Sunday, December 30, 2012

Oh Snowy Day!

We woke up to this beautiful view out our back door.

So pretty!

Most of the kids were feeling well enough to play (or so they said), so I let everyone except Jordan go out in the snow.  He just wasn't well enough to get cold and wet today.
After church, it was time to play. They were so excited they could hardly wait!

Miraculously, we had enough snow pants and boots for everyone.  They didn't necessarily match but they worked.  Zoey's boots were a bit too big for her but it didn't hold her back.  At all.  I did make a Target run so that she can wear something that fits better tomorrow.  Bless her heart for not complaining!
I know....if I was a better prepared mommy, I would have rummaged around in the basement to inventory their boots prior to today.

When there aren't enough saucers and sleds for everyone, a summer surf board is better than nothing.


Jillian's mittens...she needs some waterproof ones.

Zoey:  Mom...can I take my leg off?
Me:  No.
Zoey:  But it already got stuck between two rocks and fell off.  And now there is a lot of snow stuck to the ankle part. {She had put it back on at this point.}
Me:  Oh, poor Zoey!  But you have to keep it on because you can't hop all over the yard in deep snow.

Sledding should always be followed by mugs of hot chocolate.

I had quite a line up of mugs to fill.

And yeah.... I put that first one there on purpose when I framed the shot.

Christmas cookies and hot chocolate.  YUM!  
Poor Jordan was still coughing a lot but maybe tomorrow he can play in the snow.

Rosy cheeks, static-y hair, and a mug of hot chocolate.

"So, Jordan.  Tell me what you did when we were outside.  I really want to know."

The aftermath of wet snowpants, coats, boots, hats and mittens.

Ahhh....childhood moments of sledding, building forts and being willing to have your feet frozen off just for the fun of playing in the snow.
Good times.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Well...that was interesting...

We had big plans to visit my parents and Jeff's parents over Christmas break.

But alas....the best laid plans of mice and men can certainly go awry. 
And they did.
In the form of sickness.
Apparently 3/4's of the United States is battling a nasty flu-like virus.
And now we are part of that statistic.

Jillian fell prey within hours of arriving at my parents.  She spent Christmas Eve day and Christmas Day pretty much quarantined and in bed with a fever.

We still had hopes of her getting well enough to soldier on to Iowa, but that was not to be.  The day after Christmas, she was fever-free but Jordan and Zoey were not.

We wanted to take ourselves and our germs out of my parents' house to protect them, but there was a snowstorm from Cleveland to New England. 
We couldn't go west to Iowa and we couldn't go east to get home.
We were goin' nowhere.

So we put the sickies in a room with a TV and movies and waited for daylight.
The kids were no better the following morning so we packed up and headed for home.
Thirteen and a half hours later, we were home safely.
But very bummed not to get to see Jeff's family in Iowa.  Wah.

God must have a plan that we do not yet see.

Tonight we have two more sick kids, so I guess it was a wise decision to shorten our trip and head back to the barn.

We DID have a wonderful time while we were there, though!
We saw Ryan!
We ate yummy food.
We spent quality time with my parents.
We ate yummy food.
We enjoyed seeing my dad's brother and his wife.
We ate yummy food.

I need to go to the gym.
I say that like it ever happens.
Or is ever likely to happen.

Here are a few pictures.  I tried to mostly get shots of my dad and the kids together and didn't get too many during the Christmas-present-opening and ensuing bedlam.

Singing Christmas Carols 

The three youngest kids sing a Christmas carol to Grandpa

Katie-bug opens her favorite present of the year.

Ryan's present to Chloe.  They have been best buddies since she was a baby.
Bedtime stories
The photos below are courtesy of my Uncle Jim.
Ryan helps his younger cousins put their new toys together


Group shot!  (Jillian doesn't even look like she has a fever...) 

Sadly, we did not think to do a family picture of just us with Ryan.  wah.
In fact, I have no decent pictures of Ryan because he is so camera shy.

Now we are home and thankful that we were able to see Ryan and spend Christmas with my parents.  Looks like we will hunker down and use lots of kleenex and cough medicine for the next few days as we ring in the New Year. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

My Dad

I really have neglected this blog lately.  Life just seems to get away from me.

I wanted to post an update on my dad.  He has been having a lot of complications and bleeding that have landed him in ER numerous times.   He went to Cleveland Clinic this week to see if they had better ideas to try to stop the bleeding.  They did.  We were encouraged and optimistic.

They did a surgical procedure today--thinking they would cauterize the tumors in his bladder that are bleeding.

The doctor was not able to get to the tumor(s).  There was too much scar tissue and cancer.  So...this means that he will have to live with the frequent bleeding episodes that cause incredible pain.

He does have the option of one more procedure that might possibly make him more comfortable but it would involve a major surgery. 

I know my parents would appreciate prayer as they decide what to do...and just prayer in general as they walk this road of cancer.

We will be with him for Christmas and are going to try to make it a very special one.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

In Her Own Words...Molly on her trip to Haiti

 My life-changing event.  (My trip to Haiti)
      "So, what did you do?" That was the first question my mom asked me when I 
walked into the door from coming home. I actually was thinking about writing 
this down, as the first question that anyone asked me after coming back from my 
first Missions Trip. Well I guess this kind of counts. I felt like saying, "mom, I 
went to Haiti there's a lot of things I did."   
     Well here's how it all started...our trip starting from when we landed into 
Haiti.  When we landed I knew that there was no turning back. This is it, the 
moment we've all waited for. When you look out of the window right then 
you know that it's not the same in America, of course.
       That day we took a little tour around the area.  That little tour just 
that alone would change a person's thought of  what poor meant.  What we saw 
were houses broken down, kids that weren't all the way dressed, some of them 
were even naked. They also were dirty, they looked like they haven't eaten for a 
long time, but they weren't complaining at all. They all had smiles on there 
faces and it was also hot out, and they didn't have any air conditioning. It was 
heart breaking.  When we came back we talked about it a lot, but that was still 
the first day, the day that we landed. We went to church the next day, and there 
was A LOT of people there. We went to three different church services that day, 
all before lunch time. The people there worship God almost all day, think about 
it, they don't really have anything and they sing their hearts out, plus it's 
also really early in the morning.
     I also worked with kids for three days. Every day they would all line up 
outside and sing their school song, it was really cool.  We acted out Bible 
stories, and sang songs in Creole and in English. They loved it we did crafts 
with them, they would sort of pull your arms and say 'sheeta' which means sit down 
down in Creole. They really liked it when we would sit by them we would sing 
with them, and they would just look at you right in the face and smile. Their 
smiles will just melt your heart. I also worked with the medical team.  I helped 
out with the reading glasses, we would give them something  to read, and if they 
said that it wasn't clear, we would give them a pair of reading glasses. The 
last day I helped with the construction team, we helped build walls around a 
high school. We hauled concrete. It was a lot of work to haul buckets of 
concrete all day. This is what the Haitian men have to do just for one high 
school. They didn't have any of those fancy machines, let's just say they didn't 
have all of those special equipment to build a high school. So, we helped them. 
      Our last full day in Haiti was our "day off" we went up to the mountains 
and to a restaurant and we had American food and went to gift shops .  
     The day we left was a Saturday and the sixth graders came to school to 
study for their test. A few of us went to the church and hooked up a piano and 
started singing worship songs, the kids came out for recess and came to the 
church, and sang with us. They didn't know what they were singing, because we 
were singing in English. But the kids would just come up hold your hand and sit 
by you, and sing with you. Then it was time to get all your stuff together and 
go to the airport. We said good bye to the kids and hugged them good bye. A 
couple of the kids would come up to you and hug you good bye and say I love you. 
That was like the one of the only things they knew in English. Then we left to 
the airport. When our plane took off I looked out of the window, and said good 
bye. When I looked out of the window I knew that I won't be seeing anything like 
this in a LOONG time. I hope to go back to Haiti another time. This trip was the 
best trip I've ever been on in my entire life, and it changed my life forever.
Molly - age 12 
 Molly, a friend, and Jillian