Saturday, October 31, 2009

Sarah's Covenant Homes

Please take a moment and go here


to help out some precious babes and a woman who has dedicated her life to making a difference. 

Or go here:

to see God's hand in action.

Take a look at these precious children. See the joy and peace in their eyes? Not long ago all there was was fear and pain. No joy. No smiles. No health. No peace. Sarah made the difference. Sarah and her people and the homes. She is caring for the cast-offs, the children who are damaged, unwanted, unloved, just human waste in their society.  Can you spare $5 to help? 

Rachel, my favorite.
Keren and her Ama (Nanny)
A group of the children on a field trip. 

Weekly Roundup

  My schedule lately has been such that I have very little time for anything that is not essential. And by essential I do not mean showers, moisturizing or shaving fuzziness. I also don't have much blog time so I end up posting several things on the weekends just to clear my head. Works for me. 

  Deb wins. Ahren had an ear infection. Sunday I just couldn't get his fever down so we spent 4 hours in the 24 hour emergent clinic. (On a side note, there was not one single patient in the waiting room when we got there and I had high hopes of getting in and out. Instead we spent so long there that all the pharmacies had closed and we couldn't get the much needed antibiotics that night.) On Monday, I gave nanny instructions to watch his temp and medicate as needed. When I walked in the door shortly after 6pm he was asleep in a recliner. I noticed his cheeks were pink so I felt his head. Yikes, he was burning up. I got the thermometer (Thanks Mark - we really needed it!) and it was 105 degrees. Poor baby, I woke him up stripping his clothes off and wiping him with a cool wet cloth. He was crying when I tried to get the meds into him and he choked and threw up. I persevered and got meds into him and after about an hour we were down to 102. I set the alarm and got up periodically during the night to give him more meds and had him sleep with me so I could monitor the fever. Man, I hate it when they get that high. 
The bright side is that by Tuesday the antibiotics had kicked in and he acted just fine and the fever was gone.  He has 3 more days on it and then a recheck. 

  My sister underwent a 4.5 hour operation on Monday to remove her thyroid. She has the same condition that our Mother and my daughter Ashley have. The body doesn't recognize the thyroid hormone and attacks it. The thyroid is then stimulated to try and make more and more, growing bigger and bigger, but still can't keep up. Without synthetic thyroid supplementation which the body does not destroy, the thyroid grows dangerously large. My mother had her thyroid out several years ago. Both of them were diagnosed much, much later than Ashley  and the damage was already done. Hopefully by starting Ash on thyroid therapy as a child she will never have that problem. 

  Our office is still at 3 people when our original staff numbered 7 people. It is CRAZY busy and the three of us left are multi-tasking fools. Luckily, I love the other two women and we have such fun. The patients are awesome and so are the doctors. Next week we have a part time front desk person starting. If she turns out to be really good she will get sucked into full time very soon. We still need at least one more therapist but it is proving very difficult to find the right person. They have to understand the medical conditions, be great with kids, have the patience of a saint, and the energy of a warrior. (Have I mentioned I have lost 20 pounds working here? No more sitting behind a desk and having a coffee bar and treats right down the hallway. It's amazing!) 

  Tonight is Trick-or-Treat. We have our non-scary costumes hanging up and ready to wear. Candy is placed into a large bowl for handing out. Some friends are coming over with their kids and we will have snacks and fun, then load up the hayride we are doing with our neighbors and tour the neighborhood collecting treats. The weather is perfect, a little cool but clear and dry. It is going to be great!

  I have been busy helping Kaytee get applications in to all the colleges she is thinking about. She has gone back and forth trying to decide if she would live at home and do community college to start with, or go to a larger school away from home. She still isn't sure but we need to apply before the deadlines if she decides to go that way. She really wants a career in medicine but not sure doing exactly what. there are some good health profession programs out there where she would do all the basics the first two years and then decide her specialty. She has always wanted to be a doctor but the sacrifices in her personal life and the future of health care have made her unsure if that is the right choice. (Smart kid, those are real worries!) 

And now, my friends, I need to take a shower, run a rake through my hair, and prepare myself for the evening of chaos and too much sugar. 

Sunday, October 25, 2009

I'm the Deputy

I have elected myself head Deputy around these parts and I am waging a very personal War on Grime. I have my guns loaded and the safety is off (by guns I mean the Roombi, the Dyson and the Steam Cleaner) By 8 am this morning (no one ever sleeps in around here so that isn't that early) the house was already starting to smell of cleaners, I was sweating and horribly disgusted by the filth I was finding. 

It's no use even trying to figure out where all the messes come from. Cheesy-poof finger prints on the woodwork, grape jelly smudges in a window sill, what looks like chocolate (oh please let it be chocolate....) on the sofa, some super-sticky spill behind the kitchen garbage can, blue hand soap dribbled down the wall in the bathroom, brown banana parts stuck under the table, a dehydrated chicken nugget fell out of the recliner, pink yogurt splattered across the tile, and on and on and on. Everywhere I look I find more and it just breaks me down. 

So today it's war and I'm taking no prisoners. If anyone, ANYONE dares to make a mess today there will be quick and severe consequences. You DO NOT want to see mama when her head explodes. Consider this a warning mess makers big and small.......

Saturday, October 24, 2009

A little better

Well, he slept until 5:57 am. That is some improvement. When I got home Friday afternoon he had a temp of 101.4. Hmmm. Then he had a very restless night, whimpering and moaning in his sleep. I was able to just lay him back down when he got up before 6 am and he went back to sleep and slept until 8 am. That is really late for my kids. 

Today he woke up with a temp of 100 degrees, and it quickly started rising and was soon pushing the 103 mark. Motrin and Tylenol are managing it and he acts fine. He has the tiniest bit of runny nose and that is all. 

I have a question for all of you, Oh Great Internets. One of the other kids who comes to our house for our nanny to watch, had the H1N1 nasal vaccine on Tuesday. This is a live attenuated (changed so it is not so infectious) virus vaccine. They told them it might cause a fever. She had one for one evening and then was better. It infects the child causing them to mount an immunological response that then gives them immunity to the real virus. While their body mounts it's attack, they shed the multiplying viral particles as if they are contagious with the real thing. 

My question is this. Could it be that my boys are reacting to being infected with the vaccine virus and will now also be protected against H1N1? 

Friday, October 23, 2009

ZZZ's do a body good

At 4:30m am central time one small curly headed tot turned our household upside down. Apparently he had woken up and come into our room to find me. Once he had sufficiently 'patted' me enough to insure I was awake, he began to list his demands. He wanted to lay next to me (not a problem) watch TV (Um, NOT going to happen) he wanted Coke (really not going to happen) and he wanted me to tickle his back (I am still trying to compute the last two demands thru my sleep-fogged brain). 

I said, No, it's time to go to sleep. It is still night time.

For the record, that was the WRONG answer.

The holy mother of all fits ensued, waking every member of the household, even those located on a different floor of the house. He screamed, he kicked, he spit, he cried, he thrashed, he rolled about so that I was totally expecting pea soup to spew from his mouth and his head to spin around. 

I finally got him somewhat settled but by then we were all up for the duration. The consequence for depriving the entire household of much-needed sleep? He had to take a nap this afternoon. Normally this is the most-horrible of punishments but today it totally backfired. He climbed into his bed without a peep and was asleep in less than 2 minutes. The rest of us did NOT get a nap, so now I am wondering if he will be waking us up again because he isn't tired......that would totally suck. I do not do well sleep deprived. That is an understatement. Tomorrow might well be a very interesting day. 

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Talkin about Wimmins

Levi and Chris made it home from the deer lease. They had a great time. 

I asked Levi if they sat around the campfire and talked about women. He giggled and said they tall talked about their wives (there was a handful of other guys out there to hunt birds). I asked him what his Daddy said, and he told me....

"Daddy said my wife is one hot piece of meat."

You can bet that Daddy will be rewarded handsomely....(even though I know he never said anything even remotely like that!)

I am still laughing. 

Daddy's Boy and Roomba Wars

This sweet/goofy/ornery boy got to sleep with me last night. That's not unusual when one parent is gone. It's a traditional special treat for the little ones. But last night turned into a necessity. Ahren managed to lock his bedroom door and I couldn't find the one and only key we have to unlock it. I called Chris and it turned out he had it in his pocket. LOL! Now THAT is a safe place! Here he is in his improvised jammies. Mommy's T-shirt. He loved it!
So over the course of the night, I became convinced that Ahren is a Daddy's Boy. At 10 pm he woke up and asked me, "Where's Daddy?". I told him at the deer lease and he went back to sleep.
At 11pm he woke me up to ask, "Where's Daddy?".  I told him and he went back to sleep. 
At 2 am he woke me up, and you guessed it, asked me where his daddy was. 
And at 3 am, at 5 am, at 6 am and at 6:40 am. Tap, tap, tap.....Where's Daddy? 

Now you might think that I am sitting here slacking on a Sunday morning, but Nooooo, I have harnessed the power of the Roombi (plural for Roomba) If you look closely, you will see that our original 2 Roombi have multiplied (They really should warn you about that!) We now have FOUR! Three regular and one heavy duty. Yes, we really are that dirty....

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Sweet Fall Days

Chris took Levi to the deer lease this weekend for some exploring and fun before hunting season actually starts. They left really early this morning. Kaytee is working at a cheer clinic fro little girls all day. Ahren went with me to give a guest lecture at the local community college and then we have been playing and relaxing. He was a perfect angel while I talked, sitting quietly for over an hour and playing his handheld game system and eating snacks. Oh, and FLIRTING with girls in the class. He was a huge hit!

Last week I was on my way home from dropping Levi at school when I saw something on the side of the road. i stopped to get a closer look and found a gigantic turtle. His (her?) shell measured almost 14 inches long front to back. I picked him up and put him in my van and hurried home. I was pretty sure he was an aquatic turtle so I took him out to the pond and set him on the grassy edge. Sure enough, he poked his head out of his shell, and then scrambled into the water. We see him every now and then, floating in the middle. He joins out other 2 turtles, but is by far the largest one.

What better way to spend a lazy weekend morning than snuggled on the couch watching a movie in 3 D. 
I found the best dessert ever. Very sweet and totally yummy too. I call it "Boyz in Bowlz". Don't you just want to eat them up? (Seriously, I have no clue why they thought this was such fun, but no bowls were harmed in the adventure so why not???)
Ahren, show me a smile. Ahren, smile? Come on sweetie, just a little smile? Please? Oh well, at least you aren't making that bizarre pained-looking fake grin! (He smiled as soon as I snapped the picture.....)
I love bargains. Especially really good bargains on really good quality kid's stuff. This summer I caught a big sale at Gymboree and got a lot of school clothes and dress up clothes for the boys. I earned something they call Gym Bucks, which I had never used before. My thoughts being, hey, I just bought everything I needed so why should I come back in two months to spend more money just to use this? By chance, I happened to look on-line during the period you could redeem them and I found a bunch of stuff in the clearance section that I could stock up on. I worked it so I just barely used all my coupons, didn't have to pay shipping and got the most bang for my buck. 

So here is my booty, 10 pairs of underwear (next size for both boys) 16 pairs socks, 1 pair dress pants (Ahren), two sweaters and three heavy rugby shirts. My cost? $109.00 These are clothes that can last. The shirts and sweaters will probably get 3 years of use. They are a bit big on Levi now and Ahren can grow into them. The underwear and socks hold up better than the ones I usually buy so we will get probably a year of wear for both boys. Besides, they have such cute stuff!!!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fifteen Minutes

Fifteen minutes. Such a tiny amount of time in the whole realm of things. And yet, it can be a powerful, productive, even important bit of time. I lose track of such things because I tend to be a big-picture kind of person. I look for the grand gesture and miss the tiny miracles. So today I am focusing on fifteen minutes. 

Fifteen Minutes:

1) the amount of time I tickled Ahren's back while he fell asleep at nap time. Oh how soft and smooth his skin is, and the most luscious color! I want to eat him up. Is there anything sweeter than a sleeping child?

2) the number of minutes it takes to drop off 900 children, in an orderly fashion, at my son's school. It blows my mind that this is even possible. I would not believe it if I hadn't seen it with my own eyes. One bus drop off point and one car-rider line, no chaos.

3) the length of time it takes me to get ready and out the door, looking passably presentable. Now that is a miracle (and anyone who wants to burst my bubble about the presentable part? Go away!)

4) the number of minutes it took for me to mail a package of hand-me-down clothes to a child who I have never actually met but who has captured my heart.  Here's to the Brave Hero and his wonderful family!

5) the length of conversation I had today with my dear, sweet friend Gabby.  Oh how that girl can make me laugh. If she only knew I have incontinence problems after several birthing experiences.....

6) how long it took me to pack Levi's bag to go spend two days and one night with his father at the deer lease. Oh how my heart swells to think of the father-son bonding they will have and also how horribly empty the house will feel without them. 

7) the time I wish I could spend hugging my sweet sister today. She left me a voice mail the other day that made me cry. Not in a bad way, but in an 'I love you, know what you are going through, I am here for you' way. 

8) once EVERY fifteen minutes I think about Ashley and miss the holy tar out of that girl. I can barely breathe when I think about her because it hurts so much that she lives 4 hours away with her father. She is doing great, he is a fantastic Dad, I have no complaints. I just miss her. Horribly. All The Time!!!

What does fifteen minutes mean to you?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Another day older and deeper in debt...

Or so the old song goes.

As some of you noted, this weekend was also my birthday. I am now at the age where birthdays are pretty uneventful, non-celebration sorts of things. At least that's how I feel. My sweet family, on the other hand, decided to wow me.

Chris and the boys (um, mostly Chris) baked me a double fudge cake with fudge icing. I had to restrain myself from diving face first into it! It was decadent and fudgey and exactly what my hurting soul and heart needed. 

They took me out to dinner at a nice steak house where I had some of all my faves, and ate it all! For one day I could throw the diet out the window, right? I mean, my body could only absorb so much fat and calories in one sitting.....

I got to take a long, lavender scented bath while reading a trashy gossip magazine. I was able to shave my legs without hacking off any pieces of flesh. I even got to moisturize. Unheard of around these parts!!! I am the 4-minute shower champ. Pampering is not in my routine. 

I got to watch the shows I had on the DVR, catching up on everything!

Then came the presents. I got the Iron Chef game for the DS. Now I have to fight Ahren for time on the game system. I got a new cookbook and a large stainless steel spice rack, with spices! My hubby knows me so well. But my favorite gift, the gift that shows how much my husband really knows me? He got me a portable hard drive. A sexy little black and red system to back up all my writing and photos off our main computer. A couple of years ago our old computer died and took all my personal stuff with it. The Geek squad could not recover my things and I was heartbroken. Now that will never happen again. 

My family spoiled me!!!

I almost forgot to add the strangest thing that happened. When we were leaving the restaurant I was holding Ahren's hand and trying to steer him out between the tables. In typical Ahren fashion, he tripped, almost keeled over, I pulled him up and then he fell over the other way. I was half dragging him by the arm when a really old man at the table we were passing said, "Oh my goodness, it's a feral child". I turned and saw the look on his wife's face and started to laugh! I couldn't even get mad because she looked like she was about to come across the table and tear him a new one. She was MORTIFIED! I know I should have gotten mad and maybe said something, but he was such a really old man and they just say the darndest things, and well, Ahren with his mop of wild curls and bumbling walk did indeed look a little feral. So I shrugged it off and just laughed. I guess it was a good thing I was having such a great day!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Happy Birthday Peri Brynn!!!

My sweet daughter turns three years old today. Here is a photo of the last time I saw her over a year ago.  I wish I had held her a little tighter, a little tighter, a little longer, told her I loved her just one more time. I wish I had know it was going to be the last time. 

Here she is on one of my earlier visits. Such a happy baby with a tiny little tinkle of a laugh.
PBJ contemplating life from her seat in the stroller. She had me at hello....
This was after her injury and hospitalization. See how her little hand is all curled in, and see the bruises where her IV were in the back of her hand? The cruel bastard that hurt her stole her personality, her spunk, her happiness. But not for long. My little girl is a fighter, so strong.

You will always be my girl. I love you so much. May the angels watch over you while Mommy can't.

Thursday, October 08, 2009


Ashley attended her very first high school dance. When she showed me her dress I said, Oh No, you have to take it back. It is waaaaay too beautiful. You cannot leave the house dressed like that!!! She just laughed. But seriously, isn't she gorgeous!!!!

Katie lavishing cheer love on her brother.
Katie asked me to dress the boys up and take photos of her before Homecoming. Isn't that sweet? Ahren does this face if you ask him to smile. Little goober!
Levi got too hot and ditched his dress shirt before the photos. Good intentions and all.
As the hummingbirds passed through on their fall migration they discovered our house and swarmed my feeders. I would see 30 or more at a time. Catching a picture is a difficult thing.
Katie and her star quarterback boyfriend jordan. They are such a sweet couple. 

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Crazy Busy

Ugh, things are just insane! I have been up since 4 am, two kids are already at school, I'm about to take 2 more and drop them off and I have already attended one parent teacher conference this morning. Once I drop these kids at school I will head to work, but at noon I have to go pick up 3 kids and drop them at home, then head back to work. I don't know whether I am coming or going these days. 

(shhh, don't tell anyone, but I am loving it!)