Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Today's update....

Aahhhh! It's amazing what 12 hours of sleep will do to a child, let alone two of them! From the get-go this morning, Luke and Susi were happy and cheerful, even when we sat down to do real school work, which hasn't happened very much lately. Well, Luke wasn't too cheerful about his page of penmanship, but I didn't care too much...both about him being unhappy or about him doing a really sloppy job. Hey, he's six and he's a boy. Most of the time you can read what he wrote. But today he tackled quite a bit of new learning, including dimes and counting by 5s to 100. Don't ask me why I taught him about dimes (which is a ten value) and counting by 5s (a nickle) -- but guess what! He finally figured out that a nickle equals five, not one like the penny! Yeah, he's got a brilliant teacher who has it all together. And okay, okay, I did group his nickle papers with the counting by 5s and his dime papers with counting by 10s. He continues to tackle addition and subtraction with huge grins as well as reading. Susanna was pleased to confidently tackle the letter F.

Throughout the day and into bed time, Luke continues to run a low grade fever, nothing to worry about but showing that he's still fighting something. He's pleased, though...it continues to put off being poked for another blood test. He was more like his usual self for most of the day, maybe not as active but almost all the way there.

We made two batches of cookies this afternoon, much to the delight of everyone who has tasted them. Luke did his best to hide the ginger/molasses cookies from Tony but finally shared them after I assured him in a whisper that there were more hidden in the freezer. And my kids made them almost all by themselves, with a bit of supervision. The successfully cracked the eggs (no egg shells, either!), measured the other ingredients, and blobbed the dough on the cookie sheets. Shortly after, Susanna came up to me and sweetly informed me that SHE could wash the dishes, if I'd like. WHAT???? WHO IS THIS CHILD?!?!?!? And what nefarious scheme is up her sleeves? Because this one especially NEVER volunteers to do work!

Well, I thought, sure. Why not? If she's successful at doing the dishes, it's one less thing I'll have to do...just turn over the dishes to her every day (not that I hand wash my dishes -- I'll run two or three loads in the dishwasher rather than wash 'em by hand). And you know what? She did a pretty good job at washing them! She then hid a little heart in a kitchen drawer and beamed proudly. See, yesterday at their Valentine's party, during the devotional, one of the moms handed out 3-4 paper hearts to each student and talked about serving your family in love this week, doing things without being asked, and leaving your heart behind. Wow! I think I'm gonna stock up on these paper hearts!

Luke also got two get-well cards today, and that was a huge deal for him.....he continues loving to hear about people who are praying for him. In fact, tonight a bed time, Susanna prayed that God would make Luke all healthy and strong again so he could protect her!

Carol, have you been praying?????

Thanks, all, for your continued prayers. We'll continue to keep you informed as we learn anything. Luke's throat culture did come back negative for strep, thank God! The rest of this week gets busier for us -- being at the coffee shop tomorrow afternoon followed by AWANA in the evening; Thursday I have a training seminar in the morning; Friday I'm finalizing everything for my participating in our local health and energy show on Saturday...it'll be a long day for me. Only God knows if His plans are the same as mine for the rest of this week!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Luke Update

Today was a long and busy day. After several days of ER visits and doctor visits, we had a quiet, relaxing day yesterday (Sunday). Today, after checking with the clinic Friday and ER Saturday, we went to home school co-op...which was followed by a late Valentine's Day party.

The day actually started about an hour earlier than I'd hoped when I heard Susi start whispering "PSSSST! Luke, WAKE UP!" And he did. Right from the bat, though, Susanna was in a terrible mood with a terrible attitude. Nothing was going right for her, and that included a bout in the corner and a spanking from Daddy (although, ironically, that actually did help her attitude....some). She finally pouted to me "This is going to be the most horrible day EVER!" Have I mentioned how dramatic she is??? To her horror, I quickly agreed with her. "Yep, the most horrible day ever. It is awful that you have to wear those really great clothes and go to home school co-op and see all your friends then go to a valentine's party and get all kinds of goodies and cards and play games and have snacks. It's going to be HORRIBLE!" She quickly grumbled to me, "It is NOT going to be horrible! Just a little bit horrible!"

We got out the door early to get to the chiropractor who spent quite a bit of time working on Luke. She reviewed his "almost normal" blood work from the clinic on Friday and noticed something. His numbers on almost everything were almost identical to those from the ER on Tuesday....but the "normal" range given from the clinic blood work was vastly different from the normal range given on the ER blood work. Any ideas why, for those with a medical back ground??? Still some alarming areas, and one of the bad areas that was really off Tuesday was now on the opposite side of the spectrum. His temp was back up today, too, about two degrees off. When the chiropractor asked him, though, what kind of face he felt like today, he told her "smiley smiley" and told me as we left, "I feel gooder than better!" About two hours later, however, he was complaining of a headache. I asked him what kind of face he felt like and he told me "almost all smiley." Now, I knew the kid was in pain, just like I knew he was miserable at the ER when we went in and he told the doctor he was "almost all smiley." So I reworded it and asked, "Luke, what face does the PAIN feel like?" ....and he crumbled and told me "the almost crying all the time, Mama." Good grief! The kid has such a cheerful attitude even through this all that he didn't realize we were talking about how the PAIN felt! I almost started bawling in the middle of the grocery store. And after he rubbed at his head for awhile, he told me the pain was all gone and he was "smiley smiley" again.

Luke has been bringing me to tears and humbling me so much. Through all this, he keeps worrying about how Susanna feels because he doesn't play with her as much and had to postpone her birthday party. He keeps telling me "I love you so much, Mama. You're the best Mama in the world because you keep taking care of me and loving me and helping me and praying with me when I don't feel good." Very rarely is he even complaining about how he feels.... but I can tell he's still not back to normal.

By late afternoon, however, he was at his limit, overly tired, and nothing was going to be right for him. He cried because he only got to "go over" twice during Red Rover at the party. He cried because he didn't win ANYTHING at the party (out of about 100 kids, four kids won prizes for guessing games and best valentine's box). He cried when we got home because he couldn't have candy before supper (we were actually sitting down to eat at the time). He cried because I wouldn't play Connect Four with him and promised he wouldn't cry if I won. We played four games...he won two and I won two...and honestly, the two I won were by accident where I would've won wherever I put my chips...and I HADN'T intentionally set it up that way (btw, he won both his games doing the same thing...intentionally!) -- then cried again because I wouldn't play any more. He cried when I told him to brush his teeth, then cried harder because he couldn't get the lid off the toothpaste. But as soon as he settled down in the recliner, he was fine. Until I told him that tomorrow he could start sleeping in his own bed again...he's decided the recliner makes a better bed.

And...he fell asleep almost as soon as we left the room.

Tomorrow will be another quiet day. We all need it. Please pray that Luke continues to get better, that Susanna will have a joyful day, and that Tony's and my day will be productive and uneventful.

Thank God Tony is feeling better!!!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Luke Update

Thanks be to God and to all of you for your prayers! Luke slept thru the night, about 12 hours, sweat quite a bit, a few patches of coughing, but not enough to wake him up....Tony and I each got about 9 hours, waking once to check on Luke. I was just about to head upstairs when Tony crawled back into bed and said he'd just checked on him. Luke's temp is within half a degree of normal, praise God! He is still a bit hoarse, but describes today as a "smiley, smiley day." (Based on the pain charts in doctors offices and the hospital) We'll be getting one last (hopefully!) blood test this week to make sure everything is back down to normal and are awaiting news on the Lymes test. The ER doctor last night said that looking at Luke it appears he's struggling with some allergies, too, although to what will be an adventure to find....he said he may also be a carrier of strep. Oh goody.

Susi is now at a friends, and we'll be having a cake when she gets home...but will have her birthday party in probably two weeks. She's been a pretty good sport during all this, with some behavior issues to direct attention her way...today has been a big help with her having a special adventure all by herself.

We'll keep you updated, but THANK YOU for praying!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Update on Luke

We've had two sleep-interupted nights the past two nights. He woke up around 1:00 last night, couldn't speak (wow, unusual for him!), could barely breathe, wheezing terribly. He was quite panicked, very bad sore throat, still a "low grade" fever (100.3). Tony ran around getting the thermometer and medicine, looking up symptoms in the medical book, etc. Got Luke into some steam again, but I couldn't get him to calm down...until we started playing Connect Four. BTW, BEWARE of Luke if he ever asks you if you want to play Connect Four. He really knows his stuff! Without letting him, the little bugger beat me three of six games! By then, he wasn't wheezing as much (I'd also given him Ibuprofen to help the soreness of his throat) and was feeling a bit better, so I settled in with him in the recliner to make sure he slept okay. But then he asked me to sleep on the floor...the hard, non-padded floor. I dozed about an hour before Susanna came to join me....and I lasted about another three hours before stumbling into the comfort of my own bed. Luke was breathing fine and finally felt cool to the touch (enough so that I put my fingers under his nose to make sure he was breathing...seriously! He was.)

He has a pretty full blown case of laryngitis right now...so odd, my boy who loves to chatter non-stop, even when no one is around. Starts a coughing jag every once in awhile, but buckwheat honey has been keeping that in control.

We went first to the clinic yesterday but rescheduled for the afternoon after waiting for half an hour and still having at least four patients in front of us....and headed to his appointment with the chiropractor. She worked quite a bit on his lymph nodes in his neck which were quite swollen and tender to the touch (Luke kept muttering UFF DA! part in pain, part because it sometimes tickled...yeah, he's a Minnesotan!). She was able to get one to drain but only got the other relaxed about half way. He informed her he now felt smiley-smiley on the pain chart. She said it sounded like his lungs were congested and recommend the dr check for strep....so when we went back into the clinic, I gave her recommendation. The on-call doctor said his lungs sounded clear; he did get a strep test even before I mentioned it -- I guess strep is raging thru Park Rapids again, oh goodie, and they swabbed everyone who came in yesterday. She also ran another CBC to check if his numbers had been improving and if the white blood cell count had increased (she, his pediatrician, and the chiro were concerned that the white count was normal when the monos and lymphs are off so much...they should be elevated showing that his body is fighting off an infection.). He cried, but was pretty brave thru it all...wanted to know later why the doctor isn't listening to him and keeps insisting on poking him with needles! Poor guy....he knows he's getting another one next week, too, when his fever is back to normal. They did get enough blood to check for Lyme's, which both the dr and chiro said may easily be the culprit as Lyme's will trick the body and not increase the white blood count when there is an infection. We expect those results back in a week. I never thought I'd hope that he had Lyme's...but that's something minor that can usually be treated quite easily!

Tony is achy today and is sleeping right now...I've already had a brief snooze, and Susanna is pretty tired. I'm hoping and praying it's just because of the sleep-interupted nights we've been having.

The doctor said she doesn't think Luke is contageous...so Susanna is happy that her birthday party on Sunday currently is still on!

Please...continue with the prayers. And whenever I get a comment or note or email from someone that they are praying, I let Luke know. He is so thrilled and excited that you all are praying for him.

His prayer at bed time last night? Dear God, thank You for making me so good. Now please, God, would You heal me so good, too? I know You can do it...and I'll talk to You again when I'm feeling better. And help me to be brave next time the doctors give me a blood test, or You can just make them forget, okay? Remember, please, to make me all better. I don't like feeling like this.

And his first reaction when we got into the steam last night? Please pray for me, Mama. I need prayers. How I love that that is his first reaction! And how I continue to learn from his faith....

Friday, February 19, 2010

Please Pray for Luke

On Tuesday this week, Luke had a severe headache all day as well as an elevated temperature (103.7 even WITH tylenol) -- I ended up taking him to the ER where they drew blood (NOT fun for anyone, especially a 6-year-old boy!). They also did a nose swab for flu. Praise God Influenza A & B came back negative. White and red blood cells were normal; showed he is anemic. Doc said he was fine and to treat with Tylenol and Motrin every two hours, if needed.

Went to a new chiropractor on Wednesday and took the kids with (she treats kids at no charge) -- she also looked at his lab results and said the white and red were normal, but there were two that are NOT normal and are so far off it is alarming to her -- she recommended I call his pediatrican and make sure she got the results and looked at them. I called her nurse Wed afternoon...and the dr called this morning, agreeing that there were some results that are bringing up some alarms to her. She asked me to bring Luke in for a full CBC as soon as he has a couple days without fever to see if the results are back to normal...to do a test that looks at a bunch of general things...and to run a Lyme's test. A bit worrisome, but I've actually be at peace about it all (even though both the chiro and pediatrician told me what is concerning them...but I don't want to get into that detail yet).

Seemed better today, even though he continued to run a low fever. Went to bed telling me it feels weird when he breathes a certain way...woke up about an hour ago with wheezing, croupy noises and pretty swollen glands and tonsils...no redness in the throat though or tightness in the chest or pain/trouble breathing -- elevated fever, but nothing really bad. Spent some time in the steamy bathroom and has a humidifier running right now.

Yeah, I'll be calling his dr in the morning again, but I'm calling on you all to please keep him in your prayers.

And such a tender heart....he wanted to pray while breathing in the steam...his prayer? "God, I don't want to feel like this and please help me to feel better because I don't want Susi not to have her birthday party on Sunday cuz I love her so much and please make me feel better, Susanna would be so sad and I want her to have a happy birthday party, please?" Yeah, that's when my eyes started watering.....

It may be a long night...off to pray, snooze, and listen to the monitor....

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Bit Late...

Yesterday was a full day with home school co-op followed by a special trip to dinner then putting two grumpy tired kids to bed...but finally! And then, when I tried getting this to post, it just wouldn't co-operate. Wish I had time to post it earlier....
Five years ago, I was trying to get a very fussy baby to sleep...who was just way to busy wanting to see the brand new world around her! After sending me to the hospital six time with false labor, my doctor finally sent me home in the early evening of February 15, telling me to come back in the morning to be induced. The little one inside of me just couldn't make up her (although we didn't know it was a her...but it figures!) if she wanted to stay in or come out! Well, proving yet again in utero that she had a mind of her own and NO ONE would make decisions for her, I was home for a mere hour before she decided she was NOT going to wait for morning. We rushed back to the hospital -- one of three times I know that Tony exceeded the speed limit, and the only time he wasn't stopped for speeding! -- I bossed first admittance then the nurses around -- "You can admit me upstairs in my room! I'm going to the same one I just left! Call my doctor and I mean NOW! I feel this baby's head! Get that belt away from me...you are NOT strapping a monitor to my belly! No, not the on-call doctor, MY DOCTOR! Get that nurse out of my room, I do NOT like her and don't want her near me!" Oh, I was horrid..but I think (or at least I tell myself) that most women in labor are the same way!

Well, Susanna WAS kind enough to wait for my doctor (whom the nurses did call as soon as admitting finished my paper work in the room I had left an hour earlier after shoo-ing out Nurse Rachet and removing the belt and monitor from me)...but she didn't even wait for my body to be fully ready, just shot right out, again proving she was going to do her own thing (I cannot begin to count how many times I was stuck in a fetal position during pregnancy because she would be pressing on one of my nerves and I couldn't straighten up, the little bugger!).
Today, five years later, she is still head strong and doesn't want help with anything (she cries and wails and prefers just giving up on something rather than asking for or accepting help). She is still an adorable little peanut and can be one of the sweetest people in the world (case in point when today she told Uncle Tim to hold on when he was talking to her on the phone....just so she could smile sweetly at me and tell me "I love you to the moon and the sun and the stars and back! Okay, Uncle Tim, I'm back. Please come visit me. I don't remember what you look like...except that you're bald and don't have any hair!"

Seriously, as much as she frustrates me to no end sometimes...I'm glad Susanna has a strong personality. Even more so, I am so thankful she has given her life to Jesus. She has a beautiful voice and loves to sing, making up songs all day long (although today all her songs -- all her VERY LONG SONGS -- consisted of one word. Lollipop.).
I think she finally realized she is NOT getting pet for her birthday....

Seriously, she is a sweetheart. A very expressive sweetheart. And an excellent helper, too.
And Susi? I love you, too. To the sun and the moon and the stars and infinity and beyond!

Saturday, February 13, 2010


I've been lax in keeping up my blog...sorry about that! But here are some recent kid-isms and events from around our house or involving those who live here....

Luke: Susanna, you're the best sister I ever had! (um, Luke, she's the ONLY sister you've ever had!)

Right now, Tony and the kids are on their way to Itasca Park (home of the Mississippi headwaters) to watch the annual old-fashioned ice harvest. They're dressed warmly, loaded down with a huge thermos of hot chocolate....and will have a great time. I'll enjoy the photos later that Tony plans to take.....

Susanna: Mama, I love you to the moon and the stars and the sun and infinity and beyond! (but why won't she obey the simplest things????)

We are soon to be the proud owners of a lovely, kid-sized picnic table....courtesy of Susanna's shenanigans. At the coffee shop where my Watkins is set up right now, I noticed Susanna "innocently" sitting at one of the little picnic tables they have for sale for $100. Holding a pencil. Moving a pencil over the top. I rushed over...no pencil marks, thank God! But then I notices....shallow indented gashes across the entire top. I asked her if she did it and she looked me straight in the eye and confidently stated, "no, Mama, I did not." I still wasn't buying it (her answer, that is), but waited until supper time when I said, "Daddy, please watch Susanna's nose while I ask her a question." I then repeated my question to her, "Susanna, did you put the gashes in the picnic table at Jack Pine Java?" Her hands immediately flew to her face to cover her nose as she started to cry and immediately confessed. Sigh. It's a cool table, I often looked at it thinking how great it would be to have here for the summer...but not like this! And not when it isn't in our budget! Got on the phone and called Jodi to tell her we'd be buying the table and why. She was very gracious, but I asked her NOT to be gracious to Susi when Susi confesses and apologizes to her. Thank God that Susanna still believes her nose grows when she lies. But what in the world am I going to do when she figures out that it doesn't? That kid can lie looking anyone straight in the eyes. There are no indications that she is lying, other than hiding her nose. We've talked about sin, about consequences, about God knowing even if we don't....but it isn't sinking in...or she just doesn't care.

On the other hand, I'd love the matching full sized picnic table that goes with that kid-sized one....

And talking about Jack Pine Java; one of the booths that was set up next to us before Christmas was a hand-made jewelry booth by Mary Maxwell who has become a favorite friend amongst us. After everyone else tore down their booths (except for me), we offered to have a small table with some of Mary's jewelry to continue to sell for her (her husband's photography business is right next door). Well, Luke decided to become an entrepreneur....and started making his own bead jewelry to sell alongside hers. His is priced much less -- fifty cents a piece, although there are select people he's been telling that it costs $3, not fifty cents (for example, Mary Maxwell). He's gotten some special orders, and also asked Jodi (who runs JPJ) if she'd be interested in buying any jewelry. When Jodi asked how much it cost, Susanna quickly answered, "More than anyone wants to pay!" After the laughter, Jodi bought two necklaces....Luke is saving up to buy a pirate Lego ship.

My kids have been so busy helping lately, and usually without complaining. It helps that for Luke's Sparkie (AWANA) assignment next week, he has to complete a chart on how obedient he has been...obeying without complaining. Why can't they have the chart for a month? Good habits take a month to be set...don't they know that???? And Susanna's discipline for the picnic table fiasco is that she much do extra chores for several months to pay us back for the picnic table...and that she is not allowed to sit at the table and use it until she has paid it off...so if friends come over for supper and the children sit at the picnic table, she'll have to be at the grown ups table. Although...I think that's a punishment for more than Susanna!!!

Tonight, Tony and I are having a couples night out. We were invited by our friends Scott and Jessica for "a Valentines Bunco party with fine dining, lots of laughter, good company, scrumptious dessert, and rumpus of all kind!" Ahhh...I'm looking forward to tonight!!!

Another thing Tony and I just committed to last week is setting aside at least one waking hour a week for a date time...I read it on someone's blog, about "Project 52," setting aside time just for each other at a regular time every week. With the farm and kids, it has been very hard to do....but we now have inked out of our schedules every Saturday night from 9-10 p.m. (and longer) just to play a game, talk about non-farm/family things, snuggle, have a special treat, just alone time without outside interruption. Okay, part of that time tonight will be at couples bunco -- but we found that just spending time together last week laughing while playing Pay Day (and yes, I got trounced!) helped open up other doors to conversation this week. I'd recommend any couple making that commitment to one hour a week (or more) to have as "couple" time.

And talking about games....Luke has really been working on learning all the ins and outs of Connect Four. I seriously warn anyone to think twice if Luke asks if you'd like to play Connect Four. Tony has a very hard time beating him....he wins maybe one game in a dozen, and believe me, he is NOT letting Luke win! Names like "little bugger" have been used frequently lately... Luke is still having problems beating me, but he's learning all the strategies, how to trap others into going where HE wants them to go, and putting them in a pickle where blocking one win guarantees another win, or where they HAVE to put a piece resulting in a win for the other player. He is really tricky in his playing, and I'm not just saying that. Today, after I trounced him five out of six games, he started pouting, and I asked if he wanted me to LET him win. He smiled and said yes, so I gave him a very easy win...which he decided was pretty disappointing since I didn't even try to beat him. At least he's learning good sportsmanship!

Susanna has been working on "doing" her own hair daily...but often gets in arguments with Luke who wants to do her hair, too. His day is complete and happy if he can spend time making Susanna's hair beautiful. Put that with his favorite purple shirt...and how he enjoys playing dollies with Susanna....and thank goodness he's decided he REALLY likes girls! He, too, has been quite the helper lately.

Usually once a night, sometimes twice, I hear a thump from upstairs. Sometimes I hear some rustling, sometimes not. I've gone up many times to check if Susi's fallen out of her bed (Luke's has a small built in rail along the side), but she's always in bed, covers on, fast asleep. For some reason, I asked her last night as I was tucking her in, "Do you ever fall out of bed when you're sleeping, Susi?" And she told me that yes, sometimes she does and thumps her tushie and it hurts but she goes back to sleep. Oh, poor baby! Now I understand why she likes to keep extra pillows and blankets on the floor beside her bed!!! This morning, she told Luke, "Luke, last night when I fell out of bed, I noticed that my diaper was wet." Luke replied, "Don't you just hate dreams like that?" "It wasn't a dream, Luke. So I changed my diaper before I went back to bed." Sigh...my kids, still in diapers at night. But, they're three stories above the bathroom.... so when we eventually move to the farm, their rooms are going to be right by the bathroom, and that should help. Even waking them up at night to go potty doesn't usually help.

And I saved this for last...knowing many people won't make it this far. But this is just too funny NOT to share! For the sake of propriety (and Internet decency blockers), I'll change the names of the body parts.

Overheard this morning: Luke: Susanna, why do you think a Virginia is better than a Pennsylvania? Susanna: Because it is, Luke! Luke: But Pennsylvania's stick out straight and they're on the outside!

Hm. Case closed.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Well...I am finally feeling much better, thank God! The doctor gave me a z-pack and it is really kicking in, along with the prayers of so many of you...thank you! I had a triple whammy -- exhaustion, a cold that moved into a sinus infection, and the flu. However, the sinus infection is what caused pretty much all the problems. It's getting cleared up, and can I ever tell!

The kids have sinus infections now, too, although thank GOD their symptoms didn't get as bad as mine. Just phoning their doctor today and telling her what they're experiencing, she immediately phoned in prescriptions for amoxicillan.

Thank you for your prayers. The kids really have been amazing through all this. They've been helpful...and whiny...but usually sweet and kind. Tony continues to be an amazing husband and..for the first time in over a week...got a full day's work in! Of course, that involved mainly shoveling out the barn, poor thing, along with an uncooperative tractor.....

Hopefully, my posts will get more entertaining over the next few days........