Friday, September 19, 2014

Labor Day Weekend

Labor Day weekend we went to KC.  Kris, Les, and Grandad trimmed tree limbs.  The kids played outside, road the tractor, picked flowers, threw the football, and trimmed green beans,

Lincoln had so much fun throwing the football with Alex and Aaron.  They were really good to play with him too.  Such good boys!!

We celebrated Mona's 50th birthday!

The weather was great!  Fun long weekend with family!

Monday, September 15, 2014

First Day of School 2014

School started this year on August 18th.  Got to take those first day of school pics!

Open House was a few days before and so I got the kids' pictures with their teachers then.  We didn't walk them in on the first day this year.

Lincoln has Mrs. Scoggins this year.

Hannah has three teachers this year but Mrs. Davis is her homeroom teacher.

Layton is going to Pre-K at the same place the big kids did, but he has a different teacher from them.  Mrs. Tamela is fantastic!!!  He has already come home saying some super cute things and is learning so much!  One day he came home and told me that they talked about Perseverance.  He knew what it was and said the word correctly.  It was cute!  Then, another day in the car on the way home he said "Mom, did you know that your skin is your epidermis?"  It was hysterical to me.  He has also come home talking about certain things at school being hilarious!  She is teaching them a lot of neat stuff and is going beyond the norm.  He is soaking it up!!!

This picture was on the first day.  He is washing his hands and was raring to go!  He loves it!

I am looking forward to a great school year for the kids!!


I am just now posting this but I wrote it several weeks ago.  I am including it on my blog mainly to remember what happened (I have a TERRIBLE memory) and to remind me of a few things....

Tuesday morning (August 12th), I remember waking up in the early morning hours with cramps.  I thought it was weird but was able to go back to sleep.  I got up a few hours later and was still feeling crampy.  I thought they felt like menstral cramps but was a bit surprised because I knew it really wasn't time for them.  That morning after getting ready, I loaded everyone up and headed to get Hannah's haircut.  When we got there, there was an hour wait so I took the kids over to Kohl's to kill time shopping.  At this time, I was still crampy but they were bearable, but noticable.  We got home after getting Hannah's haircut around noon.  I fed the kids a bite and then Kris called and asked if he could bring Paul and Stephen over for a piece of peach pie.  Of all the days.  I hadn't showered that morning or put on make-up because I thought I was going to be headed to the pool.  I was still feeling crampy and was looking forward to getting the kids watching some t.v. so I could lay down for a bit.

I laid on the couch from about 1:00 to 3:00.  At 3:00 I called Kris and asked what he thought I should do because I was really hurting.  He suggested I call the doctor.  I was frustrated because I knew I probably wouldn't be able to get in at that time of day and I dreaded the idea of packing up the kids with how bad I was feeling.  So, I finally called my mom and told her about my cramps and got her advice.  After talking through it with her, I decided that if I was still hurting in the morning I would go to the doctor.  I decided to go take a hot bath to see if it would help ease the pain.  It didn't.  After my bath I laid on the bed on my stomach with a heating pad on my stomach for a while.  I remember texting Kris at 5:00 and asking him to please not work late.  I was really hurting.  I began to get a little worried about myself and was wracking my brain trying to think of what could be wrong.  I googled severe abdominal pain and got even more worried.  By the time Kris got home, around 6:00, I told him that I thought I needed to go to a doctor and that I was getting a bit worried.  He fed the kids supper and we decided to go to the after hours clinic in Bryant that was open until 8:00.  (It was about 7:00).  When they saw me they suggested I go on to the emergency room because they wouldn't be able to do any tests like a CT to tell what was going on.

So, we called Jeff to come to the house to watch the kids and took off for Little Rock.  Kris decided to go to Baptist which I am glad he did--even though we had to wait in the waiting room FOREVER!!  We got there at about 7:30.  They took a urine sample and did bloodwork on me.  There were a ton of people in the waiting room.  It was very busy.  Time kind of got away from me but at some point (maybe 10:30ish), I was MISERABLE!!!  I was in so much pain.  I was moaning and constantly shifting as much as I could to try to shake the pain.  I remember looking up at Kris and asking him to help me.  I remember saying over and over again, "something is wrong with me."  I was getting scared because I didn't know why I was hurting so bad.  I remember looking around the room and noticing that no one else was suffering in pain like I was.  I kept begging Kris to go ask how much longer it was going to be.  He just told me we had to wait.  It was very frustrating and absolutely miserable.

FINALLY, around 11:30 they called me back.  At that point, I was hurting so bad, I could barely get up out of the chair.  Kris had to hold me up to walk to the room.  I started crying with relief and pain and when I saw the bed, collapsed onto it on my stomach.  It seemed like forever until the doctor came in.  Fortunately, we knew the doctor.  We go to church with him.  He was very nice and asked me a bunch of questions.  He didn't think it was my appendix because it wasn't presenting on my right side.  My pain was all over my lower abdomen.  He suggested a CT scan and said they would get some medicine for me as soon as possible.  Well, they didn't hurry.  It may have been 12:30 or so before they finally came in to put an IV in for the morphine.  I hate IVs.  Hate. them.  It seems I never have a good experience with them.  A nurse came in and said he would do it.  He joked and said this was his first day.  I about passed out.  It hurt so bad and I could feel him slowly pushing the needle in a little at a time.  It was awful.  Finally, he said he got it in but when he went to grab the tape, it popped out.  I was so upset.  He cleaned me up and said he would get someone else to try.  Another guy came in and he did it very quickly--thank goodness.  They started the morphine and I finally began to feel better.  A little after that, they came and got me for the CT.  It was about 1:15 or so when the doctor finally came back in and said that it was in fact my appendix and that I would have to have it taken out.  Surgery.  Great.  I had never had surgery before.

They moved me up to the fourth floor to a room and kept the pain medicine going.  They told me that I would be an add-on on the surgeon's list.  So, we didn't know when my surgery would be, but we kind of expected sometime that morning.  We were wrong.

All the next day, I dealt with the pain off and on.  I was getting frustrated because we still didn't know when the surgery would be.  I just wanted relief so bad.  My IV was giving me fits.  It would throb with pain.  I knew something wasn't right with it but just didn't want to have to go through another stick.  They put it right in the bend of my right arm which everyone kept saying was the worst place to put it.  Around 3:30 I finally realized that I was just going to have to do it.  It took the nurse 2 tries before she got it in but it immediately felt 100% better.  It was around 5:00 or so when they finally came and got me for surgery.  I think it took about an hour.

I remember the doctor coming in my room prior to surgery and telling me all the things that could happen.  It really freaked me out and made me even more nervous.  He also informed me that I had a cyst on my right ovary as well that they had seen on the CT.  I was shocked by this because it had never been mentioned.  Of course, because of that he had to tell me that there was a possibility that he would have to take my ovary out.  He said that if the cyst had burst, he would suck it out.

I don't remember much about going to the surgery.  They stopped me outside the room and asked me some questions, took my contacts out, and game me some medicine in my IV.  That was the last thing I remember until I was in the recovery room waking up.  Weirdest thing.  The doctor came and told Kris that the cyst had burst so he sucked it out and that my appendix looked "angry".  I have 3 scars.  It was done laparoscopically.  I got back to my room around 7:30 p.m.  I had not had anything to eat or drink (except some ice chips) since noon on Tuesday (this was Wednesday night).  I was so parched.  My mom brought the kids up to see me and then we went to bed.  The next morning the doctor came in around 10:00 and said we could go home but it wasn't until 2:00 that we actually got home.

I was pretty sore for about a week. and my stomach was still swollen from all the air they pumped in it.  He said I could expect fever probably, but I had any.  I couldn't lift over 20 lbs and couldn't drive for 2 weeks.  Perfect.  Right before school was to start and I couldn't drive.  We had to make arrangements with a few friends and my mom to come and help out.  Not sure what I would have done without her.

What a year and it is only August.  I am ready to call this year a done deal and move on.  Hardest year of my life for sure.  When it rains, it pours.  BUT God is faithful.  He has been with me every step of the way.  I know He is there and that is what gives me the strength to keep going.

My Jesus Calling Devotional book has been such an encouragement to me this year.  Here is the entry for Tuesday, August 12th (the day the pain started):

Come to Me when you are weak and weary.  Rest snugly in My everlasting arms.  I do not despise your weakness, My child.  Actually, it draws Me closer to you because weakness stirs up My compassion--My yearning to help.  Accept yourself in your weariness, knowing that I understand how difficult your journey has been.

Do not compare yourself with others who seem to skip along their life-paths with ease.  Their journeys have been different from yours, and I have gifted them with abundant energy.  I have gifted you with fragility, providing opportunities for your spirit to blossom in My Presence.  Accept this gift as a sacred treasure:  delicate, yet glowing with brilliant Light.  Rather than struggling to disguise or deny your weakness, allow Me to bless you richly through it.

Such comforting words after this surgery and the trials we have had over the last several months.

Wednesday morning I received a text from a good friend of mine.  She shared a text with me that I had shared with her at a hard time in her life recently.  It is another Jesus Calling and it was so fitting and so what I needed to hear in that moment and even now.

Do not resist or run from the difficulities in your life.  These problems are not random mistakes; they are hand-tailored blessings designed for your benefit and growth.  Embrace all the circumstances that I allow in your life, trusting Me to bring good out of them.  View problems as opportunities to rely more fully on Me.

When you start to feel stressed, let those feelings alert you to your need for Me.  Thus, your needs become doorways to deep dependence on Me and increasing intimacy between us.  Although self-sufficiency is acclaimed in the world, reliance on Me produces abundant living in My kingdom.  Thank Me for the difficulties in your life since they provide protection from the idolatry of self-reliance.

It seems weird to be thankful for an appendectomy.  I will say that I am thankful that God has shown me my need for Him.  I wish I would not need reminding of this so often, but I am pretty sure I will.  I am not in control of this life.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Girl's Trip to Branson

At the beginning of August, I took the boys to my parents for a few days and Hannah and I headed to Branson for some girl time with cousin Isabelle and my sister-in-law, Alexis.  They live in Shawnee, Kansas (near Kansas City) and Branson was about the half-way point for both of us to meet.  Hannah and Isabelle love being together and get along well.  I was looking forward to being with Alexis and just getting to know her better.  We stayed at a hotel that was connected to some great shopping.  Because we got there before Alexis and Isabelle, Hannah and I got our shopping on for a bit.  It was perfect because we had time to get her a few clothes with no distractions.  :-)  When Isabelle finally got there, they were so excited!

Next, we did a little more shopping and ate at Chicago Pizza.

The girls wanted to swim in the hotel pool, so they did that for a bit while Alexis and I got to talk.  Then we headed to our room good and worn out.

The next morning we all went ziplining.  We had all never done this before so it was a tad nerve racking but we wanted to do something fun and memorable and this was it!

I have to say the girls were really brave.

They had to weigh 70 lbs in order to ride by themselves so we had to ride together.  We did 7 different ziplines all different lengths.

This was one video of Hannah and I.  It was the shortest one of the 7.

The very last one Hannah got to do by herself.  It was really long but it ended on the ground so she didn't have to stop herself.  That was the hardest part and the part that made me the most nervous because I was responsible for slowing us down when we'd get close to the end.  

After ziplining we were hungry so we went to Mel's Hard Luck Diner for lunch.  This is the home of Branson's Original Singing Servers.  The servers sing to you while they serve you.  It was interesting!

After lunch we let the girls swim again because they were begging to and we were on vacation so why not!  Then, we hit up the outlet mall and shopped!  We did this for several hours and had a late dinner at a restaurant called Black Oak Grill.  It was really nice and we got a steak that was delicious!

The girls had begged us to let them get a Beanie Boo.  I think they were a little spoiled.

With their Beanie Boos.

The next morning we went to breakfast at a little diner close to our hotel and then headed to ride gocarts.  They got to do the bumper boats first though.

Hannah and Isabelle saying good-bye!

This is the only picture I got of the four of us!  We had such a great time and I hope we do it again!!!