Friday, February 29, 2008

Soup, Sandwiches and Smiles

Yesterday was the day that the "sisters" went out for lunch with Ginger.
This is a day we've been planning for awhile. I'm sure you can read about this on all of our blogs but here's my take on the whole event.

We went to a nice little cafe-type restaurant. They have great soups and sandwiches. They also have great cheesecake but for some reason or another, we did not get that.
(watching our diets, you know) Ginger show an immense amount of compassion for me. She was willing to do whatever it took to help me out with my "sore toe"
There were many little secrets to divulge - yes, she found out that Cheri and I are quite short (I'm a mere 5'3" or a bit shorter). She also found out that my sisters tend to "pick" on me for some unknown reason! It felt so good to finally let the truth be known! That is the first step in healing, you know.
All in all, it was a lunch full of smiles (and a few giggles scattered throughout).
How fun it was to meet someone you've only met through blogging.
I always thought that Ginger was a great person and meeting her proved it.
(and I'd have to say my sisters are too!)
Go check out Mari and Cheri's blogs too.

Jennifer - alias - Nickernoodle, we would have loved to have to come to but there is a problem with distance. Maybe we can meet in the middle, someday!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

My Word Cloud


We are going to have a full week of school?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

(Some of) You asked for it, You got it!

Some of you asked for pictures of this sad looking toe. Well, here it is. It's the best I could do taking a picture of my own toe. I'm happy to report that it is feeling a bit better today - I can actually walk without a stabbing sensation!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Don't You Hate it When....

Don't you hate it when..
You forget to write a check of a larger amount in your register and you find out you did that by way of a letter from your bank?

Don't you hate it when...
you go downstairs barefoot and whack your pinkie toe against a chair? After an immense amount of pain, your husband wraps it up for you. It keeps you awake throughout the night. You remove the wrap in the morning and find it to be black and blue and swollen. This can make it very difficult to walk and deliver papers and play volleyball! Is it broken? I don't know but it sure feels like it!

Needless to say, my life has not been full of a lot of love lately!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sunday Afternoon at our Home!

Here are the girls this past Sunday afternoon. Is there anything better to do than homework? Look at the excitement on Katelyn's face! She just told me that in two weeks, she'll be home for spring break - unbelievable! Time sure flies when you're having fun!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Here We Go Again!

Sorry everyone - it seems like duplicate posts all the time lately, but this is truly unbelievable. Another storm is coming through; predicting 6-9 inches of snow again.
(Andy - this statement is for you - we've got #5 snow day in 5 weeks. After talking to you on Sunday, I could feel your support for our snow days!)
I do have 1 of my daycare kids today - her school wasn't cancelled. So I guess we'll deliver papers early this afternoon and stay in the rest of the day. No volleyball for me if school is cancelled.
I've gotta say it - good thing Al Gore's brought all this global warming problem to our attention. We'd be having 70 degrees temps if we hadn't solved this problem!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Saturday - A Day of Some Fun and some Not-so-Fun

Saturday had a mixture of some fun things and some not fun things. Can any of you guess what happens when you do a load of wash and your sump pump decides to quit working? For those of you who answered - a basement room filled with water - You are CORRECT!!! I put a load of wash in the morning. Later, I went to move it to the dryer and I spot the carpet in my basement hallway - it's all wet. I go to the laundry room and see black, sludgy looking water all over. Dave had to work all morning and afternoon so I called him. He says it's the sump pump that probably quit. After calling our neighbor who's a plumber, we decide we can wait till today to fix it. The store where he gets his stuff is closed for Saturday. It ended up overflowing again during the night on Saturday. He forgot about our water softener. So now my basement has that horrid mildew like smell. We've been soaking up towels on the carpet and I'm burning candles to get rid of it. It is fixed now so tonight, we can finish ripping up the carpet in that room and clean the rest of it.

But the rest of Saturday was filled with fun. Do you see the pictures? We went bowling with my cousin and his family and Cheri's family. I do not know the last time that I went bowling but it really was fun. The kids had one lane and the adults had another. I had a few lucky throws, so I did better than I thought I would.
After the game, we headed to Mr. Burger for some supper. You can't beat a hamburger from there. Our day ended up on a better note than it started!

See, they actually do care about each other.

Here's all the younger ones together.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

An Overnight Guest

Guess who spent the night last night - Halle! Chelsea spent the night at the dorms with Katelyn for sibling weekend. Shaelyn would be all alone so Halle came home with her. It took a bit of coaxing for the two of them to finally fall asleep after 10:00 but they eventually did. They get to spend the day together until we go bowling tonight. It's nice that cousins can be so close. These are things you have to do before they get too old and the opportunities run out.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentines Day!

Shaelyn came home from school yesterday with her valentine box. They got to decorate a box and put up a mailbox number on it. Then the class delivered all their valentines to everyone's address. How much fun! She loved all of her valentines, except a few of them - spiderman, ninja turtles and race cars didn't rate too high on her list! She really preferred the princess barbie and hannah montana. Go figure.
So today she tells me that she needs to go to the store and get something for everybody in the family. "Everyone should get something on Valentine's Day!"
(Katelyn - don't read this - you'll find out tomorrow)

She found 2 silk roses for Katelyn and Chelsea and a small box of chocolates for Daddy. I'm hoping they all enjoy their valentine gifts!
Wishing you all a "lovely Valentines Day"

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Something good can come out of all this Snow!

Look what we made - Snow Ice Cream!
See everyone, you didn't think this snow was good for anything. Here's proof, that you're wrong! This recipe makes a vanilla type ice cream but we had chocolate syrup to make it into chocolate ice cream.

Here's the big bowl of snow that we used.

Here's the recipe for anyone who wants to try it too.
1/2 cup milk
14 oz. can sweetened condensed milk
3 eggs
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1 Tbl. Vanilla
Lots of CLEAN snow!

Mix milk, sweetened condensed milk, eggs and salt in saucepan. Mix with a whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until mixture just begins to boil. Remove from heat and add sugar and vanilla. Cover and let cool in the refrigerator. When about room temperature, pour it into a large mixing bowl. Add 1 quart snow and mix. Continue to add snow until mixture is very thick and looks like ice cream. Serve right away. (It begins to melt rather quickly. I added more snow as needed, due to the melting)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Spending the night with Grandpa and Grandma

Shaelyn got to spend the night on Friday over at Grandpa and Grandma's because I was going to be working at the floral shop. Katelyn wasn't coming home from the dorms till later on Saturday and Dave had to go to work in the morning as well.
So she had her suitcase packed and ready to go on Thursday night. She was quite excited because she has never done this before. So when I picked her up Saturday morning, she had a lot to tell me.
She got to stay up late - till 10:00. "Mom never lets me stay up late!"
When she work up in the morning, she told Grandpa and Grandma it was going to be a busy day. First, we have to eat breakfast, then we have to make bread, then we have to go sledding. So Grandpa made oatmeal - but he did it wrong. He cooked it on the stove. (I always do it in the microwave). Grandma fixed it by putting brown sugar on it. Yum! Then they made poppy seed bread. There was a special little loaf baked, just for Shaelyn to take home. There's a slice in her lunch today. After that, they went sledding. Now I thought it was just down the little hill off their deck. No - I was wrong. It was back further - about 1/4 mile away. Can you just imagine Ann - who is 78 years old, trekking through knee deep snow? She told me it was really deep too. Yes, I believe it. It's been snowing for weeks here! This is just snow on back hills that nobody has been through. So she went sledding down the hill with Shaelyn too. No, she didn't break any bones. Whew! One time, she gave Shaelyn a push and didn't realize that she would go so far - she ended up in the creek. That was the end of the sledding - Shaelyn had mittens that were soaked and wet feet. But overall, it was a fun time. She was getting a grilled cheese sandwich to eat as I came. I was told that it was more fun over there than at home. Can you believe that?

(it's another snow day today)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Do you See what I See?

Update: Katelyn just called me a few minutes ago to inform me that she made it back to the dorms. :) This was right as I was watching the news and seeing that they had just finished cleaning up a 40-50 car pileup on the highway by Cheri. It started as a 3 car accident and people continued to crash because they could not see due to blowing snow. Thank you God that she's back safely once more!

(Jennifer P.,here's thinking of you)
Do you see what I see? Same as me, basically nothing, (this is actually a time when it's a bit better) except blowing snow. I seriously cannot believe this weather. Church was not canceled for us this morning but we didn't go. Thankfully, this was the first Sunday in 5 weeks that I didn't have to teach or play, so I was happy. I would not have wanted to drive in this, this morning. You could not see anything. I just received an email that it is canceled for tonight. Good thing, we're just sitting by the fire. But, Katelyn has to get back to the dorms today. She's leaving this afternoon while there is still some daylight. Will this weather ever end? (I'm still not going to complain)

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Check this Out!

Go to Jennifer's blog today. She's got a post dedicated to all of us in Michigan!

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Fruits of my Labor

Update: For all of you who asked, Laura got me into this last year. We just work for this week or so before Valentines Day when they need seasonal help. Mostly, we make bouquets of a dozen roses. It's just for a little extra money. Other people do it for organizations. Last year, the parents of the senior class could go and work and earn money for the senior all-nighter after graduation, but there were church groups there too this year earning money for mission trips, etc...

Chelsea and I have been working at a floral shop this past week and into next week. Here are some of the flowers that could not be used. We can take them home so I made a nice bouquet of them. Aren't they beautiful?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

It's another......

This would be the 3rd snow day in 3 weeks. What's going to happen when they have to go to school for 5 days straight?

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Cheri and I went on a cruise in 1987. Those were the days!

Monday, February 04, 2008

The End of Chelsea's Story

I've finally gotten around to posting about the last of Chelsea's story. She had this last surgery just before she turned 10. The purpose of this surgery was to pull her whole midface forward. Dr. Polley made an incision using the previous scar line but he cut through the bone. This was where the bone would start to heal every day and I would turn the screws to pull it forward more. We had to have this surgery at Rush Presbyterian Hospital in Chicago. She was the 8th person to have this specific surgery. Because this was such a new procedure, there was a lot of interest in it. At the end of this post, I have a copy of the article that was put in The New York Times. We met a wonderful reporter who followed us through with all of our dr. appts. and final surgery. She was also the one who wrote the entire article for The Chicago Tribune. We still meet with her when we go down for yearly visits.

This last surgery took about 6 hours, I believe. She had to stay in the hospital for one week, and got to come home on her 10th birthday. What a great birthday present. We had to go to Chicago on a weekly basis while I was turning the screws.

This is a picture of the halo and the two different screwdrivers that I used to turn the screws. They had specific instructions and markings on them so that I would know exactly how much to turn. This was made of titanium and was very light. Chelsea said it did not hurt when I turned these screws - she didn't even feel it, thankfully. If you enlarge it, you will be able to read more specifics on what I did.

This was 1 week after the surgery She had just come home the day before. If you'll notice,there were wires above her eyebrows and lower that hooked into her teeth. On each end of these wires were little screws - 4 total - I had to turn these once a day. Also, there were 2 screws at the end of the halo. Those also had to be turned every day. This was how we pulled the midface forward slowly. It would open up the incision, very slightly and then it would start to heal over; the next day we would do it again. I quit turning the screws on day #30. Then the halo was just left on for 4 more weeks to let it all heal up.

This was day 17 after surgery. She wasn't feeling 100% yet. She tired quite easily and then she got some sort of bug where she wasn't hungry and didn't want to eat. This gives a better picture of the front of the halo.

This is day 25 after the surgery. The screw above her left eye popped out and so we had to go to Chicago the following Monday, so that they could reattach it in an outpatient surgery.

This is Chelsea and Dr. Polley after the surgery. He was a great surgeon and was so caring toward her.

This is the article that appeared in The New York Times. It gives you a better idea of how she looked before and after the surgery. Enlarge this to read some of what the article said.

There is a possibility of another surgery, if she would want it. That would be to work more on the orthodontics of the mouth. The dr.'s are happy with the outcome of it all, so this would be more of a cosmetic type of surgery. Chelsea is content with everything so I think we're set. We are just very grateful with what all the medical field can do now. I hope I've enlightened you all a little bit with information on Crouzon's and what Chelsea has had done!

Friday, February 01, 2008

What I've been Doing!

Yup, that's right - painting. I decided that's it's finally time to do my bedroom over. Funny how it seems that Mom and Dad's room is always the last to get done. Every other room in my house has had a makeover except my bedroom so...

This is the sad look of a very old fashioned bedroom - See the stenciling. Ugh!!
Please do not think that my room always looks so messy either - Everything got piled on my bed to make room for the moving of furniture. Chelsea, Shaelyn and I started the primer coat and taping on Wednesday, when she had a snow day!

Yesterday, Shaelyn continued to join me in painting the first coat. She actually was able to help out with the taping. She enjoyed doing some painting but was sad when I wouldn't let her use the roller.

This picture doesn't really show the true colors. I did 3 walls of a light brown and then the other wall was a deeper brown. I realize that the 4th wall looks kind of greenish brown but truly, it looks better than that and is a deep brown. My original intention was to do 3 walls of one color and the 4th wall, a different one. But then I spotted a rag roller. So I was going to do the 4th wall in a textured brown. It didn't happen! It was a real pain - You have to get the line you're doing, perfectly lined up with the previous line. After trying 3 strips of this, I gave up and painted over them and ended up with my original idea. I was a little bummed because I wanted one wall textured but I am happy with the new look. Now I just have to decide on some accent colors. Any ideas? I have to get a new comforter and curtains too. Hopefully, I'll find some good deals on sheets!