Favorite "Meditation of My Heart"

Call unto me,

and I will answer thee,

and shew thee great and mighty things,

which thou knowest not. --Jeremiah 33:3 KJV

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Monday, Monday

After last Monday, I was actually a bit fearful of today....BUT it was totally calm & organized! Hopefully it is not a calm before the mid-week storm! My caffeine and I are hitting tomorrow morning running because I have a ton to get done this week.

Great class tonight...For fun, I showed the old standby clip Did You Know? at the end of a section on training and development and as usual, it really sparked some discussion of the changing times!

It was a good Monday! Individual violin class tomorrow....I cannot wait to see what Corrine adds to squeak....umm, I mean practice this week. Its SO fun to see her loving violin, but there is a downside to having a motivated beginner in our home!

Sunday, August 29, 2010


I think we have been robbed.....seriously, about 3 hours ago it was Friday and they kids were getting home from school and NOW it is almost Monday morning! How can this be?! It was the first weekend after school started for everyone and I had been looking forward to it all week...and then just POOF! Its GONE!

Truly, I know I went grocery shopping, ran some errands, took a nap, went to church.....that is about all. Luckily, Saturday I did get some great time in with Ed. He went with me and helped me with a small job for work and then we went to dinner...just the two of us (and Nate sitting in his car seat on the table). We had a great time! Nate had a great time too and obviously thought he was pretty special to get to come along....mom and dad all to himself; too bad it was just because he is too sick right now with an respiratory infection to be with a baby sitter.

Today we visited the Methodist Church in Monett that helped purchase the fuel for our trip to Miami to get Mark, Luke & Jon after the earthquake in Haiti. Our pilot for the trip (Andrew Zahn) is a member of the church. We took all the kids, and the babies LOVED all the attention. It was such a nice service and a fellowship dinner followed. They insisted we go through line to eat first; it takes us FOREVER to fix every one's plates so they are not only generous, but patient too! Plus Andrew's parents came for the dinner so it was nice to see his dad Frank again and to meet his mom. AND we got to meet the famous Zurich (Andrew's son) and Zurich's mom Carrie...our trip was so sudden that we had used Zurich's car seats, boppy, and some toys for the trip so it was neat to meet our littlest lender. (See photo from the trip to the right with Zurich's car seats and Frank helping feed babies.)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Bugs...& Pretzels

We are apparently having our first bug of the school year already. Matt got the sniffles first, then Nate & Corrine & finally someone shared with me. So now I've got the germ-X, lysol and anti-bacterial soap to try to stop this crude before it gets to anyone else. Its like my own mini-war.

Nate has me worried as he tries to fight this cold bug. He is on antibiotics and seems to be holding his own, but he is not improving yet. I'm praying this is just a passing thing because it is too soon to start the winter respiratory illness fight.

Jon had a part of his stomach removed during his surgery last week. It was sent to pathology and some infections (yeap...more "bugs") were discovered so he just started three new medications and we now have an appointment with a gastroenterologist. So far the meds don't upset his stomach, but all combined it is a LOT of medication.

I'm happy to report that the rest of the week has been much calmer than Monday. Today even included some singing, book reading to the babies and....of course, no day would be complete without an argument with insurance.

Today I made Spicy Pretzels for our after school snack...as always it was a hit. I got the recipe from some of my MBA students. The recipe is as follows:

1 lb. off brand pretzels (1 package)--Name brands don't seem to work as well
¾ Cup Oil
1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix
½ tsp. cayenne pepper
½ tsp. garlic salt
½ tsp. lemon pepper

Mix ingredients together and pour over pretzels (I use 1 gallon Ziplock bag and just flip them). Stir or mix every 10-15 minutes until pretzels appear mostly dry (about an hour will do).

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

¡Los Lunes! (On Mondays!)

Today was a circus and I got pushed from one ring to another all day! It started with the usual 5:00am wake-up and school routine while hooking/unhooking Jon & Nate's feeding pumps & getting meds. However, a clip that is needed to make the pump work fell off Jon's pump making it unusable!

Then after I dropped Matt at preschool, I took the twins for their 18 month check-ups. Luke has grown just over 3" & Mark was 4" taller which was very impressive. The doctor thinks there bowed legs will straighten on their own so that was encouraging. The boys were a hoot to take out today with all their new words and babbling!

I got a BIG COFFEE, then dropped some papers off at the school and headed home where the lazy susan had broken in the kitchen; I started a roast for supper in the crock pot; scheduled Corrine's violin lesson; called AGAIN about Jon's feed pump and then the new speech therapist was arriving. On her heals, came the medical supplier with a new pump with the wrong bags. Then I fed Jon. Then about 5 calls scheduling appointments and checking on insurance pre-approvals. Then the twin woke up from their naps in time for therapy. Then the medical supplier came back to service Nate's Oxygen concentrator. Then the FedEx guy. Then I drew up feeds & meds for the afternoon and evening. Then medical supplier came back again with bags......

Then it was time to head to Branson to teach class....and I finally got some peace as I drove! AND PEOPLE WONDER HOW I FIND TIME TO TEACH??!! I LOVE my family, BUT I LOVE teaching too ESPECIALLY ON MONDAYS!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Last Week...

What a busy week! Grandma had not been to visit for about two months so she came Sunday night to help out this week.

The morning started early with surveying a 2 mile nature trail for work. Followed by therapies for Jon at the Rehab building, making final preps for school to start tomorrow & then going to teach college class in Branson (for me) and in Parsons, KS (for Ed). AND THE DISHWASHER STOPPED WORKING.....UGH!

I got home from Branson at 12:30am last night & Ed left with Jon at 2am! Nate is still having problems with fever and higher than normal heart rate so between getting him meds, resetting alarms and getting Ed out the door....well, morning came VERY early. Plus it was the dash to get kids to their first day of school! We did it & on time! I got Hannah off to 4th grade and David & Vanessa off to 1st grade.

Matt started preschool (2 mornings a week) this morning. While he is there, they will do his therapies so it will save me from running so much. I will take Matt, but he will ride a bus home. He was ready to play with the kids and separated from me much easier than I thought he would...mixed blessing since I want him to be well-bonded, but also confident in new situations. The teacher gave him a small backpack and he is in love with it all....the teacher, the kids, the bus (which he calls "the buts") and the BACKPACK!

In the afternoon our new housekeeper had her first "solo". Of course with mom here, I'm not sure it was very "solo"... but she survived mom's "how to clean" instructions and said she would see us tomorrow when she left...so we know she is long suffering. :)

Everyone got home with good reports on their first day. Jon's surgery was a bit more involved than expected due to some damage from his first feeding tube, but he is resting well tonight in the PICU.

Oh, morning was scheduled too early for me today! I was up from 1:30 to 4:30am with Nate having problems, fussing and needing care. Luke joined us from 2 to 2:30 am for some unknown reason. Thankfully Grace was a major help getting kids around and out the door. I took Matt to preschool & he was ready to GO! He had his backpack and shoes on at 6:05am and was standing at the door. Grandma had to help convince him to get dressed in something besides pajamas!

The new housekeeper came back this morning! I came home from getting Matt to school, made some calls, loaded up the crock pot to make Curried Chickpeas for supper, got the babies down for a nap and crashed in bed!

Jon is more uncomfortable today and is having some nausea so they are not going to start feeding him until tomorrow.

Another rough night with Nate, but better than the night before. After I got the kids off to school, Matt realized that he did not get to go to school today too so I enjoyed the first of many BIG fits. Nate and I headed to his check up this morning. He weighed 19 pounds 7 ounces so his meds will probably need adjusted by the cardiologist. Nate has an ear infection from teething as we thought and the doctor counted 5 teeth trying to break through.

The dishwasher repair guy got the new door latch in and fixed the dishwasher....yes! $94....ugh! I got another afternoon nap while the babies napped...yes! Then while we slept, the guy who has volunteered to help with our lawn this summer came and his crew did another awesome job! I think our yard looks better each visit! Such a blessing!

This afternoon I made some calls...one to get Matt in preschool 4 days a week. Then we had a big supper tonight of turkey roast, mashed potatoes, stuffing, noodles, green beans with new potatoes, french bread and carrot cake....I've been avoiding using the oven due to the heat, but it was time for a REAL supper!

Ed reports that he is not cut out for hospital living and that the hospital started feeding Jon through the new tube. He said they are starting very slow, but Jon is tolerating it and seems more comfortable today.

More fits from Matt as the kids went to school and he didn't. I went to Hannah's IEP meeting with Matt at 8am. Not a busy day so I worked on organizing my desk , getting ready for class Monday night & getting ready for Grace & Corrine's homeschooling that starts Monday. Corrine started some schoolwork today because she is so anxious for 4th grade.

Ed called at 1pm and said that Jon did so well overnight and with his morning feed that he gets to come home this evening instead of in the morning. I then got to hustle to get Jon's feeding pump and supplies delivered early. The supplier delivered an old basic pump without the programming features that I need for Jon, and it requires the bag to hang well over my reach. However, it and a timer will work for the weekend. This looks like a supplier doing some profit taking, but hopefully looks are deceiving and we can get a real pump like Nate's on Monday.

Ed got home with Jon who was ready for me to hold him and kiss on him. Jon was full of smiles! So good to see him happy after such a rough week!

Next week: Ed starts school at the high school. Corrine starts violin lessons, and I take Vanessa to St. Louis Children's.

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Catherine has left us...

For those of you who have not met Catherine, she has been our housekeeper (aka househero) for 2 1/2 years. I used to say that Catherine was our "Alice" like on the Brady Bunch, but I never saw Alice do the following:
  • step over baby gates while carrying a heaping laundry basket or

  • help fix lunch with a twin on each hip or

  • turn off an alarm on a feeding pump or

  • clean up insulation after a tornado or

  • go run a bill payment across town or
....well, you get the idea. Needless to say, Catherine's job outgrew the "Alice" description a few kids ago.

BUT she has left us for higher education at Berea College in Kentucky. It will be an awesome opportunity for her, BUT oh how we will miss her! I just entered her last time sheet for the payroll company so it is official and I must accept it...she has left us.

Monday there will not be a Catherine here at 9am & on Tuesday life starts with our new "Alice".

Catherine once said when speaking of the interruptions to housework at our home, "The disappointment at my lack of progress is offset by imagining how bad it would be if I wasn't here".

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

So Goooooood!

I am having a "God is soooooo GOOD day"! A client that was 18 months delinquent on payment, just paid in full!!! I had given up on payment! NOW Grace's home school enrollment is paid & I'm paying off our largest medical debt on Nate! (Its like the ULTIMATE debt snow ball!!! NOTE: Previous exclamation is for Dave Ramsey fans only.)

Let me testify, ONLY God could bring that client's account current!
Praises, praises to God!

A few days ago, a guy I graduated with had as his facebook status, "I refuse to believe in a God that requires constant praise. -Nietzshe" (NOTE: the quote is actually “I cannot believe in a God who wants to be praised all the time.” - Nietzsche) I'll leave the judging of Nietzsche's body of works to others, but I know he and those who still follow his ideals do not know the joy of God's goodness because they refused to be open to yielding their ways to His ways. I am so thankful for faith & God's mercy, grace & provision!

LORD, what is man, that thou takest knowledge of him! or the son of man, that thou makest account of him!--Psalms 144:3
Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. --2 Corinthians 4:2-4

Monday, August 9, 2010


Tonight I started teaching a WWU class in Branson so I had a long drive to/from class. On the way, I got to thinking about Christmas, and I must say I've decided that I'm ready to have Christmas right NOW....not ready "ready"....no cards addressed or presents purchased, but I'm ready for cool weather, fireplaces, Christmas spirit, visits from friends/family and all the great foods. Maybe it is because Christmas 2009 was so interrupted by the kids hospital stays or maybe because we are facing surgeries again for the kids, I don't know why, BUT Christmas sounds like a good idea right now to me!

BTW-Nate has surgery this Thursday & Jon on Tuesday. Please keep them & us in your prayers.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Cerebral Folate Deficiency

Today was day 4 of Jon being on Deplin to increase the folate that can reach his brain. (The picture to the left was taken yesterday.) I REALLY think I'm seeing improvements but I am trying not to get too excited, just in case it is just me being a hopeful mom. I (and others) have heard him say watermelon, plus he is vocalizing more in general. I think he already is showing more head control, but I'll let the therapists judge that this week.

This means it was also day 4 of no milk products and a nasty soy formula that he won't drink! He will drink the "Very Vanilla" Silk in his cereal, but it lacks the calories and protein he needs. Next week Jon will get a feeding tube put back, which means I will be able to feed the nasty soy formula to him overnight without him having to taste it!

Saturday, August 7, 2010


Today was supposed to be our yearly outing to the farm for our whole family, but Nate is having problems handling the heat so Ed stayed home with Nate, the twins and Hannah. (Much to our surprise Hannah asked not to go.)

The farm, as we call it, is actually referring to my grand-dad's farm which is now owned mainly by my cousin and his wife. Their family is nice enough to play host every August for a day at the farm. This year even included homemade ice cream which impressed David...now he is ready to make it at home.

Grace, Corrine, David, Matt and Vanessa swam, played with kittens & dogs, and rode horses all afternoon. Jon was terrified of all the animals and I spent my time turning Jon's back to them so he couldn't see how nearby they were....kittens, dogs & horses are apparently all ferocious animals to Jon. Vanessa had a very similar response her first year so it will be fun to see this change over time.

Matt was a stinker on the trip and decided to see how many ways he could annoy his siblings seated near him...it worked because if I heard, "Mom, Matt is...." one thousand more times...well, he would have had to have rode home with grand-dad. I suppose this is the type of annoyance that makes great family memories!