child via miscarriage, has sobbed and wept with me.  This is tragic.

My source of comfort is two-fold, God weeps with us.  And he weeps, but he is not shocked by this tragedy.  I love this picture from "The Magician's Nephew" by CS Lewis:

"Up till then he had been looking at the Lion's great fee and the huge claws on them; now, in his despair, he looked up at it's face.  What he saw surprised him as much as anything in his whole life.  For tawny face was bent down near his own and (wonder of wonders) great shining tears stood in the Lion's eyes.  They were such big, bright tears compared with Digory's own that for a moment he felt as if the Lion must really be sorrier about his Mother than he was himself."

We cry out to God for mercy on little Schaeffer and the entire Fisher family right now.  In these terrible times of storm, it is hard to understand why??  This hymn was read during the sermon and it really spoke to me:

God moves in a mysterious way his wonders to perform;
he plants his foot-steps in the sea, and rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines of never failing skill
he treasures up his bright designs, and works his sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take; the clouds ye so much dread
are big with mercy, and shall break in blessings on your head.

Judge not the Lord by feeble sense, but trust him for his grace,
behind a frowning providence he hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast, unfolding ev'ry hour;
the bud may have a bitter taste, but sweet will be the flow'r.

Blind unbelief is sure to err, and scan his work in vain;
God is his own interpreter, and will make it plain.

William Cowper 1774

God's plan is perfect.  We must trust him.  We must wait for him to show it to us.  We can beg for a miracle, it is not wrong to PRAY BIG, but if that is not the plan, but we know God is still loving, caring, and has a perfect plan.  He is unchanging.

And, hug your kids a little tighter tonight.  Keeps things in perspective - "pick your battles" has a whole new meaning.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Called to the ER

Sometimes, when there is a medical emergency, I don't mind to be the one that is called.  I wanted to be a nurse.  I am good with the stress, in the moment.  

I went to run errands Thursday and Ruth texted me that Dad passed out in the garage and busted his face.  They couldn't get the bleeding to stop, so Mom was taking him to the ER.  I headed right over.  

These pictures don't even do it justice.  They were actually taken after I cleaned him up.  Poor Dad literally bled for 2 1/2 hrs straight, I just kept handing him towels while the ER doctor kept coming back trying something new.
 He finally ended up with a balloon in one nostril and a packing in the other nostril.  He broke his nose, cheekbone and sinus cavity bone.  Because of his heart condition, they needed to monitor him and make sure there wasn't something serious that caused him to pass out.  He wasn't thrilled about the idea, but I was happy to hang out with him for a few days and work with this view.
Technology can relieve stress as you are cooped up sometimes.  Dad does not go by his first name, so I took a picture of his board that said he preferred it and texted it out to the siblings saying I think Dad hit his head too hard.  JR insisted it was the drugs.  Jason said the smiley face was hospital code for "really cranky".  Dad was thrilled we could text/laugh at his expense.
 After three days/two nights in the hospital Dad was discharged.  Discharged into a snowy, icy city.  Jase and I went and picked him up so that Mom wouldn't have to drive her car home.  This magnet was on his door and I may have stolen it from the hospital??  I stuck it in Dad's bathroom window to see how long it would take until he noticed.
Yep, we look for laughs in all places!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Tavis gets braces

Help us all as the complaints begin!
 Of course, he broke a bracket within 5 days and we had to go in for a repair.  He assured me that was normal.....

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Best Valentine's Day Ever

Jason and I don't typically celebrate Valentine's Day.  We may give each other a card or maybe a bag of M&M's, but it is hit or miss and not expected.  

The boys decided this year they wanted to celebrate Valentine's for Mollee.  It was on Saturday, therefore, worked out perfectly.  So, they made cards by themselves, on their own time.  And, we planned on a steak dinner - and to use the china!

They made cards, I bought roses and steaks!
 Lots of roses (here in Freda's vase)
And we used china, which I am not sure we have ever used before.  Crazy, huh?  It actually made Tavis very nervous to use it.  
Jason and I gave the kids each a small box of chocolates and a card, which we each wrote a little note in.  I told the kids to cherish their card because Daddy does not typically write notes (really he did it for me).
It was a perfect day.  The kids did their chores in the morning.  And played outside all afternoon, it was the one day of the week of warmer weather before the next batch of cold air.  Dinner was excellent and the boys were proud of their meal and their cards.  Mollee was thrilled.

My card to Jason was a mirror full of pink post-it notes full of all the reasons I love him.  
And he surprised me with a ring, because I always enjoy having another silver ring.
Best Valentine's Day Ever!!!!!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentines Parties

For Valentines Parties, the 5th grade goes roller skating in the morning.  I couldn't take all day off work, so I missed that party.  They had a pizza party for lunch and then watched a movie in the afternoon.

Capps' class made these awesome fingerprint "LOVE" canvases with a handprint for the the "O".  
 Probably my favorite class party craft ever!
 And they played games!!!!
 It was cool to see the kids different versions of the craft.
I had a full day of appointments and wasn't sure I was going to make it to the parties at all, but I was glad to make it and Mac was glad to have me.

 Super sweet seeing a bunch of 2nd graders handing out Valentines!!!!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Valentine Cards....made by the Browns

I told the kids we needed to make some cards for some of our college kids we love (and a few others) and care about.  I was so proud of the results - I almost hated to send the cards away.  So, I took pictures to keep a copy:

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