Monday, March 29, 2010

Progress Report #1

I should have done this report months ago.  And I should be more on top of my goals and making more progress than I am.  Alas, it is what it is and I can more forward from here.
So far this year I have recorded 27 baby steps of improvement in my life.   To be sure, I should have 10 times that many but today is a new day and with Clark getting more healthy all the time life gets back into a better swing of things each day.

I see so much work to be done around here and relationships that really need some gentle care.  Today marks the beginning of my 9 week get in shape again plan too.   I feel good about that too.  It's basically an eat really healthy with no sweets plan and exercise and smiling and working outside in the yard and being with my family and the whole package deal.  And I already know it will make me feel better about myself and my body.  And I need that!

Highlights of my steps so far include:

Going through all the kids clothes and weeding out what we don't want/need.  It feels good to slim down.   I want to have less and LOVE what we have.

Trying to focus on the good and not criticize - smile more and be patient more often! :)

I have found some opportunities to serve others and that makes me happy.  I have been praying that I will be prompted when and how to serve my friends.

I have created some things I'm really happy with and it makes me feel good to have my ideas shine through the fog.

What have you done this year?  Are you recording it so you know you are making progress?  I bet you are moving forward, sometimes we just don't know it!

Keep sailing on...
E

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Happy 35th Birthday Kurt!

We have had a fun weekend celebrating Kurt's birthday with friends and family and plenty of cake!  I gave Kurt 35 small cards and '35 things I love about you'.  That was the best I could come up with!  :)  I had a lot of other great ideas, most of which cost a large amount of money that I did not have.   I will plan better in the future.  Birthdays are so much more fun to celebrate with children around.  They love it.
Congratulations on surviving 35 years in this wild world, Kurt!  Happy Birthday, we love you.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Snow day

What a fun day for spring break!  Snow day.
Chrisitan and Savanna have been in the neighbor's backyard for hours sliding down the snow track they built.  Emma, Clark and Madeline have been content indoors with me today.

I finished this ribbon pomander for the May Arts blog challenge.  I like it!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Sunglasses, anyone?


Emma assures me this is a great pair!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Spring has NOT sprung

I have enjoyed viewing photos across the web and on blogs of spring in full bloom.  Bright greens, buds on trees and flowers coming up.  That, however, is not the case here at our home in Colorado.  We are looking forward to it and are hopeful that all of this moisture hastens the rise of the flowers!









Madeline frequently writes notes and poems to me and Mr. Dad at school.  Here is a great one.






Enjoy your sabbath!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Recovering.

It has been great to spend this week at home recovering our life from my absence.  I am now runnnig about 7 years behind as opposed to the 3 I am usually on.   Clark is getting better (and happier) each day and we love him home with us!  This week he has started to do this really cheesy smile when anyone says smile!  It is very cute but I have failed to get a photograph of it thus far.  The gash on his forehead is healing up pretty well, all things considered.   Did you know they now make mederma WITH sunscreen in it?  Brilliant.
A few other highlights:
Christian lost his first tooth!  This tooth has been needing to come out for a week or more, however, it being his first tooth he was afraid of how it might hurt to have it pulled on so we waited.  Also you become somewhat of a rockstar at school if the tooth comes out during the school day so I think he may have been waiting for that as well.  Emma solved everything for us!  She did a somersault across the family room floor, her foot flew up and gently past Chrisitan's open mouth and just like magic - there is Christian's tooth sitting on the coffee table!  Amazing.  No tears, just laughs!  Reminds me of when my niece Emmeline was on the sideline of a soccer game and the ball flew out of bounds and knocked her loose tooth out into her hand!

Savanna finished her westward expansion unit at school and had a very fun western day yesterday.  Just in time too, as today the snow is coming down in buckets whereas yesterday it was 50 degrees and sunny!

I was impressed with how well the children wrote with feathers and ink.  They were able to 'pan for gold' and then spend their gold pebbles at the trading post for harmonicas, juice and beef jerky.  Emma came with me to the school and played on the "big park" and begged for some "beef turkey" too!  No matter what anyone says, she INSISTS it is beef turkey.

Emma was invited to go to Chuckee Cheese for her friend Emmerson's birthday party.  She came home with awesome strawberry glasses which have made her supremely happy.
Madeline is thrilled to have spring break next week!  She is excited to read as much as she wants and play with friends.  We are hoping for a trip to the zoo and other fun things, obviously depending on Clark's health.   Another recent highlight was having her dad come along on her trip to Buckley Airforce base.

I finsihed up a few projects that were begging for my attention.  I got some furniture down to Suprise Me in Castle Rock to sell and I finished up some chairs I refinished for a friend of a friend.  She loved them and I'm so glad.   Its a fun little side business for me.  I liked the color so much I painted it on my kitchen table.  Emma was so excited she said she needed to try out the table by sitting ON it!  Kurt and I have now officially completed all of our required volunteer hours at the kids school so anything from here on out is just nice of us!  :)  It feels good to be in that place rather than trying to do a lot at the end like last year!  Kurt helped tons by going on 3 field trips in the past month as a chaperone.

Another big improvement this week:  I actually cooked dinner for my family at least 3 times.  A step in the right direction.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

SupErCaliFRagiLisTicExpiALidOcioUs

Yes.  It really is a word.  And you could make up a word too.  Just read Frindle.
There are many reasons for us to sing Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious at our house!

-Clark is home!!!  We still have a good week or two of recovery, yet feel so blessed to be able to do it at home from here on out.  Can you see how glad Kurt was to leave the hospital?












I'm so glad we are done with this















And this

The night this sheet 
showed up taped to the crib is when I was the most worried.  I mean a paper filled out with all the dosages of what meds your child can have if their heart stops beating and they stop breathing is a bit of a jolt to the system.  Clark has been so patient and sweet with all the continuous poking and prodding and testing and beeping and monitoring and you get the idea.  Not to mention that each nurse wants a high five and wave and they think they should get one from him because he is so cute.  In my opion you have the EARN them.
I have so many thanks due to many people who helped us get through this week.  My Mom and Dad came over at 3am to stay with the kids and get them off to school so Kurt could go back to work.  Such a huge sacrifice, thank you so much.  All of the meals and help watching children and giving them rides all over, I am so grateful to you all!


-Madeline and Savanna and I went to see MARY POPPINS!  The girls received these tickets as gifts months ago and we have been anxiously anticipating the event.  We went with some of our great friends, The Olsens, and first had dinner at Maggiannos.  Then we headed downtown, all dressed up and bounced in our chairs loudly chattering until the lights dimmed and the music began!  The show was spectacular, my favorite being Step in Time, when all the chimney sweeps were in tap shoes and Bert tapped UP the side of the stage, across the TOP of stage, upside down, and back DOWN the other side.  I believe this was Savanna's favortie part as well, and Madeline was in love with Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.  It was such a great first show for them to see.  It took a lot of co-ordination with Clark in the hospital but I am so glad we did it.  And thanks to Aunt Sue for staying with Christian and Emma at home on such a late night.  We could not have done it without her!


-Yesterday afternoon Kurt went to the park with Madeline, Savanna, Christian and Emma and they flew kites.  This seemed so fitting after seeing Mary Poppins this week, and also made my heart light and cheery after the past 8 days we have had.  What a sweet dad to go fly kites with his children when he has a million things to catch up on.  I love that.

This week we will be working on putting our family life back together.  It is glaringly evident that all of us are exhausted, a bit short tempered, and relieved to have Clark home.   This week I will be making baby steps and promise to myself I will give my first baby steps report since January 1.

"Can we make our homes more beautiful?  Yes, through addressing ourselves as families to the source of all true beauty.  Can we strengthen our society and make it a better place in which to live?  Yes, by strengthening the virtue of our family life through kneeling together and supplicating the Almighty in the name of His Beloved Son.  This simple practice, a return to family worship, spreading across the land and over the earth, would in a generation largely lift the blight this is destroying us, and it would restore integrity, mutual respect, and a spirit of thankfulness in the hearts of the people."
      -President Gordon B. Hinckley

keep sailing with me!  Is there another option?  :)
-E

Friday, March 12, 2010

whiner

Today I just feel like a huge whiner.  I have been thinking about a  gal I know whose 7 year old daughter has


Acute lymphocytic leukemia 


 and I have been thinking how blessed I have really been and am and that overall I know Clark is going to be ok.  It is just taking such a LONG TIME and it is really hard on the family living between the hospital and home.  We did figure out that he has RSV and that is why we think the fevers and all of that.  I am so thankful for family and friends who are helping so much.  My poor children have been at different places every day.  I'm thankful to know they are well taken care of and safe at all of those different places.  And I will be thankful when Clark is home.  And I will stop whining so much. 
E

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

stuck.

at the hospital.
overall I know the nurses are here to help and care for Clark but can I vent for a minute?
Do they REALLY think  I am such an un=educated person that I don't know what is going on?  Do they have ANY idea how much time I have spent in the hospital with this kid?  I don't need a five minute explanation on what an ng feeding tube is, thanks.  I PUT ONE in his nose for 5 months myself.   Is it entirely necessary to come listen to him RIGHT NOW, because you want to RIGHT NOW, even though I finally just got him comfortable enough to sleep for the first time in 6 hours?  sheesh.  And if I ask for a band aid do you really have to know exactly what I am going to do with it, I mean, is that the latest weapon used on an aircraft and I just missed that? 
I realize i am sleep deprived and stressed.  And I am thankful for those who nurture and serve.  Yet I consistently find myself disappointed in the lack of professionalism everywhere I go.  And then I find I do it myself.  Is that the world we live in?  Are we just in a downward spiral?
Well if I mention that "health care reform" bill being crammed through the senate I think I just answered my own question. I digress.
Fever.  again.  Come on Clark!  Lets do some drinking!  Water is good, milk is good, juice is good, chocolate milk is good, lets all have some!  !!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Still there.

Poor Clark.  Still at the hospital.   Here's to hoping {and praying} that come tomorrow morning the fever is gone and he is eating and drinking.  Thanks again for your prayers.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Waiting

Thanks again for all of your love and prayers.
Clark stayed again last night because he ran a fever all day yesterday.
We are waiting for tests thismorning to check for infection and make sure all is ok.
Clark has been so patient and sweet, we can tell he is starting to want to get out of there.  We have watched planet earth with him going on 20 times now and that is his favorite thing about being there.  He loves to watch all of those animals and it has been a great distraction.
Have I ever mentioned that I think life if hard?  And that EVERYONE has hard things?  Perhaps we are all experiencing the refiner's fire....

"In uncertain and difficult times, faith is truly a spiritual gift worthy of our utmost efforts.  We can give our children education, lessons, athletics, the arts, and material possessions, but if we do not give them faith in Christ, we have given little. . .
  "Challenging times require greater spiritual power.  Consider carefully the Savior's promise:  "If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me" (Moroni 7:33)
   excerpts taken from :
{Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ 
by Kevin W. Pearson}

I'm pretty sure I know what I need to be learning from this... greater faith.
Sailing on, with prayers for Clark and faith that ultimately all will be well...
E

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Update.


Clark is doing ok, its pretty rough going so far.  The surgery ended up being 90 minutes and was more complicated than anticipated.  He ended up having :
- some artificial lining put into the diapham
- repaired a HUGE hernia
- had the wrap un-done, which created a whole in the stomach that was stitched up, 
-then had the wrap re-done.  Its called a Nissen wrap. 

It was all done lapriscopically so he has 6 very small incisions that are looking good.  He has a ton of stitiches on the inside and has just barely started to take small sips of water since about 11am today.  He is still on an iv, and thankfully that means he gets morphine too.  Kurt switched me for tonight and is at the hospital with him.  Kurt said since about 7pm he has taken a few drinks on his own and that is great progress.  He is still sleeping a lot and I think we are staying on top of his pain.  The next week to 10 days will be a very slow weaning process back to soft foods and then eventually solids.  This won't be very fun for Clark and we are thankful for his patient and sweet personality.  We love him so much and are thankful to have a great surgeon, team of doctors and nurses who are giving him top notch care. 
Thank you also for all of your prayers and support, help with children and meals.  We love you all! 
E

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Endure.

This sweet boy has had to endure way too much in his short life already.  Another surgery tomorrow.  Again.  After falling down the basement stairs last night and getting 5 stitches across his forehead.  Please, if you would, Pray for him.
sailing on...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The day and then the silver lining


Have you ever had a day where you go from elation and thrill to falling hard and fast to your face on the street?  Or going up and down in between all day long?
I really should not expect this to be any different when I have a night where my brain is going crazy and my hands are creating to keep up with the idea flow.   It feel so satisfying to be creative and alone and in the quiet of the night surrounded by little scraps of paper falling to the floor, photographs I love and striking fabric prints.  I continue in my undisturbed bliss until a little one awakes upstairs and needs a drink and a love and I discover it is 2am.  How did I come to this?  I am much too old to be pulling stunts like this. 
Alas, back to today. 
The morning was enjoyable as my friend Brandi and I took our newest creations into a store in Castle Rock to sell.  Barcoding everything turned out to be a bit more tedious than expected and before I knew it and we got out the door and on the way to the school I was 20 minutes late picking Christian up from kindergarten.  Which isn't so bad since I have only done this one other time this year, expect that I am in a carpool.  And his carpool buddy has a mother at home who I am sure is wondering what in the world is taking so long.  And did you know that the women at the office don't like you very much when you are late and they are sitting there with your child and his carpool buddy?  Well, I don't like it much either but it happened.  Moving on,
Uneventful fun for a few hours including lunch and playing outside even in the snow because it was above 50 degrees today and we are craving more sunshine.  Lunch.  A quick trip to the paint store to grab a few things I need to fill a customer order on painting some furniture.  Why did I think this would be easy and fast?   Suffice it to say that when I left the paint store, they were so glad I was leaving they carried my box out for me and waved goodbye with big smiles.  Emma yelling and leaving her shoes on the floor in the store all the while.  Charming. 
I was almost home from said paint store experience when I was deterred by a sign:  GARAGE SALE.  Oh my self control is gone at this point.  So rather than turning to my driveway, I push forward.  And I am so glad that I did.  Two wonderful things happened.  
1 - Emma fell asleep and now has stopped crying.  I often wonder, truly, how DOES one continue wailing at that volume and with such intensity for such a long period of time? 
2 - I found this awesome set of silver flatware.  I have been wanting silver for quite some time and have always found it outrageosly priced or online where I can't quite see what I am getting.  Check this out.  8 knives.  8 dinner forks.  8 salad forks.  16 teaspoons.  8 large spoons.  8 spoons from Brown palace hotel.  butter knife.  Small fruit forks (3) and 13 other serving pieces.  Amazing.  For $30.  I am thrilled.  






Now we are home for the remainder of the day and I wish I could say all the children got along great and were helpful and obedient and got their homework done.  However, that did not happen.  What did happen is that one child chose to use the restroom outdoors, on the sidewalk, out front.  Clearly we do not support or teach this habit.  I am perplexed.  Another child got very upset and dumped a large icy cup of water on Dad's head and down his back.  Another child came home with a not so great at school day report and needs to write a letter to the teacher.  Another child had an all out tantrum immediately following dinner and layed on the floor kicking and crying for about 20 minutes.  It wasn't our finest day.  Yet, it seems it was a defining day.  Mom and Dad kept calm and collected through these challenges and were able to fend off any raised voices or anger.  Mom and Dad seemed to be blessed instead to see what needs these children have that Mom so often misses and doesn't meet because I have all these fun plans and my brain is going until 2am.  This day left me feeling over challenged and under prepared, understanding and insight has come to me that I will act on in the morning as little ones wake earlier than they should and all want different items for breakfast, all at the same time.  Why is this so?  Well, because they are mine.  And I love them.  Deeply.  And I know that I have been loved through challenges and in the end it may be that very love that pulled me through.  So here's to applying some love to challenges this week and moving on....  And remembering that we always have silver linings, and sometimes they come in forms of a set of silver flatware for $30. 
Good night, keep sailing with me!

Color.

I love the way colors change the way I feel.  I love the way soft, natural light streaming through a window in my home highlights the colors I surround myself with.  Bright colors speak to me.  I know, saying that makes you want to send someone out with a straigh jacket to pick me up but it remains true.  This orange color in my office speaks happiness to me every day.  So this morning I took a little walk around my house and noticed the colors that I love.  You would think one would be content with all of those colors.  Only I find myself adding more.  Because they are speaking to me!