Saturday, December 29, 2007

Cousins ~

"Jesus... said,.. Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God."
Mark 10:14

December 1st, 2007
From left to right with ages: M.L.-18 months, A.L.-4 years,
2 months., Emma-2 months, Dolly-2 years, 10 months and PC-17 months.

Friday, December 28, 2007


In the last week and a half every member of my little family has fallen victim to the FLU AXE. I have the awful feeling of anticipation as I know I'll probably get axed as soon as I stop expecting it. Lovely feeling don't you think? I was really dreading being sick while the rest of my court was nightly expelling their stomach contents, but thankfully, it's starting to look like some recoveries are being made.

Dolly got sick just before the California conference, and I had half expected it since quite a few people we'd been in contact with, had already suffered at the talons of this bug. In a day or so, Dolly seemed perfectly fine, but then PC got sick and he seemed a lot more miserable than Dolly had been. I guess part of it could have been that he wasn't sick in the daytime like she had been. I got pretty good at changing sheets in the dark, and PC and I worked out a rather efficient method of communication when it came to being sick - thus perfecting our dash to the bathroom. I thought he'd be better in a day or two like Dolly was, and at first that looked to be the case.

Then PC got sick again - or didn't really get over being sick the first time around. He'd pick at his food all day, and then lose anything he'd eaten sometime during the night. This went on for another four days with an occasional day where it looked like he was getting better. But after a while I realized he was only eating because he was probably starving and figured losing his meal was the lesser evil.

Meanwhile, Sir started getting the forerunner symptoms. He kept feeling worse and worse, and one night he took a bucket to bed - just in case. That was the night that Emma got sick. She had nursed before bed and was really upset afterwards. I didn't know what was wrong with her and carried her into my room where Sir was, to have him hold her for a minute while I got ready for bed. Just as I was about to hand Emma to Sir she got really upset, and as soon as I turned her around to face me, she spewed the entire contents of her little stomach all over me. Ok, not entirely... she managed to come up with a second round after I spun her back away from me. This was at 10:30. Emma seemed very much relieved and even cheerful after the spewing episode. She happily cooed at the bathroom towels while I peeled off my coated jumper and took a quick shower.

Clean again, I proceeded to bathe my infant before wrapping her up and putting her to bed in clean clothes. Then I did a quick job with the carpet cleaner to get the worst of 'round 2' cleaned up. I finally crawled into bed at 11:30 only to be catapulted out at 1:30 thanks to Emma's screams. She was starving! How dare I put her to bed on an empty stomach? She quickly forgave me and heartily stuffed herself before falling back to sleep. I tiptoed back to bed, slipped under the covers, glanced at the 2:00 on my side table clock, almost closed my eyes and bolted back out of bed and down to PC's room where he was losing his meal. Thankfully he hardly had anything in his stomach so it didn't take long to clean him up and change his clothes. Although we did need a new pillowcase, the sheets were spared which was nice. Back to bed at 2:20.

Next it was Sir's turn. I jolted awake as he exploded across the room at 3:30. While he got a hold of himself in the bathroom, I cleaned up in our room. There were only a few spots that missed the bucket thankfully. Back to bed at 4, and up again at 5:30 to change Emma's outfit since she'd lost part of her 1:30 meal. She didn't want to eat and was happy again in dry clothes so I just put her back to bed. I didn't notice the spot on the crib sheet until the next morning, but that was only because I didn't put Emma back in the same spot she'd been in after I changed her. I crashed back to bed at quarter to 6 only to get up an hour later to calm Dolly down. She'd lost her pacifier and started to panic. I was just glad she wasn't sick again. Then I slept until the alarm went off and PC decided to get up for the day at 7:30.

That all happened Monday night. Needless to say Tuesday was rather unprofitable, but Wednesday it looked like we were going to get over this bug. Except, PC and Emma were sick again Wednesday night. Yesterday seemed ok, and today PC has just been fussy. He's probably tired though. He kept waking up last night because he was thirsty. Speaking of tired... I need to put my munchkins down for naps. They're happily playing in the Pillow Corner right now, but there's not a lot of room over there and I'm sure I'll be hearing from them soon if I don't put them to bed first!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Family Picture - 2008

"How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee."
Psalm 139:17-18

Friday, December 14, 2007

Thoughts of the Heart

Thoughts of the Heart


Little fingers, little feet;
So mischivous - Yet so sweet.
Lots of work and lots of joy:
To have and love my girls and boy!

Never quiet, never dull-
Every moment is so full.
Fun Adventures, some close calls;
Part of growing are the falls.

Constant learning how to be
A better Mother to my three.
I am thankful that each day,
Starts out fresh - as do they!

But of myself, this I plead,
That to Jesus I might lead-
My little ones - treasured so,
Not just by me - To HIM might go!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

John's 7 Hours

Up until Sunday, we've been studying the book of Proverbs in our reading meetings. When I wasn't juggling one of our three little ones, I've managed to pick up a few very practical things. But since we'd reached a natural division in the book, it was decided to take up a less earthly subject for a little while before finishing up in Proverbs. The 'Upper Room Ministry' (John chapters 13-17)was selected and we only made it through a handful of verses before our hour was up. I was sitting on the edge of my chair waiting for the next sentence and then looked up at the clock to find that we were already seven minutes overtime!

Maybe it was because all three of my children were sleeping during meeting and I'd had a short power nap earlier, but I was able to focus and really enjoy what was shared. So much that I went home and listened to the recording of the meeting where I could jot down my notes! Anyway, good things should be shared. There was so much to be gathered in that one hour, but here's a beginning!

7 Hours in the Book of John

Ch 2:4 "Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come." - The hour that the Lord Jesus is speaking of here is the 'Hour of Pubic Manifestation before the world'. It's referring to the future when Christ will appear in all his power and glory.

Ch 4:23,24 "But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." This is the 'Hour of Christian Worship' and it's referring to the present - this time that Christians can worship their Lord.

Ch 5:25 "Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live." This is also referring to the present. It's the 'Hour of His Grace toward sinners'. It's now while the gospel is being preached and souls have the chance to be saved.

Sadly, though this hour will come to an end. "Behold NOW is the accepted time; behold NOW is the day of salvation!" 2 Corinthians 6:2 "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved!" Acts 16:31 "That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Romans 10:9. Hm... 'looks like I got off topic here - back to the hours.

Ch 5:28,29 "Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." This hour was the hardest for me to grasp into a nutshell. It's the 'Hour of His Supremacy over Death and the Grave' It's a future hour that partly takes place after the millennium.

Ch 7:30, 8:20 "Then they sought to take him: but no man laid hands on him, because his hour was not yet come." "These words spake Jesus in the treasury, as he taught in the temple: and no man laid hands on him; for his hour was not yet come." This hour is past. It's the 'Hour of His Sufferings at the hand of man'. It's referring to when the Lord Jesus was beaten and mocked and crucified by man - the race he willing died to save from a lost eternity.

Ch 12:27 "Now is my soul troubled: and what shall I say? Father save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour." This is the 'Hour of His Suffering at the Hand of God to make Atonement'. This hour too is past and because of it, there is a way for sinful creatures such as we to enter into the presence of a sinless and sin-hating God instead of spending an eternity suffering for the sins that we have committed. "Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me." John 14:6

Ch 13:1, 17:1 "Now before the feast of the passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end." "These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify they Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee:" This is the 'Hour of His Return to Glory', it's past and is referring to when the Lord Jesus ascended to heaven after he rose triumphant from the grave.

Well, I had more I was going to share, but this post is getting long. Maybe it will make it into another post later. Right now I've got to get our kids up from their naps so we can go pick Sir up from work!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Go-Go and Duh!

Last night I listened in as Sir said goodnight to our kids. As he pulled Dolly up onto his lap, she requested that he "say Goodnight to us boef?" So, instead of saying goodnight to them individually, Sir called PC so he could tell them both goodnight at the same time. Here's how the session went:

Sir: Ok! So I get to say goodnight to you both?
Dolly: Yesss!! (huge grin)
PC: Grunt (nods emphatically)
Sir: K, Dolly and Nathan -
Dolly looks at him like he must be mistaken)
Sir: What? This isn't Nathan? Oh! (then turning to PC) What's your name?
PC: Duh!
Sir: Ah! Duh!. K, Dolly and Duh, -
Dolly: No! I'm not Dolly! I'm Go-Go!!
Sir: Hm. Ok. Now, Go-Go and Duh, (Dolly giggles, PC grins) It's time for BED!
Dolly and PC cheer, Sir begins the bedtime list of forbidden things and I headed off to finish whatever I was working on a few minutes earlier.

After Sir sent the kids to me and I had put them in bed, he came out and said to me, "You really should choose more flattering names for your children than Go-Go and Duh!"

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Fevers and Furnaces

This is really just a filler post because I'm feeling so guilty for not posting in so long. And the post that I've been working on is taking me a lot longer than I'd planned. Oh well, if I waited until I got caught up on life, this stuff would be so irrelevant that it'd be practically useless to post.

Sunday night I stayed up late and ended up getting to bed around midnight. Then promptly at 1am, Dolly woke up fussing. When I went in to check on her she was drenched in sweat and burning up. I took her temperature under her arm and after watching the numbers rise for what seemed like forever, came up with a reading of 102.7 From what I understand, you're supposed to add a degree and a half to figure out what the temp really is. I gave Dolly some Motrin, pulled her hair into a ponytail off her neck, and wiped her face down with a cool cloth. Thus settled, she went back to sleep and only woke up a few more times in the next two hours before succumbing to the power of fever-reducing meds. Thankfully, the fever didn't come back and the next day she was pretty much back to her old self.

Then last night just before we went to bed Sir mentioned that the house felt colder than usual and asked me if I'd turned the thermostat down. I hadn't intentionally touched it and told him so, but got up to check just in case I'd bumped it accidentally sometime during the day. It was set to where we normally have it, and just for good measure, I nudged it up a notch, checked on the kids again - gave each of them an extra blanket (their rooms were even colder than ours was) and then I headed to bed. For a change I had to fight for my double share of the blankets last night because Sir never warmed up. Even with my lions' share of blankets I was still freezing. I pulled Emma into bed to nurse twice too - that's two more times than she normally nurses at night, but she was fussy (probably because she was cold). I'd even tossed an extra blanket on our bed before I hopped in last night - not that it helped much.

Needless to say, this morning the house was even colder. Thinking back, I realized that the furnace didn't turn on a few minutes after I'd adjusted the thermostat last night, and the thermometer this morning prooved it. It was a shivering 20 degrees (Fahrenheit) cooler than normal. At least the sun was shining this morning - I can only image how cold it would have been if it was raining today. I had a flashback memory of dressing for kindergarten in front of my mom's open oven door so I turned the oven on and every half hour I've opened the oven door for 10 minutes or however long I can stay guarding the oven before being needed somewhere else.

Sir's going to stop by to take a look at the furnace on his way over to Chasm's house where he'll work on our van a bit more. The water pump on the van died last week so we've been pouring water into it constantly to keep from overheating anytime we go somewhere. Yes, it was rather inconvenient to have to pull over in a blizzard to put water in your overheating vehicle! More on that project later. Anyway, if Sir can't fix the furnace tonight, he'll probably pick up some electric heaters. We've wanted to get a couple for a long time, and have just put it off since we didn't need to have extra heaters. Then we won't freeze while we look into fixing the furnace problem! Now I know why summertime is my favorite time of year!

So much for a short filler post. I must like to talk or something, because I can really get carried away if I give myself a minute. I was originally just killing time since PC was not being good and taking his nap. I've had to go in to his room a few times. Now naptime is almost over and I'll probably let him up. He's probably too cold to sleep. It's amazing how fast a room can cool down when the door is closed and the heat is on the other side!

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Going Blond

Maybe it's all the napless days I've had recently. Maybe it's the four Comanche Indian* children running around my house these past few days. (Continued two days later) Maybe it's just me, but I found the following a little amusing:

On Thursday I had the car since Dolly needed to go see the orthopedic surgeon again and get another x-ray. Since we were already going to be in the imaging department, I decided to get my chest x-ray done at the same time (updates later - promise!).

Anyway, as the day drew to a close, I started waiting for Sir's call. He usually calls me when he gets off work to let me know he's on his way home. That way if I need anything for supper he can pick it up and if he's running late, I won't have supper getting cold by the time he gets home. Usually this call happens between 5:30 and quarter to 6. But that particular day, when I glanced at the clock, it was nearly 6pm and Sir still hadn't called me.

So, I decided to call him - sometimes he won't call me if he thinks I might still be taking my afternoon nap. I grabbed the phone and dialed the cell phone. After two rings, the phone in the kitchen started ringing and I jumped up to answer it. Obviously Sir must be calling me on the cell phone because I was on the land line and it would be busy. As I neared the cell phone, I cancelled my call to Sir in order to answer the ringing cell. But just as I reached for the cell phone, it stopped ringing! Ten minutes later, Sir called me on our house phone from work to say he was about to leave for home.

Sometimes I wonder why I tell Sir about these sorts of things.. he found my story terribly amusing. They say people 'Go Grey'... but I think some 'Go Blond' first!

*The term my mom used to described her children when they were running wildly about accompanied with lots of noise.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Emma - One Month Old

"And Miriam answered them, Sing ye to the LORD, for he hath triumphed gloriously;"
Exodus 15:21

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


This is going to be short because I'm supposed to be taking a nap now that my kids are settling down for theirs.

As I was re-reading my last two posts... and the comments people have left, I realized that I left a few facts out. First off, quite a few people have asked me if Dolly's broken arm was the same limb as her hairline fractured wrist. Erroneously, I've been telling them, "Yes." and then I caught a glimpse of one of the pictures on my screen saver and realized, that no, she fractured her RIGHT wrist back a few months ago.

The other thing is I didn't actually say how Dolly's arm got broken. One reason is because I wasn't there when it happened, but from what we've gathered from Dolly, PC is the one who broke her arm. Dolly says she was "Helping PC to get down" and he fell on her. I'm not really sure what he was climbing or how high he was before he came down on his sister. There wasn't a scratch on PC, so I'm guessing he wasn't really very high at all, and that Dolly wasn't 'helping' him get down... she was probably trying to 'make' him get down and in the struggle, they both crashed. Because of how thoroughly her arm was broken, I'm also guessing that her arm got propped up against something before her brother landed on it - sort of like a log across a canyon style.

Anyway, I should go. I'm wasting precious nap minutes and I need them more than ever with one kid half handicapped, one trying to cling to me every possible minute because he still hasn't gotten over his latest cold and one wailing at me because she's sure she's going to starve to death before the three hours between feedings run out!

And someday I'll actually get the post I was working on Thursday afternoon finished and posted! - Ah! Somebody waileth a summons... I must attend to said child... but at least she can nurse in bed.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Rest of the Story...

Sorry to keep you all waiting so long for an update. I know I said I'd post pictures of Dolly's arm yesterday, but yesterday was post in itself. I was home all of two hours between 10am and 11pm! But that's beside the point - this post is about Dolly's arm.

Ok! Back to my story. Even though we'd been through triage, we stayed out in the triage waiting room because the ER was so busy Thursday evening. After about half and hour, a really tall and very tired looking doctor came over. He asked Dolly where her arm hurt, and she pointed to her empty shirt sleeve and said 'There'. Even if the doctor had looked under her sweater to see what she meant, he wouldn't have seen just 'where' she was indicating. So, he said something about getting pictures of her elbow and wandered back behind the triage desk. I wasn't sure if we were supposed to follow him or not, and I didn't think anything of his 'elbow' comment. Sir went and asked a nurse behind the registration desk if we were supposed to wait where we were or find our way to the x-ray department and she said we were to stay put until we were called.

After another 20 minutes or so, we were called in behind the triage doors and told to follow the red line to the imaging department where we'd wait for our turn for pictures. While Dolly and I waited to be called, Sir took the carseat out to our car so we wouldn't have to continue to lug it around the hospital. While he was gone, we were called in.

We had to unwrap Dolly's arm for the x-ray, and the lack of extra support, caused her to really hurt more. At first the technician wanted me to hold her on my lap so they could put her elbow on a raised table in front of us. I told him Dolly wouldn't be able to put her arm in the position he was asking for because of where it was broken. Then he told me they were suppose to take pictures of the elbow and when I told him that they should have been told to photograph the whole arm, he decided to go double check with the doctor. The instructions and the patient weren't makeing sense together. When he came back he said that the plans were changed and they'd be taking pictures of her arm - not just the elbow.

Poor Dolly was so brave. Repositioning her 'just so' for the x-rays was very painful, but she did it, and the technician gave her a sticker when we were all done. At least they only had to take two shots, and we got to leave with a wheelchair. Yay! (Dolly was getting a little heavy to carry everywhere). Below are some closer looks at the x-rays in the top photo. The first picture is looking at the arm from the front where the second is a look from the left side. Click on any of them to view full size.

Once the x-rays were done, we headed over to another waiting room, but only had to wait about 15 minutes before the doctor got to us. He had called a orthopedic surgeon to get a second opinion and the surgeon said he wanted to see Dolly in a week. So, the ER doctor put a temporary sort of cast on Dolly's arm. Basically it's a strip of fiberglass that starts at the shoulder, goes down the outside of her arm, and folds over the elbow as it ends just short of the armpit. Then the whole thing was wrapped with an ace bandage before a foam strip was fashioned into a collar-sling. Thankfully, wrapping the arm took less than five minutes since any kind of movement was very painful, and the doctor was very gentle. When he was done we waited another 20 minutes or so for a nurse to bring us the surgeon's contact information and a few doses of painkillers to go home with. Below are a couple pictures of while we were waiting to leave, and a shot of Dolly's bandage.

Dolly has to sleep in a semi-upright position to allow gravity to keep her arm properly aligned. The first night was the hardest for her as she was up every two hours due to the pain. Last night she slept solid from 11pm to 9:15 this morning - which was wonderful for me since I was past the point of exhaustion after yesterday! Speaking of sleep... I need to get some since it's getting late and I have no idea how my kids are going to sleep tonight. At least I got this posted today - I've only been working on it off and on over the last 12 hours!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Breaking News

Yep, you guessed it - we just spent the last four hours in the emergency room again. Only this time we got to ride in an ambulance to get there.

Just as the kids were about to get into bed, I realized PC's soother was missing. So, I started my search through the house and the kids started playing/goofing off/etc in their room. Within a few minutes I heard them start to argue/fight/fuss at each other followed by a huge bang. Both Dolly and PC started crying and I rushed to investigate. PC was screaming the loudest so I started trying to figure out what was wrong with him, while Dolly ended up in my room still crying rather intently. Sir noticed that Dolly wasn't using her left arm, and over the racket I realized that PC was fine and was just making noise while Dolly was actually hurting.

When I took Dolly's P.J. top off to get a better look, she squirmed in pain, and her arm tensed up. And instantly I knew her arm was broken. Clean through. It had disfigured into an 'S' shape each time she tried to used it. While I tried to keep Dolly's arm straight and stable, Sir called 911 to get an ambulance. There was no way we would be able to get her to the hospital with her arm the way it was.

Meanwhile, PC was still crying, Sir was on the phone and couldn't get off, and Emma had lost her soother and was letting the world know she'd been abandoned - forgotten - worse! Sir tossed me the cell phone and I called Grandma C to ask her to come take, or stay with PC and Emma while we took Dolly to the ER. Within seconds, Grandma C. was on her way. She got here just five minutes before the ambulance pulled up outside so at least the younger two kids were under control and we could hear each other speak!

The paramedics wrapped Dolly's arm to her body and we dodged out through the pouring rain to the ambulance - carseat in tow. At first Dolly wasn't too sure about riding in the ambulance, but Mommy was coming and the paramedics gave her a teddy bear - to keep, so life was bearable.

It didn't take long before we were through triage, had briefly seen the pediatric doctor in the triage waiting room and were waiting for x-rays (where we took the picture above)

Well, it's 2am, Sir has sent his e-mail to work letting them know he'll be in late tomorrow, and I need to get to bed. Everything is ok, and I'll post a follow up tomorrow with all the pictures - I can't stay awake to re size them now.

Friday, November 09, 2007

This One's for Sir...

I'm sure he can relate to the I.T. guy. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Unforgotten and Unremembered*

Five years ago today, I made one of the best decisions of my life. Let me tell you how it went....

Sir had flown down to The Middle of Nowhere (that's where I lived on The Ranch) to see me. This was back when we'd somehow manage to see each other for a few days every couple of months before resuming the long distance courtship of e-mail and phone calls. Anyway, he flew in Thursday evening, and after I got off work, I drove down to the airport to pick him up. I think he was supposed to fly home Sunday night, so on our drive back to the Ranch we discussed what we were going to do for the next couple of days. I was taking Friday off from work and we had previously agreed that I would make all the plans for Friday, and Sir would make all the plans for Saturday. Sunday took care of itself because there was just enough time to go to meeting and have lunch before we'd have to head back to the airport. But when we got to the ranch, Sir casually suggested we switch our assigned days. It seemed a bit strange to me that it made a difference which day we each were responsible for, but anything I was planning could be done on either day. So, I had no problem with the switch, promptly forgot my initial puzzlement and settled down to enjoy being with my knight.

I should have been more suspicious, but I was too preoccupied. Earlier that week I had been talking to Sir on the phone and somehow he got me to give my dad the phone without making me too suspicious. And my dad played right along. They both teased me for being suspicious and my dad even tossed out some seemingly senseless clues "Emotional Salad Bowl" he grinned at me. What? I just shook my head and tried to pry some information out of Sir, but he wouldn't budge. So, I put it aside to work on later.

Anyway, I don't remember perfectly, but we probably went for a moonlit walk Thursday night before saying goodnight. When Sir visited me, he usually got to sleep on the second story of the horse barn. Then we'd set our alarms, and meet up for a early morning horseback ride where we talked and watched the sun rise over the misty rolling hills. I still am amazed at how we managed to drag ourselves out of bed so early in the mornings... especially since we're both more on the night owl side of things and we'd often stay up till Midnight before finally saying goodnight. Friday morning we saddled up and raced our horses to the High Point where we'd get a front row seat to see the sun rise. I remember welcoming the warmth of the sun that chilly morning. We just sat there watching the world wake up. The High Point overlooked the county road for a little ways and we saw my dad drive by on his way home from work. We waved, but he didn't see us - of course he was probably dead tired from working all night and wasn't looking for two kids on horses at 7:50 in the morning.

We rode back to the house for breakfast and then hopped in my car and drove to our favorite park. It was a tiny little historical park that was originally the homestead of the 'former president of the Bear Flag Republic - California independent of Mexican rule.' Outside the little one-room adobe house, was a wooden plank bench on the porch overlooking the beautiful Sacramento River. This was where we'd read and pray before getting on with the day. We were reading in Ecclesiastes, but I can't remember now which chapter we read that morning. I do remember holding Sir's hand when it was my turn to pray and I remember him squeezing my hand as I prayed for "whatever it was that (Sir) has up his sleeve". I guess he squeezed my hand while trying not to laugh at my suspiciousness.

After we finished our little reading, we started to go for a walk around the park. When Sir pulled me up from the bench, he didn't let go of my hands right away. Instead he stayed facing me and said my full name and paused before finishing with, "I love you,". This was something different... the saying my full name part. He'd done it earlier that morning and the evening before too. I was a little puzzled, but it wasn't something to worry about or anything. He let go of my right hand and we walked down the path along the river. When we got to the little wooden bridge that a small stream ran under on its way to the river, we stopped underneath the leafless grape vines that hung from the huge oak trees and leaned, side by side, against the bridge rail as we looked out over the river.

We stood there for a few minutes not talking - just enjoying the morning and each other's company. Then Sir stood up and took my hands again and said my full name. This was strange behaviour and my puzzlement must have showed a little because he let go of my hands and clasped his hands behind my neck. Still standing an arms length away, he repeated my full name yet again. And this time after the pause, he finished with, "Marry me?"

I really wasn't... quite... ready for that question. Of course I knew it was coming... but I thought it was still a few months away at least. I just stared at him as I grasped what I'd just heard. And then, thinking that he might not be ready to ask this question I asked, "Are you sure?" Not exactly the most romantic response, I know, but he knew he'd surprised me and just answered, "Yes, will you marry me?" And as I could do nothing but cry he pulled me in for a hug. He kept hugging me until I realized I hadn't answered him. I stepped back, and while both laughing and crying at the same time, I accepted my knight's proposal.

That was when he explained why he wanted Friday instead of Saturday. We were going to go ring shopping, and he wanted to make sure the stores would all be open. When we got back to the car, he pulled out a bunch of maps he'd printed before he'd left to come see me. All the ring stores he could find within 30 miles were marked out on the maps. I was astonished he'd been planning it out for so long and that he'd gone into such detail and research. Then I remembered my morning prayer and laughed at just what I had prayed for! Just before we drove away, I started to tell him how close to my imagined proposal he'd come and wistfully mentioned something along the lines of my dad getting asked for my hand first. Sir grinned at me and said he had asked my dad... earlier that week... on the phone to be exact. We laughed at how well I'd been surprised, and I marvelled at how well Sir knew me. I'd wanted to be surprised, but not really with a ring. I kind of wanted to choose a ring together, but I knew when the time came, it really wouldn't matter. I really wanted my dad to give his permission first and I never mentioned any of it to Sir. We'd never talked about those parts of our future before that day.

We stopped for lunch somewhere (I don't remember where) and then we spent the rest of the afternoon looking for my ring. When we finally found the one we liked, the jeweler told us they could have it ready for us that evening, so we made a dinner reservation at a restaurant and sat in the car outside the jeweler's shop where we started making our wedding plans. Once we picked up the ring, we went to dinner and afterwards stopped by the hospital to wait for my dad to get to work so we could tell him that we were engaged. My dad was 'on call' to work that night and he thought he'd be called. While we waited we designed the ring picture at the top of this post and when we were finished, we discovered that my dad wasn't going to work that evening. So, we headed back to the Ranch and shared our news with my family before calling Sir's family on the phone to tell them too.

And so now you know the story of this day five years ago. I need to publish this soon, or it will end up getting put off again.

*(not forgotten yet still seldom brought to mind)

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Emma's Welcoming Party

The same day that Bashful gave me the calendar of help, she handed me an invitation. She and HisLady were planning a party for Emma. I thought it was really sweet, because generally you think that someone with three kids won't be needing any more stuff for a baby. But surprisingly, things wear out, get stained or worse and although you may have everything necessary for a baby - it's just really nice to have something new and refreshing!

The day of the shower, was the day after I first came down with my cough that ended up being bronchitis. It was a cloudy day and, although it rained a bit in the morning, it was clear and dry that afternoon and evening. The weather forecast was supposed to be clear and sunny so I had insisted Sir take the car to work and I would walk to Chasm and HisLady's house. It was my first attempt at taking a walk with a stroller and three kids and we arrived at a decent time in spite of our adventures.

I did remember to take the camera, but when you're second-in-line to being the center of attention, you don't end up taking very many pictures. And if you're like me, you don't remember to ask someone else to take pictures for you either. As soon as we got to HisLady's house, PC ran off to find Jolly and I discovered them a few minutes later when I decided it would be wise to locate my absent son. Thankfully, I actually had my camera in hand, and the little boys didn't see me until I'd grabbed a few pictures of them in their mischief. I guess boys will be boys no matter how little they are!

Meanwhile, Dolly had run upstairs to play with the other girls and Emma was making faces at all the cameras aimed at her downstairs. Go ahead and click on any of the pictures to get a closer look. Some of them are worth it!

Anyway, the evening started off with supper. Bashful provided all the food as I later discovered. There were enchiladas, corn pudding casserole, chips, salsa, sour cream and guacamole. All of it was delicious! Grandma C. made my favorite cake for desert, but I didn't get any pictures of it since it was mostly gone by the time I remembered that I had a camera on the premises. Oh well, at least you know it was good!

Once the kids were wiped up and released to play again, HisLady started the games. There was a 'Dress the Baby' race where everyone was divided into three teams, given a bag of clothes (including a diaper, socks and shoes) and one of the three one-year-olds. Wisely, HisLady had made sure that the mother of each toddler was NOT on the team that had to dress her baby. It was an absolute riot and I had so much fun! Monkey's team won and everyone on the team got to choose a prize. Then there was the classic 'Dirty Diaper' game. You had to identify by smell (or taste if you dared) what kind of chocolate candy was mangled inside each diaper. Astonishingly, Aunt Knittery's middle daughter got every single diaper right! The last game we played was a 'Alphabet Baby Names' game. Each person had to come up with a girl's name. They had to be in alphabetical order, and each name could only be used once. They started with me and went clockwise around the room. If you couldn't come up with a name that started with the next letter in the alphabet, you were out. You wouldn't believe how difficult it is to come up with a name that starts with Q,X,Z or U until you try this game, but you wouldn't experience the outlandish made up names if you didn't give it a try either! Lots and lots of fun for sure.
After the games were over, I got to open gifts. The main gift was a money basket that turned out to be a very generous amount! But there were quite a few other gifts as well including the decorated diaper cake (above) made out of 78 diapers, baby washcloths, baby socks, bottle liners, a teething ring, pacifiers, tiny teddy bears, wooden spoons and a chocolate filled bottle. I got a few outfits for Emma, some cardboard books, toys and a dozen homemade bibs among other things. I must admit I got rather excited about the bibs and feel rather silly looking back now, but the bibs were terribly practical and something that I really needed, and I was definitely not expecting to get anything like them!

By the time the gifts were all opened it was getting pretty late. The shower had started at 5pm and the alphabet game took a while to play - all that thinking, you know. I called home to let Sir know we were ready to be picked up, but he didn't answer and I left a message instead. Sir had planned to go over the border for gas and groceries after he got off work so I wasn't too suspicious. He called me back half an hour later and said he'd be on his way in a few minutes. Twenty minutes later, he arrived - we live within five minutes driving distant from Chasm and HisLady. Anyway, we loaded the van, with kids and gifts and went home. Once everything was unloaded and I was about halfway through getting the kids ready for bed, I noticed two huge boxes in the living room. Sir had picked up a surprise while he was across the border, but this post is long enough as it is, and I'll write about that another time! Hm, I guess I should include a picture of me with Emma. Just ignore my frizzy hair please - it's worse in the shots where I'm looking at the camera, so that's why I chose this one!

And my kids are up from their naps, so I have other things to do now. Until next time!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Captain Dan Has Posted Again!

Hooray for Captain Dan! Click over (here) to see what he said, and leave lots of comments so he'll keep blogging! Read his Jeep Wagoneer BBQ post and you'll know why I want to see more posts over at The Last Resort. I grew up on The Ranch and dearly miss hearing what's happening now-a-days. And... while you're thinking about The Ranch, read SAJ's laundry post (here) to get a general feeling of what it used to be like - she did a pretty good job describing it!

Friday, October 19, 2007


Finally! I can breathe!

Yesterday 'Ann-Tee' as Dolly calls her, came over to help me with the kids. She called me up Monday morning to see if I could use some help Thursday since that was the day she could come over. It worked out perfectly, because on Monday I called my doctor's office to make an appointment for as soon as possible. I wasn't feeling any better than I had been on Saturday, and the cough syrup that was giving me enough help to fall asleep each night was almost gone. Thursday happened to be the soonest I could be seen and even then I'd be seeing a different doctor since our family doctor was booked until next week.

Anyway Ann-Tee came over at 9:30 and I was able to take a shower and WASH MY HAIR! Washing my hair makes my shower twice as long, so unless I have time to spare aka: using valuable nap minutes, I pin my hair up and do my best to speed wash the sour milk off of me. Then while I got started attempting to make some order in my kitchen, Ann-Tee kept my kids happily entertained by reading all the books they kept bringing her. I'm sure she read a few of them more than once too. By the time the kitchen was halfway presentable, it was time for lunch and I had enough time to eat my own lunch and feed Emma before it was time to leave for my appointment.

The doctor listened to my wheezy gasping (it hardly qualified as breathing)and agreed that I needed some inhalers. I had told her I'd dug up an old inhaler the day before and had used it in spite of it being expired because I just could not breathe. If I'd had a car, I would have headed for the ER, but I only have the car if I ask for it ahead of time. So, I was given a sample conditioning inhaler and a prescription for a quick-acting inhaler to use as needed. She also gave me another cough syrup prescription since I'd asked about getting more as it really made a difference in calming my cough and getting to sleep.

It was past my kids' naptime so I didn't wait around for the prescriptions to be filled. I was planning on going back to that area to pick Sir up from work later and could get my medicines then. I didn't want to leave Ann-Tee with my fussy, tired kids for any longer than was necessary. As it was, when I got home it was nearly an hour past their normal naptime, and since I was planning to pick Sir up, I'd have to wake the kids up before they'd slept long enough. I put my kids to bed and Ann-Tee headed home. It was pouring rain all day long that day, and I felt terrible letting her walk. I had offered her a ride home, but she said she'd take the bus like usual. I could have packed all the kids up and driven her, but then they would have completely missed their nap that day. They didn't settle down for a long time that afternoon so they barely got a nap in after all. Oh well. Not everything goes according to plan.

While I was at the doctor's, HisLady dropped by to deliver a pot of soup for our supper. She stayed and helped Ann-Tee with the kids for almost half an hour and finished cleaning up my kitchen while she was there. She was gone by the time I got home, but it was nice not to have to come up with supper that evening!

After we picked Sir up from work, we dropped by the pharmacy to get my filled prescriptions. I've been using the fast-acting inhaler as needed, and I have room in my lungs to breathe! It's such a relief. I can climb the stairs without collapsing in the nearest chair for ten minutes hacking away as I gasped for breath. I can breathe deeply enough to actually cough up some of the gunk in my lungs. I can breathe and I'm so glad!

I was feeling so much better today, that when Bashful and her kids dropped by to drop off our supper and to help me for a couple hours, we tackled the job of cleaning the carpet in the dining room! It was so nice to have energy enough to be productive. It was nice having an extra pair of hands to work on the carpet stains too. The kids kept each other busy building forts out of the living room furniture, pillows and blankets, so they stayed out of our way which made the work faster. When we were just about done with the carpet, Bashful took the older three of our six kids and walked down to McDonalds where she grabbed some lunch. With just the three little ones (all of them sleeping at the time) I was able to finish the carpet job. It's nice to have a clean floor in the dining room again!

Maybe it's the antibiotics finally making a difference... maybe it's being able to breathe... maybe it's both, but I finally feel like I've gotten past the worst of this bug. Things are looking up and I'm sure I'll be feeling ten times better tomorrow than I did last Saturday!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

More Than Friends

Almost three weeks ago, Bashful handed me a folded piece of paper after prayer meeting. When I opened it I was shocked at the extent of the love my sisters in Christ have for me. To see for yourself, click (here).

In front of me was a month calendar filled out with meals, help, babysitting and laundry volunteered by my friends and family. I mentioned in previous posts that Grandma C. came over to help me adjust to a bigger family the first week of Emma's life, but instead of my help being ended when she had to resume her own life, it went on for the next month!

So far, only half the month has gone by, and people have done even more than they signed up for to help me. I've had supper provided almost every day because when a meal was delivered, often there was enough food for more than one meal. No one has forgotten a day that they signed up to do something for me, and even some who weren't on the calendar at all have called me up and offered food or help.

Lily kept all three of my kids for 3 hours that first week, giving me a chance to do some grocery shopping that I'd been putting off for too long. Then yesterday she called me up and offered to take Dolly and PC for the afternoon so I could get some rest. She even came over and picked them up since Sir had the car. It was such a help! With the older ones gone I could take the baby and just go to bed. I slept for over two hours and didn't have to pop out of bed in an instant to let my kids up from their naps! I felt SO lazy... pampered... rested. It was a wonderful break and it was completely unexpected and very much needed. And that evening, HisLady brought my little ones home along with an already hot supper ready to go on the table!

Grandma C. came over yesterday morning and helped for an hour or so before needing to go. She bathed my kids, did my dishes and insisted I sit down with a cup of tea. Then she made a special trip back to our house just to bring us some soup for lunch! Today, just before I was about to start my last project before our afternoon naps, Mamma Bear called and said she was watching Lily's kids and wanted to know if she could take my older kids for the afternoon! I was even more tired than I was yesterday, but I didn't have the car so I couldn't drop them off. So, she came over and picked them up! She kept them all afternoon so I could get a really good nap and she even fed Dolly and PC supper. As well as providing supper for us tonight as the calendar indicated!

Having the afternoon free that last two days, has been such a help. It's given me a chance to just rest and work on getting better. It really is a blessing to have so many people around so willing to help! I have so much to be thankful for. I'm still wheezing most of the time, coughing a lot, and my airways are still restricted, but the antibiotics are starting to work. I'll be so glad to get over this since it's been the worst lung malady that I've had in more than five years!

Anyway, speaking of getting better... I need to go find another cough drop before I work myself into a coughing fit again. Once I get started it's really hard to stop and I still have a splitting headache from the last coughing fit!

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Sailing Under A Yellow Flag

Mothers are not allowed to get sick. And somehow, my body forgot that little rule of motherhood.

On Wednesday I thought it was just an annoying cough. It would pass. Besides, I was expecting to come down with a cough as a result of the laughing gas I used during labour. It's not recommended for people with asthmatic history but nobody will refuse you that pain reducer if you still want to take the chance of your asthma rearing up a few weeks down the road.

Anyway, the cough got worse on Thursday, but I wasn't too worried since I figured I knew what it was. By Friday it was more than just a little annoying, and like the flick of a light switch, I was noticeably worse that evening. My chest hurt when I coughed, my throat was getting raw from so much coughing, and the cough was nearly constant. Worst of all, it seemed to be settling in my lungs. Not a good thing since my lungs aren't the strongest.

Last night, although Emma slept solid for six hours, I did not. Even being drugged up with cough suppressant/expectorant and nasal decongestants didn't seem to help. I barely slept at all and my coughing didn't help Sir get very much rest either. By this morning I was feeling half dead, and at times more than half dead. My voice was nearly gone, I couldn't get three words out of my mouth without sending myself into a coughing fit, and if I wasn't coughing I was so exhausted from coughing, that I didn't even have the energy to do anything except collapse in a heap on the bed, chair or floor.

That was when Sir decided I needed to go see a doctor. He had suggested it on Wednesday, and I was going to make an appointment since a lot of my coughs end in lung infections. I didn't get around to it before the doctor's office was closed for the weekend and since today was Saturday, my options were the emergency room or a clinic. I chose the clinic and Sir bravely stayed at home with all three kids so I could go see a doctor. The kids were going crazy because it was lunchtime, they were hungry and Mommy was acting far from normal.

I had a half hour wait at the clinic before being called in, and in less than five minutes the doctor told me I had bronchitis and sent me on my way with a prescription for some antibiotics and a strong cough syrup. The cough syrup has really helped, and in a day or two I should notice the effect of the antibiotics. At least I'd better - they were expensive enough!

So, when I'm brave enough to try lying down, I'll be going to bed. I'm tired, but coughing sure takes a lot out of you and it's worse when I'm not upright. At least typing doesn't require extra breath to accomplish or this post wouldn't have made it past the first sentence! Now I just have to start functioning again before Sir gets what I have - I really hope he skips out on it this time though. This bug really knocks the wind out of you - literally!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

One Day At A Time

You know, life just slips by you one day at a time. Sometimes I wonder if every mother looks at her little ones and feels the desperate longing to keep them just the way they are - knowing that one day she'll look at them, and they won't need her any more. That the smallest things she does which influence them so completely now - magnified a thousand times, will hardly budge their actions in only a few short years. Knowing that one minute she'll lose her guard and blink. And they'll be all grown up. And then she cries.

Then it doesn't matter how much sleep she gets, or how little housework gets done, or that she's going deaf because of the little voices crying in her ears. The headaches, the stress, the chaos - is worth having these precious minutes while her children are small and pliable. That's when you want to pile all of your little ones in your lap and just hold them and never let them go. But of course, they look at you like you've gone crazy, and just try harder to squirm out of your arms.

But that's what I want to know - How do you enjoy these little moments (where your babies are squirming out of your arms or screaming their heads off) when you know that those very moments are limited? That one minute they'll be there for you to savour and then one day they'll be gone. Forever.

I know, I know. I'm probably worrying too much. After all, my oldest isn't even three years old yet. There's still a couple years before she starts off to school. My son is still in diapers and probably will be for another year.. my baby is barely sleeping through the night. But time keeps ticking, the days keep going, and my little ones won't be little forever. They won't be little for very long at all.

But don't let me get you all depressed or anything. There are more cheerful things to think about. For example: In the last two days, Emma's schedule has seemed to change into something absolutely reasonable! I'm so excited - hopefully it's not just a chance occurrence or anything. Last night she slept for SIX hours solid - 11:30 to 5:30. On top of that, when she woke up to eat, she managed to make the feeding just 15 minutes long and then without further ado, she went right back to sleep until 8:30. Of course if I had been thinking clearly I would have put her back in her bassinet at quarter to 6 and snatched another couple hours of quality sleep, but I was sure she'd want to eat again soon. After all, 15 minutes isn't much of a meal. So I kept her beside me and tried to get her to wake up enough to eat more, but she wouldn't budge and I finally put her back in her bed around 6:30. And the alarm went off at 7:30, and the other kids were done being quiet and waiting for Mommy to release them from their room by 8. But hey! the six hours last night were priceless.

That was last night. The night before, was almost as good since Emma slept for two solid four hour stretches and only took half an hour to eat both times she woke up. And all day long yesterday she seemed to follow everybody else's schedule. She ate breakfast when we did. Lunch when we did... she had an afternoon snack while the other kids were finally sleeping, and then she ate supper when we did. She stayed awake and played or just stared at stuff after she finished each meal, and didn't sleep for too long during the day - except when it was afternoon nap time which is exactly what I would like. In fact, it seems just too good to be true, and perhaps it is... she is only two and a half weeks old. But it's been a wonderful break for me to get some real rest in the last two days.
Dolly and PC are still adjusting to sharing a room during naptime, and it's very slowly getting better. They still play for a long time and I have to go in and tell them to go to sleep every ten or fifteen minutes for the first hour, but eventually they do go to sleep. Much to my frustration, I think I'll have to eliminate PC's morning nap. I so love that little bit of quieter time after breakfast and before lunch, but PC is not sleeping very much if at all during the afternoon. And as much as I love my morning peace, I NEED a break when the afternoon comes 'round. I tried shortening his morning nap and putting the kids down later for the afternoon nap, but it's not helping very much and recently as soon as the older ones finally settle down, Emma wakes up for her 'afternoon tea' feeding around 4pm so my afternoon nap is very short or non-existent.

But I'm adjusting too. I've found that even 20 minutes of sleep for me, can really help. It's amazing to realized how tolerant you can be when you've had just a little bitty nap. I do have to go to bed as soon as possible after Emma does though, since I really need more than just a short little afternoon nap. Other than that, I love to watch my kids interact with each other. As you can see above, Emma is still the favorite baby sister. I actually got a few pictures of Dolly and PC loving their 'new baby'. And thankfully, Emma hasn't displaced anyone either. PC and Dolly are still just as much friends as they ever have been. Below you can see them playing a 'big person's game' together. I'm so thankful for each one of my little ones!

And life is getting much better and more manageable just one day at a time.